Keeping Calories in Check
Remember that it’s easy to go overboard on calories when dining on pasta. One cup of cooked spaghetti has approximately 220 calories. Pile 3 or 4 cups on your dinner plate (not unheard of) are we’re talking 660 to 880 calories without any sauces or add-ins. To keep calories in check, cut down on pasta portions and bulk up with loads of veggies and herbs.
Boosting the fiber can also help make your dish more filling. Swap enriched white pasta for whole-grain varieties like whole wheat, quinoa or spelt. Add hunger-fighting protein with beans, lentils or edamame.
Be careful not to overload on cheese as it can push the envelope on calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. A small amount of a flavorful cheese goes a long way.
Recipes to try:
- Kale and Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti (above)
- Cheesy Spinach Baked Penne
- Buttnernut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
- Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta
- Broccoli-Walnut Pasta with Pesto
- Pasta with Winter Squash and Tomatoes
- Tossed Angel Hair Pasta
- Capellini with Spicy Zucchini-Tomato Sauce
- Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White Beans
- Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese
- Low-Cal Fettuccini Alfredo
- Light Baked Spaghetti
- Whole-Wheat Rotini Mac and Cheese
- Vegetable Lasagna Casserole
- Spaghetti and No-Meat Balls
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »