Delicious Gluten-Free Vegetable Alternatives To Pasta

If you’re looking for natural alternatives to pasta and noodles in your favourite dishes, why not try veggies?

Lamb and Butternut Squash Lasagne
Butternut squash, if sliced thinly, makes a great alternative to lasagne sheets - and you up your vitamin intake at the same time. Like most lasagnes, it’s best left to settle for a bit after it comes out of the oven, before slicing and serving. Serves 4-6

[Jo Romero]
[Jo Romero]

400g minced lamb
500g of your favourite tomato-based pasta sauce
pinch of dried rosemary
handful of spinach leaves
half a medium butternut squash, peeled
500ml crème fraîche
80g Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, finely grated

First, fry the mince in a pan until browned - you probably won’t need any oil as minced lamb can be quite fatty. If necessary, drain the fat off before adding the tomato sauce and rosemary. Simmer until the lamb is fully cooked and the sauce is hot. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach leaves. Put to one side.

[Jo Romero]
[Jo Romero]

Using a potato peeler, peel thin strips off the butternut squash half until it’s all used up. Open the tub of crème fraîche and stir in all but a couple of spoonfuls of the grated cheese.

To make up the lasagne, first spread one third of the lamb and tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish and then top with a layer of the butternut strips. Spread one third of the cheesy crème fraîche mixture over the top of the butternut pieces and then repeat with the tomato sauce, butternut and crème fraîche until it’s all used up, finishing with a layer of butternut topped with the cheesy crème fraîche. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top and bake at gas mark 6/200ºC for 40 minutes or until the butternut is tender and the top is golden. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into portions and serving.

Courgetti and Meatballs
A low-carb twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs, you can either peel the courgettes into ‘pappardelle’ style strips, or run a julienne peeler down them, for thinner, spaghetti-style noodles. Courgettes are a good source of dietary fibre and potassium. Serves 2.

[Jo Romero]
[Jo Romero]


2 tsp olive oil or butter
400g lean pork mince (this would also be good with turkey thigh mince too)
large pinch of ground mace
pinch of salt
1 tsp dried sage
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
400g tinned tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
2 courgettes

First, mix together the mince, mace, sage and salt in a bowl until just combined. Heat 1 tsp of the oil or butter in a frying pan and roll the mince into small meatballs, dropping them into the frying pan as you go. Cook until browned on the outside and then lift out onto a baking sheet. Bake at 200ºC/gas mark 6 while you get on with the sauce.

[Jo Romero]
[Jo Romero]

To make the tomato sauce, heat the remaining oil or butter in the pan you fried the meatballs in and add the garlic. Let it sizzle for about 30 seconds and then tip in the can of tomatoes, the oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper.

While the sauce is simmering gently, cut the ends off the courgettes and, using a vegetable peeler, peel strips down the length of the courgette. Place them over the top of the sauce to cook through - they’ll only take a couple of minutes to soften. Stir them into the sauce and check the meatballs are cooked through. Serve the courgettes and meatballs with the sauce spooned over the top.

Asian-Style Cucumber and Prawn ‘Noodle’ Salad
Instead of reaching for a noodle salad for lunch, try this cucumber and carrot salad - you’ll still be able to twist it around your fork and you’ll be tucking into good things like fibre as well as vitamins A and C. Serves 1, generously.

[Jo Romero]
[Jo Romero]

half a cucumber
1 small carrot
a quarter of a small red pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips
1 small spring onion, trimmed and sliced into small rounds
50g cooked King Prawns

For the dressing:
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
half teaspoon finely grated ginger
pinch of salt (if needed)


[Jo Romero]
[Jo Romero]

First, peel down the length of the cucumber and carrot with a julienne peeler (or use a spiralizer if you have one) until you’ve got a pile of thin, noodle-like strips. Place them in a bowl and mix in the red pepper and spring onion. Add the prawns and mix together.

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and taste - add a little salt or more rice vinegar or ginger to suit your preferences - and then drizzle all over the salad. Eat straight away. (If you’re taking this for a packed lunch, transport the dressing in a separate container and pour over just before eating).

Ever tried using veggies instead of pasta or noodles? Which are your favourites? Let us know on Twitter!

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