20 Clean-Eating Pasta Recipes

When the craving for a giant plate of pasta strikes, subbing in zoodles ain’t gonna cut it. Here, 20 pasta recipes that are light enough to avoid the guilt trip but guaranteed to satisfy.

The Best Pasta Recipes in the Whole Entire Universe

pasta florentine with grilled chicken recipe hero
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Pasta Florentine With Grilled Chicken

Charring your chicken breasts for ten minutes adds that je ne sais quoi to a classic French dish. This version uses an entire bag of baby spinach.

grain free mushroom spinach leek pasta recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Grain-free Mushroom, Spinach And Leek Pasta

You can use any variety of grain-free pasta, but we’re a big fan of the Cappello’s brand: fresh pasta that’s both gluten- and grain-free.

lightened up fettuccine with cauliflower alfredo sauce recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Lightened-up Fettuccine With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Instead of heavy cream, this luscious pasta starts with pureed cauliflower (with just a tad of milk and Parm mixed in). That totally counts as eating our veggies, right?


15-minute Lemony Broccolini Pasta

Half broccolini, half pasta = basically a leafy green salad, right? In all seriousness, this speedy recipe is so much more elegant than opening up a jar of marinara (but just as easy)

healthyish easy skillet linguine trumpet mushroom scallops 920

Easy Skillet Linguine With Trumpet Mushroom ‘scallops’

Fun fact: Sautéed trumpet mushrooms look like scallops but are much easier to cook (and a hell of a lot cheaper).

butternut squash carbonara recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Butternut Squash Carbonara

For creamier, tastier spaghetti carbonara, you need just one secret ingredient. Nope, it’s not butter or cream. It’s butternut squash. Feed this dinner to your kids and they’ll gobble it up—no need to tell them it’s oozing with hidden veggies.

gluten free cauliflower gnocchi pomodoro hero
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Gluten-free Cauliflower Gnocchi Pomodoro

We never thought we’d say this, but this handmade pasta is almost as easy as opening up a box of dried noodles. Plus, it’s 50 percent cauliflower, meaning it’s low-carb.

creamy vegan pasta swiss chard tomatoes recipe2
Vegan In the House

Creamy Vegan Pasta With Swiss Chard And Tomatoes

Thanks to Swiss chard, this dish is packed with nutrients that are vital in a vegan diet (vitamins C, A, K and B6, magnesium, iron and potassium). Best of all, it’s swirled with non-dairy whipped cream and practically melts in your mouth.

avocado and black bean pasta salad recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Avocado And Black Bean Pasta Salad

If we’re going to eat a giant plate of pasta, it might as well be filled with satisfying protein, too (and creamy avocado, because duh).

cauliflower macaroni and cheese recipe1
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Cauliflower Mac And Cheese

Instead of baking an entire casserole dish's worth of gemelli, swap out half the pasta with bite-size cauliflower florets. Clean eating is easy like that.

veggie lovers pasta salad 5
Gimme Some Oven

Veggie Lovers Pasta Salad

Whip it up with whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Bonus: It’ll last for three days, and you don’t even have to re-heat to enjoy.

red pepper cashew pasta roasted cauliflower
Pinch of Yum

Red Pepper Cashew Pasta With Roasted Cauliflower

Hearty whole wheat pasta, roasted cauliflower and a creamy sauce with zero dairy.

creamy strawberry pasta recipe
Sally's Baking Addiction

Creamy Strawberry Feta Pasta Salad

Fruit in a plate of pasta? Apple cider-Dijon poppy seed dressing ties everything together, trust us.

skillet gnocchi with sausage and broccoli rabe recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Skillet Gnocchi With Sausage And Broccoli Rabe

A balanced meal: equal parts vegetables, protein and carbs. Best part? It’s all cooked up in one skillet.

creamy vegan lemon pasta recipe
Minimalist Baker

Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta

Have you ever tossed your pasta with nutritional yeast? Its vegan, nutty-cheesy flavor adds unbeatable depth to your plate.

garlic zucchini noodle pasta recipe
The Almond Eater

Garlic Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Half pasta, have zoodles = so darn brilliant.

vegan butternut mac and cheese smoky shiitake bacon recipe1
Chloe Flavor

Vegan Butternut Mac And ‘cheese’ With Smoky Shiitake ‘bacon’

Take it from a non-vegan: This recipe is even better than regular mac and cheese. There, we said it.

stuffed shells spinach ricotta recipe
Simple Veganista

Spinach And ‘ricotta’ Vegan Stuffed Shells

Some things are irrefutable. Case in point: There’s nothing as irresistible as an enormous stuffed shell. And with vegan cashew cheese filling, it’s OK to take seconds.

skinny shrimp alfredo pasta bake recipe
Damn Delicious

Skinny Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake

An unbelievably cheesy, creamy lightened-up dish that you can easily make ahead of time. Just pop it right in the oven before serving.

avocado pasta recipe1
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Avocado Pasta

It's rich but totally virtuous, and the whole meal takes just 30 minutes to prepare. All you need to have on hand are a couple of ripe avos. (Cue singing angels.)

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Heath Goldman

Food Editor

From 2017 to 2019 Heath Goldman held the role of Food Editor covering food, booze and some recipe development, too. Tough job, eh?
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