Use what you already have in your pantry, fridge, or freezer to make this resourceful meal: Lentil Pasta Primavera!
It’s that time of year for spring cleaning! This year, Will and I are really learning the true meaning of “spring cleaning” as we prepare for the big move to our first house. Moving day is Saturday, and even though I’d like to say we are ready, I think we might be far from it! But I’m not worried…our excitement will fuel us through a few late nights of packing.
Getting ready for our move has been a great way to look through our cabinets, fridge, and freezer and use up whatever we have. That’s why I was so pleased to see that this month’s Recipe Redux challenged us to “spring clean” our kitchens, and make a recipe without going to the grocery store and using at least three ingredients we already have.
I’ve been a fan of making “fridge forage” or “pantry clean-out” recipes for pretty much all of my adult life, so this theme was right down my alley. One of my signature pantry dishes is pasta with vegetables and a simple homemade sauce. I used to eat this all the time in grad school, but as I’ve learned more about nutrition and balanced eating, I’ve upgraded my go-to pasta recipe.
For one, I try to add some source of protein to my makeshift pastas, to help me feel more full and satisfied. Typically I’ll add some beans or leftover shredded chicken that we keep in the freezer. But this week I was so happy to find that I had a pack of lentil pasta from Trader Joe’s just waiting to be used for this recipe! This pasta has 14 grams of protein in one serving and is loaded with fiber (3 grams per serving). It’s incredibly satisfying and packs more nutrition than most other pastas.
Ingredients in Lentil Pasta Primavera
If you want to get the TJ’s lentil pasta for this recipe, go for it! But you can definitely substitute any other pasta you have on hand. The other ingredients in this recipe include:
- Frozen vegetables (I used broccoli and peas, but any veg would work)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
That’s it! One of the best things about making meals with ingredients you already have on hand is that you get to be a little creative, so feel free to add some other foods! Beans, leftover spinach or kale, and fresh herbs that are about to go bad would be great additions. Food waste, begone!
Wait wait, I can’t give you the recipe without talking about the delicious sauce first! Seriously, the sauce is sooo tasty…but it only has three ingredients.
To make it, you just need to add a little olive oil to a skillet and cook crushed garlic and oregano for a couple minutes before adding the diced tomatoes. Bring everything to a simmer, and there you go! Ok, now I’ll give you the complete recipe.
For other easy weeknight meals, check out:
- One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Brown Rice Risotto
- Radish and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema
- Arugula Parmesan Pita Pizzas
Lentil Pasta Primavera with Frozen Vegetables
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add the lentil pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes or according to package instructions. A few minutes into the pasta cooking, add the frozen broccoli and peas to the pot to soften and cook.
- While the pasta and veggies are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, garlic, and oregano and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices and let everything simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- You can leave the pasta sauce as "chunky" or transfer it to a blender to blend into a smooth sauce.
- Drain the pasta and veggies in a colander and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and mix until everything is coated.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Happy spring cleaning! Be sure to check out the other Recipe Redux creations using the link below.