The BEST Healthy Pasta Casserole!

This was supposed to be my birthday lasagna… and it turned into an amazing birthday pasta casserole because all 3 of my grocery stores didn’t have brown rice lasagna noodles! (Gluten free) This is a great, simple dish to prepare for a large group, or, great for meal prep! You can totally put this in the freezer in individual servings. Great for gluten free or vegetarian guests! A healthier version of lasagna for sure. Feel free to substitute the pasta for lasagna! I made it in layers so it can easily be switched!

For 12-16 servings, you’ll need these ingredients. Feel free to chop them in half!

36 oz pasta

16 oz raw spinach

1 egg

16 oz of ricotta

1/2 tsp salt/pepper

1 onion

3 green squash

4 cups mozzarella

Handful of fresh basil

48 oz tomato sauce

Directions:

  1. Put a large pot of water up to boil for pasta. In another pan, heat up the olive oil and saute the spinach.
  2. Once it has cooked down, you need to drain the liquid. Put the spinach in a colander and use a spatula to  squeeze it out.
  3. In a bowl, beat an egg, add the ricotta cheese and mix together.
  4. Add the spinach, salt and pepper, and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. When your water boils, add the pasta and cook al dente.
  6. Cut up the opinions, add olive oil and saute in the same skillet you used to cook the spinach.
  7. Slice your zucchini thin and saute with the onions.
  8. When your pasta is al dente, drain it and put back in the pot. Make sure to add a bit of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.
  9. Once the zucchini has cooked down, add in the sauce. Stir together and cook for a few minutes
  10. Now we build. First layer is 1/3 of the pasta, next is the sauce, fresh basil, half of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella, and half of the zucchini.

casserole 1

  1. Then another layer of pasta, sauce, basil, the rest of the ricotta, 1/3 of the mozzarella, and the rest of the zucchini. Top it off with pasta, sauce and the rest of the mozz.
  2. Add some fresh black pepper to the top and cover the tray with tin foil.
  3. Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, take the tin foil off and bake for another 10 minutes.
  4. Then, put the broiler on high to get the cheese toasty, leaving the oven open a bit so you can watch it. It will only take a minute or two.
  5. casserole 2
  6. Once it comes out, let it sit for a few minutes before cutting.

BOOM! Everyone will love it!!

casserole 3

Let me know how it comes out and if you made any substitutions!

Make it a great week,

Stephanie

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Creamy Chicken Asparagus Pasta (ONE POT!)

Yes, that’s right! Another one pot meal! From prep to fully cooked and on the table in 20 minutes.

2 lbs diced chicken
1 bunch asparagus
1 lb pasta (use healthier options like whole wheat, gluten free, or brown rice pasta)
5 cups water (some or all can be substituted with broth)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup milk or cream (can do 1/2 milk, 1/2 cream, etc)
1/3 cup grated cheese (your choice)

Ready? Here we go!

1. Dice the chicken and crush the garlic.

2. Place EVERY INGREDIENT in the pot. Yes, even the raw chicken and the uncooked pasta. If you want, you don’t have to make all 5 cups of liquid be water, you can substitute some, or all, for chicken broth!

*If you are dairy free, leave out the milk/cream and cheese, just add a little olive oil to the pot.

*If you want to be healthier, use all milk. The sauce just won’t be as thick. On the other hand, if you are looking for a splurge meal, use all heavy cream and add more cheese! Mmm, creamy.

3. It will be hard to have all of the food under the liquid at first, so make sure you stir every once in a while. Once it boils, cover and turn down the heat a little bit, just so that it’s not on a rapid boil. Do stir once or twice before it’s finished. Should take about 10 minutes for the pasta to be ready. Tada!

Now, you may think it’s a lot of chicken and asparagus. It’s actually not though, pasta dishes SHOULD have more protein and veggies than carbs 🙂 Come on, it’s a new year… I’ll help you make healthier choices that are STILL delicious!

Enjoy!
Stephanie