Hearts of Palm Pasta – Healthy Recipes Blog

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by Vered DeLeeuw

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03.03.2023


If you’re looking for low-carb pasta alternatives, hearts of palm pasta is a great option.

Ready in about 20 minutes, it’s closer in flavor and texture to the real thing than several other alternatives. It’s really good!

Hearts of palm pasta served on a white plate with a fork.

I’ve been eating a low-carb diet for about 12 years now, and I have to say, I no longer search for substitutions for my high-carb favorites. I simply enjoy the wide variety of foods that are available to me, including meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.

Having said that, on occasion, it IS fun to revisit old favorites, and hearts of palm pasta is certainly a wonderful tool for those of us who miss noodles and would like to recreate the experience while keeping it low-carb.

When cooked according to the method outlined here, it does mimic the experience of eating spaghetti. And it’s delicious!

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Ingredients

You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:

Hearts of palm pasta: I get it at Trader Joe’s:

A box of Trader Joe's hearts of palm pasta.

Olive oil: I prefer using extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe.

Garlic: I slice it into thin slices.

To season: Salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

To finish the dish: Grated parmesan, red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley.

The ingredients needed to make hearts of palm pasta.

Instructions

It’s easy to make this tasty keto pasta! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here’s an overview of the steps:

You start by peeling the garlic cloves and thinly slicing them.

Next, brown them in olive oil, taking care not to burn them.

As soon as the garlic is golden, add the noodles, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes.

A photo collage showing steps 1-4 for cooking hearts of palm pasta.

Remove from the heat. Top with parmesan, red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

A photo collage showing steps 5-8 for cooking hearts of palm pasta.

Expert tip

When cooking the garlic, cook it until it’s golden brown, then add the noodles. Garlic tends to go from golden to burnt pretty fast, so be vigilant.

I usually get it right, but today I actually added the noodles when the garlic was too pale. Once you add the pasta, the garlic has less contact with the pan, so it stops browning. I had to remove it and brown it in a separate skillet, then add it back to the noodles.

Frequently asked questions

What does hearts of palm pasta tastes like?

It’s literally made from hearts of palm, so if you eat it straight out of the bag, it tastes like canned hearts of palm. However, since its flavor is mild, once you cook it with other ingredients, it takes on those flavors.

Is it like eating real pasta?

Not exactly. It’s a similar experience for sure, especially the flavor and the experience of eating noodles. However, the texture is different than that of real pasta. It’s a little chewy.

Can I use minced garlic?

You could, in which case you’ll probably need to cook it for a shorter time. But slices are better in this recipe.

Either way, make sure to mince the garlic yourself – don’t use the stuff that comes in a jar. It’s not as good, and in this recipe, the difference will be noticeable.

How is it when compared to zoodles?

I think it’s better than zucchini noodles. Those tend to be a bit flimsy and watery. These are firmer and sturdier and more closely resemble real noodles.

Variations

I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you’d like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:

  • Use butter or ghee instead of olive oil. If you do, you might want to use 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil, to help prevent the butter from burning.
  • Use dried thyme instead of dried oregano.
  • Make this a complete meal by stirring in 1-2 cups of shredded cooked chicken together with the pasta.
  • Add a handful of small cherry tomatoes.
  • Top the dish with chopped basil leaves instead of parsley.

Serving suggestions

Storing leftovers

You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. Reheat them gently in the microwave at 50% power.

Hearts of palm pasta served with grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe card

Hearts of palm pasta.

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Hearts of Palm Pasta

Hearts of palm pasta with lots of olive oil, garlic, and parmesan is surprisingly close to the real thing.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Italian

Diet: Gluten Free

Servings: 2 servings

Calories: 331kcal

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INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic slices. Cook, stirring often, until golden, about 4 minutes.

  • Add the pasta, salt, pepper, and oregano.

  • Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is heated through, about 5 minutes.

  • Remove to a plate. Sprinkle with parmesan, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Serve immediately.

NOTES

When cooking the garlic, cook it until it’s golden brown, then add the noodles. Garlic tends to go from golden to burnt pretty fast, so be vigilant. I usually get it right, but today I actually added the noodles when the garlic was too pale. Once you add the pasta, the garlic has less contact with the pan, so it stops browning. I had to remove it and brown it in a separate skillet, then add it back to the noodles. I don’t recommend using jarred minced garlic instead of freshly sliced garlic in this recipe. 

ADD YOUR OWN NOTES

DISCLAIMERSMost of our recipes are low-carb (or keto) and gluten-free, but some are not. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Recommended and linked products are not guaranteed to be gluten-free. Nutrition info is approximate and the carb count excludes non-nutritive sweeteners. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them. Please read our Terms of Use carefully before using any of our recipes.

NUTRITION PER SERVING

Serving: 0.5recipe | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 488mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g

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