Pasta doesn't have to pack in the calories. These healthier recipes let you eat what you love while still losing weight.
May 09, 2018
1 of 20Jennifer Causey
Spring Vegetable Pasta Alfredo
Our seasonal pasta toss is made luscious and rich with a lighter take on Alfredo sauce. Instead of using heavy cream, we employ flour-thickened 2% milk enriched with cream cheese. We also switch from traditional Parmesan to more robust pecorino Romano, which allows us to use less cheese while still achieving the same flavor impact. We love the flavor of , which is milder than most other brands we’ve tried and doesn’t overpower the vegetables.
Wonton wrappers are the secret to these seemingly from-scratch pasta pillows. Skip the fancy folds; just make sure to seal the ravioli well. The ravioli fare better with a delicate sauce—here, just a drizzle of olive oil and lemon.
Make this dish gluten-free by using the brown rice elbow pasta and brown rice flour options listed in the ingredients.
4 of 20Photo: Jennifer Causey
Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Lasagna
Chicken thighs poach until tender in stock, which becomes the base for a creamy béchamel sauce. No-boil noodles absorb more liquid during baking for a sturdy slice after freezing and reheating.
5 of 20Photo: Randy Mayor
Individual White Lasagnas
Ramekins help keep these cheesy, decadent layers in portion-perfect shape.
6 of 20Photo: Jason Wallis
Grape Tomato, Olive, and Spinach Pasta
We love small, sweet grape tomatoes in this quick meatless pasta dish, but you can sub cherry tomatoes or larger tomatoes that have been seeded and diced. This tasty meal is filling enough to enjoy alone or could be served alongside one of our superfast side-dishes.
7 of 20Photo: Francesco Tonelli
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Rice Noodles
This dish has the starch built in, and because the recipe includes lots of fresh veggies, it qualifies as a one-dish meal.
8 of 20Photo: John Autry
Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken
This colorful orzo and chicken main-dish salad is packed with an assortment of chopped fresh vegetables and tossed with a tangy lemon dressing.
9 of 20Photo: José Picayo
Our Vegetable Lasagna has half the fat and calories of traditional lasagna—but loaded with satisfying flavor. Lots of colorful, delicious baby veggies are layered between pasta to reduce the typical mounds of cheese.
10 of 20Photo: Iain Bagwell
Rich Chicken Soup with Fresh Noodles
This soup tastes like it was on Grandma’s stove for hours. Test Kitchen staffer Adam Hickman’s secret weapon: “Salty miso enriches the broth.”
11 of 20Photo: Justin Walker
We love the look of mezze penne, a smaller version of regular penne, but you can use any short pasta you like. The “lettuce” in this BLT is actually tender baby spinach. You could also substitute peppery arugula or even baby kale.
12 of 20Photo: Romulo Yanes
Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Romano
This mayonnaise-based pasta salad veers from the traditional with salty Italian ham, nutty asparagus, and a generous grinding of pepper.
13 of 20Photo: Rob Culpepper
Creamy Artichoke and Asparagus Lasagna
Lemon rind brightens the sauce, making for a more delicate lasagna. To save on salt, use frozen artichokes, which contain a quarter of the sodium of the canned variety that are usually packed in brine.
14 of 20Photo: Beau Gustafson
Pasta with Prosciutto and Spinach
Dress up pasta night with a hearty bowl of fresh cheese tortellini tossed in a homemade sauce. Serve with toasted bread for a complete meal that’s ready in no time.
15 of 20Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro
Steamed Clams and Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta
Store-bought clam juice adds great flavor to a quick pasta dish. Serve with crusty bread and a simple green salad to round out dinner.
16 of 20Photo: Randy Mayor
Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna
This zucchini eggplant lasagna makes use of fresh summer produce in a filling meatless entrée.
17 of 20Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
Rotini and Cheese with Broccoli and Ham
Serve this creamy dish with a tossed green salad or a fruit salad.
18 of 20Photo: John Autry
Linguine with Easy Meat Sauce
For picky eaters, try serving this easy meat sauce over whimsically shaped pasta, like bow ties, rotini, or wagon wheels.
19 of 20Photo: John Autry
Lemon-Splashed Shrimp Salad
To ensure efficiency, you can purchase peeled and deveined shrimp to reduce prep time. Chop, measure, and prepare the remaining ingredients while the pasta water comes to a boil.
20 of 20Photo: Karry Hosford
Peppery Chicken Pasta Salad
Serve this soon after you dress the salad so the pasta stays moist.