Pasta Swaps

Nothing beats the taste of traditional pasta, but with so many heathier and tasty alternatives, why not give them a try? Choosing one at the grocery store, however, can seem overwhelming. Well, The Kitchen hosts are here to help make these hard choices easier for you with a saucy taste test. Sunny tasted all of our pasta swaps with Katie Lee's easy Amatriciana Sauce.

The Kitchen hosts share Red Lentil, Black Bean, and Chick Pea pasta with Katie Lee's Amatriciana Sauce, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen  , Season 16.

The Kitchen hosts share Red Lentil, Black Bean, and Chick Pea pasta with Katie Lee's Amatriciana Sauce, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen , Season 16.

Let's start with the Pasta Swap Basics.

Pasta swaps are available in various shapes and sizes. Pay close attention to the box instructions for your alternative pasta. While some pasta swaps may taste and feel just like regular pasta, it doesn't necessarily mean they cook the same. Some pastas can easily be under or overcooked and compromise the pasta's texture. Some varieties may also need more water during the boiling process than traditional pasta.

When reading the ingredients on the box, you many notice a few unexpected additions. Rice flour and quinoa flour are often used to help bind the pasta and give it more structure to withstand cooking. If this is important to you, you may want to stick to brands that minimize these other flours; if this isn't important to you then, you might opt for the better texture.

Red Lentil Pasta

Red lentil pasta is made with red lentil flour. The mild nutty flavor is great with many different sauces. While red lentil pasta is hearty, it has a softer texture compared to traditional pasta.

Red lentils are naturally packed with folates that are said to help weight loss and heart health. Because red lentils are a legume, this pasta is a great source of fiber.

Black Bean Pasta

Black bean pasta is made with black bean flour and is the furthest in appearance and taste from traditional pasta. The black beans give this pasta a subtle sweet flavor with a strong, chewy texture that needs a flavorful and hearty sauce to complement it.

Black bean pasta is gluten-free and an excellent source of plant-based protein, making it a great choice for a family dinner. Black beans are naturally low in sugar and packed with fiber to help you to feel fuller longer. Fun fact! Beans are on the top of the list of the top 40 foods packed with antioxidants.

Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta is made with--you guessed it--chickpea flour. This slightly nutty, earthy-flavored pasta has a similar taste to hummus. Chickpea pasta is said to be the most similar to traditional pasta in texture, with a slightly denser bite. With double the protein and 4 times the fiber of regular pasta, this is a deceivingly delicious alternative for a weeknight guilt-free meal. Chickpea pasta also comes in a wide variety of shapes to match whatever pasta mood you may be in. In addition to an Amatriciana sauce, it also works great in a mac and cheese. 

Next Up

Save the Seeds After Carving Your Pumpkin — Here's What to Do with Them

Learn three new ways to flavor this fall-favorite snack.

Halloween: Party Food Crafts

Throw a scary-good Halloween party with these frightfully easy and delicious party food crafts that are sure to impress your guests!

3 Ways to Use Frozen Ravioli

Learn The Kitchen co-hosts' three ideas for putting frozen ravioli to work.

Piece of Cake "Lazy Brunch" Party

New Year's Eve is a late night for many people, but that doesn't mean you can't entertain on New Year's Day. The Kitchen has a few super simple ideas that make for a fun brunch with minimal effort--you can sleep in and still be a great host!

Slow Cooker Hacks

Your trusty slow cooker is brilliant for so much more than just soups and stews. Here are some favorite tricks from the crew at The Kitchen.

Swap School

Here are some easy ingredient substitutions for when you suddenly find yourself out of eggs, mayo and other kitchen staples.

Easy Ingredient Swaps

Forgot to buy balsamic for your favorite glazed carrots? These ingredient substitutions from The Kitchen will save you an extra trip to the store when you're in a pinch.

Pass the Pasta Salad

If you're tired of your favorite pasta salad recipe, jazz it up by following these simple guidelines.

Sunday Supper Showdown: Spaghetti vs. Meatballs

FN Dish wants to know: What's your favorite part of spaghetti and meatballs?

Not-Your-Average Nachos from Kitchen Sink

Upgrade your nacho game with these go-to ideas for chips and toppings.

What's New

Latest Stories