7 Loaded-with-Flavor, Low-Cal Spaghetti Sauce Recipes
As the magazines in the checkout line will no doubt soon start to proclaim, swimsuit season is just about upon us, but there’s one comfort food that you don’t have to sacrifice: a satisfying bowl of spaghetti topped with a zesty spaghetti sauce.
Here we’ve gathered some of our best low-calorie spaghetti sauce recipes —but don’t worry, low-cal definitely doesn’t mean low on flavor. From a classic tomato sauce seasoned with a blend of Italian spices to a chunky tomato-and-meat sauce that even forgoes pasta for the unexpected base of spaghetti squash, each of these recipes is as hearty and delicious as it is healthy.
Of course we all know that spaghetti with sauce is a great bang-for-your-buck meal, but what can be surprising is how much variation you can get out of a simple tomato sauce. Shrimp or ground meat can add depth of flavor, fresh herbs brighten any dish and just a dash of cream gives you a rich, decadent-tasting vodka sauce. Flavor abounds — even when you’re keeping an eye on calories.
A medley of fresh Italian herbs adds authentic zest to this classic tomato sauce. Whip up several dinners’ worth in advance using the big batch variation and then freeze the extra portions for easy weeknight meals.
This creative variation on classic spaghetti couldn’t be easier to prepare, or to serve. All you need is one pot to cook both the sauce and the pasta, and then it’s straight to a bowl for serving.
This vegetarian version is both healthy and delicious. Chickpeas provide protein, and Kalamata olives, sage and sauteed garlic give the sauce wonderful complexity.
It tastes decadent, but at only 143 calories, this tomato-and-cream sauce is a great low-calorie indulgence. Use fettuccine or any pasta, really. You can also add vodka or not—it’s your call.
This is your classic tomato-and-meat sauce, full of zesty tomato flavor and ground beef. The twist comes from a substitution of spaghetti squash for ordinary pasta. If you’ve never worked with spaghetti squash before, don’t be intimidated; we’ve got step-by-step instructions for an easy microwave prep.
Here it is: the classic meat sauce recipe, featuring a garden’s worth of fresh vegetables. The addition of cornstarch ensures the sauce is thick and hearty, yet it still clocks in at just 318 calories. This is perfect for an Italian-style family feast (and it makes for perfect leftovers, too).
Who says spaghetti sauce has to feature red meat? This shrimp-based sauce is a delicious, heart-healthy alternative. Capers add bite to the sauce, and red pepper flakes kick up the flavor even more.
Who says low-cal has to be lame? Explore all our low-cal spaghetti sauce recipes!