Pasta is a timeless combination of simple ingredients that has given us countless hours of family gatherings, girls-night-ins, and shameless carbo-loadings.

Without pasta, America would have never fallen so in love with the cast of Jersey Shore, as they screamed such loving terms of endearment at one another through a mouth full of meatballs and penne.

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When the universe gives us something as perfect as pasta, it is our duty to get creative, and find new ways to celebrate it. Here are a few new ways that you can enjoy pasta — without the pasta.

Spaghetti Squash


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Spaghetti is already a universal pasta favorite, so why not take it a step further? Spaghetti squash is a fruit (hold on, it gets better) that looks exactly like spaghetti, but with a starchy and, well, squashy taste.

Simply boiling, steaming, or baking the squash is the only preparation needed to dig in. Try melting in a bit of butter and a drizzle of olive oil and voila! You’ve got yourself a whole new pasta experience.

Don’t go in with the expectations of it tasting like spaghetti, but do go in with the expectations of slurping it up just the same.

Soba Noodles


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Soba noodles may sound new and intimidating, but if Rachael Ray can do it, so can you.

Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat flour, and is an inexpensive and healthy alternative to your typical blue box pasta. What’s especially awesome about soba noodles is that they can be served both hot and cold. This really allows for you to get creative with your preparation.

Don’t be thrown off by their brownish color, these noodles are the perfect base for any asian-inspired pasta dish. Whether its in a warm mushroom broth, or cooled with a chili dipping sauce, your soba noodle dish will make your friends think you’re a lot more cultured than you actually are, especially when you whip out the chopsticks.

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

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Since I’m not your mother, I can’t tell you to eat your vegetables.

I also won’t try to fool you into thinking that noodles made entirely of vegetables are going to give you the same warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you see a steaming plate of your Mom’s lasagna. But Zucchini noodles (aka ‘zoodles’) are probably the trendiest noodles in the game right now.

The only items you’ll need to make this healthy, hip, and as the kids would say, “Insta-worthy” creation, are a zucchini and a spiralizer.

The best part about these zoodles is undoubtedly the calories (or lack there of). It is virtually just the vegetable, all curly-cued up to look cute, and then whatever you want on top. If that’s more veggies- hey, good for you! If that’s a heaping pile of shredded mozzarella- hey, even better!

Mango Noodles


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Similar to the Zoodles, Mango noodles only require two items to create; A mango, and a spiralizer. This brightly-colored and fun treat is perfect for summer afternoon fruit cravings.

There are endless possibilities with what you can top your “Moodles” with, my favorite being cayenne pepper, lime juice, and hot sauce (I like it hot hot HOT).

Some other popular toppings include salt and vinegar, cinnamon and curry powder, or cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Or, if you’re feelin’ crazy, you can enjoy them plain, too (Every friend group needs a Plain Jane, it’s okay).

Chocolate Pasta

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As if chocolate and pasta weren’t good enough on their own already, now you can combine the two in a fiery explosion of chocolate entree perfection.

With all of the aphrodisiacs in this chocolate fettuccini-style pasta dish, your date will be so in love with you they won’t even know what to do with themselves #score.

Black Bean Pasta


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Tolerant is a gluten free, Non-GMO, and all organic pasta brand available at most health food stores, and it has caught the attention of many hardcore pasta-enthusiasts like yourself.

There is only ONE ingredient in this “pasta”, and that’s black beans.

Although the black bean penne, mini-fettuccini, and rotini pasta styles aren’t made of your standard pasta ingredients, the flavor can hold its own. This legume version pasta offers incomparable levels of protein and fiber that you just can’t find in normal pasta. Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you… Eat.

Happy slurping!