Can a pasta dinner be fast, cheap, and healthy all at the same time? Absolutely. The key is to make wholesome swaps that won't break the bank, like using ground turkey instead of ground beef or pork, loading up the dish with leafy greens, or finally giving whole-wheat pasta a chance. These easy changes can make your weeknight pasta dinner healthier for the whole family, but no less tasty. Here are 10 recipes that prove it.
Pasta bakes tend to be decadent, luxurious affairs, but this one is light and wholesome. That's thanks to it being made creamy with yogurt and low-fat milk instead of the usual heavy cream.
Ground turkey is a wholesome choice for this quick meat sauce, as it's leaner than ground beef or pork. Here it's given rich flavor, thanks to a splash of red wine and balsamic vinegar in the sauce.
Although edamame and roasted almonds might not be common additions to pasta, they give the dish a rich, affordable meatless protein boost while also providing crunch and color.
Fully cooked chicken sausage is not only a leaner choice than pork sausage, but it also allows for this one-dish meal to come together in next to no time. You can find chicken sausage at nearly every grocery store — from Costco to Trader Joe's — and at every price point.
Whole-wheat pasta and a slew of leafy greens make this pasta casserole a healthy pick for a weeknight meal. It's also made creamy with ricotta, instead of cream, which is lower in fat but just as flavorful.
This easy skillet dinner is packed with ground turkey, Swiss chard, and tomatoes, and just speckled with penne pasta, making it automatically feel like a wholesome win.
Yogurt strikes again in this unique pasta dish, where it makes for a creamy, protein-rich sauce, along with nutty tahini. Nigella seeds might not be a common member of your pantry, and that's OK because they can easily be skipped here.
What makes this veggie-packed pasta so weeknight-friendly is that is relies on leftover roasted Brussels sprouts.
Whole-wheat spaghetti isn't just a fiber-rich choice for this pasta dish — it's also a smart choice for the sauce, as the strong flavor of the parsley pesto actually pairs well with the nutty flavor of the pasta.
Yes, this pasta really does come together in 10 minutes. It's nothing but a simple, wholesome mix of whole-wheat spaghetti, lots of chopped, fresh tomatoes, and plenty of fresh herbs and garlic.