Low cal flavorings to add to pasta?

Suggestions for low cal flavorings to add to small serving of pasta? I sometimes like to have a side of penne or farfelle sometimes but don't want to add in things that add many calories.

Does the pump spray like Parkay add much flavor?

Replies

  • SuzySunshine99
    SuzySunshine99 Posts: 2,731 Member
    Herbs have very few calories.
    You could add fresh basil and/or oregano.
    If you like spice, some crushed red pepper would be good.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,842 Member
    Tomatoes or other veggies, red pepper flakes, herbs, wine, garlic.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,859 Member
    A bit of plain Greek yogurt with herbs/seasonings is good on pasta (put it in at the end on top of the hot drained pasta, so it doesn't separate). Chevre is quite low in calories, has some protein and micros, and a small amount is flavorful. You might be surprised at how much flavor for relatively few calories is in actual parmesan cheese (I don't know about the powder in the cans). You could consider things like salsa or sriracha if you like spicy foods. I think a few drops of toasted sesame oil would add more flavor than spray Parkay, but I don't know whether you like toasted sesame oil or not.
  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,182 Member
    edited November 2021
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    A bit of plain Greek yogurt with herbs/seasonings is good on pasta (put it in at the end on top of the hot drained pasta, so it doesn't separate). Chevre is quite low in calories, has some protein and micros, and a small amount is flavorful. You might be surprised at how much flavor for relatively few calories is in actual parmesan cheese (I don't know about the powder in the cans). You could consider things like salsa or sriracha if you like spicy foods. I think a few drops of toasted sesame oil would add more flavor than spray Parkay, but I don't know whether you like toasted sesame oil or not.

    The "sawdust cheese", as I affectionately refer to it, usually has around 25 calories per 5 gram serving. It's usually my favorite flavoring choice, along with a McCormick garlic Herb sprinkle.
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,859 Member
    My go to for a simple pasta is a homemade Italian Tomato Sauce, maybe with a couple of sliced black olives or a tsp of capers.

    If you’re looking for something a bit creamier though there’s a few other things I’ll do on occasion.

    I don’t know if you can get Primula cheese (it’s in a squeezy tube and comes in various flavours) where you are? If you can it’s great to add to pasta. A 25g squeeze (around 50cals) is enough to coat a full size portion of pasta - add in a splash of the pasta cooking water to emulsify the cheese). For a small serving 15g would be plenty so even fewer calories. It also comes in a ‘Light’ version, if that suits better.

    Failing that, Quark with fresh herbs and or finely chopped tomatoes stirred through.

    Ricotta with lemon rind, black pepper and herbs - again loosen with a little of the pasta water.

    Homemade oil free pesto - very low calorie! It uses AquaFaba (the liquid from canned beans and chickpeas etc (or the water you’ve cooked those things in if you cook from dried beans) in place of oil and is totally delicious. Keeps for ages in the fridge and can also be frozen. Let me know and I’ll post the recipe. 😊

    Even Philadelphia Cheese makes good pasta - use a Light version and possibly flavoured. Again, let it down with pasta water. You’d be surprised how little you need!
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    a TBSP of any tomato based pasta sauce wont add many calories.
    a bit of butter (or margarine) and parm
    a spray of olive oil and herbs
    some pesto

    if youre in the south and keep bacon grease, a tsp of that (39 calories) heated up and saute some veg in it would be yummy
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 6,453 Member
    This thread is only making me miss the only way I could make pasta....a big bowl with melted butter and enough kraft parmesean cheese to cover every little bit of it.

    Good times.

    (Bad calories.) :)
  • I2k4
    I2k4 Posts: 176 Member
    Sauce labels are worth comparing for calories and especially added sugar - can be surprising. I recently loaded up on a sale of a simple tomato sauce with a touch of salt - Passata (Martelli) at only 5 calories per 1/2 cup (125ml) - a very good base to mix in whatever to taste. Nothing else in the store came close.
  • plattef71
    plattef71 Posts: 22 Member
    They make flavorings for popcorn that you can literally use on anything and super low calorie. I enjot the white cheddar, parmesan and chili lime.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,859 Member
    I2k4 wrote: »
    Sauce labels are worth comparing for calories and especially added sugar - can be surprising. I recently loaded up on a sale of a simple tomato sauce with a touch of salt - Passata (Martelli) at only 5 calories per 1/2 cup (125ml) - a very good base to mix in whatever to taste. Nothing else in the store came close.

    For some of the brands I've compared, the differences in calories seemed to be more related to whether or not they contain oil, or something like parmesan cheese, and if so how much of those. Those fat calories can add up fast.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    This thread is only making me miss the only way I could make pasta....a big bowl with melted butter and enough kraft parmesean cheese to cover every little bit of it.

    Good times.

    (Bad calories.) :)

    my grandma used to make it that way quite a bit for lunch.

    good times. yes.

    bad calories. also yes.

    but good times.

    i miss grandma.

    and that lunch.

    LOL
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,144 Member
    edited November 2021
    I guess I go against the trend.

    We go for less pasta and more sauce. A nice homemade tomato pasta sauce is low cal even if I add some lean ground beef.

    But, I can chop and dry “sauté” some prosciutto to add for even fewer calories. Prosciutto also has the benefit of strong flavor so you don’t have to use as much.

    Or we do zucchini noodles sauteeed in a little “Cant be Butter Lite”, or cauliflower rice under stir fry in lieu of rice.

    We often do orzo mixed with a little butter or margarine as a side. For some reason, a full serving is usually too much, because it looks like a lot on the plate. So if we need a small pasta fix I’ll cook a serving or orzo or bulgur and we split it.

    Reminds me, I need to get some poppy seeds. Pasta with butter and poppy seeds. Mmmmmm.
  • elaroch05
    elaroch05 Posts: 29 Member
    Lemon, garlic, a little EVOO...you could add some low fat greek yogurt or sour cream, and a little parmesan. Add some pasta sprinkle or Italian seasoning.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,870 Member
    edited November 2021
    I guess I go against the trend.

    We go for less pasta and more sauce. A nice homemade tomato pasta sauce is low cal even if I add some lean ground beef.

    I'm the same. For me pasta is okay, but mainly a good vehicle for a tasty sauce. And my sauces will usually have lots of veg and some protein and involve some sort of fat (could just be olive oil, could be cheese or pinenuts, could just be from whatever protein I choose). But the pasta+sauce is the main meal, not a side.

    An easy favorite of mine is to sautee some veg (depending on what I have around, maybe zucchini and cauliflower and perhaps some mushrooms too, but just whatever is on hand) in olive oil, add in some black olives, and then sautee with either shrimp or smoked salmon.