Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to meal prep or are too hungry when you get home from work to cook up a meal? Me too! Lately, I have been loving big whole wheat pasta dishes. They are simple to make, are quick, and you can keep mixing up the dishes with different sauces and/or veggies!
I have been wanting to make something that is easy with minimal ingredients to take to work with me for lunches. Making a big batch of this dish saves me time and makes meal prep easy.
For this dish, you can pick any type of veggies you want and love: zucchini, broccoli, carrots, peppers, etc. I do recommend adding at least two different veggies into the dish to help spread the nutrient love and to get a mixture of vegetables and fiber into your day. You can also pick your favorite sauce to add to the pasta, I personally always go for the classic red sauces with garlic or mushroom. We are pressed for time people, so it is okay to use a pre-made sauce from the grocery store instead of making your own. Just make sure to keep a look out for the pesky sodium and choose a sauce that has a low sodium content. Another great addition to a big batch pasta dish, is a protein source like ground turkey, chicken, or shrimp. Once you have picked all your favorite pasta toppings and sauce, you can begin to create this easy, time saving meal for the week!
For this particular pasta recipe, I choose a penne whole grain pasta and picked spinach, zucchini, red bell peppers and onions for my vegetables, and ground chicken for my protein.
1 box penne whole wheat pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup spinach
2-3 large zucchinis, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 package of ground chicken
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 cups low sodium marinara sauce (if you like it extra saucey, add up to two cups)
To Make: Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, chop up all your veggies. Drizzle olive oil into a medium skillet over medium heat, add onions and cook until translucent. Add the zucchini and red bell peppers and saute for 5-10 min. Add spinach at the very end and stir in skillet to cook and wilt beautifully. Set aside. In another pan, drizzle again with olive oil and over medium heat, place in ground chicken until fully cooked through about 8-10 min. (no pink to be seen!). Season with a pinch of sea salt, pepper, dried basil and oregano.
Once everything is cooked, and the pasta has been strained, place pasta back in large pot and have on medium heat. Add the cooked veggies and ground chicken, and pour in sauce. Mix well. Leave on stove for as long as needed to heat up sauce (about 5 minutes). Eat a serving now! Or turn off heat and store in a sealed Tupperware container and place in fridge!
This dish can be mixed up so easy! A versatile dish! Works well for whatever veggies you may have currently in your fridge and this dish is very budget friendly! Keep it in mind for those busy weeks ahead where you know you won’t have too much time to cook. And if you are planning on taking this dish to work with you every day for a week (hello, me), just ignore all the questions from coworkers asking you only eat pasta… No judgement here, folks. Enjoy!