TULSA, Okla. — A healthy pasta bake is yet another way to incorporate more vegetables, grains and beans into your diet.
Using whole-grain pasta, a jar of tomato pasta sauce, frozen veggies, and canned beans, you can create a healthy, high-fiber comfort food meal for just a few dollars and minimal effort. You may even have several of these ingredients already stocked in your freezer or pantry. Experiment with different shapes and types of whole grain of pasta, different types of beans, and various veggies.
Pasta sauces can have added fats and sugars, so look for options with 50 calories or less per serving and choose the lowest sodium option.
- 1 pound whole grain pasta* (rotini or bow-tie would work great) (try wheat, brown rice, barley, oat, spelt, quinoa or even lentil, chickpea if you are looking for grain-free pasta.)
- 2 cans chickpeas or other beans of choice (cannellini, kidney, Northern, etc.), drained and rinsed
- 2 28-ounce cans crushed or petite diced tomatoes (tomato puree or whole plum tomatoes would also work well)
- 1 tablespoon Italian herb blend
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 16-ounce package frozen or fresh spinach, kale, or other hearty green
- Preheat oven to 375˚ and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook pasta according to package directions BUT reduce cooking time by about 2 minutes and immediately rinse with cold water, drain well and set aside. Gluten-free pasta may be sticky so don’t let it sit long.
- Pour cooked pasta into greased baking dish.
- Add beans, tomato product, herbs, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and greens. Gently stir with a fork. It’s ok if it’s not completely mixed.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly around the edges.
Tools and equipment: spoon/spatula, fork, can opener, oven-proof baking dish, saucepan, measuring cups, measuring spoons, oven.
Substitutions and additions: try various types of whole grain pasta, various types of beans, different types of canned tomatoes, and different types of fresh or frozen greens. Also try adding lentils and/or minced mushrooms to the pan to mimic ground beef. Add bell peppers, zucchini or yellow squash, eggplant, or other favorite vegetables to change up your menu!
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