Functional Cleanses and Botanical Beverages Restocked - Take 20% OFF with code SPRING

Easy Plant-Based Protein Pasta Recipe: A Weeknight Delight

This recipe is a fabulous weeknight go-to meal for when you’re short on time and you want something nutritious, but also super tasty. Plant based meals aren't just about eating differently; it's about transforming your health and vitality with every meal. Choosing to eat more plants isn't just a fad or for vegan diets, it is a powerful tool to assist your body in living healthier longer. Only 5% of men and 9% of women are getting the recommended daily amount of fiber in the United States. That’s almost 90% of the population not consuming enough fiber Adding more plants to your meals helps us get more fiber in our diets and an array of other essential nutrients. 

white bean plant based protein

Adding Plant Based Protein and Fiber

In this recipe we are focusing on a delicious meal that doesn't compromise on protein and fiber. We add white beans to increase our fiber and protein, and gluten-free pasta, which has superior nutrition to traditional wheat pasta. Together these make a satiating combo that’s sure to satisfy your hunger and provide the fuel you need to thrive.

This recipe is great because you can edit the veggies for seasonal eating or add your favorite ones to make sure you’re getting the phytonutrients you need. A variety of colors in one dish is a simple way to ensure that you’re getting a dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your body craves for optimal health. The addition of our sun-dried tomato pesto rounds out the dish with a big kick of flavor and extra antioxidants. I personally love keeping a batch of this pesto on-hand to make weeknight dinners a breeze. 

This dish is super simple to customize by changing up the veggies, pasta, or beans to keep things interesting. When thinking about what ingredients to add just make sure to follow the principles of the Mediterranean diet for optimum health benefits. Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to try something new or unexpected (like adding some preserved lemon) to add a burst of citrus with each bite!

The Delicious Plant-based Pasta Recipe
Don't be afraid to experiment. I always love to start out with a recipe as is, then next time I make it adapt it, having fun while cooking will make it less of a chore and more of an enjoyable experiment. 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained (our favorite is Eden Brand)
  • 3 servings of your favorite gluten-free pasta
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

  1. Drain and rinse your beans. Place a pot of water on the stove to start boiling, and heat a medium sized pan on medium heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, add the avocado oil, carrot and onion. Sautee for about 5 minutes, then add the zucchini and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the zucchini starts to soften.
  3. When the water is boiling add your pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Add salt to the water if desired.
  4. Add the beans to the vegetables to heat through, about 3 minutes. Next add the pesto and heat through, about a minute or two. If the pasta is not done yet, turn the burner to low to keep the veggies from overcooking. Once the pasta is done, but still slightly chewy, drain and add it to the pan with a tablespoon or two of the cooking water. Stir to combine on medium heat for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. 
  5. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is a great reminder that eating well doesn’t have to be hard. Make things even easier for yourself by making the pesto ahead of time, or making a large batch and storing some in the freezer. It’s often said that some of the best recipes are quite simple, the secret is in the care taken in preparing those ingredients. So take a little time to cook yourself something nourishing and really try to be present and mindful throughout the process. Research has shown that cooking and mindful eating can reduce stress and increase satiety, meaning you’re less likely to overeat, and more likely to truly enjoy what you are eating. This whole food plant-based recipe, as well as a mindful approach to crafting it, are some of the longevity secrets that Blue Zones are known for. We hope you enjoy this recipe, and let us know how you crafted yours!


stephanie studied naturopathic medicineAbout Author: Stephanie is the current fulfillment director and kitchen supervisor for Organic Pharmer. She studied Neuroscience at University of California, Irvine before studying Naturopathic Medicine for 2 years at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She also spent 3 years studying East Asian Medicine at the same university.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published