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11 Best Pastas on Grocery Shelves, According to a Dietitian

Yes, your favorite pasta dish can be both delicious and nutritious.
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From fusilli to farfalle, pasta comes in all shapes and sizes and is so much more than just the base for your sauce and meatballs. Of course, pasta has earned a bad rap in recent years after the "no-carb revolution" that swept the Western world by storm. However, we want to change the narrative, as data published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention, and Health suggests that higher pasta consumption (just over three servings per week) is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, according to observational data. And, a review study published in Nutrients highlighted that, after evaluating over 30 studies, the medical literature generally doesn't suggest that pasta intake is directly linked to body weight outcomes. So, pasta really can be a part of a healthy diet. The key is also finding the healthiest pasta brands that you enjoy eating.

Unlike many other refined grains (like donuts and white bread), pasta has a unique protein structure that makes it have a low glycemic index. And many varieties are typically enriched with important nutrients, like folic acid. But if you aren't a fan of the original white pasta varieties, luckily for you, there are now kinds of pasta made from cauliflower, lentils, and other ingredients that give your pasta dish a boost of nutrients, like fiber (and depending on the ingredients, may allow your pasta to be deemed 'gluten-free').

We've rounded up 11 of our favorite healthy pastas that run the gamut of textures, flavors, and compositions that we consider to be the "best" on the market. Just remember that what you serve with your pasta and how much you are eating as a serving is just as important as which pasta you are picking. Half a cup of pasta is considered a "serving" (approximately the size of a baseball), and it is suggested to pair your pasta with "good" fats, vegetables, and lean protein instead of high-fat meats (like sausage).

Whether you're vegan or gluten-free, Keto or simply looking for quality pasta, there's something in here for everyone. Read on, and for something nutritious to go with your new pasta brands, check out these 5 Pasta Sauces with the Highest Quality Ingredients.

Pasta Rummo Spaghetti

Rummo pasta

Per 2-ounce serving: 190 calories, 1g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 6 g protein

Pasta Rummo prides itself on its slowly crafted pasta. With seven phases that culminate in a "Bureau Veritas" certification–that is, external validation of robust business practices and product quality—this pasta has top-tier taste.

Additionally, this pasta is great at absorbing delicious sauces due to its extrusion through a special bronze die. You really can't go wrong here.

 10 Unhealthiest Pasta Sauces on Grocery Shelves

Ancient Harvest Red Lentil Rotini

Red lentil ancient harvest protein pasta
Ancient Harvest

Per 2-ounce serving: 200 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 14 g protein

A high-protein pasta option? Count us in! Ancient Harvest offers an alternative take on the classic rotini with their Red Lentil option that offers a whopping 14 grams of protein per serving with 3 grams of fiber.

Made with just two ingredients (red lentil flour and organic quinoa flour), you can feel confident that you're eating a heart-healthy meal that will keep you full and energized throughout the day.

 9 Best Low-Carb Pasta Brands on Grocery Store Shelves

Banza Chickpea Penne

Banza penne

Per 2-ounce serving: 190 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (5 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 11 g protein

Protein pasta has taken the world by storm, especially for those who follow a plant-based diet and skip the meat-heavy pasta toppings. Banza Penne Pasta is made from chickpeas and comes with 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, both of which are necessary to feel satiated throughout the day.

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Eden Kamut Spirals 100% Whole Grain

Eden Kamut Spirals 100% Whole Grain
Eden Foods

Per 1-cup serving: 210 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (6 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 10 g protein

Organic Eden Pasta is made from a very particular ancient variety of Khorasan (Kamut) wheat, which makes this particular whole-grain pasta naturally sweet and smooth. With a whopping 15% of your daily iron needs in each serving—as well as 20% of your daily magnesium—this pasta is a great one-ingredient addition to your dinner that won't have you guessing but instead leave you full and satisfied.

Seapoint Farms Organic Edamame Spaghetti

Seapoint Farms Organic Edamame Spaghetti
Seapoint Farms

Per 2-ounce serving: 200 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0m g sodium, 21 g carbs (12 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 24 g protein

This was a new one for us, too! Edamame Spaghetti is a powerhouse food, as it provides 24 grams of protein per mere 2 ounces, with an additional 12 grams of fiber (the FDA recommends about 28 grams per day, so you're nearly halfway there with just one serving of edamame pasta) to keep your gut regular and your appetite satiated.

The only ingredient involved is USDA-certified organic soybeans, making it the perfect option for those who are gluten-free as well as those following a vegan or Keto lifestyle.

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Kevin's Natural Foods Chicken Pasta Primavera

Kevin's Natural Foods Pasta
Kevin's Natural Foods

Per 1-cup serving (prepared with chicken and sauce): 260 calories, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 690 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 16 g protein

Pasta that is ready to enjoy in minutes, gluten-free, and made with real vegetables may sound like a dream come true for pasta lovers who live both a busy and a gluten-free lifestyle.

Kevin's Natural Foods offers an entire line of paleo-certified pasta dishes made with their gluten-free cauliflower pasta, like flavor-packed Chicken Penne Alla Vodka and a gluten-free, dairy-free Beef Stroganoff.

Fiber Gourmet Light Elbows

Fiber Gourmet New Light Elbows
Fiber Gourmet

Per 1/2 cup serving: 110 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (24 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

With no added sugars, you can easily knock out your entire daily fiber needs with Fiber Gourmet's Light Elbows. This pasta provides 24 grams of fiber in each serving, and as fiber is necessary for gut microbiota upkeep and regular bowel movements, you'll want to share this one with the kiddos, too.

Add healthy toppings like vegetables and lean meats, and you've got yourself a powerhouse of a meal!

 The 10 Healthiest High-Fiber Foods You Can Eat

VeggieCraft Cauliflower Linguine

VeggieCraft Cauliflower Linguine

Per 2-ounce serving: 200 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 13 g protein

Perhaps you have picky kids who don't like eating their veggies, or perhaps that picky kid is you. With cauliflower pasta made by the likes of VeggieCraft, you don't have to worry about fulfilling your daily vegetable needs.

With 13 grams of protein (so it's great for plant-based diets, as well), you can hit two birds with one stone. Additionally, this cauliflower linguine has no added sugar and a relatively low sodium count, so it's certainly heart-healthy and appropriate for most dietary needs.

Barilla Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Barilla Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti

Per 2-ounce serving: 180 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (7 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 8 g protein

Your pasta doesn't need to have all the bells and whistles that gourmet and small-scale pasta companies offer. In fact, making a simple switch to whole wheat—no matter the brand—can potentially help with proper weight management.

This pasta is also made with one sole ingredient (whole grain durum wheat flour) that offers 7 grams of fiber per 2-ounce serving.

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Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti

Explore Cuisine black Bean Spaghetti
Explore Cuisine

Per 2-ounce serving: 180 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (11 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 25 g protein

We want to offer something a bit out of left field for those who like to explore new tastes and options. If you're looking to spice up your family dinners, try Explore Cuisine's Black Bean Spaghetti, which is made with black soybean flour.

This pasta offers the highest protein count of all our listed options at a whopping 25 grams per serving and also contains 11 grams of fiber and zero added sugars. A

Additionally, consuming this black soybean pasta will fuel you with 30% of your daily iron and potassium needs, making it a great food to add to your weekly retinue.

GoodWheat Spaghetti

Good Wheat Pasta

Per 2-ounce serving: 180 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate (8 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 9 g protein

Made with one simple ingredient and containing a whopping 8 grams of fiber, this pasta option is US Farm Grown and is non-GMO. This high-fiber pasta provides four times more fiber than standard pasta and tastes just as good.

Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who has been in practice for almost 20 years. Read more about Lauren
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