My Go-To Pasta Recipes
If you’ve followed me for a while on social media, you might already know that I love pasta!
There are SO many different delicious meals you can make with pasta — and they can be healthy too!
Why you should include pasta in your diet
Pasta is a really versatile ingredient to use in your cooking, and it’s also a great source of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are one of the macronutrients you need to have a healthy, balanced diet — along with protein and fats. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals you typically need in much smaller amounts, and these may also be found in more nutritious macros such as whole grain pasta.
Carbs are a great source of energy, which should give you fuel for your day-to-day activities as well as your workouts. You can use pasta as a base for a meal with lots of vegetables — these additional serves of vegetables may help ensure you’re getting enough nutrition for your daily needs.
How to choose a healthy pasta
Before you get busy in the kitchen, it’s worth figuring out which pasta you want to use in your cooking.
The good news? Pasta can be healthy. But there’s a catch — not all carbohydrates are created equal!
If you are looking for pasta with greater nutritional value, try whole grain wheat or spelt varieties — brown rice pasta is a good option if you are gluten free.
Bean based pasta may have more protein than other types of pasta, as well as more fibre.
Filled pasta, such as ravioli, can be included in a balanced diet, but opting for vegetable-based fillings over meat and cheese will make it a healthier choice.
My favourite pasta recipes
When I eat with my family we usually have a few dishes to share on the table. One of those share plates will often be pasta — my family all love it too!
If you like a pasta bake, you should try this amazing mac and cheese recipe! It’s a healthy take on an old favourite and trust me, it tastes amazing!
Another dish that is easy to make is my broccoli and cauliflower pasta bake — it’s SO good and you can use different vegetables depending on what you have available.
A family favourite is my stuffed pasta shells recipe. It looks so good when served but tastes even better. Try it with a fresh green salad — they go so well together!
Another dish I really like is gnocchi. I actually don’t like potatoes (weird I know!) but for some reason I still like gnocchi even though its main ingredient is potato. If you want to mix it up a little, try this amazing sweet potato gnocchi recipe.
One of the reasons sweet potatoes make a great swap for regular potatoes in this recipe is because they are really nutritious. Sweet potatoes are also a long-lasting food which is always handy — they can keep for about a month if you store them in your fridge.
How to use pasta in salads
One of my favourite healthy lunch recipes is tuna salad, which I usually make using a combination of tuna, fresh herbs (basil or coriander/cilantro), and chopped tomato, peppers and red onion. You can easily mix and match with whatever vegetables you have available.
It is a really quick tuna recipe, and I often add brown rice to make it more filling, but you can also try it with pasta — try adding whole wheat spirals instead! It goes really well with a simple dressing of olive oil, dried oregano, balsamic vinegar, salt and cracked pepper.
Another amazing lunch idea is my Mediterranean pasta salad — I love to use whole wheat or spelt pasta for this one. All you need is tomatoes, olives, capsicum (bell pepper), red onion, fresh basil and some feta cheese. Cook the pasta, add the fresh ingredients and you’re good to go. If you want to add dressing, try a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, crushed garlic and salt and pepper. It’s really simple and SO good!
My delicious homemade pasta sauces
While pasta can be part of a nutritious, balanced diet, what you put on your pasta deserves some thought too!
If you are having pasta for lunch or dinner, ideally you would team it with a delicious home-made healthy sauce.
I have a few recipes that are a wholesome take on favourite pasta toppings — they are all vegetarian recipes too!
Are you a fan of pesto? Try my basil and walnut pesto recipe. You can also mix it up by adding spinach or kale to give it an extra healthy boost. It’s also great to use as a dip!
If you want a classic, you can make my tomato pasta sauce recipe. It goes really well with lots of different types of pasta, and you can freeze it for later. You can also use it as a base when making a meat sauce for pasta.
If you are a fan of Alfredo pasta sauce, this recipe is for you! It’s a healthy twist on the creamy sauce, and is really fast and easy to make — top with sauteed mushrooms for an extra serve of vegetables. You can also keep this sauce in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Now is the time to get creative in the kitchen!
Pasta is such a great pantry staple to have on hand, and it can be a healthy option too. If you have time, you could make a pasta bake, but you can also create fast, delicious dishes with pasta if you want a quick meal.
To make sure you’re getting the best nutrition from your dish, all you need to do is choose your pasta wisely, and add extra vegetables to your sauce or have a salad on the side — get creative!
What’s your favourite pasta dish? Let me know in the comments below!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.