The Simplest, Most Delicious Protein-Packed Pasta Recipes

Posted: January 27, 2022 11:12 am

The best part about pasta is that there are many different shapes and types to choose from. And the even better news is that it’s a great way to sneak vegetables into a meal!

We put together this list of our favorite recipes for baked pasta dishes using ingredients from your well-stocked kitchen cupboards so that you can have delicious food anytime, anywhere.

1. Easy Baked Ziti

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Baked Ziti is a staple in the American-Italian household, but did you know it’s easy to make a low-carb version? This recipe uses shirataki noodles in the traditional high-carb, high-calorie penne rigate pasta. Shirataki noodles are made from Konjac root (a root vegetable), naturally low in carbs and calories. Each serving of this dish has just 9 grams of net carbs!

Ingredients
-16oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
-8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 package of shirataki fettuccine noodles
-1 cup of fresh spinach leaves, chopped
-4oz chicken breast, cooked and diced

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Boil water in a medium pot and add the shirataki noodles. Cook for 2 minutes, drain, and set aside. In a saucepot, add the marinara sauce. Add the spinach and chicken and cook until heated through. Place 3 noodles in the dish. Top with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cups of sauce, 1 tablespoon of cooked spinach, and all chicken. Repeat for every four servings.

2. Baked Fusilli with Artichokes and Spinach

This recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner or an easy weeknight side dish. It comes together in just 30 minutes and is healthier than most pasta dishes. It’s vegan, low carb, and keto, so you can serve it to almost anyone!

Ingredients:
-1 cup of dry fusilli pasta (or your favorite kind boiled until al dente and drained)
-1 can of artichoke hearts (14oz), drained and chopped
-3 cups of fresh spinach leaves, chopped
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, shredded
-Salt & pepper to taste*note this is not a salty dish on it.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Add the pasta, chopped artichokes, and spinach to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the oil parmesan cheese and stir until coated. Pour into the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Serve warm!

3. Pepperoni and Mozzarella Baked Pasta

There’s nothing not to love about this dish! It has a layer of pepperoni, a layer of cheese, and a creamy marinara sauce. It’s the perfect thing to throw together when you’re having people over for dinner or are looking for a filling meal after a long day at work.

Ingredients:

-1 package of yolk-free no-curl lasagna noodles (12oz)
-1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (24oz)
-1 package of pepperoni, chopped (21oz) * you can use half the bag to cut down on calories and fat, but it’s delicious with the whole thing!
-8oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles per package instructions. Add the cooked noodles, chopped pepperoni, and shredded mozzarella cheese in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the jar of marinara sauce and stir to blend. Divide the mixture evenly between two 9 x 13 baking dishes. Cover with foil and bake for 25-35 minutes (until bubbly!).

4. Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Broth

This recipe keeps you feeling full without excessive calories from carbs or fat. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner and suitable for a special occasion.

Ingredients:
-12oz bag of rigatoni pasta (or rigatoni noodles)
-4 pieces of chicken breast, cooked and diced (about 3oz each)
-1 cup of fresh spinach leaves, chopped (or 1/2 cup of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained)
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil*note this is not a salty dish on it.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cook rigatoni noodles per package instructions. Add the cooked noodles, diced chicken, and spinach leaves to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the oil and stir until coated. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, or until bubbly!

5. Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli

This recipe is the perfect weeknight meal for those nights when you are short on time but still want to eat something delicious. It tastes as it came from a chef in a fancy Italian restaurant, but it’s all made in your own home. You can serve it to the company or make enough for a family of four and have leftovers the next day!

Ingredients:

-2 boxes of cooked yolk free no-curl lasagna noodles (12oz each) *not cooked
-2 cups of fresh broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces *try to buy pre-frozen and thaw before using. Fresh broccoli can be difficult to cook in large chunks all at once. If you follow this method, you will get better consistency in texture.

-1 jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce (24oz)
-4oz chicken breast, cooked and diced *you can add more or less depending on your preference.

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook noodles per box instructions. Add the cooked noodles, chopped broccoli, and chicken breast to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the jar of Alfredo sauce and stir to blend. Place pasta mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes covered, then another 10-15 minutes uncovered.

6. Monterey Chicken Pasta Bake

This recipe is a twist on a classic! Thanks to the chicken, it’s incredibly easy to make, only takes one pan, and it’s loaded with protein.

Ingredients:
-1 box of cooked yolk-free no-curl lasagna noodles (12oz) *not cooked*if you don’t have any on hand, you can use whole wheat pasta or egg noodles instead.
-1/2 cup of almond milk*this this is optional but great for the thickness.
-4oz of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
-12oz chicken breast, cooked and diced
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp garlic, minced
-Zest from one lemon (about 1 tsp)
-Zest from one orange (about 1 tsp)
-Salt & pepper to taste*note this is not a salty dish on it.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Cook lasagna noodles per box instructions, drain, and set aside. Add the cooked noodles, shredded cheese, cooked chicken breast, and almond milk to a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while mixing to blend in thoroughly. Once incorporated, pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the orange zest and lemon zest, as well as some salt & pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly!

7. Baked Ziti with Meatball

This dish has all your favorite Italian flavors wrapped into one easy-to-make, low-calorie meal. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner that takes little effort and even less time.

Ingredients:
-1 box of yolk-free no-curl lasagna noodles (12oz) *not cooked*if you don’t have any on hand, you can use whole wheat pasta or egg noodles instead.
-1 jar of marinara sauce (24oz)
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil* this is not a salty dish on it.
-2 tbsp dried oregano
-1 package of frozen meatballs (24oz) *you can also use fresh meatballs if you prefer. Just cook and chop them up before adding to the dish.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles per box instructions. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked noodles, chopped frozen meatballs, jar of marinara sauce, and dried oregano. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir to blend. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly!

8. Vegetable-Stuffed Manicotti

This recipe is a vegetarian twist on the classic Italian dish. It’s decadent and delicious, yet so easy to make. You’ll feel like you are eating at an Italian restaurant without the enormous calorie count!

Ingredients:
-1 box of manicotti noodles (10oz) *not cooked*if you don’t have any on hand, you can use yolk-free no-curl lasagna noodles or egg noodles instead.
-1 jar of marinara sauce (24oz)
-1 box frozen spinach, cooked & drained* you can use fresh spinach if you wish. Just cook and drain.
-1 package of frozen cheese ravioli (12oz) *you can also use egg noodles instead. They will give it a creamier texture. If you opt for egg noodles, make sure they are no yolk.
-1/2 cup of fresh spinach leaves, chopped (or 1/2 cup of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained)
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil* this is not a salty dish on it.
-Salt & pepper to taste*note this is not a salty dish on it.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook manicotti noodles per package instructions. Add the cooked noodles, chopped frozen spinach, and cheese ravioli in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the marinara sauce and stir to blend. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the spinach leaves and extra virgin olive oil. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly!

9. Pasta Fagioli Casserole

This dish is loaded with Italian flavors, and it’s sure to please. It comes together in one pan and can be made in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients:
-1 box of yolk-free no-curl lasagna noodles (10oz) *not cooked*if you don’t have any on hand, you can use egg noodles instead. However, the texture would be a little off. Also, the color will be slightly different due to the lack of eggs.
-1 jar of marinara sauce (24oz)
-1 cup of zucchini, chopped into 1inch pieces
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil* this is not a salty dish on it.
-2 tsp garlic, minced
-Salt & pepper to taste*note this is not a salty dish on it.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles per box instructions. Drain and set aside. Add zucchini, chopped garlic, a jar of marinara sauce, and drained lasagna noodles in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while mixing to blend in thoroughly. Once incorporated, pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly!

10. Italian Sausage Pasta Bake

This dish is an easy version of an Italian favorite. It’s packed with carrots, peppers, onion, and ground meat, so it’s sure to fill you up.

Ingredients:
-1 box of yolk-free no-curl lasagna noodles (10oz) *not cooked*if you don’t have any on hand, you can use whole wheat pasta or egg noodles instead. However, the texture would be a little off. Also, the color will be slightly different due to the lack of eggs.
-1 jar of marinara sauce (24oz)
-1 package of precooked, sliced turkey sausage (about 8oz) *you can also use ground turkey if desired. Just brown it before adding it to the dish.
-1 medium onion, chopped
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil* this is not a salty dish on it.
-2 tsp garlic, minced
-Salt & pepper to taste*note this is not a salty dish on it.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles per box instructions. Drain and set aside. Add the cooked lasagna noodles, turkey sausage, and chopped onion to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the jar of marinara sauce and stir to blend. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly!

In conclusion, you can’t go wrong with these baked pasta recipes! They are easy to make and tastes delicious.

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