Pasta Good For You

Wellness: Nutrition
8 Tricks to Make Pasta Really Good for You

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Whole Grain Penne Pasta Raw

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April 2 2018

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Take it from our dietitians, pasta can be part of a healthy meal plan. With these helpful tips, you can feel good about putting pasta night back on the menu.

  1. Use Quality Cheese

    Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Wedge

    It might sound counterintuitive, but by using a flavorful quality cheese, you can get away with using less overall. Try using fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano or smoked gouda.

  2. Choose Whole Wheat

    Whole Grain Penne Pasta Raw

    You've probably heard it before. Whole wheat pasta is a tasty way to get more fiber and whole grains in your diet. But if you're not 100% sold, try mixing half whole wheat pasta with regular pasta.

  3. Stretch It Out with Veggies

    Grilled Chicken Pasta with Veggies

    Vegetables don't have to be boring. Think caramelized onions, sautéed Brussel sprouts, grilled zucchini, even roasted butternut squash. Packing in as many veggies as you can is a smart and healthy way to stretch out a pasta dish.

  4. Add Lean Protein

    Chicken Alfredo with Bowtie Pasta

    Shrimp, chicken, lean ground turkey, and lean turkey sausage are all flavorful yet lean options for adding protein to pasta.

  5. Swap Heavy Cream

    Creamy Shrimp Alfredo on Plate

    If your pasta recipe calls for heavy cream, try using half and half instead. You'll get the same creamy sauce without the extra fat and calories.

  6. Fresh Herbs

    Spaghetti with Black Olives and Fresh Basil

    Because most jarred pasta sauces are high in sodium, consider opting for a low-sodium version. Then use fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and oregano to season your dish.

  7. Fill Your Plate with Greens

    Chicken Basilico Rotini on Plate with Veggies

    Load your plate with leafy greens or vegetables before dishing out the pasta. This will help keep your portion to a moderate amount. Because remember, if your pasta is full of lean protein, veggies, and whole grains, it will be much more filling than plain pasta.

  8. Have Your Tortellini, And Your Soup, Too

    Chicken Tortellini Soup

    Get your fix of meat- or cheese-stuffed tortellini in nutritious soup form. This will help keep your pasta portion to a moderate amount while reaping all the healthy benefits of vegetable soup.