Put pasta on hold for healthy dinner ideas that cut down on time while adding more nutrients to your diet. The secret: Your spiralizer.

By Marnie Soman Schwartz
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When you're craving a big bowl of noodles but aren't so excited about the cook time-or the calories and carbs-spiralized vegetables are your BFF. Plus, vegetable noodles are an easy way to add more produce to your day. So the only question is: What's the best way to cook zucchini noodles? (They are one of the most popular veggie noodles right now.) Answer: Run the zucchini-or other favorite veg-through a spiral vegetable slicer and enjoy raw or quickly heat. That's it!

And while we love trying out fancy new recipes (like these 12 Sensational Spiralized Veggie Recipes), sometimes we just want a quick combo that pulls together in minutes. So we asked Ali Maffucci, the founder of Inspiralized, for some of her favorite creative pairings for different spiralized veggies. Each includes a veggie noodle base, a sauce, a protein, and extras like additional veggies, nuts, or seeds. (Before you toss everything together, make sure you know The Anatomy of a Perfect Bowl.)

Combo #1: Zucchini Noodles + Pesto + Chicken + Cherry Tomatoes + Toasted Pine Nuts

The classic combo of pesto, chicken, and cherry tomatoes gets a low-carb makeover.

Combo #2: Beet Noodles + Honey Dijon + Bacon + Crumbled Gorgonzola + Pecans

Sweet beets and salty bacon make a perfect flavor match.

Combo #3: Carrot Noodles + Tahini Dressing + Edamame + Broccoli + Scallions

Look for large carrots at the farmers market; they'll spiralize more easily than thin ones.

Combo #4: Cucumber Noodles + Miso Vinaigrette + Tofu + Mushrooms + Sesame Seeds

Give this Asian combo an extra punch of flavor with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Combo #5: Sweet Potato Noodles + Parmesan Garlic Sauce + Fried Egg + Asparagus + Red Pepper Flakes

An egg on top takes any noodle dish up a notch.

Combo #6: Broccoli Noodles + Teriyaki Sauce + Shrimp + Water Chestnuts + Shredded Carrots

Spiralize the broccoli stalk then toss the florets in with the dish!

Combo #7: Daikon Radish Noodles + Pad Thai Sauce + Chicken + Peanuts + Sliced Bell Peppers

Thai takeout, you've met your match with this veggie-packed version.

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