How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 25, 2017
How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter

Diets often eliminate or considerably reduce the consumption of pasta. However, eating pasta does not necessarily have to make us fatter - it is possible to lose weight eating pasta. The trick is to prepare light pastas made from wholegrain flour and use low fat sauces; this way, you can add pasta to your diet and enjoy guilt-free healthy dishes.

At OneHowTo we show you how to make pasta dishes lighter, offering delicious recipes that are less fattening and better for your health.

You may also be interested in: How to Make Buckwheat Flour

Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

Pumpkin is an ideal vegetable to accompany our pasta, as it brings a lot of essential nutrients whilst hardly containing any calories. Stay with us to learn how to make pasta with pumpkin sauce - It's a very good option for a lighter pasta dish!


  • a pack of wholegrain pasta
  • 1 pack light cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup grated light cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 bar) margarine
  • 3/4 cup skimmed milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • ground cayenne


  • Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Add a pinch of salt to the water and add the pasta into the pot when it starts to boil.
  • While it's cooking, place the cream cheese, light cheese, margarine and milk into a large saucepan and cook at low heat until the cream cheese is melted, stirring constantly.
  • Add the canned pumpkin and the seasonings and mix well. Cook the mixture until it's heated through, making sure to stir it often.
  • Peel and chop the onion and pumpkin into small pieces. Add a splash of oil into the pan and when it starts to heat, add the onion and cook until it's translucent. Then throw in the pumpkin. Let everything cook together for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove it from the heat and add to the blender, adding a little bit of milk to make it saucy and creamy!
  • Once that is done, add the pumpkin mixture and the creamy mixture together and voilà! Light and delicious pumpkin pasta!
How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter - Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

Spaghetti with Vegetables

Another perfect recipe to make pasta dishes lighter is to mix it with vegetables; it reduces the amount of carbohydrates consumed, and it adds a large variety of veggies that are both low in calories and high in nutrients.


  • one pack of wholegrain spaghetti
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • green beans (to taste)
  • 2 carrots
  • a tin of whole or sliced mushrooms
  • peas to taste
  • 1 small onion
  • black pepper and oregano
  • salt
  • olive oil

As you see, the ingredients of this low calorie dish are perfect for watching your figure and reducing your fat intake. At OneHowTo we show you how to make spaghetti with vegetables that are perfect for your diet step by step. You can lower your carbs even more by completely substituting pasta with vegetables!

How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter - Spaghetti with Vegetables

Spaghetti al pesto

Pesto sauce is one of the healthiest and simplest options to make pasta dishes lighter as you only need basil and cheese to enjoy its flavor. You can considerably reduce the amount of calories of traditional pesto by changing some of the ingredients and tweaking the recipe.


  • one pack of wholegrain spaghetti
  • 2/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup light cream cheese
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • water
  • salt

The best procedure is that you follow this recipe for spaghetti with pesto sauce, but significantly reduce the oil used so as to make your dish lower in calories.

How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter - Spaghetti al pesto

Macaroni with Neapolitan sauce

A perfect lighter pasta for your diet is the one accompanied by Neapolitan sauce. Why? Because most of the ingredients in the sauce are vegetables that you can eat no matter your diet requirements. The ingredients you need to make this light pasta dish are:

  • one pack of wholegrain spaghetti
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 beef stock
  • 1 glass of Marsala or Madeira wine
  • olive oil


  • Add the garlic and oil to the pan at low heat until it's golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, finely dice the vegetables and add them to the garlic in the pan.
  • When they are browned, add the wine and reduce by half.
  • Add the beef stock and tomato sauce and bring it to a boil. Let it boil over a low heat and add some seasoning.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and mix it in with your pasta for a classic spaghetti with neapolitan sauce!
How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter - Macaroni with Neapolitan sauce

Spaghetti with arrabiata sauce

This is an ideal sauce for daring eaters. Arrabiata sauce is spicy and it turns pasta into a dish fit only for the bravest palates. However, if it's calories what you're worried about, you can relax - this recipe is made up with veggies, so it hardly contains any fats.


  • one pack of wholegrain spaghetti
  • 2-3 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 chillies or other hot peppers
  • olive oil
  • basil (optional)
  • salt


  • Finely chop and sauté the onion and garlic in the oil - don't let it get burned!
  • Peel and dice the tomatoes in small pieces. When the garlic and onion are starting to brown, add them to the pan and stir.
  • Add the chillies or other peppers according to your taste.
  • Season the sauce with a pinch of salt and add the basil leaves for extra flavor. Enjoy!
How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter - Spaghetti with arrabiata sauce

Tips to make your pasta lighter

In addition to picking the right sauce, in order to make pasta dishes lighter you should keep in mind that it's always better to use wholegrain pasta. This way, you will reduce your intake of saturated fats.

It is also recommended that the amount of pasta in the dish does not exceed 150 grams (2/3 cups). To fill your stomach, accompany your pasta dish with a green salad or creamed vegetables - they are perfect for your diet, since they will make you feel fuller while having fewer calories.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Make Pasta Dishes Lighter, we recommend you visit our Recipes category.

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