Pasta and the Sauce
There are different kinds of pasta types and shapes out there, which leave a lot of room for experimenting. Whether you want regular pasta, chickpea, black bean, lentil, or gluten-free noodles, the options are endless. You can even try frozen or fresh options like cheese or meat-filled tortellini, gnocchi, and ravioli. These are typically precooked and can make meal preparation even faster.
In terms of the sauce, there are homemade marinara recipes that you can follow or you can keep things simple with a jarred or premade version. Simply adding some olive oil to the pasta and some herbs can complete the pasta dish.
Add Frozen Veggies
Adding frozen veggies to your pasta is a great way to encourage kids to eat their vegetables. Fresh veggies typically taste better, but frozen have just as many nutrients.
Here are some to consider:
- Chopped Broccoli, Asparagus, or Peas
- Sliced Mushrooms
Add Meat of Choice
While meatballs are a common pasta staple, they’re not the only type of meat to add to your dish. Here are some other options:
- Leftover rotisserie chicken
- Salami or ham
- Fully cooked sausage
- Frozen shrimp or scallops
Don’t Forget the Cheese
Don’t just bake the cheese into your pasta dish. You should also be adding it on top of your dish so that the residual heat from the pasta can melt it. Try the following cheese options:
- Small mozzarella pearls
- Crumbled feta
- Sliced or cubed brie or camembert
- Cubed smoked cheese like gouda