Tasty, blood sugar friendly, low carb pasta can be hard to find but there are lots of great options out there!
I’ve lived with diabetes for over 30 years and have tried some truly awful low carb or blood sugar friendly pasta options. But, I’ve also found some of the best low carb pasta and noodle options that are both blood sugar-friendly and delicious!
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What to look for in low carb pasta for diabetes
Below, I’m going to show you some of my favorite pasta brands but I also want you to feel confident in choosing your own favorites. So, let’s discuss what we want to look for.
Ideally, when comparing options to traditional pasta, we’re searching for one or more of the following…
- Lower amounts of carbohydrate
- More fiber
- More protein
And, most importantly, you enjoy eating it!
Popular low carb pasta brands
Some of the more common popular low carb or more blood sugar friendly brands include:
Top high protein, high fiber, or low carb pasta options
View more about each of these top picks below, and which pasta or noodle category they fall into.
- Banza chickpea pasta
- Explore cuisine edamame noodles
- Explore cuisine black bean noodles
- Barilla Chickpea Spaghetti
- Tolerant chickpea pasta
- Chickapea chickpea and lentil pasta
- Barilla red lentil rotini
- Impastable pasta shells
- Liviva Shirataki penne pasta with oat fiber
- Cappello’s almond flour pasta
- Carba nada egg fettuccine
- Palmini hearts of palm angel hair pasta
- Taste of Asia angel hair konjac noodles
- Nasoya pasta zero Shirataki spaghetti
- Kelp Noodles
- Miracle noodles
- Cybele’s free to eat superfood white pasta
- Cybele’s free to eat superfood green pasta
- Solely spaghetti squash pasta
Categories for diabetes-friendly pasta and noodles
These top 19 choices are broken down into the following categories:
- Best low carb pasta options
- Best low carb noodles
Best low carb pasta options
There are so many higher fiber, higher protein, and/or low carb pasta options on the market. While there’s no way to cover all of them, below you’ll find some of my top picks.
1. Bean based pasta options
Bean based pasta has about 30% less carbohydrate typically compared to traditional pasta. And is also higher in protein (by quite a lot usually) and fiber. These are some of my favorite options:
- Banza chickpea pasta: For a long time, Banza was one of the only chickpea pastas on the market. They offer a variety of shapes and products from traditional pasta to boxed mac & cheese. Compared to regular pasta, it has more protein and fiber. It does get a bit gummy if you don’t rinse it after cooking though.
- Explore cuisine edamame noodles: I originally discovered this pasta at Costco and have always loved how versatile it is! It holds up well and has great flavor. It has a similar macronutrient (carbs, protein, and fat) profile to chickpea pastas.
- Explore cuisine black bean noodles: Explore cuisine offers a variety of pasta made from different types of legumes. The black bean version has a richer flavor and is higher in protein and fiber, like the edamame version.
- Barilla Chickpea Spaghetti: I had not tried Barilla’s version of chickpea pasta until last year, but it has quickly become my favorite blood sugar friendly pasta option!
- Tolerant chickpea pasta: Tolerant pasta prides itself on being made from ONLY chickpeas. (The other chickpea-based pastas listed above do have some other ingredients to optimize texture.) Nutritionally, it’s a great option, but the texture is not my favorite… though many people love it so it’s worth including in this list.
- Chickapea chickpea and lentil pasta: Chickapea pasta is made from just chickpeas and lentils. And, like the other bean based pastas on this list it has less carbohydrate, more protein, and more fiber than traditional pasta.
- Barilla red lentil rotini: Barilla’s red lentil pasta has a slightly firmer texture than the chickpea version, but is equally delicious and blood sugar friendly.
2. Low carb pasta shells
- Impastable pasta shells: Impastable pasta has a huge fan base and prides itself on being extremely low in carbs. Most of the carbohydrate comes in the form of fiber, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to large doses of fiber.
3. Low carb gluten free pasta
- Liviva Shirataki penne pasta with oat fiber: Shirataki noodles are made from a type of fiber found in the konjac plant which grows in Japan, China, and southeast Asia. And, most of the carbohydrate in these noodles is indigestible so they have very little impact on blood sugar levels.
4. High protein low carb pasta
Your best option for higher protein and lower carbohydrate pasta is going to be some of the bean based pasta options we mentioned above. While they do still have about 30g carbohydrate/serving, they also have a good deal more protein.
Best low carb noodles options
Whether you’re making soup, ramen, spaghetti or another noodle-based dish, below you’ll find some great blood sugar friendly pasta options.
1. Almond flour noodles
- Cappello’s almond flour pasta: Cappello’s makes one heck a pasta product! You’ll find them in the frozen section. With less carbs and more protein per serving, you’ll love everything from their noodles to heir raviolis!
2. Low carb egg noodles
- Carba nada egg fettuccine: While the name implies there’s no carbohydrate in this pasta, it’s similar to the bean based pastas we discussed above (~25-30g/serving), but it’s higher in fiber and protein than traditional pasta… and very tasty!
3. Low carb ramen noodles
Ramen is traditionally made with a wheat-based noodle. Since most ramen dishes include protein and fiber sources, ramen can be a great blood sugar friendly option for many people. If you’re looking for a lower carb noodle though, some people prefer to use shirataki noodles or some of the other options I’ve listed below.
- Palmini hearts of palm angel hair pasta: Hearts of palm are naturally lower in carbs and can be made into pasta along with a few other ingredients! The texture is different than traditional pasta but the flavor is very neutral. So, it pairs well with most sauces!
- Tastes of Asia angel hair konjac noodles: Konjac noodles (as we discussed above) offer an easy to prepare low carb pasta option!
- Nasoya pasta zero Shirataki spaghetti : Pasta Zero offers another great low carb pasta option!
- Kelp Noodles: Kelp noodles are extremely low in macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein). Depending on what you’re looking for in pasta qualities this may be a positive or a negative. It has a very neutral taste and pairs well with other flavors.
- Miracle noodles: Miracle noodles are another great konjac/shirataki pasta option.
4. Low carb macaroni and noodles made from vegetables
Many pasta manufacturers have started to make vegetable based noodles over the last several years as another lower carbohydrate option.
- Cybele’s free to eat superfood white pasta and Cybele’s free to eat superfood green pasta: Cybele’s makes pasta made from non-starchy veggies and lentils. The nutrient profiles offer less carbohydrate and more protein, but not as much fiber as bean based pasta. The colors and flavors make for some fun alternative pasta options.
- Solely spaghetti squash pasta: Think of spaghetti squash, but without the hassle of cutting it and roasting it. Solely offers a quick and veggie rich option.
Now here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about these different types of low carb pasta options.
Are rice noodles low carb?
Most rice noodle options are not low carb and often lack protein and fiber. But, if you enjoy eating them, you can absolutely still have them! I recommend pairing them with a fiber or protein source. For example, serve them with your favorite non-starchy veggies, and meat or tofu.
Is brown rice pasta low in carbs?
Even though brown rice pasta may have slightly more fiber than rice noodles, they’re often still a pretty high glycemic food and can be difficult to navigate with diabetes. But again, if you enjoy eating them, you definitely can still enjoy them when you have diabetes. As I said above, just pair them with other fat, fiber, and protein sources.
Is gluten free pasta low carb?
Some gluten free pastas are more blood sugar friendly and/or low carb, and some are not. Rice based pastas (as discussed above) can be trickier to navigate for those with diabetes or looking to balance blood sugars.
Ideally they should be served with protein and fiber rich foods. Pastas made from low glycemic foods like beans, lentils, and/or almond flour can be a great blood sugar friendly pasta option if you enjoy eating them.
Do you have to eat low carb noodles and pasta?
Definitely not. We can always enjoy traditional pasta and simply pair it with other fat, fiber, and protein rich foods. But, if you can find a low carb pasta, higher fiber noodle, etc. option that you enjoy eating, it can make balancing your blood sugars after the meal a bit easier.
If you don’t find an option below that you enjoy, stick to wheat based pasta (or another preference) and try some of these strategies:
- Eat a non-starchy vegetable or salad first
- Pair your pasta with a protein source
- Add peppers and onion to your sauce for added fiber
- Chill your pasta over night in the fridge and reheat it the next day
Low carb pasta recipes
Once you’ve discovered what your favorite higher protein, or lower carb pasta option is, try them in one of these delicious recipes!
- Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Spinach and Rosemary
- Mediterranean Veggie Pasta Salad
- Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chickpea Pasta
- Spinach and Truffle Mushroom Pasta
- Cheesy Ground Lamb and Spinach Pasta Bake
Want more blood sugar friendly pasta recipes? Check out my first cookbook: The Easy Diabetes Cookbook!
Just out of curiosity is there a reason why I do excellent with whole wheat pasta and not so good with chickpea or red lentil? They have me only doing a one hour and my meals are controlled with diet and exercise. I just find it odd.