This low calorie pasta is the BEST dinner recipe that satisfies any pasta craving! Creamy, cheesy, and clocking in at less than 200 calories per serving!
Low Calorie Pasta
Eating low calorie but delicious meals throughout the day is easy. Breakfast is always a smoothie and lunch alternates between a bagel sandwich or a wrap. Come dinner time, I have a few go to options, but my favorite is low calorie pasta.
Pasta gets a bad rap for being calorie dense and something you shouldn’t enjoy regularly. Ask anyone who has done any diet before and pasta would be one food on the ‘banned’ list. As someone who follows a low calorie diet during my fitness contest prep, I’m here to break this stigma.
You CAN have pasta as part of a weight loss or calorie-controlled diet, and you DON’T need to resort to zucchini noodles or calorie free noodles for it either.
Why this low calorie pasta recipe will be a dinner staple-
- Under 200 calories per serving. A huge portion of this pasta dish will only set you back around 190 calories. Unlike other pasta recipes, this one is PERFECT for volume eating.
- Made using real penne pasta. No shirataki or tofu noodles needed or pasta made from konjac. This dish uses real deal penne pasta that tastes like pasta.
- Creamy, cheesy, and satisfying. A combination of cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese gives this dish creaminess and cheesiness that is a must for any good pasta!
What I love about this dish is that it includes a homemade low calorie pasta sauce recipe too! More often than not, pasta sauces can be quite the calorie bomb, especially if they have added sugar, creams, or pesto in them. This one uses a tomato based one, which keeps the calories low but the flavor high!
What you’ll need to make this recipe
For the low calorie pasta.
- Pasta– Any low calorie pasta noodles can be used, provided they are in a macaroni, penne, or tube shape. I enjoy using fiber gourmet penne which has just 100 calories per serving.
- Cottage cheese– Fat free cottage cheese. If your cottage cheese is chunky, you can blend it until it is perfectly smooth.
- Mozzarella cheese– Fat free or reduced fat mozzarella cheese.
- Egg– Binds everything together.
For the low calorie pasta sauce.
- Tomato sauce– Also known as passata. Choose a tomato sauce with no added sugar or salt.
- Italian seasonings– A must for any good pasta sauce.
- Garlic– Freshly minced or bottled garlic.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
- Brown sugar substitute– The secret ingredient to bring out some sweetness, without adding calories! Skip the expensive store-bought kind and simply make your own.
How do you make low calorie pasta?
Start by cooking the pasta as per the package instructions. Next, prepare the pasta sauce by whisking together all the ingredients until combined. In a mixing bowl, add half the pasta sauce, cottage cheese, half the mozzarella cheese and egg and whisk until combined. Add the cooked pasta and mix until combined.
Now, spread 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce into the base of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Add the pasta mixture then pour the remaining sauce on top. Cover that with the remaining mozzarella cheese, then cover the baking dish completely with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, before removing the foil and continuing to bake until the cheese is bubbling and brown around the edges.
- Pasta– Other low calorie pasta options black bean pasta, mung bean pasta, and high fiber pasta blends.
- Protein– Switch out the cottage cheese for fat free ricotta cheese or even non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Cheese– Fat free cheddar cheese or low fat pepper jack cheese, for that spicy hit.
- Vegetables– Amp up the dish without adding excess calories by adding some mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, or even eggplant.
Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days.
- To freeze: Place portions of the pasta in airtight containers and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Reheating: Microwave the pasta in 30-second spurts until hot and the cheese is bubbling.
More low calorie recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
Fiber gourmet pasta, which is the pasta used in this recipe, has the lowest calories, at 100 calories per serving. Black bean pasta and mung bean pasta also contain around 120 calories per serving.
This low calorie pasta recipe is best for weight loss, as it provides the greatest volume for the lowest calories. An entire portion has less than 200 calories.
No food should be off limits on a diet, but some foods are better than others. Foods that provide high volume with fewer calories fill your stomach quicker and longer than something small and calorie dense.
Low Calorie Pasta (Under 200 Calories!)
For the pasta
- 3 cups low calorie pasta cooked * See notes
- 1 cup cottage cheese fat free
- 2 cups fat free mozzarella cheese divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and set aside.
- Cook the low calorie pasta as per the instructions and measure out 3 cups of the cooked noodles. In a separate bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients until combined.
- In a large bowl, mix together half of the pasta sauce, the cottage cheese, one cup of the mozzarella cheese, egg, and Italian herbs. Add the cooked pasta and mix well.
- Spread ¼ cup of the pasta sauce. Add the pasta mixture and then spread the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling around the sides.
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