Health & Food

One-Pot Cheesy Pasta Bake

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Everyone has that one dish that they remember their mom or dad (or grandparents) always making when they were little.  I’m beginning to accept the fact that today’s recipe will be the one my kids think about with regards to their mother.  I probably make it twice a month because it’s just so easy.  Not just that, but my kids actually eat it.  I also like it because it’s cheesy and rich but has some bonus nutrition; fiber and vitamins/minerals from lentils and spinach! The last time I made this I had to cut Cameron off because I was afraid he was going to explode.  This never happens, he typically eats like a bird. So, I think that says something the kid-approval factor.

One-Pot Cheesy Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz. 90% lean ground beef
  • ¾ tsp. oregeno
  • 1¼ cups chicken stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1¾ cups unsalted crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. uncooked lentil penne **
  • 3 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, shredded or sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler to high. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add beef and oregano; cook for 3 minutes (or until no longer pink), and stir to crumble.
  2. Add stock, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and pasta, stir to combine and submerge the pasta in juices; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 to 13 minutes (or until pasta is cooked to your desired texture), being sure to stir every couple minutes.
  3. Stir in spinach. Sprinkle cheese over pasta mixture. Place pan in oven; broil 2 minutes (or until cheese melts and begins to brown).
  4. Serve warm.

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAP diet swap the lentil pasta for a rice based gluten free pasta.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1.5 cups Calories: 450 Fat: 16g Saturated fat: 5.5g Carbohydrates: 50g Fiber: 11g Protein: 35g

As mentioned in the recipe you don’t have to use lentil past, but it’s so pretty (right??). And, I’m all about carbs with a purpose, so lentil pasta is one of my new favorite cooking ingredients.  As far as my IBS is concerned, it doesn’t tend to give me side effects.  Honestly when I eat pasta I stick to 1/2-3/4 cup max, so this is probably why I can handle the lentil pasta.  What do you think about lentil pasta?

Make sure to fully submerge the pasta into the broth and tomato before covering it to simmer, and of course be sure to stir occasionally while simmering (or else your pans will get pasta stuck on them, trust me, it happened to me).

The end photo isn’t beautiful, but the taste of this recipe is what makes it blog-worthy. I typically use fresh mozzarella but you could also use shredded from the bag, whatever floats your boat.

Do you have a favorite one-pot dish?  Speaking of one-pot dishes, slow-cooker season is right around the corner!

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