Cutting carbs: 21 alternatives to bread, potatoes & pasta


If you’re trying to cut down carbohydrates then fear not – I have some tasty alternatives to fill up your plate.

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1. Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Crack out the cauli!
Pizza party time!

If you’re a big pizza fan then you’ll be pleased to hear about this great alternative to pizza dough! Learn how to make it by checking out The BEST Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe from The Lucky Penny. We’d love to see the results! Are you a big cauliflower fan and want new ideas? Visit 10 fun ways to use a cauliflower.

Top with…

  • aubergine, cheese & red onion
  • mozzarella & tomato
  • ham, marscapone & basil


2. Avocado Fries

Get in my mouth, you tasty-looking delights.
Get in my mouth, you tasty-looking delights.

Who knew these splendid things existed? Look how pretty they are! Immediately go straight to this crispy avocado fries recipe from There’s also a rather mouth-watering cheese dip to go with them to boot. I’ve been a fan of Joy for a number of years – if you’re into food then I guarantee you’ll find a tasty looking recipe you’ll want to try your hand at.


  • bacon-wrapped
  • with eggs & salsa
  • with chicken

3. Cabbage Noodles

A tasty alternative - give it a whirl!
A tasty alternative – give it a whirl!

This is a super-simple dish that is perfect for a quick evening meal. Grab a sharp knife, chopping board and slice your cabbage into long strips. Fill a saucepan with water and give your cabbage a quick boil. Easy. Great for any students who may have a cupboard full of pasta sauces!

Eat with…

  • bolognese sauce
  • tomato sauce, garlic & parmesan
  • bacon lardons, garlic & chicken

4. Aubergine & Courgette Lasagne

Oh my, you do look beautiful.
Oh my, you do look beautiful.

Use vegetables instead of pasta slices to make an incredibly tasty lasagne. I’ve found a superb recipe from that you should try out. It’s the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with the family – plus the leftovers would make a very enviable work lunch.

Enjoy with…

  • green salad
  • tomato, basil & mozzarella
  • glass of wine

5. Cauliflower Mash

A glorious alternative to potato mash.
A glorious alternative to potato mash.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a GIGANTIC fan of Cauliflower Mash. Sometimes I wonder if I even prefer it to Potato Mash! It’s incredibly easy to do so you have NO excuses not to give it a whirl. Chop up your cauliflower into bite-sized bits, steam (or boil) then blend / mash up with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. If you’ve got a food processor, it’s even easier.

Serve with…

  • sausages
  • fried aubergine
  • cottage pie

6. Broccoli Cauliflower Mash

You're a match made in heaven!
You’re a match made in heaven!

The supermarkets are now stocking these trendy new packets of equal amounts of broccoli and cauliflower – which is great news for you as this mash is now very simple to do. Follow the same instructions as with the Cauliflower Mash above and you’ll soon be tucking into this healthy AND delicious potato mash substitute.

Enjoy with…

  • pork steak
  • portobello mushroom
  • shepherds pie (instead of mash)

7. Cloud Bread

Can't wait to try you out...
Can’t wait to try you out…

Use these tasty bread alternatives for sandwiches and burgers. They look pretty amazing don’t they? You can even toast Cloud Bread making them perfect for breakfast. Find this grain-free bread recipe at Give it a go – we’d love to know what you think of them!

Great with…

  • ham & cheese
  • toasted with jam
  • burgers

8. Cauliflower Tortillas

Who knew?
Who knew?

If you’re a big tortilla fan then you’ll have to try your hand at these. All you really need for is cauliflower and eggs and you’re set. Visit simple Tortilla recipe from Slim Palate to find out how to make them. I’m sure they’d make a super-tasty quesadillas for all the cheese fans out there.

Tasty with…

  • cheese
  • chicken fajitas
  • carnitas

9. Portobello Mushroom Buns

What a tasty idea!
What a tasty idea!

Goodbye burger bun, hello mushroom bun – what a hefty looking bread substitute! This is perfect for BBQ season, so if you’re heading to a friend’s then remember to pick up some Portobellos. There’s an easy recipe at you might want to try out.

Enjoy with…

  • beef patty
  • halloumi
  • guacamole & tomato

10. Courgette Fries

So seriously dippable.
So seriously dippable.

If you’ve been to a trendy burger joint in the last two years, chances are you’ll already know about courgette fries. Nowadays I will often order them over regular fries, they’re so delicious if cooked correctly. Have a gander at these Crispy Courgette Chips from Don’t forget the sea salt!

Eat with…

  • burgers
  • dips
  • onion rings

11. Radish Crisps

Such pretty colours.
Such pretty colours.

Put down those old-fashioned potato crisps and hop on the radish train! I’ve found a fabulous recipe from so why not give it a go? These little bites would brighten up any table and they’d also make a great party snack.

Great with…

  • dips of all kinds!

12. Courgette Fritti

With a sprinkle of salt, these might just be perfect.
Well I’d like you in my mouth. Right now.

Replace matchstick fries with a tasty portion Courgette Fritti. You can find a recipe for these battered beauties at I’m a big fan of batter… I mean… courgette… so I can’t wait to tuck into these!

Serve with…

  • steak
  • omelette
  • cod

13. White Bean Mash

Such a great textured mash alternative.
Such a great textured mash alternative.

Grab a can of haricot beans, rinse and bring to the boil in a small pan with stock and minced garlic. Simmer for 10 minutes and then mash. It’s a splendid substitute for potato mash and the addition of garlic makes it extra tasty. Give it a whirl for a quick and easy mid-week dinner.

Enjoy with…

  • pork steak
  • Mediterranean vegetables
  • lamb

14. Carrot Fries

Add some thyme leaves for a touch of magic.
Add some thyme leaves for a touch of magic.

I recently made a rather large batch of these and my dinner guest thought they were sweet potatoes instead of carrots – so they certainly can fool people. Try out this carrot fries recipe from and see if you think the same.

Great with…

  • pork
  • dips
  • chicken

15. Kale Crisps

I could eat you every day.
I could eat you every day.

If you haven’t eaten these, then where have you been? Kale Crisps are very easy to do – you can now buy packet full of the leaves from supermarkets. Preheat the oven to 175°C, line a baking tray and spread your leaves on it. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until edges are brown. The best thing about these is that you can dress them up any way you like – with what ever flavours you prefer.

Try it with…

  • cumin
  • chilli
  • curry powder

16. Courgetti / Coodles

Whatever your name is, you're delicious.
Whatever your name is, you’re delicious.

There are a few ways to do this, either with a peeler or julienne peeler or with a very fancy spiraliser. You can even cut them if you’ve got the patience! If you’re even slightly a detective you may have figured that it’s all about using a courgette to make a spaghetti or noodle substitute. Give it a go with that well known Hemsley + Hemsley recipe, featured at

Eat with…

  • chicken & sweetcorn
  • pesto & mushroom
  • meatballs

17. Carrot & Swede Mash

Beautiful autumn colours.
Beautiful autumn colours.

A tasty and easy mash that goes great with roast dinners. Boil up your 500g chopped carrot with 500g chopped swede and then mash when they’re soft. Some supermarkets will even offer pre-chopped bags of both. Add a dash of nutmeg and a sprinkling of pepper and salt – you’re done!

Great with…

  • pork
  • fish
  • haggis

18. Butternut Squash Cubes

Perfect with meats, salads, or on their own.
Perfect with meats, salads, or on their own.

Replace potato cubes with these delicious things. Chop your butternut squash into cubes, whack them on a baking tray with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cook at around 200°C and bake until golden. You can add flavours as well – I like to either make them spicy, with chilli flakes and cumin, or go for rosemary and thyme.

Great with…

  • pork
  • salad
  • steak

19. Cauliflower Rice / Couscous

Here they are in couscous form.
Here they are in couscous form.

Cauliflower is really quite fantastic isn’t it? Make an easy rice or couscous substitute by grating, then heating a little oil in a pan and sauté for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and you’re done. It really is that simple! Choosing what to serve it with is the difficult part…

Great with…

  • honey & soy chicken
  • stir-fried vegetables
  • beef strips

20. Lettuce Wrap

You can use any lettuce you see fit!
You can use any lettuce you see fit!

Enjoy a crunchy welcome alternative to the wrap today. Just grab some iceberg lettuce leaves and cram with your favourite fillings. While these wraps are great with all types of cuisine, my personal favourite is with Thai mince dishes.

Great with…

  • pork mince, chilli & shallot
  • salsa & guacamole
  • stir-fried beef

21. Vegetable Crisps

Quick, grab the dip!
Quick, grab the dips!

Savoury fans will love to eat vegetable crisps. They’re simple to make and absolutely delicious. Try out these Oven Roasted Herbed Vegetable Crisps from Enjoy!

Great with…

  • dips of all kinds

I hope you’ve enjoyed the list! Please share with friends & I’d love to read any comments below…


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

  1. 1 Peter Ghent Reply

    Love your tips.
    I have been using cauliflower mash, and broccoli/cauliflower mash successfully for years, mostly to guests who have never heard of them and are amazed at the taste.
    Am now experimenting with many more of your tips.
    Keep the good work going.

    1. 2 Colleen B Reply

      Thanks for your kind comment. Cauli-mash and broc-cauli mash is so tasty, I completely agree – as for the rest, you’ll have to let me know which were big successes!

      1. 5 Jacqi Reply

        I can’t eat cauliflower it gives me headache can i make broccoli mash instead I’m diabetic and trying to cut the carbs – the ideas are great and look so tasty i can’t wait to try some of them . Thanks

  2. 12 Jane Page Reply

    Wonderful ideas for bread alternatives. I have been enjoying carrot and swede. Mash for some considerable time now, but I really am looking forward to using cauliflower – my favourite veg. Has anyone tried mashed parsnip with your roast dinner? When cooked, just add knob of butter and loads of black pepper – mm yummy!

    1. 13 Colleen B Reply

      Hi Jane, thanks so much for your comment, I have not tried mashed parsnip but will definitely give it a go. Hope you enjoy trying out all the recipes, let me know which was your favourite!

  3. 18 John Collard Reply

    I used to love Cauliflower but about 15 years ago I became dietary intolerant to it. Now I dare not eat it, nor any food that has been in contact with it.
    Strangely, though, I can eat any form of broccoli until the cows come home!

  4. 19 mrs christine chatwin Reply

    just got onto your site , sounds great we want to start trying some of these dishes, but having trouble trying to print off ,printer says its off line , can you tell me what I’m doing wrong .

  5. 24 Hilary Rose Reply

    Love your information. Even an old wrinkly can change a few simple things in a diet and they are all tasty and relatively inexpensive

  6. 26 Marilyn Morris Reply

    I’ve enjoyed eating carrot , Swede and parsnip mash for years . It’s delicious with a knob of butter and some black pepper . My children and grandchildren love it .

    1. 28 Colleen B Reply

      Hi Alison, I’m so happy to hear you made it and even happier to hear you found it yummy! Please feel free to share my post. 🙂

  7. 29 Debs Reply

    I love this site, I’ve found it so useful and so many great ideas. This is another great one to add! I’m going to show these recipes to my sis and tell her about the site! Thanks! 😃

  8. 31 cris Reply

    Hi any ideas on how to get any of these great recipes already prepared? For ex, the cloud bread, or broc/cali mash? Can you buy those anywhere already prepared?

  9. 44 Kirsty Aldwinckle Reply

    They all look lovely but I can’t eat cauliflower as it makes me ill, is there anything else I could use to replace carbs especially for the couscous?

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