If you're looking for low-carb pasta alternatives, hearts of palm pasta is a great option.
Ready in about 20 minutes, it's closer in flavor and texture to the real thing than several other alternatives. It's really good!
I've been eating a low-carb diet for about 12 years now, and I have to say, I no longer search for substitutions for my high-carb favorites. I simply enjoy the wide variety of foods that are available to me, including meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.
Having said that, on occasion, it IS fun to revisit old favorites, and hearts of palm pasta is certainly a wonderful tool for those of us who miss noodles and would like to recreate the experience while keeping it low-carb.
When cooked according to the method outlined here, it does mimic the experience of eating spaghetti. And it's delicious!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Hearts of palm pasta: I get it at Trader Joe's:
Olive oil: I prefer using extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe.
Garlic: I slice it into thin slices.
To season: Salt, pepper, and dried oregano.
To finish the dish: Grated parmesan, red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley.
It's easy to make this tasty keto pasta! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here's an overview of the steps:
You start by peeling the garlic cloves and thinly slicing them.
Next, brown them in olive oil, taking care not to burn them.
As soon as the garlic is golden, add the noodles, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Top with parmesan, red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
When cooking the garlic, cook it until it's golden brown, then add the noodles. Garlic tends to go from golden to burnt pretty fast, so be vigilant.
I usually get it right, but today I actually added the noodles when the garlic was too pale. Once you add the pasta, the garlic has less contact with the pan, so it stops browning. I had to remove it and brown it in a separate skillet, then add it back to the noodles.
Frequently asked questions
It's literally made from hearts of palm, so if you eat it straight out of the bag, it tastes like canned hearts of palm. However, since its flavor is mild, once you cook it with other ingredients, it takes on those flavors.
Not exactly. It's a similar experience for sure, especially the flavor and the experience of eating noodles. However, the texture is different than that of real pasta. It's a little chewy.
You could, in which case you'll probably need to cook it for a shorter time. But slices are better in this recipe.
Either way, make sure to mince the garlic yourself - don't use the stuff that comes in a jar. It's not as good, and in this recipe, the difference will be noticeable.
I think it's better than zucchini noodles. Those tend to be a bit flimsy and watery. These are firmer and sturdier and more closely resemble real noodles.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Use butter or ghee instead of olive oil. If you do, you might want to use 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil, to help prevent the butter from burning.
- Use dried thyme instead of dried oregano.
- Make this a complete meal by stirring in 1-2 cups of shredded cooked chicken together with the pasta.
- Add a handful of small cherry tomatoes.
- Top the dish with chopped basil leaves instead of parsley.
This pasta makes a great side dish. Or as mentioned above, you can turn it into a main course by adding shredded cooked chicken.
When I serve it as a side dish, I often arrange it on a plate, then top it with slices of grilled chicken breast, grilled skirt steak, or pork medallions. A cucumber tomato salad or a simple arugula salad rounds out the meal.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. Reheat them gently in the microwave at 50% power.
Hearts of Palm Pasta
- ¼ cup olive oil extra-virgin
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1 (9 oz) package hearts of palm pasta I use the Trader Joe's pasta
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup parmesan dry-grated
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic slices. Cook, stirring often, until golden, about 4 minutes.
- Add the pasta, salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Remove to a plate. Sprinkle with parmesan, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Serve immediately.
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