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Pastas are great filling meals, but they don’t have to be heavy. Try any of these healthy pasta recipes filled with vegetables, lean meats, and light sauces!

More Collections: Chicken Pasta Recipes, Easy Pasta Recipes, Penne Pasta Recipes

Collage of healthy pasta recipes.

Love Us Some healthy pasta dishes!

Is there such a thing as a healthy pasta recipe?

I guess it all depends on what type of diet you typically follow. There are many healthy pasta dishes out there that have good nutritional value.

Whole wheat pasta is a great substitute for standard white pasta.

Why we love them:

  • Lower in calories. The lower calories comes from the sauces and mixins.
  • Incorporated veggies. Easily use noodles made from alternative ingredients such as zucchini and spaghetti squash.
  • Used leaner meats like chicken. Incorporating a leaner choice of meat for a healthier pasta!

I listed several of our favorite pasta main dishes, as well as different pasta salads. The salads can often be used as a side or a main dish.

Primavera pasta on a grey plate topped with parsley.

Tips for Making Pasta Healthy

Any dish can be made into an easy healthy pasta dish with these simple tips.

  • Low-carb pasta. Here are some pasta alternatives to make these dishes even healthier. Spaghetti Squash, spiralized vegetables- steamed or cooked to soften them, tofu noodles, or seaweed pasta.
  • Sauce. From Red Sauce to White Sauce there are many different variations of sauces. You can control the ingredients when making your own sauce. If purchasing pre-made sauces read both the nutritional label and the ingredients list. Be mindful of these factors:
    • Low sugar and no added sugar. Using shredded carrots will sweeten the sauce naturally without adding a lot of flavor.
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of vegetable or soybean oil.
    • Opt for sea salt instead of table salt. Be aware that calcium chloride adds salt without being factored into the sodium level.
Lemon chicken pasta served on a white plate.

Ingredient Tips

Add in some veggies or protein to take your dishes to the next level!

  • Sneak in the veggies. Many of our recipes use obvious vegetables as an integral part of the dish which can be a turn-off for kids and even some adults!
    • Adding vegetables to pasta dishes always amps up the nutritional value. Chop and toss them into pasta salads or sauté and add to warmer pasta dishes. We love using broccoli, snap peas, mushrooms, red peppers and butternut squash.
  • Protein. Whether you have a light pasta salad or your favorite pasta dinner, adding protein makes the dish more filling and healthy.
    • Some of my favorite proteins for salads include salmon, shrimp, grilled chicken, turkey, cubed ham, and pepperoni slices. I typically use ground beef, ground sausage, ground turkey, or chicken for creamier and saucy pasta.
  • Herbs. Using herbs and spices is a great way to add a lot of flavor (we love thyme, basil and rosemary) without adding to the calorie count. Keep in mind that 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs=1 teaspoon of dried herbs.

Favorite Healthy Pasta Dishes

Pasta is so versatile and can be prepared in so many different ways that they pair well will just as many different sides. Pasta salads work great alongside grilled meats, sandwiches, and Baked Chicken for a perfect weeknight dinner.

1 Pasta Primavera Recipe

Main Course Pasta Primavera Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 16 votes
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2 Healthy Chicken Piccata Recipe

This "Skinny" Chicken Piccata is easy enough to make on a busy weeknight but also fancy enough to make when you have company over! Plus it's a skinny version, which makes it even better!
Main Course Healthy Chicken Piccata Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 18 votes
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3 Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Main Course Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 21 votes
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4 Pesto Gnocchi Recipe

Main Course Pesto Gnocchi Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 13 votes
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5 Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe

Main Course Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.96 from 21 votes
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6 Chicken Florentine Pasta Recipe

Main Course Chicken Florentine Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 3 votes
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7 Lemon Asparagus Pasta Recipe

Main Course Lemon Asparagus Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
4.79 from 14 votes
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8 Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Recipe

Main Course Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 5 votes
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9 Pesto Pasta recipe

Main Course Pesto Pasta recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
4.92 from 12 votes
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10 Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake Recipe

Main Course Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes
4.94 from 15 votes
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Healthy Pasta Salads

If you have pasta as a main dish you will often see it paired with some sort of bread, but some healthy dinner recipe options would include green salads and grilled, roasted, or sautéed vegetables.

11 Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad recipe

Salad Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 1 vote
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12 Mozzarella Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad Mozzarella Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 11 votes
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13 Layered Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad, Side Dish Layered Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 13 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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14 Chinese Pasta Salad Recipe

Appetizer, Salad Chinese Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 6 minutes
5 from 11 votes
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15 Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad Greek Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 10 votes
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16 Greek Orzo Salad Recipe

Main Course, Salad Greek Orzo Salad Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 15 votes
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17 Asian Pasta Salad recipe

Salad Asian Pasta Salad recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 2 votes
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18 Taco Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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19 Tuna Salad Recipe

Side Dish Tuna Salad Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 24 votes
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20 Spinach Tortellini Salad Recipe

Salad Spinach Tortellini Salad Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes
4.89 from 27 votes
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A Go-to

It’s easy to make pasta dishes a little healthier by lessening the sauce that goes with it.

One of our favorite healthier pasta is our Pasta Primavera, but we make a healthy version by decreasing the olive oil and cheese. The result is still amazing!

Here is the recipe:

5 from 1 vote

20+ Healthy Pasta Dishes – Healthy Pasta Primavera + MORE

By: Lil’ Luna
Delicious, healthy pasta full of vegetables like zucchini, squash, bell peppers, and tomatoes. 
Servings: 12
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes


  • 10 ounces bowtie pasta uncooked
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 large carrot peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 medium red bell pepper sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 medium zucchini sliced and cut into quarters
  • 1 medium yellow squash sliced and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes heaping cup and cut in half length wise
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • pepper
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
  • cup Parmesan Cheese shredded and divided
  • balsamic glaze optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped


  • Cook pasta according to package. Drain, but be sure to reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water before draining.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Saute the carrots for few minutes. Add the peppers and saute for an additional few minutes. Add the squash and zucchini and saute for 2 more minutes. 
  • Add the tomatoes, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper and saute for another 2 minutes. (Note: if adding meat, then add it at this point. Be sure that it has been precooked and cut)
  • Toss in the bowtie pasta, ¼ cup pasta water, lemon juice, and any salt and pepper as needed.
  • Top with Parmesan Cheese, parsley, and balsamic glaze if wanted.


You can add some protein by including sliced sausage, grilled chicken, cooked turkey, or shrimp.


Calories: 139kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 55mg, Potassium: 288mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1619IU, Vitamin C: 44mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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Make it Healthy

Whether it’s to serve as a meal on its own or to accompany another dish you’re sure to find the perfect pasta dish for any occasion!

More Collections: Healthy Soup Recipes, Healthy Appetizers, Healthy Breakfast Ideas

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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