Six Healthy Pasta Sauces Recipes

With these nutritious pasta sauces recipes, you can eat pasta with sauce and still stay on your diet.

Healthy pasta sauces recipes

Different kinds of pasta and sauces. Hungry yet? Photo via Shutterstock

Pasta is the universal go-to for a quick weeknight dinner, and why not, it’s delicious. But how you prepare and dress your pasta can take it from a healthy dinner to a whole day’s worth of calories in just one meal. Using a jarred pasta sauce is easy, but many have high levels of sugar and sodium. Instead of grabbing the pre-made stuff, here are five easy-to-make healthy pasta sauces that’ll suit even the most dedicated store bought sauce eaters. (And perhaps even the carb-phobic.)

We suggest eating whole wheat pasta so you can pack a nutrient punch into your carb intake. If you have Celiac or gluten sensitivity, there are a plethora of gluten-free pastas on the market now as well. Also, don’t be afraid to add your favorite vegetables to any of these dishes.

1. Healthy Bean Bolognese

via Eating Well

Just because a recipe is healthy doesn’t mean it can’t pack a hearty punch. By swapping beef for beans, the saturated fat content is slashed and you’ll be just as satisfied. The recipe calls for salad beans (which are explained in the shopping note), but if you can’t find them use your favorite combo of beans.

2. Mushroom Bourguignon Recipe

via Smitten Kitchen

This recipe takes the classic beef bourguignon and gives it a twist with meaty mushrooms. The sauce is also a great topping for a variety of starches. Try it on no yolk egg noodles, whole wheat pasta, rice, or even quinoa.

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3. Toasted Walnut and Spinach Pesto Recipe

via Family Fresh Cooking

Traditional pesto is made with basil and pine nuts. This version swaps the basil for vitamin-packed spinach and the pine nuts for antioxidant-rich walnuts. If you love the sweet earthy flavor of basil, then put half a cup of fresh basil in with a half of a cup of spinach.

RELATED: Like healthy pasta sauces? Try these healthy salad dressing recipes.

4. Roasted Tomato Sauce

via Martha Stewart

We love fresh tomatoes. This recipe is a great way to take tomatoes in peak season and make their flavor last into winter. The sauce will also work well over grilled fish or even a lean cut of steak.

5. Healthy Shrimp Alfredo


Yes, you read that right. Healthy and Alfredo in the same sentence. Sometimes you just want some creamy comfort food and with this recipe you can have your cheesy sauce without feeling guilty about your diet. If you aren’t a shrimp fan, substitute chicken or meaty portobello mushrooms.

6. Crockpot Turkey Bolognese

via Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Few things are better to come home to than a bubbling crockpot of pasta sauce. If you’re looking for more vegetables, try sautéing mushrooms or fennel with the onion and carrots.

Bonus recipe: Broccoli and Mushroom Whole Wheat Pasta

via Honest Cooking

If you’re really looking to cut the excess calories, try no sauce at all. This recipes tosses broccoli, chilies, and mushrooms with satisfying whole wheat pasta for a no fuss meal that will have you packing leftovers for lunch.