Hearty Pasta Dinners for the Whole Family
The lighter side of pasta
If kids and adults can agree on one thing, it's their love for pasta. However, some pastas can pack in more calories than you—or your children—need. Teach your kids to like lighter versions of pasta (at the correct portion sizes) with these five mouthwatering recipes.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Make a marinara masterpiece with this crowd-pleasing recipe. The meatballs have a hearty, savory taste, but they use a combination or turkey sausage and lean ground sirloin that keeps the dish under 300 calories per serving. Plus, it packs over 7 grams of iron, which is especially important for teenage girls.
Try this recipe: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Greek Chicken With Angel Hair Pasta
Your kids will gobble up this delicious Greek pasta dish without realizing all the antioxidant-rich bell peppers and tomatoes in the bowl. Ready in about 35 minutes, this recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner. It is filling and full of rich feta cheese and traditional Greek spices.
Try this recipe: Greek Chicken With Angel Hair Pasta
Easy Meatless Manicotti
Switch up the usual mac 'n' cheese routine with this equally cheesy, but less fattening recipe. The cheese gives you 30% of the recommended dietary amount (RDA) of calcium for children ages 9–13 and swapping full-fat mozzarella for a part-skim milk variety sheds 15 grams of fat. Worried about a lack of veggies? Don't fret, lurking beneath the layers of cheese and pasta is plenty of fiber-rich spinach.
Try this recipe: Easy Meatless Manicotti
This recipe takes a simple linguine recipe and kicks it up a notch with a sprinkle of bacon bits—yes, bacon bits! Using a portion-controlled amount adds a savory flavor that complements the buttery olive oil and pungent garlic, without an excess of saturated fat. Though tomatoes are included in the recipe, sneak in some veggies by serving up a side of steamed green beans.
Try this recipe: Bacon-Tomato Linguine
Smoked Salmon and Farfalle in Lemon Cream Sauce
It's hard to get kids to eat seafood, so try slipping some omega-3-rich salmon into this creamy pasta. Because the salmon is smoked, it has less of that "fishy" taste and will blend well with the sour cream-based sauce. Serve it with green peas or substitute another veggie that your kids enjoy.
Try this recipe: Smoked Salmon and Farfalle in Lemon Cream Sauce