15 Healthy Pasta Sauce Recipes

bowl of healthy vegan bolognese pasta sauce

Mike Garten

A pasta night doesn’t have to be indulgent—in fact, any bowl of spaghetti can be part of a nutritious, balanced, and delicious diet. With these healthy pasta sauce recipes, you can satisfy your next carb craving. as well as Achieve your health goals in one delicious bowl of herb pesto or classic marinara.

The key to any nutritious pasta sauce is a good vegetable base — like spaghetti with roasted vegetables (cauliflower! broccoli! onions!) or penne with fresh herbs, seasonal tomatoes, or leafy greens. Try lasagne with protein-rich cashew cream or a traditional tomato sauce with light, flavorful ingredients like fennel, capers, olives and more. Pasta topped with protein fillings like creamy white beans, lean chicken, or any number of meatball recipes can be the perfect balance plate of protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and carbs.

Want to further increase the nutritional value of your dinner? According to a GH nutritionist, the healthiest ways to eat pasta are whole grain pasta (which boasts a heartier, nuttier flavor than traditional pasta) or try bean and legume-based noodles. You can also take apart your spiralizer to try plant-based “pastas” (hello, itchies!), which offer a low-calorie alternative. Many of these recipes follow nutritionist recommendations, such as doubling the serving of vegetables and cutting the amount of pasta in half or a third. Grab a fork, pasta for dinner tonight!

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Roasted Cauliflower Paste

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Pasta with tomato sauce without cooking

When tomatoes are in peak season, there is no need to cook them for maximum flavor.

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Mixed with garlic, walnuts and olive oil, this pesto makes a simple and delicious sauce for any pasta.

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This plant-based choice excludes the usual butter-based ricotta or béchamel found in typical lasagna recipes. Instead, he uses a light cashew cream that is just as delicious as the real thing.

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Orecchiette with white beans and spinach

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Penne with spicy anchovy marinara

Juicy tomatoes, salted anchovies, and fiery red chili peppers give this sauce a tangy flavor without the extra calories.

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Spaghetti and meatballs in the fryer

Instead of a hearty tomato sauce, this simple pasta is mixed with a light broth with lots of lemon and hot red pepper flakes.

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Not only is this ingenious recipe made entirely in one pot, but the simple sauce is filled with a full cup of basil!

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Summer pumpkin, mint and pecorino pasta

By weight, vegetables in this dish are more than pasta. Yes please!

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Chilled Tortellini Romesco

Romesco is a Spanish roasted red pepper sauce made with a mixture of nuts, herbs and a dash of vinegar for a punchy flavor. Serve with pasta!

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