Recipe: Baked Banza Pasta
Pasta has a way of making me happy and since I discovered Banza pasta I’m happier than ever. The reason I love Banza pasta is actually because of its ingredients. If you didn’t know, this brand of pasta is actually made out of chickpea flour; making it much higher in protein and fiber than your traditional pasta. Because it’s higher in fiber and protein it keeps you full and satisfied for longer! It’s also the main reason why you’ll always find a box in my pantry. But let’s talk about the good stuff, how I used it to make this delicious baked pasta dish!
What started out as an easy lunch, quickly turned into something a bit more elevated. I had already made my favorite veggie + turkey bolognese sauce and was just going to reheat and toss it with Banza linguini when I got a random craving for baked ziti! I ended up mixing the sauce and pasta together (pictured above) and instead of eating it like that, which would have also been delish, I divided the mixture into two dishes, topped them with with some breadcrumbs and parm and VOILA I created my own healthy version of a baked ziti!
I’m all about healthy meals, but only if they look and taste as good as they are for you, and this new recipe does just that! The sauce is packed with veggies and lean protein, while the pasta is a great complex carb option. Plus a little cheese and sprinkle of bread crumbs never hurt anyone. Remember, #balance baby #balance. Check out how to make this new recipe below and give it a try for your next date night…or better yet, girls night!
Baked Banza Pasta
1 Box Banza Linguini
1 LB Lean Ground Turkey
1 Diced Carrot
2 Diced Celery Stalks
1/2 Diced Yellow Onion
3 Chopped Garlic Cloves
1 Bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1/2 Container Zucchini Noodles
1 Jar Favorite Tomato Sauce (watch out for hidden sugar!)
1 Can No Salt Added Tomato Sauce (adds a little extra liquid)
2 Tblsp Chopped Parsley
2 Tblsp Grated Parmesan
2 Tblsp Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
1 Tsp Each Of: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning (*As you’re making the sauce feel free to add more seasonings depending on your tastes)
Heat oven to 400F
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large saute pan. Add diced onion and garlic and let brown for 2-3 minutes. Then add in diced celery and carrot and cook till all veggies are brown.
Add turkey meat to the veggie mixture and break the meat up with the vegetables. Cook the turkey until it also begins to brown, draining any excess fat.
Once the meat is cooked, add in the entire bag of frozen mixed vegetables, zucchini noodles. tomato sauce and seasonings. Combine and let simmer for 20-25 mins.
While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in 1/2 box of banza pasta (if making this for 4 people boil the entire box) Cook the pasta for about 10-12 mins. Make sure you keep the pasta al dente (little chew to it) as the pasta will continue cooking in the oven and you don’t want it to turn to mush!
Once the pasta is cooked and the sauce has simmered, add the pasta to the sauce and combine. Divide the pasta mixture into 2 (or 4) small oven safe dishes and top each with parm, breadcrumbs, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake the dishes for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese slightly browns and bubbles.
Serve this with a side caesar salad and a glass of red wine and you’re good to go!
*This is also a great meal prep dish! Store the sauce and pasta separately in air tight containers in the fridge, then all you need to do is portion, reheat and serve for a tasty weeknight dinner.