Pasta Passport: 15 Healthy International Noodle Recipes

Thai Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli in bowl with lime
Linda Xiao
Everyone loves pasta! It’s the perfect way to introduce delicious new flavors from other cultures to your crew. Check out nutritious noodles from around the world with these recipes from Catherine McCord and other contributing chefs.
Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Summer Soba Noodles

Made from whole-grain buckwheat, soba noodles have half the calories (and carbs) of spaghetti. Our take on this fave combines cold noodles with a protein-rich peanut-butter sauce.

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Stir-Fried Shrimp Over Rice Noodles

Brown-rice noodles can be great for kids on a gluten-free diet or picky eaters who don't like the dense texture of whole-wheat pasta.

Discover simple stir-frying tricks to make the most of this healthy, fast, and easy weeknight dinner favorite -- whether you have a wok or not.

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Curry Cellophane Noodles

Made from mung bean starch, these soft, slippery noodles are fun to eat and low in fat and cholesterol.

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Fettuccine Bolognese

The sauce is packed with vitamin A (from the hidden carrots), vitamin C (courtesy of the tomatoes), and protein (thanks to the turkey).

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Baked Vermicelli

Mexican pasta? Who knew that our Southern neighbors use vermicelli (thin noodles they call fideo) in popular dishes

Heather Weston
Heather Weston

Rice Noodle Salad

This vitamin C-rich dish comes together in just one pot. How convenient is that?

Tina Rupp
Tina Rupp

Chicken Cacciatore with Whole-Wheat Spaghetti

This traditional, hearty Italian dish tastes just as delicious over fiber-rich, whole-grain pasta. Most kids won't even notice the difference.

Paula Hible
Paula Hible

Toddler Pasta

Use dot-shaped pastina (it even comes in a whole-grain version), and you won't have to cut up noodles for the littlest pasta fans.

Frances Janisch
Frances Janisch

15-Minute Pasta Salad

If your kids are picky about eating veggies, slice strawberries into your pasta salad instead.

Linda Xiao
Linda Xiao

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Did you know pasta can come in more than 300 shapes? Now that's a conversation starter!

Linda Xiao
Linda Xiao

Goulash

Traditional Hungarian goulash is a hearty beef stew that dates back to the ninth century. Noodles didn’t appear in the recipe until the dish became popular in America in the 20th century.

Linda Xiao
Linda Xiao

Fideos with Chorizo, Spinach, and Chickpeas

Servings: 4 Yield: 6 cups Active Time: 30 mins Total Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into 1-to 2-inch pieces 
  • 1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 15 ounce can reduced-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 ounces dried Spanish-style chorizo sausage, casing removed, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can no salt added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Make It

1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half the pasta and cook, stirring often, until it is a deep golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove noodles to a large plate and repeat with another 1 Tbs. oil and the remaining pasta; set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil the same large pot over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown in spots, about 3 minutes. Add the chorizo and garlic; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and tomatoes; cook, tossing, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the pasta and water, cover the pot and cook 3 minutes. Remove cover, stir and cook until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed or cooked off, about 5 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Serve topped with a sprinkling of oregano

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 4; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 469, Fat, total (g): 20, chol. (mg): 19, sat. fat (g): 4, carb. (g): 56, Monounsaturated fat (g): 7, Polyunsaturated fat (g): 1, Trans fatty acid (g): 4, fiber (g): 8, sugar (g): 7, pro. (g): 16, vit. A (IU): 3819, vit. C (mg): 15, sodium (mg): 760, Potassium (mg): 254, calcium (mg): 112, iron (mg): 5, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Linda Xiao
Linda Xiao

Ginger-Miso Ramen

Servings: Yield: 7 cups Active Time: 30 mins Total Time: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 3 ounce packages ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 1/2 inch piece ginger root, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled 
  • 1 8 ounce package baked tofu, sliced (such as Nasoya)
  • 2 green onions, diagonally sliced

Make It

1. Prepare the ramen noodles according to package directions. Toss the noodles with the sesame oil and divide among 4 bowls; set aside.

2. Combine the miso, ginger root, 1 1/2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds, and garlic in a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Add 3 Tbs. of the vegetable broth and pulse to create a thick, textured paste.

3. Transfer the paste to a large pot and cook over medium heat until most of the liquid is cooked off and the mixture begins to brown slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetable broth and bring to a gentle simmer; cook 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, 4 minutes. Toss and cook about 3 minutes more, or until the mushrooms are golden brown and have released most of their liquid.

5. Pour the broth over the noodles. Top each bowl with a hard-boiled egg half, tofu, mushrooms, green onions, and sesame seeds.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 4; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 463, Fat, total (g): 22, chol. (mg): 93, sat. fat (g): 6, carb. (g): 44, Monounsaturated fat (g): 3, Polyunsaturated fat (g): 4, Trans fatty acid (g): , fiber (g): 6, sugar (g): 8, pro. (g): 20, vit. A (IU): 1457, vit. C (mg): 2, sodium (mg): 980, Potassium (mg): 172, calcium (mg): 127, iron (mg): 4, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Linda Xiao
Linda Xiao

Thai Noodles with Chicken & Broccoli (Pad See Ew)

Servings: 4 Yield: 6 cups Active Time: 25 mins Total Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces wide rice noodles 
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 pound bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (4 cups)
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-x 2-inch strips
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Lime wedges for serving, optional

Make It

1. Prepare the rice noodles according to package directions; rinse under cold water, then drain and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle the noodles with 1 Tbs. of the vegetable oil and toss to coat; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, fish sauce, and rice vinegar.

3. Heat another 1 Tbs. of vegetable oil in a wok or extra-large skillet over medium-high. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil and cook the chicken until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Push the chicken and broccoli to one side of the pan and add the eggs, using your spoon to quickly scramble them, then stir everything together.

4. Add the prepared noodles to the pan and pour the sauce over the top; stir to combine. Cook 2 more minutes, or until the noodles get slightly caramelized and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 4; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 426, Fat, total (g): 15, chol. (mg): 155, sat. fat (g): 2, carb. (g): 45, Monounsaturated fat (g): 3, Polyunsaturated fat (g): 8, Trans fatty acid (g): , fiber (g): 4, sugar (g): 5, pro. (g): 28, vit. A (IU): 721, vit. C (mg): 81, sodium (mg): 645, Potassium (mg): 558, calcium (mg): 80, iron (mg): 2, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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