We’re in full on back-to-school mode over here – and that also means we’re back on the meal-prep train. If summer is busy, I’m inclined to say fall is even busier. There’s something about the leaves beginning to change colors and the cooler mornings and nights that kind of spurs on the feeling of reset, especially when it comes to prioritizing healthy habits. But with mornings flying by in a crazy rush to get everyone out the door in (mostly) one piece and the rest of the day focused on work, work, work, all I want is our evenings to be full of rest, relaxation, and soaking up the gorgeous fall weather before winter arrives.
This means that dinner needs to be something I can get on the kitchen table in no time – and if I can prep it beforehand, even better! I’m always on the hunt for tasty meals that will last throughout the week, but don’t require a ton of effort. And as much as I love an amazing culinary experience as the next foodie – sometimes a gal just wants to EAT.
That’s why I absolutely rely on “staple” recipes such as this High-Protein Italian Pasta Bake. I’ve heard it from you guys time and again (and experienced it myself) – hitting your daily protein goal is hard with a capital H. Protein is an essential building block for our bodies, but can be difficult to fit enough in, especially if you’re super busy. It’s fairly easy to find on-the-go carb and fat-based snacks, but coming across a piece of grilled chicken at a convenience store is a bit harder (and, truthfully, not very appealing). That’s why I try to incorporate ways to bump up this super important macronutrient in traditionally lower-protein meals to get in extra servings.
You’re probably thinking that a pasta dish can’t possibly be considered high-protein, but believe me, this one is – clocking in at a whopping 32 grams per serving! It’s made with Banza’s high-protein and gluten-free chickpea-based pasta, which has an average of 25 grams of protein (compared to the standard 13 grams), almost 20% less carbs, and 10 more grams of fiber than standard pasta. Pair that with delicious ground beef and mozzarella cheese – and you’ve got a super easy and tasty way to hit your daily protein goals!
This dish is ridiculously quick to prepare (literally throw all ingredients in the oven and bake for 10 minutes) and requires few ingredients – but you would never know it. It’s freaking delicious, nutritious, and tastes even better the next day – truly the best of both worlds!
And the best part? This recipe is not only great for weekday meal prep – it can both feed and please a crowd! Serve this at your next fall get-together. No one will believe how little time it took to whip up! Sneaky healthy game day eats, anyone?
While I love a beautifully prepared meal, sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. And if your days are anything like mine, then this super satisfying, healthy and protein-packed take on a classic is meant for you. Make things easier for yourself this season and nix the time spent slaving away in the kitchen! Wouldn’t you rather spend it enjoying all the fun fall activities, anyway?Print
Meal Prep High-Protein Italian Pasta Bake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta as directed. Drain water and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Once meat is fully cooked, add peppers and onions and pizza seasoning to skillet.
Once meat mixture is well-combined, transfer it to a large mixing bowl along with pasta, marinara sauce, and egg. Mix ingredients well.
Pour ingredients into a small rectangular (or square) baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
- Serving Size: 4
- Fat: 16
- Carbohydrates: 21
- Protein: 32