These pasta dishes are great to prepare for dinner because they are easy, healthy and quick. The best part, is that the recipes are kid- friendly. Not only do kids love these pasta meals, but because they’re Prep-Free, with no cutting or chopping required, they can easily help with preparing one or all of the following recipes. And they’re good for them too! Enjoy these great pasta recipes!
1) Macs and Creamed Spinach
A GREAT way to get kids to eat spinach!
Two 9-ounce packages of creamed spinach ( I use Seabrook Farms brand)
One pound uncooked elbow macaroni or other small pasta
Dash garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
A few drops of olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Boil one medium pot of water. Begin cooking the creamed spinach according to package directions in the microwave. Add pasta to the boiling water. Time it so that the spinach and macaroni are ready at about the same time. If spinach is cooked before the pasta, remove the spinach from its plastic pouch into a serving bowl to which you will add the pasta when ready. Toss the drained pasta and spinach, add the garlic powder and olive oil. Toss again and top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
2) Macs and Beans
This recipe is a cinch, and is a good source of protein and fiber. Choose the brand of beans with the lowest sugar content. I use Campbells with only 8 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup.
One pound of uncooked elbow macaroni
Two 15.75 ounce cans of Campbells Pork & Beans.
Cook pasta according to box directions. While pasta cooks, place beans in a large serving bowl and heat in the microwave. Drain pasta well and toss into the bowl with the warmed beans. Add come garlic powder and about a teaspoon of olive oil. Toss and serve. (A few cooked turkey franks sliced up and added in, entices the kids all the more. )
3) Easiest Cheesiest Macs
SERVES 6 to 8
1 pound uncooked elbow pasta
2 tablespoons low-fat butter or margarine
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper (optional)
¼ cup flour
2 ½ cups low-fat milk
One 2-cup package of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup low-fat sour cream
Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce by mixing the butter, mustard, salt, pepper and flour together in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Add the milk and stir with whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and add the shredded cheese. Stir to combine. Drain pasta well and place into a large bowl. Add the cheese sauce, then add the sour cream and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.
Note: If dairy is a dietary problem – substitute the milk with unsweetened almond milk, the cheese with soy or rice shredded cheese and a vegetarian mock sour cream. If gluten-free foods are required, these recipes work well with rice or corn pasta too. Found at most health food stores.