The Best Baked Pasta for Diabetics Recipe

The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics with bread and salad

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This has to be the quickest and easiest baked pasta for diabetics I’ve ever made. (Yes, people with diabetes can eat pasta as part of a healthy diet!) Not only is it delicious and filling, much like my Healthy Whole Grain Pasta, it’s a diabetic friendly recipe as well. And that’s a great option because it makes my blood glucose levels happy!

With whole grain pasta, ground turkey, a simple tomato-based sauce, and cheese (yum!), this meal comes together in a snap. Throw together a salad while it bakes, and you have a tasty comfort food dinner the whole family can gather around. And if you don’t eat it all, no worries. It freezes super well, too!

The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics with bread and salad main pic

Why you will Love this Baked Pasta for Diabetics

This is one of my absolute favorite diabetic pasta recipes. And here are three reasons why I think you will soon fall in love with it too.

  • NO BOILING NOODLES. No stirring, no waiting, no draining. Just throw all the uncooked noodles in the baking dish. What a time saver!
  • WHOLE GRAIN PASTA. This provides a more blood sugar friendly option by adding fiber and protein to a traditionally carb-heavy pasta recipe.
  • HOMEMADE SAUCE. This super simple homemade sauce means you have more control over the ingredients, and you don’t have the added sugar and salt of pre-made sauces.

What is the Best Pasta for Diabetics?

Can diabetics eat whole wheat pasta? YES! But there are decisions to make. Let’s talk about white pasta vs. whole grain pasta for a bit. Now, there’s no diabetes law against eating traditional pasta, and I wouldn’t tell you to never eat it. But there may be a better choice to make.

First, it has a lower glycemic index than white pasta because it has more complex carbohydrates so it’s slower to digest, meaning it’s easier on blood sugar control.

There are a few nutritional reasons I personally prefer a whole grain option as well. I’ve got them highlighted below so you can see it along with me. There are fewer calories, fewer grams of carbs, more dietary fiber, and more protein in the healthier choice with whole grains. For me, those four reasons make it an obvious win over a regular bowl of pasta.

Nutrition Facts Comparison between Traditional Pasta and Whole Grain Pasta

Whole Grain PAsta vs. Pasta Substitutes

There are also non-grain pasta options in the grocery stores now. So let’s talk about one that I’ve been hearing a lot of lately: chickpea pasta. I personally have never tried it because I’m not a fan of chickpeas, so I can’t vouch for the taste. (Have you tried it? Comment below!) But we can compare its nutrition information just the same.

Below is a comparison of chickpea pasta and the whole grain pasta I typically choose. You will see the chickpea pasta has more calories, fewer carbs, less fiber, and more protein. So it’s a mixed bag. Is it better than whole wheat pasta? That depends. If you want a gluten-free pasta option, then yes. If you want more protein, then yes. But if you don’t like chickpeas, maybe not.

Personally, I think whole grain penne or rotini is the best whole grain pasta for diabetics. But it depends on your goal. And that’s the beauty of all of this. You can make the food choices that work best for you.

Nutrition Facts Comparison between Chickpea Pasta and Whole Grain Pasta

I do want to warn you about the marketing I saw on this box though. The front of the chickpea pasta box boasted that this product contained 20g of protein and 8g of fiber per serving size. That’s huge! And that’s certainly more than the whole grain nutrition facts show. However, I realized that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Those numbers are for the larger portion sizes of the pasta listed on the chickpea nutrition facts. (And if you ate that amount of the whole grain pasta, it would have 14g of protein and 9.5g fiber. They just didn’t put it on the front of the box in that way.) In other words … don’t be fooled! Understand what you’re comparing.

Other Pasta Alternatives

In case you’re interested in other pasta substitutes, there are several. You can try some vegan, gluten-free, low carb konjac noodles. Or you can get pasta made from red lentils. There is pasta now that is made from beans. And there’s even pasta made from peas and other vegetables. There are so many options!

What Should I look for in Baked Pasta for Diabetics?

People ask about “pasta you can have with diabetes.” While you can technically eat what you want to eat (assuming you are aware of your blood sugar management and your body and how it reacts to traditional pasta), there are a few things to look for in different pasta dishes for diabetics. These things make for an excellent choice.

When you are planning your meal — pasta or any other meal — you want to make sure you have what I refer to as the “trifecta” for the best blood sugar outcome. Having all three of these nutrients in what you’re eating will soften the blood sugar spikes.

The three parts of this trifecta are fat, fiber, and protein. You want to include plant-based healthy fats if you can, a good amount of fiber, and lean protein as well. While the carbs you’re eating would naturally cause your blood sugar to rise quicker than other foods, the fat and protein will slow it a bit to help stabilize your levels.

Now, if your main dish doesn’t offer a good balance of fat, fiber, and protein, that’s ok. Rarely do we ever make a meal that only has one item. Just be sure to add what you’re missing in a side dish to round out the meal, and you’re set.

Now, let’s get to this specific recipe!

1. Ingredients for This Baked PAsta for Diabetics Recipe

This particular diabetic friendly pasta recipe has the building blocks for a great meal. Whole grain pasta offers good fiber and some protein. The cooked ground turkey is a lean meat for good protein and some fat as well. The cheese also adds fat and protein. Plus, we get a bit of fiber from the tomatoes and sauce.

I was planning a salad with this meal, so I didn’t include any veggies in the bake itself. But you could absolutely add in some onion, bell pepper, roasted red pepper, or anything else you might choose.

Ingredients for Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics

2. Combine Ingredients in a Baking Dish

One of the biggest reasons I love this pasta recipe for diabetics is the simplicity. I’m a busy gal, so let me tell you — a recipe that you throw all in one dish to bake is nothing short of a homerun!

So that’s just what you do. Combine the water and ingredients for the sauce into the baking dish first. Then add in the uncooked noodles. And finally add in the cooked meat. Just make sure the noodles are mostly down in the liquid so they will cook while this bakes.

Making the Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics

3. Bake the pasta

Once you have all the ingredients (except cheese) combined in the baking dish, just cover it with aluminum foil and bake it for 35 minutes or so, until the pasta is al dente. Then you will want to remove it from the oven and add cheese on top. And then it will finish baking uncovered for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese.

Adding cheese to the Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics

CARBS FOR Baked Pasta for Diabetics

There are definitely carbs in this baked rotini recipe. They come mainly from the pasta, but also a good amount from the tomato sauce as well.

With the specific brand of ingredients I used for this recipe, the entire total was 319g of carbs. Because this recipe makes 12 servings, that’s 27g of carbs per serving. With the fiber considered, we are at a net of 23g carbs per serving. The fat is just over 6g per serving, and the protein totals 17 grams.

(Need help counting carbs for your recipes? Check out my blog post with step-by-step instructions!)

Be sure to work this into your diet how you best manage your diabetes. And be sure to count the total carbs (or net carbs when dealing with fiber) in the specific products you use. Different brands vary in ingredients, so be doubly sure of the nutritional information in what you’re eating.

The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics, done baking

What to Serve with Diabetic Baked Pasta

As I mentioned above, I chose to eat a salad with this pasta. Some additional fiber from leafy greens and other vegetables never hurts. And this way I’m not stuffing myself with just pasta, but balancing it and keeping good portion control.

Other ideas that come to mind would be:

  • steamed veggies
  • grilled asparagus
  • tomato mozzarella caprese salad
  • mixed fruit or berries
  • sauteed brussels sprouts
  • grilled zucchini “breadsticks” with some tomato sauce and cheese

The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics serving

VARIATIONS ON This Baked Pasta for Diabetics

There are a few variations that come to mind as well:

  • swap the cooked ground turkey for cooked meatballs
  • use a different type of pasta
  • add in some roasted red peppers
  • sprinkle some crushed red pepper on top for some kick
  • add in different peppers and squash to make it a more well rounded dish

The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics with bread and salad


What I like to do with this recipe is cook the meat ahead. When I’m browning turkey for another meal, I will add in another pound and brown it at the same time. Then I store it in the fridge until I’m ready to make the pasta the next day or so.

You can also make the entire dish ahead and simply reheat it to serve.

The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics with bread


This pasta will keep well covered in the refrigerator for several days. But it also freezes well. For my family, I prefer to put individual servings in the freezer so I can thaw whatever amount I need at the time. (This makes for a good option for lunch when you need something quickly. You can just pop it in the refrigerator for the next day.)

And now for your free recipe:

The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics with bread and salad

The Best Baked Pasta for Diabetics Recipe

A quick and easy, blood sugar friendly pasta meal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 lb. ground turkey cooked
  • 14 oz. petite diced tomatoes undrained
  • 3 c. whole grain rotini noodles
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c. water
  • 29 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. basil
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Combine the tomatoes, water, tomato sauce, and spices in a prepared 9×13 baking dish. Stir.
  • Add in the uncooked pasta noodles to the dish. Soak them down into the sauce.
  • Add the meat and do the same.
  • Cover and bake for 35 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
  • Uncover, top with cheese, and bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.


Nutrition Facts - Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics
Keyword easy, fiber, healthy, high protein, whole grain


If you’ve made this recipe, would you please leave a comment? I would love know how you liked it!

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NOTE: I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician. Nothing here should be taken as professional medical advice. Any nutritional information provided should be used as a general guideline and estimate only. For the most accurate information, please calculate based on the specific ingredients and brands you use, as well as any changes you make to the recipe.


The Best Baked Rotini for Diabetics with bread and salad main pic


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COUNT CARBS and Nutrition Facts EASILY

Looking for a way to count your carbs, fat, fiber, and protein easily? Look no further… 

I love how this template makes counting nutrition facts SO easy. You literally list the total grams from each ingredient, total it at the bottom, and divide by the number of servings. Voila! 

This recipe template walks you through every step. And you can keep it for future reference. Just calculate it once and you’re done!

Check my Etsy store for an instant download that includes a cover page, section header pages for different kinds of recipes, section tabs, and this recipe template.

Diabetic Recipe Template with Carb Counting and Nutrition Facts

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Kaycee - Devotions on Diabetes


Welcome to my Devotions on Diabetes website! Thanks for stopping by. I've lived with diabetes for 30+ years. And I'm here to provide you with a heaping helping of encouragement while you deal with diabetes and navigate this chronic illness with God by your side.

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