Shirataki Pasta Comes to the Rescue
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Unlike conventional pasta, these tofu Shirataki noodles come packed in a liquid pouch.
With more of us falling prey to Celiac disease or simply choosing to eat gluten free, finding alternatives to wheat-based starches is critical. A wide variety of pastas have emerged lately to meet this demand. A great example is Tofu Shirataki, a pasta alternative made with a tofu and Konnyaku (Asian yam) flour blend.
Besides avoiding allergens, Shirataki's unique blend of Konnyaku and soybeans yields superior health benefits. Soy protein is one of few derived from plants that provide all essential amino acids needed to be a complete meat substitute. The starchy root of the Konnyaku, long considered medicinal in Asian cultures, acts as a glue holding together the soy and other ingredients into the shape of pasta.
Unlike conventional pasta, these tofu Shirataki noodles come packed in a liquid pouch, and per serving are twenty calories, three grams of carbs, as well as free from cholesterol, sugar, dairy, and gluten, while also vegan and kosher certified. They come in a variety of shapes including, macaroni, spaghetti, fettuccine and angel-hair.
Get started now with some creative recipes.
Shirataki Pasta Comes to the Rescue - Recipes
Every since I was diagnosed almost two years ago with Type 2 diabetes I've said goodbyes to a host of high-carb foods. At the top of the list? Pizza and pasta. I've never been a huge pizza fan, although I've had my moments. But pasta? That was devastating. I've found some good whole wheat pastas but they still tend to raise my blood sugar so I don't eat them often. It can be frustrating to crave something so basic and have the no be so resounding so when I stumbled across shirataki noodles I hoped I'd hit pay dirt.
Shirataki noodles--the original version--are made with yam flour and have negligible carbs. For those who are gluten free, they're perfect for you, too.
I headed over to Mitsuwa Marketplace, which is the largest of the Japanese supermarket chains in San Diego and found myself dizzy with possibilities. Not only are there several brands with several choices of shirataki noodles (which are wet and in the refrigerated section of the market, near kimchi and tofu), but there's a whole other choice you can make--tofu shirataki, made with tofu and water with a little yam flour. And these, made by a company called House Foods, are going the extra distance with varieties in shapes like spaghetti, angel hair, macaroni, and fettuccine. Crazy! They also have no cholesterol, 0.5 grams of fat per serving, are extremely low in sodium, and are all of 20 calories per serving.
Now are they truly like wheat noodles in terms of flavor and texture? No. Let's not make them into something they're not. But if, like me, you've been craving traditional pasta and simply can't have it this is not a bad substitute. You can add them to soup mix them up with vegetables, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese make mac and cheese or, as I did with my package of macaroni, add them to turkey chile.
The noodles have a distinct odor to them, acknowledged in the package's preparation directions. But all you need to do is rinse them under water, put them in a bowl, and heat them in the microwave for--get this--a minute. The smell goes away and you have warm noodles with a bit of chew to them and a neutral flavor. Ready for pretty much anything for which you'd use regular pasta.
Why this is our favorite shirataki noodles recipe
Shirataki noodles are strangely wonderful things. They have a similar texture to rice noodles, which is why they work so well in Asian-inspired recipes.
But they are pretty boring all on their own.
What they need is to be wrapped in a flavorful, creamy peanut buttery blanket. AKA: our favorite peanut sauce.
Once they're smothered in sauce you can mix in some stir fried veggies and twirl your fork around the noodles and slurp your way to noodle heaven.
12 Quick Healthy Weeknight Recipes [Ready in 20 Min]
This 15-minute one-pan Beans & Greens recipe is extremely versatile. Use whatever beans or greens you have on hand. For nights you really don’t feel like cooking, this recipe has got you covered – it’s more nutritious and faster than takeout!
Power Veggie Scramble
If you’re in the mood for breakfast at dinnertime, try this Power Veggie Scramble. You can use whatever veggies you have on hand, pair it with a few organic eggs, and VOILA a complete meal in under 15 minutes.
This Vegetable Curry is a reader favorite, and a favorite in our house, too. It is bursting with Thai flavor, yet it only takes about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. Use beans or organic tofu for a vegan bowl, or swap in wild shrimp or organic chicken to make it paleo.
Quick Healthy Paleo Recipes
This 5-Spice Salmon is my husband’s most requested salmon dish. You first sear on a crust of fragrant, flavorful, and health-supportive spices, then finish it in the oven. We usually pair it with garlicky broccoli or cauliflower rice, or simply roasted broccoli or broccolini.
Asian Beef Bowl With Cauliflower “Fried” Rice
Another hubby (and personal) fave is this Asian Beef Bowl with Cauliflower “Fried” Rice. This one requires 2 pans going at the same time, and the result is an incredibly nourishing and satisfying dinner on your table in 20 minutes.
Shirataki Basil Pesto Pasta With Garlic Shrimp
If you haven’t tried Shirataki noodles yet, give them a try. They are really tasty when slathered in pesto, like in this Shirataki Basil Pesto Pasta With Garlic Shrimp. The noodles are made from a Japanese yam, and are naturally high in fiber and a healthier alternative to traditional pasta.
Lemon Pepper Cod
When I’m not eating wild salmon, I like to swap it out for wild cod. This Lemon Pepper Cod recipe is super simple yet so delicious. (This old photo of mine doesn’t do it justice). Pair it with some simple, quick-cooking roasted veggies, like this Roasted Broccoli, or a bowl of garlicky broccoli rice or cauliflower rice.
Lemon Pepper Salmon With Cauliflower Rice
If I’m in the mood for something light, my go-to is this Lemon Pepper Salmon With Cauliflower Rice.
Quick Healthy Pasta Recipes
Traditional pasta may not be health food, but the new bean, lentil, and veggie-based varieties make for a healthier and more nutritious upgrade. Check out this post for my favorite healthier pasta brands.
Fall Pasta Salad (Loaded With Veggies)
If I’m feeling lazy to cook, it’s often a nutrient-dense pasta to the rescue. This quick and easy fall pasta salad recipe is perfect for an autumn weeknight. Here, I used butternut squash, mushrooms, and kale, but you can swap in whatever veggies you have on hand. Brussels sprouts, spinach, sweet potato…the options are endless.
Veggie Protein Pasta With Tomatoes
If I really don’t feel like chopping or perhaps ran out of produce by the end of the week, this even simpler veggie protein pasta comes to the rescue. I use a jarred organic tomato sauce and a few handfuls of baby spinach on top of a lentil pasta.
Chickpea Pasta Primavera
In another episode of using GF pasta as a vehicle to get in more veggies, check out this chickpea pasta primavera with broccoli and sweet potatoes. The sprinkle of “cheese” on top is simply almond flour and pink salt, which combine for a creamy dairy-free alternative to parmesan.
Dairy-free Pesto Pasta
Anything covered in pesto is a winner in my book, including this quick and easy dairy-free, pesto pasta. Add in some frozen veggies to up the nutrients and fiber.
1. Zucchini noodles
Zoodles for short, zucchini noodles refer to zucchini that’s cut into long, thin strands. To make zoodles, you’ll need to use a handheld spiralizer.
I love how zucchini can be used to create almost all kinds of dishes, especially pasta. For example, you could throw in some tomatoes, parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil for an Italian-inspired meal.
Zucchini isn’t just keto-friendly (since it’s low-carb), but it’s also rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium.
Creamy Smoked Chicken and Pesto Pasta
I had some leftover smoked chicken in the refrigerator and thought, I know, why don’t I use it up by ketofying a trusty Good Taste dish that I used to eat in my old carb-laiden life. The traditional flavour combination never goes astray but I wanted to up the ante, so I added some beautifully sweet strips of red bell pepper, introduced a smattering of parsley that always delivers a fresh note to rich pasta dishes and topped this dish off with some creamy decadence via the addition of mascarpone cheese (or ricotta if you’re watching your calories).
Once again konjac/shirataki comes to the low carb rescue and provides a wonderful alternative to traditional high carb pastas. I used a fettuccine style konjac pasta but you could also use konjac spaghetti or angel hair.
It only takes about ten minutes to get all of the ingredients prepped and then less than another ten before you’re serving up a hot, aromatic, creamy pasta dish to your friends or family. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to lick their plates clean because it’s just that tasty! And one last word of advice, make extra, because this dish is fantastic heated up the next day at work for lunch.
Where can I buy shirataki noodles?
While buying shirataki noodles used to mean shopping online or having an Asian grocery store nearby, their growing popularity means they are cropping up in grocery stores across the country.
You can buy these low-carb noodles at Walmart, Whole Foods, and in many regional supermarket chains. Just don’t look for them in the pasta aisle. Because shirataki noodles are sealed in water, you’ll find them packaged in small, clear bags often in the refrigerated sections next to the tofu.
If the shirataki craze hasn’t quite made it to your local stores, you can also buy the noodles online through Amazon or Thrive, or directly through the noodle brands’ websites.
One popular shirataki noodle brand Miracle Noodle even has a store locator on its website, to help you find noodles near you. Keep an eye out for brands like Miracle Noodle, Thrive Market Wonder Noodles, Skinny Noodles, NOoodles, and Konjac Foods, and remember to check for unwanted additives.
For easy, delicious ideas on how to prepare these versatile noodles, check out our list of keto-friendly shirataki noodle recipes, then hit the store to enjoy “pasta” again.
Well, as well as containing no calories and no carbs, they also contain no nutrients so, it’s important that whatever you eat with the noodles makes up for that.
The noodles keep you seriously full because they travel slowly through your digestive system – however, if like me, your digestive system seems to be full of little bacteria that love to feed ravenously on anything that hangs around in your digestive system creating a large amount of air as they do so, you will puff up (see also why chia seeds create bloat).
It helps if you eat them in small mouthfuls and chew them well, but if they’re in a soup, this gets tricky.
I wouldn’t eat them the day before a big night out where you’re wearing a tight dress just in case.
Suddenly adding a lot of fibre to your diet in one go can also upset your bowel so you might find that suddenly eating a lot of no-calorie noodles could lead to stomach upsets. Introduce them into your diet steadily so your body can get used to handling extra insoluble fibre.
Also, because konjac can swell up, it’s not suggested that you take supplements containing it if you have any kind of swallowing problem. If you have this kind of health concern, then ask your doctor before trying konjac noodles just to be on the safe side.
Lastly, read the serving size carefully and don’t eat lots of them in one go. There has a been a case of a woman who did that and ended up with the noodles forming a solid mass in her stomach which led to quite a lot of pain and a lawsuit. Stick to suggested serving sizes.
What is palmini pasta?
Palmini pasta (noodles) is made from Heart of Palm, which is a unique vegetable that comes from the center of specific varieties of palm trees. For this reason, palmini pasta is sometimes known as ‘Heart of Palm Pasta’.
Is palmini pasta low carb?
Yes, it is! A container of palmini pasta has 12g of carbs and 6g of fiber, bringing the total to 6 net carbs. So you can eat the whole container without going over your carbs for the day.
Palmini pasta is very low in calories if you’re tracking, and has only 60 calories per container. It is also dairy-free and gluten-free.
Ingredients used to make palmini pasta shrimp stir fry
Palmini Pasta: I get it from Amazon, but you can also buy it from Walmart, Whole Foods or Sprouts. It comes in a container and is pre-soaked in water.
Shrimps: You can use fresh, frozen, raw or pre-cooked.
Olive Oil: I use olive oil to sauté the shrimps, but you can use your favorite clear oil.
Vegetables: I use fresh chopped spinach for this recipe and scallions for garnishing.
Spices: black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, bouillon powder, salt and pepper flakes to garnish. You can use your favorite spices too!
How to prepare palmini pasta shrimp stir fry
First, you need to prepare the palmini pasta. Unlike shirataki noodles, I don’t think the smell of palmini pasta is fishy in any way and it didn’t really bother me. I just rinsed well under running water and placed in a colander to drain.
If the smell bothers you, according to the manufacturer, soak in almond or coconut milk for thirty minutes and drain.
Chop the spinach into medium-sized pieces. You actually don’t have to chop it up, you can leave it whole and cook with it like that. I have done it when I’m in a rush and it still turned out great.
Put the shrimps in a mixing bowl sprinkle some salt and pepper and mix it together. Add the olive oil to a pan and when hot, add the shrimps.
Stir on high heat until it is well done. Pour in the palmini noodles, add the black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and bouillon powder, and stir everything together. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
Let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, pour in the chopped spinach and stir till it’s all mixed in.
When the spinach gets wilted, your low carb shrimp pasta is ready to serve and eat!
This recipe serves 2 and contains 5 net carbs per serving.
Check out these other low carb noodle dishes!
Need more low carb stir-fry recipes? These recipes are so amazingly delicious!
7 Great Low Carb Pasta Picks from Shirataki to Squash
I grew up with a great-grandmother named Vincenza Albanese, so you can imagine just how much of an Italian influence there was on my childhood. Unshockingly, pasta was a dinnertime staple and star, cooked and presented to saucy perfection in the form of lasagna, Bolognese, alla vodka, or “everything but the kitchen sink.”
It is, inarguably, one of the world’s most perfect foods — versatile, filling, and comforting, with a wonderful mouthfeel (if cooked al dente, of course) — which is why I continue to make it weekly in honor of my upbringing.
But since I’m genetically predisposed to house an entire box of noodles in one sitting, it made sense for me to search for pasta alternatives as part of my never-ending quest to be a tad bit healthier.
And while this decision has most certainly caused my dear great-grandmother to roll in her grave, I’ve found quite a few options, both store-bought and homemade, that really deliver on taste, texture, and nutrition. Check out my favorites below.
These keto-friendly faves go by many names — including shirataki, miracle, zero, and konjac. While they can be a bit smelly, after a good rinse and a quick toss in some olive oil, shirataki noodles they’re an ideal vessel for your go-to homemade sauces.
Zero Plus spaghetti is a personal favorite — the noodles remain fresh in a liquid pouch, have an extended shelf life, and provide a wonderful crunch that mimics perfectly boiled pasta.
But there are plenty of similar brands, like Miracle Noodle and It’s Skinny, that do the job just as well. Be sure to check out House Foods, which offers a diverse array of tofu and shirataki blends in the most popular noodle varieties.
Shirataki noodles are super easy to prepare which makes them perfect for those lazy, last-minute dinners.
Pasta in a can?! Blasphemous! But don’t worry — this is nothing like Chef Boyardee. Hearts of palm get the noodle treatment with Palmini, one of my favorite low carb options that tastes slightly nutty and almost artichoke-like. It’s a fantastic complement to cream- and lemon-based sauces, especially if toasted pine nuts are involved (which they absolutely should be, because #duh).
The “Shark Tank” success story also features an impressive line beyond linguine, including angel hair, lasagna, and even rice that all deliver on the promise of delicious low carb sustenance.
Jovial’s cassava noodles may not be low carb, but they’re grain-free and a great pasta substitute for those who are eating Paleo or gluten-free.
While these have a tendency to feel a bit heavier and gummier than the average noodle, a lot of this has to do with overcooking. Simply keep a close eye on that pot of boiling water and taste-test frequently throughout. I’ve found that removing the noodles a minute before the recommended cooking time is always a safe bet, as the pasta will continue to soften as it cools.
Be sure to also check out the company’s other unique products, including an egg tagliatelle and brown rice elbow pasta.
Chickpea and black bean noodles are all the rage, packing high protein and fiber content into each and every bite. Banza is by far the most popular brand, and rightfully so, with a line dedicated entirely to macaroni and cheese that will send Kraft connoisseurs into a tizzy.
Chickpea noodles are the most nutty from this bunch, so pair them with cheese sauces or pestos to accentuate their natural flavor.
Much like bean noodles, lentil noodles tout an impressive amount of protein and fiber. Good ol’ Barilla was one of the first to get on the red lentil train with penne and rotini that will make an arrabbiata shine (or at least become more red).
These definitely taste a bit sweeter than the average noodle, but that’s nothing a bit of salt and pepper can’t fix.
Almonds are the ultimate superfood, so it’s no surprise that Cappello’s capitalized on this trend to create almond flour-based noodles, pizza crusts, and even cookie dough. The nuttiness is absolutely present but way more mild than you might expect, making this an excellent base for whatever sauce or proteins you have in mind.
And frankly, on a Thursday night when you’ve run out of inspiration in the kitchen and simply don’t feel like thinking, this is the most accommodating frozen box to have on hand.
Creativity knows no bounds when it comes to spiralizing vegetables to form noodles. Zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) certainly get the most fanfare, but you can use anything starchy, from sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots to more bold options like broccoli, beets, and onions.
While many grocery stores are starting to offer pre-packaged spiralized veggies, I’m a fan of this easy-to-use appliance that has five interchangeable blades for different ribbon sizes. Parents, this is also maybe the easiest way to sneak veggies into your kids’ diets.
Depending on your vegetable of choice, this swap tends to be much lower in carbs than traditional pasta, and much higher in natural fiber, vitamins and minerals.
You’ve probably tried it, you’ve probably loved it, and all for good reason. Spaghetti squash is as delicious as it is easy to prepare (plus, it’s packed with vitamins and has about 20% of the carbs you’d get from a basic bowl of pasta).
The traditional prep involves baking the squash and then using a fork to scrape out the insides which naturally form spaghetti-like noodles. But have you ever made a spaghetti squash boat? One word: life-changing. Here’s a quick recipe you can easily customize to your preferences.