Food With Pasta


This Food With Pasta blog will show you how easy it is to blend pasta with other ingredients for new tastes, textures and colors. As much as we love eating pasta the classic way, there’s a whole world of delicious meals you can create using pasta. From casseroles and comforting stews to stuffing and treat time desserts.

Food With Pasta

The great debate of who invented pasta (was it China or Italy?) becomes less of a discussion when the noodles start cooking and the eaters start slurping. Whether it’s authentic Italian pasta like my Spaghetti Pomodoro, or the best American-ized mac and cheese to ever pass your lips, this list of homemade pasta recipes are what you should be cooking now.

1. My Mom’s Homemade Spaghetti And Meat Sauce

Cathy commented: “I tried this recipe for your mom’s spaghetti sauce, and it was perfect ! I’m Italian and was taught many years ago how to make a good sauce. But over the busy years, it started not tasting so good, and it seemed okay to just buy a nice jar already prepared. But after reading your recipe which was very close to my mom’s, and being inspired to try again, now I’m hooked and loving it. Thank you for turning my “cooking” back on !!! This is a great recipe!”

2. One-Pot Penne Pasta With Turkey And Spinach

Vanessa commented: “Hubby has congestive heart failure. This recipe is not only heart healthy but with few adjustments (no salt) he said it tasted like a delicious meal that he hasn’t had for over a year now! Huge compliment! Please keep them coming! Absolutely Deeeeelicious!”

3. Pasta With Turkey Sausage And Peas

Charlie commented: “Great!!! I utilized an entire 19 oz. bundle of turkey. Additionally, I utilized a pound of child bella mushrooms. This was simple, beautiful, and the best part is that it tasted wonderful!”

4. Meatballs And Tomato Sauce

Ana commented: “Made this recipe today and I think these are the best meatball’s that I have ever made. I already shared this recipe with my mom. My husband is also a big fan of the sauce. Thanks for the recipe!”

5. Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Recipe

Nicole commented: “This is the ultimate spaghetti carbonara! I love pasta, this recipe is going to be perfection. It is a dish that is required at dinner table at least once a week in my house. I can’t wait to try it, thanks for sharing :).”

6. The Cheesiest Spinach And Cheese Lasagna

Rachel commented: “I just made this for a girls night in. I was looking for a go-to vegetarian-friendly lasagna recipe and this one delivered. I love that it uses jarred sauce since my homemade version never tastes as good. I highly recommend, especially because it’s not difficult to make.”


Quick and easy pesto penne pasta is a simple and light Italian pasta dish made with just five ingredients in under 15 minutes. The easiest dinner.

Quick and easy pesto penne pasta is a simple and light Italian pasta dish made with just five ingredients in under 15 minutes. The easiest dinner. |

Creamy White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

Creamy white chicken and spinach lasagna with tender shredded chicken is the most comforting creamiest cheesiest white lasagna. Easy to make ahead & freeze.

Creamy white chicken and spinach lasagna with tender shredded chicken is the most comforting creamiest cheesiest white lasagna. Easy to make ahead & freeze. |

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with White Cheddar

Quick and easy, creamy stovetop mac and cheese with white cheddar is a delicious and comforting one pot 20-minute meal packed with three types of cheese.

Quick and easy, creamy stovetop mac and cheese with white cheddar is a delicious and comforting one pot 20-minute meal packed with three types of cheese. |

Spaghetti Carbonara

Creamy spaghetti carbonara (Spaghetti a la Carbonara) is a simple classic Italian pasta with pancetta that’s quick and easy to make in minutes.

Creamy spaghetti carbonara (Spaghetti a la Carbonara) is a simple classic Italian pasta with pancetta that's quick and easy to make in minutes. |

Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Creamy shrimp pasta with sun-dried tomatoes is a delicious, quick and easy meal that takes just 20 minutes to prep and make. The perfect weeknight dinner. |

Creamy shrimp pasta with sun-dried tomatoes is a delicious, quick and easy meal that takes just 20 minutes to prep and make. The perfect weeknight dinner. |

Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage Bake

Quick and easy, cheesy tortellini and sausage bake is a delicious 30-minute dinner packed with flavour. A family-favourite comfort food for busy weeknights.

8 cheap and easy pasta recipes

Fancy pasta for dinner? Of course you do. Pasta’s the go-to student meal for many reasons – and these cheap, easy and (most importantly) tasty recipes are ideal, whatever the occasion.

Colourful pasta

Credit: virtu studioE – Shutterstock

We’ve put together some cheap and easy pasta recipes for you to try.

All of these dishes serve four people, and we’ve tried to keep the number of ingredients to a minimum. Oil and salt and pepper will be needed for each dish, but you’ll probably have these in your kitchen cupboard anyway. If not, ask a housemate to use some of theirs.

We all tend to go a bit overboard with the pasta portions too, but 100g per person should do it.

Easy pasta recipes

  • Spaghetti bolognese
  • Bacon and egg penne
  • Chicken, spinach and sundried tomato pasta
  • Lemon salmon pasta
  • Creamy chorizo penne
  • Spinach gnocchi
  • Pea and mint spaghetti
  • Pasta carbonara with a twist

Talking of good food with cheap ingredients, did you know you can make all these delicious meals with baked beans?

Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese

Credit: artem evdokimov – Shutterstock


Serves: 4 | Costs: £2.71* (£0.68 per serving) | Time taken: 25 mins

  • 500g beef mince (£1.49)
  • 2 carrots (£0.08)
  • 2 onions (£0.20)
  • 1 cube of beef stock (£0.07)
  • 250g passata (£0.20)
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (£0.12)
  • 400g chopped tomatoes (£0.28)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree (£0.06)
  • 2 garlic cloves (£0.05)
  • 400g spaghetti (£0.16)
  • Splash of wine (optional)
  • Additional herbs (optional).


  1. Chop up the onion, garlic and carrots.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic for two minutes, then add carrots and fry for a further 4 minutes.
  3. Turn up the heat and quickly cook the mince, breaking it up with a spatula – fry until browned.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, passata, balsamic vinegar, tomato puree and the crumbled beef stock cube.
  5. This is optional, but if you have any wine or herbs you’d like to use, add them now.
  6. Boil down for at least 10 minutes on a low heat until you reach the desired consistency.
  7. Cook the spaghetti per pack instructions.
  8. Drain the spaghetti, season the bolognese and serve.

About this dish

If you’re wondering what to make with pasta, spaghetti bolognese is a great option! A true classic.

It may look like a long list of ingredients, but it’s actually a super cheap meal to make, working out at around £0.70 per potion.

Whether you’re making it in bulk to last you a few days, or you’re sharing it with friends, it’s an ideal meal after a long day of study – tasty, filling and super comforting.

Bacon and egg penne

Penne pasta with mushroom and bacon

Credit: HrystynaM – Shutterstock


Serves: 4 | Costs: £2.08* (£0.52 per serving) | Time taken: 25 mins

  • 4 eggs (£0.43)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (£0.09)
  • 190g mushrooms (£0.60)
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (£0.04)
  • 100g spring onions (£0.37)
  • 250g of bacon (£0.38)
  • 300g penne pasta (£0.17).


  1. Boil a pan of water – cook the pasta for as long as the instructions on the pack say, and boil the eggs in the same pan for eight minutes.
  2. Fry the bacon in a pan until crisp.
  3. When the bacon’s cooked, remove it from the pan and add sliced mushrooms.
  4. While the mushrooms fry, cut the bacon into pieces.
  5. Mix the oil and mayonnaise together.
  6. Drain the pasta and eggs, then peel the eggs and cut them into quarters.
  7. Mix everything together and serve.

About this dish

Bacon and egg is always a winning combination, and the added pasta, mushrooms and seasoning make this dish pretty hard to beat.

It’s already a low-cost dish, but you might even find you’ve got some of the ingredients in your fridge and cupboard already, like salt and pepper, pasta, eggs, mayonnaise and oil, making it even cheaper to make.

These recipes are part of our student meal plan, which could save you up to £200/year.

Chicken, spinach and sundried tomato pasta

Sundried tomatoes with pasta on a plate


Serves: 4 | Costs: £5.16* (£1.29 per serving) | Time taken: 25 mins

  • 2 chicken breasts (£1.80)
  • 125g spinach (£0.85)
  • 10 sundried tomatoes (£1.25)
  • Parmesan (£1.03)
  • 400g penne pasta (£0.23).


  1. Cut your chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, season with salt and pepper and fry in a pan with some olive oil for around 10 minutes, turning often to make sure there’s no pink.
  2. Meanwhile, cook your pasta as advised on the packet in a pot of boiling water with a big pinch of salt in it.
  3. Once the chicken’s been frying for about five mins, add the sundried tomatoes and stir around so the tomato oil coats the chicken. Continue to fry until the 10 mins are up.
  4. Drain the pasta, add the chicken and tomato mix to the pasta, then add your spinach leaves. Give it a good stir for a minute or 2 until the spinach starts to wilt, and add some black pepper.
  5. Dish up and grate over some parmesan to finish.

About this dish

There are tons of easy chicken pasta recipes, but this one is our favourite. This dish packs a salty punch thanks to the sundried tomatoes and parmesan, and the chicken and spinach are a nice dose of protein.

Make sure you go for a jar of sundried tomatoes (that should last you a while) rather than any deli-counter options, as these tend to be way more expensive.

Salmon spaghetti with lemon

salmon spaghetti on plate

Credit: DronG – Shutterstock


Serves: 4 | Costs: £3.46* (£0.87 per serving) | Time taken: 20 mins

  • 212g wild Pacific pink salmon (£1.80)
  • 3 tablespoons of crème fraîche (£0.14)
  • Parmesan (£1.03)
  • Small bunch of chopped chives (£0.18)
  • ½ lemon (£0.15)
  • 400g spaghetti (£0.16).


  1. Put some hot, salted water on to boil, and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add the salmon, chives and crème fraîche.
  3. Add a squeeze of lemon, some parmesan and black pepper, mix and have a taste.
  4. Serve with some chopped chives and more parmesan to garnish.

About this dish

While this pasta recipe is really easy to make, our main tip is to not overdo it with lemon.

It’s a great dish to go for if you’re cooking for a friend and want to impress, or you’re just craving some healthy fish in your life.

You might think smoked salmon is strictly off the menu when you’re on a student budget. But going for a can or pack of trimmings (essentially the smaller offcuts that aren’t included in fancy packets) can work out pretty cheaply.

To cut down on your food bill for this (and every) dish, supermarket downshifting is always worth a try.

If you haven’t already, check out the best kitchen gadgets for students. They’ll make cooking at home so much easier.

Creamy chorizo penne

chorizo pasta dish


Serves: 4 | Costs: £4.59* (£1.15 per serving) | Time taken: 20 mins

  • ½ chorizo ring, sliced (£2.50 for a full ring)
  • 125g spinach (£0.41)
  • 3 tablespoons of crème fraîche (£0.14)
  • Parmesan (£1.03)
  • Sprinkling of parsley (£0.28)
  • 400g penne pasta (£0.23).


  1. Put your hot salted water on to boil, and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Meanwhile, fry your chorizo in a small amount of oil or butter for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Add your spinach to the chorizo and keep stirring to help the spinach wilt. You might need to add the spinach a handful at a time since it takes up a lot of space at first, but you’ll be surprised how small it gets once it starts to wilt!
  4. Drain your pasta and add the chorizo and spinach mix. Mix in your crème fraîche and season with a little salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve with some chopped parsley and a sprinkling of parmesan on top.

About this dish

Creamy chorizo penne is such a warming dish. And the best thing about it is the mix of the spices with the crème fraîche.

If you’re in the mood for even more spice, you can add some dried chilli to give it a bit of a kick. And if you want to bulk it out a little, a handful of chopped button mushrooms will go really nicely with it.

Spinach gnocchi

gnocchi and spinach in a bowl


Serves: 4 | Costs: £1.24* (£0.31 per serving) | Time taken: 15 mins

  • 125g spinach (£0.41)
  • Splash of oil (£0.03)
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic (£0.05)
  • ½ lemon (£0.15)
  • 400g gnocchi (£0.60).


  1. Melt your butter in a large frying pan then add the gnocchi. Fry until it becomes lightly golden on each side.
  2. Throw in your garlic and spinach leaves – keep moving ingredients in the pan to stop them from burning.
  3. Continue to fry until the spinach leaves have wilted slightly and the gnocchi is crispy (around three to five minutes).
  4. Serve up with some parmesan and black pepper.

About this dish

Gnocchi is halfway between a mini potato dumpling and a ball of pasta (a.k.a. the best of both worlds).

As with any pasta, you can boil gnocchi (it literally takes two minutes to cook this way – they float to the top of the water when they’re ready) but the lesser-known way to cook these little balls of perfection is to fry them up.

We used spinach (spinach is a cheap way to add nutrients and flavour to any meal) but sage butter would work just as well. You can replace the spinach with sage leaves for a dish that tastes completely different.

If you love pasta, you might want to check out our list of the best recipe boxes – there’s one that delivers pasta to your front door every week…

Pea and mint spaghetti

mint and pea spaghetti

Credit: ziashusha – Shutterstock


Serves: 4 | Costs: £2.55* (£0.64 per serving) | Time taken: 15 mins

  • 200g frozen peas (£0.13)
  • 175g grana padano (£1.65)
  • 2 garlic cloves (£0.05)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (£0.09)
  • 20g fresh mint (£0.47)
  • 400g spaghetti (£0.16).


  1. Cook the spaghetti, following the pack’s instructions.
  2. While the spaghetti cooks, chop the garlic and grate the grana padano.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan and add the garlic and peas. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Drain the pasta and mix with the peas and garlic.
  5. Sprinkle mint and grana padano over the top, mix and serve.

About this dish

Most of the ingredients should be easy to buy but may struggle to find grana padano. You can also use parmesan or no cheese at all.

Overall, it’s one of the healthiest and cheapest pasta dishes on our list – ideal for a post-library dinner or a pre-night-out meal (or both).

Pasta carbonara with a twist

bowl of carbonara outside


Serves: 4 | Costs: £1.58* (£0.40 per serving) | Time taken: 20 mins

  • 4 slices of bacon cut into small pieces (£0.60)
  • 200g of frozen peas (£0.13)
  • 2 egg yolks (£0.22)
  • 3 tablespoons of double cream (£0.17)
  • A handful of chopped mint (£0.23)
  • 400g penne pasta (£0.23).


  1. Put your water on to boil, and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Fry your chopped-up bacon slices or lardons in a small non-stick frying pan. You shouldn’t need any oil to do this if your bacon is already quite fatty.
  3. In a bowl, mix two egg yolks with your double cream and add some parmesan and black pepper.
  4. When the pasta has about two mins left on the clock, throw in your frozen peas with the pasta.
  5. Drain the pan of pasta and peas when it’s ready. Then, on a surface away from the hob you’ve been cooking on (if it’s too hot it’ll make the egg mix scramble), add the eggy mix to your pasta and peas and give it a good mix.
  6. Dish up straight away so it’s out of the hot pan, and top up with the chopped mint.

About this dish

You might think carbonara’s way out of your cooking comfort zone, but it’s actually super easy to make. Try this recipe for an easy and quick version of the creamy pasta dish.

The version pictured uses farfalle pasta which is slightly more expensive, so we listed penne for the ingredients as it comes in a bit cheaper.

Also, if you’re worried about this being a really rich and heavy dish, this is a lighter version and the fresh peas and mint absolutely make it.

10 Comforting Pasta Recipes That Are Actually Good for You

Craving pasta? Incorporate more nutrition into your bowl with these healthful recipes that feel like a warm hug

woman holding plate of pasta

Infuse your pasta with more color, courtesy of veggies, for a healthier bowl.

Getty Images

If you have a hankering for pasta right now, you’re likely not alone. During stressful times — like these right now — many people tend to gravitate toward comfort foods, according to Harvard Health Publishing. But worry not — indulging in a delicious plate of pasta doesn’t have to derail your healthy habits or add unwanted pounds.

Despite what you may have heard in the past, pasta isn’t a food that has to be shunned if you want to eat well, lose weight, or a combination of the two.

“Pasta can be part of a healthy meal when it’s combined with lean protein and nonstarchy vegetables,” says Amy Kimberlain, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who is based in Miami. “I like to think of pasta as a side-dish versus the main event, so portion control is also an important consideration,” she adds. “But no food is off limits!”

Christine Palumbo, RDN, a registered dietitian in Chicago, agrees: “Pasta is a fat-free, low-sodium food that can fit into almost any weight-management plan.” The trick is practicing moderation.

If you follow a diet high in foods that are low on the glycemic index, including pasta, you may lose weight, according to a review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the journal BMJ Open in April 2018. (According to Harvard University, glycemic index suggests how quickly or slowly a food may make blood sugar rise.) The research is limited, though. “It didn’t examine pasta alone — the participants had foods like rice and bread, too — but their conclusion was that when paired with a healthy diet, pasta can be included and not cause weight gain,” says Kimberlain.

The preparation method matters, too. There’s a big difference between a small bowl of pasta that’s been packed with veggies and one piled high with breaded chicken and tossed in a heavy, cream-based sauce. 

What to Look for in a Pasta Recipe to Learn if It’s Healthful

“I can’t say it enough — include as many veggies as you possibly can!” says Kimberlain. “Not only does it enhance the flavor of your dishes, but it also helps provide extra fiber that allows you to fill up and stay satiated for a longer time.” she adds.

Also, consider the type of pasta. “Look for a whole-wheat version or a pulse-based version,” says Kimberlain. (Pulses are the edible seeds in legumes, Harvard notes, and companies are now making a variety of pastas made with pulses like chickpeas, lentils, and beans.)

Still, worry not if you want to go the traditional pasta route — it’s also a good option. Palumbo explains that white pasta is made from semolina flour, which is derived from a hard wheat called durum. According to the book Wheat and Rice in Disease Prevention and Health, durum is high in protein, low on the glycemic index, and has a low glycemic load (meaning it’s unlikely to spike blood sugar when enjoyed in moderation, notes Harvard). You can credit these attributes to its resistant starch, the book notes.

As for the sodium in your dish, aim to keep it at less than 400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per 1/2 cup, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a max of 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and avoid a sauce with added sugar, says Kimberlain. If you’re buying a tomato sauce, she says, then tomatoes should really be the first ingredient.

And as for portion control, you might want to switch up how you’re serving it. “To keep your portion sizes small, put your pasta in a bowl, rather than a large plate,” says Palumbo.

Ready to get your mouth watering? Discover 10 registered dietitian–approved recipes that will fulfill your pasta craving in a yummy and healthy way.

An Easy Way To Reduce Fat While Cooking

Chef Daniel Green shows you how to cut back on fat with this easy cooking hack.


Lemon Shrimp Pasta

Lemon Shrimp Pasta

RD Amy

This light-and-tangy lemon pasta from Kimberlain is virtually the opposite of a heavy cream-based dish. And that’s what makes it so fresh and healthful! Also, the pasta isn’t slathered in the sauce. “Typical lemon pasta recipes use double — or more — of this sauce to season the pasta, but I’ve found this really is a perfect amount,” says Kimberlain. She makes a whole box of pasta, and divides it into eight portions — so each portion contains a 1-cup serving of pasta.

Plus, the meal comes loaded with nutrients. “This dish is a perfect mix of whole-grain carbs, lean protein — I used shrimp, but chicken, salmon, and chickpeas are all equally delicious! — and all the veggies for fiber, fiber, fiber!” says Kimberlain.

Kimberlain used a small zucchini in the dish — you’ll get a little fiber, potassium, and vitamin C from the veggie, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — plus an onion, for more vitamin C and fiber, as well as folic acid, per the USDA. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), potassium can contribute to healthy blood pressure levels, while vitamin C may help boost your immunity. Meanwhile, folate is key for metabolism, kidney health, and absorption of vitamin B12, per the per the NIH. In this dish, Kimberlain recommends adding even more veggies you have on hand for a fiber boost.

Plus, whole-wheat pasta is an excellent source of fiber. One cup, the recommended serving for this dish, has 20 percent of your daily value (DV), with 5.5 grams (g), according to the USDA. So if you’re looking to boost your fiber count for the day, this could be your go-to dish.

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Mushroom Ravioli in Cauliflower Cream Sauce

Mushroom Ravioli in Cauliflower Cream Sauce

Vicki Shanta Retelny

“This pasta dish is not only comfort food, it’s loaded with plant-based goodies from the mushroom-infused ravioli to the creamy sauce made with pureed cauliflower,” says Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, who’s based in Chicago, and created the recipe.

The recipe makes three servings and calls for one head of cauliflower. The cauliflower alone, in each serving, provides over 5.5 g of fiber (if using a large head), according to the USDA, and about 20 percent of your DV, making it an excellent source of the nutrient. 

The cauliflower also provides other key health perks. “Don’t be fooled by its white color, cauliflower is teeming with phytonutrients or plant compounds that are super for your health,” she adds. “From fending off certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer, to keeping your cells, heart, and brain healthy, try this variation on cream sauce to up the healthy factor in your pasta bowl,” says Retelny.

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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Pasta

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Pasta

Jessica Levinson

If you love to order penne alla vodka when you’re dining out, this healthy take on the dish could be your new go-to. “It’s almost like pasta with vodka sauce, only so much better for you!” says Jessica Levinson, RDN, a culinary nutrition expert in Westchester, New York, who created the recipe. “Made with whole grains and packed with veggies, low-fat dairy, and beans, this dish is loaded with fiber and protein,” she adds.

The recipe, which serves six, sneaks in all sorts of veggies, from sun-dried tomatoes and onions, to, of course, red peppers. All the produce gives you fiber, and ups your vitamin C count for the day. The whole grain pasta also boosts your fiber count, too.

And to pack more protein into the dish, the chickpeas and low-fat ricotta really deliver. The recipe calls for ½ cup chickpeas, and there are six servings. Per serving of the recipe, find 1.7 g of protein, according to the USDA, and 4.7 g protein in the ricotta, notes the USDA. For fiber, the chickpeas provide just under 1 g per serving of the dish, which is about 3 percent of the DV. Talk about a well-rounded dinner!

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High-Fiber Macaroni and Cheese

High-Fiber Macaroni and Cheese

Alix Turoff Nutrition

Your mac and cheese doesn’t have to A) come from a box, or B) be the same over-the-top cheesy recipe your parents used to make for you as a kid. There is a healthier, less-processed take on this classic comfort food dish that your kids will still love.

In her recipe, Alix Turoff, RDN, who’s based in New York City, uses chicken broth to add moisture and flavor to the dish, she says, without packing on the calories.

Another secret weapon? Turoff swaps in a high-fiber pasta from the company Fiber Gourmet — to get in even more fiber per serving. (You’ll get 18 g of fiber per 2-ounce serving in the variety she uses, Turoff says, which is 64 percent your DV of fiber.)

Last, Turoff uses lowfat dairy, which makes the dish taste rich, and adds calcium and protein, without upping the fat and calorie count too much. You’ll get all the comfort from this nostalgic dish, without feeling weighed down by it.

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Summer Harvest Vegan Pasta

Summer Harvest Vegan Pasta

Dietitian Debbie

Summertime means fresh veggies abound, and that’s good news for your pasta meals. “This summer harvest vegan pasta is the perfect dish for a weeknight when you don’t have a lot of time to get dinner on the table, and have a drawer full of veggies that are about to turn — don’t let those veggies go to waste!” says Deborah Murphy, RDN, a registered dietitian in Chicago.

The recipe, by Murphy, yields four servings, and includes a hearty list of veggies to include, such as tomatoes, an orange bell pepper, zucchini, and spinach. “Pack in the fiber and nutrients in the sauce by sautéing all your chopped vegetables together in a large skillet and add in a cup of cooked white beans at the end for extra plant-based protein,” says Murphy.

The recipe calls for a cup of white beans and offers four servings. So per serving you’ll get 4 g of protein and 2.5 g of fiber (or 9 percent of the DV) from the beans alone, according to the USDA.

And if you’re not vegan, Murphy notes, you can always top the dish with Asiago or Parmesan cheese, for a little extra flavor punch!

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Lemony White Wine Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Lemony White Wine Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Once Upon a Pumpkin

You’ve likely heard about the zucchini noodle trend, and maybe you’ve even tried a “zoodle” dish or two. But this pasta recipe ingeniously includes both regular pasta and spiralized zucchini.

“I love this recipe with the addition of the zucchini noodles because it gives this pasta dish a nice texture and is a fun way to sneak more nutrition into it!” says recipe creator Maggie Michalczyk, RDN, a registered dietitian in Chicago and founder at Once Upon a Pumpkin.

Her recipe yields two servings, and includes two zucchinis spiralized — that means that each serving gives you 2 g of fiber, according to the USDA, which is 7 percent of your DV from the zucchinis alone (you’re also getting vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and folate). Add to that the fiber from the whole wheat pasta, and you’re practically a third of the way to your fiber goal for the day.

You may enjoy this meal in the warmer months, for dining al fresco. “The combination of garlic, lemon, and white wine gives it a really nice bright taste as well! It’s the perfect pasta dish for warmer weather,” Michalczyk says.

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Summer Gnocchi With Basil Brown Butter

Summer Gnocchi with Basil Brown Butter

Rachael Hartley Nutrition

Time to pick up a package of gnocchi or make it yourself, and then give this recipe a try. “This summery skillet of fluffy gnocchi and browned butter is also packed with produce,” says recipe maker Rachel Hartley, RDN, a registered dietitian in Columbia, South Carolina.

Gnocchi, or soft dough dumplings, come with ample fiber. A serving of ¾ cup of gnocchi has over 2 g of fiber, according to the USDA, which is 7 percent your DV.

The recipe, which serves two to four people (depending on how hungry you are, says Hartley), calls for kernels from two ears of fiber-filled corn, along with zucchini, onion, and cherry tomatoes. All those summertime vegetables up the fiber count for the meal as well. One medium ear of corn, for example, has 2 g of fiber, according to the USDA, which is 7 percent of your DV. You’re also getting folate and vitamin A from the corn, so the perks keep coming.

Plus, all of the colorful veggies make for a great visual presentation. Consider serving it when hosting friends outdoors.

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Veggie-Loaded Pasta Salad

Veggie-Loaded Pasta Salad

Sara Haas

If you need a trusty new pasta salad dish to bring to barbeques this season, you’re in luck. “I’m not a huge pasta fan, but I make an exception for a pasta that’s full of flavor and vegetables, like this one,” says recipe creator Sara Haas, RDN, who’s based in Chicago.

Some pasta salads can be heavy, but this variety is dressed with a Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and olive oil, making it light and refreshing. The dish, which serves eight (so each serving is 1 ⅔ cups) calls for a can of artichoke hearts. Not only does using canned hearts up the flavor — and simplicity — of the dish, but artichoke hearts are loaded with fiber (1.6 g per serving, according to the USDA, so almost 6 percent your DV), and also contain calcium and potassium.

The salad also comes loaded with baby spinach, bell peppers, and shredded carrots as well, making it a veggie-lover’s dream dish.


Baked Vegetable Macaroni Pie

Baked Vegetable Macaroni Pie

Maya Feller Nutrition

Nothing screams “comfort food” more than a baked macaroni pie. Even though this pasta dish sounds decadent — and it is — it’s also brimming with nutrients. That’s in part due to all the vegetables that come packed in this whole-wheat pasta bake from Maya Feller, RDN, a registered dietitian in Brooklyn, New York, and author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthy Life.

In it you’ll find roasted red peppers, celery, onions, and zucchini, plus chickpea powder for a hit of protein. Feller recommends pairing it with some leafy greens on the side to further up your veggie quotient.

The recipe serves six, and each serving is ¾ cup and has 8 g of fiber, according to Feller, which is 28 percent of your DV. Plus it has a whopping 24 g of protein, Feller notes — enough to keep you full and energized for the rest of your day.

Get the Recipe


One-Pot Loaded Veggie Pasta

One-Pot Loaded Veggie Pasta

The Oregon Dietitian

Busy week? Rest assured, this healthful, one-pot recipe has you covered.

“What makes this recipe so healthy is all the veggies. There are 9 different types of vegetables in this vegan pasta, and it’s a great way to clear out your fridge’s vegetable drawer!” says recipe maker Megan Byrd, RDN, who’s based in Albany, Oregon. “Use whatever veggies you have on hand!”  

The nine veggies she uses in the dish — which makes six servings — include Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Plus, you can swap in any veggies based on what’s in your fridge. Just don’t skip the tomatoes, which, she says, are key to the flavor and visual presentation!

From all these veggies, you’re also getting loads of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and so many more. Just from the kale you’re banking 29 micrograms per serving of vitamin K, according to the USDA, which is 24 percent your DV, making this dish an excellent source of the nutrient. The NIH notes vitamin A plays a role in immunity, vision, and reproductive health, while vitamin K is crucial for helping with blood clotting and bone metabolism.

When you make this recipe, notes Byrd, don’t worry if it seems like too many vegetables. “The vegetables cook down enough and the pasta swells up,” she says on her blog, The Oregonian Dietitian.

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