One of the fads in the diet world is limiting carbohydrates such as pasta. But, if you are eating a balanced diet, pastas do not have to be off limits.  When eating pasta, make good choices by using whole grain options. You can even amp up your pasta by using spaghetti squash.  Spaghetti squash adds some extra flavor that pasta alone does not have–trust me, try it! And since you are trying to make things healthier, why settle for pre-made pasta sauces in the stores when you can make your own healthier versions?

Here are some simple options for pasta sauces that you can make on your own:

1. Basic Fresh Tomato SauceI know that pasta sauce in the jar is convenient, but most convenient items pack in extra preservatives, trans fats, oils and sugar. Making your own tomato sauce does not have to be difficult and it really is not that time consuming.  This is a basic recipe to get you started. (via Marin Mama Cooks)


2. Roasted Red Pepper SauceBy far, this is my favorite pasta sauce. I even make a skinny version of Chicken Parmesan and use this sauce to top it with. It adds a sweetness that tomatoes do not have. (via Food Network) (photo credit here)


3. Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto SauceThis is for one of those nights when you want to impress your friends.  It has simple ingredients that you would use every day in your kitchen.  The preparation may take a little longer than other pasta sauces, but the result is well worth it. Almond pesto? Come on, that’s pretty fancy. One cup is just over 200 calories. (via Oh She Glows)


4. Spicy Tomato Cream SauceI am a huge fan of creamy sauces.  Unfortunately, they add milk or heavy cream, which in turn adds the calories and extras to your waistline.  In this recipe, they use Greek Yogurt to make it creamy.  Yogurt is good for your digestive system, and it has less calories than some dairy products. Seriously, what can’t Greek yogurt be used for? (via Little Yellow Kitchen)


5. Linguine with Creamy Alfredo Sauce: Yes! Again, Greek yogurt can be substituted for the dairy products that add higher calories.  This is one of those comfort foods that you do not always have to eliminate–just find a healthier alternative. (via allrecipes) (photo credit here)