Getting dinner on the table can be quite the challenge after a full day's work (that's no secret), but it's also why we're obsessed with one-pot meals. They're quick, easy and usually require minimal ingredients.
And one of our favorite meals to transform into a one-pot wonder is pasta.
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Pasta dishes can be laborious, but these one-pot recipes prove that you can enjoy a comforting meal without using every pot in your cabinet. We asked two registered dietitians to help us round up healthy one-pot pasta recipes that pack the protein, so you'll be full for hours.
1. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- 99 calories
- 14 grams of protein
"I like the idea of adding shrimp to a pasta dish, so you get a good dose of satiating protein, as well as heart-healthy omega-3s," says Amy Gorin, RDN, plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats. "Since this dish is low in carbohydrates, it makes it ideal for anyone with diabetes or following a low-carb or keto diet."
Get the Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Pesto Zucchini Noodle Pasta With Avocado and Soft-Boiled Eggs
- 474 calories
- 16 grams of protein
Not only is this dish rich in protein, but it is a good source of fiber, too. "You get heart-healthy fats from the avocado and pesto, but the sodium in this dish is on the higher end," Gorin warns. Consider watching your sodium intake throughout the rest of the day and drinking plenty of water to help offset it.
Get the Pesto Zucchini Noodle Pasta With Avocado and Soft-Boiled Eggs recipe and nutrition info here.
3. One-Pot Spaghetti
- 483 calories
- 28 grams of protein
"The canned tomatoes in this recipe delivers a nice dose of the antioxidant lycopene," Gorin says. And even though ground beef is the star of this dish, you can swap for any protein of your choice including turkey, chicken or seafood.
Get the One-Pot Spaghetti recipe and nutrition info at Buns In My Oven.
4. One-Pot Pasta With Peas and Bacon
- 428 calories
- 21.2 grams of protein
Adding peas to any pasta dish helps to boost the fiber, since 2/3 cup of the legume has 4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. And the use of yogurt in this pasta dish adds probiotic benefits, Gorin says.
Get the One-Pot Pasta With Peas and Bacon recipe and nutrition info at The Endless Meal.
5. Grandma's One-Pan Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 291 calories
- 30 grams of protein
Lean ground beef is the superstar of this family favorite. If you're looking to cut down on the salt, consider using low-sodium broth in this recipe. To make it a well-balanced meal, pair this beefy pasta with a green vegetable or side salad.
Get the Grandma's One-Pan Homemade Hamburger Helper recipe and nutrition info at The Seasoned Mom.
6. Lightened Up One-Skillet Shrimp Alfredo
- 445 calories
- 37 grams of protein
Alfredo is one of those pasta dishes that never sounds healthy — until now. This lightened-up version uses 1 percent milk instead of heavy cream to make a creamy base. Note that the dairy milk can be replaced with almond, coconut or oat milk if you're following a dairy-free diet.
Get the Lightened Up One-Skillet Shrimp Alfredo recipe and nutrition info at The Seasoned Mom.
7. One-Skillet Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken and Gnocchi
- 393 calories
- 12.6 grams of protein
We love that this recipe is gluten-free and comes together in just 15 minutes. To lighten up this pasta dish even more, swap out the half and half for 2 percent milk. Oh, and don't forget to load up on the spinach for an extra boost of vitamins and minerals.
Get the One-Skillet Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken and Gnocchi recipe and nutrition info at Eat Yourself Skinny.
8. One-Pot Pizza Pasta
- 432 calories
- 30 grams of protein
Thanks to the ground beef, cheese and pepperoni, this one-pot dish packs some major protein. "If you're looking to add more fiber, choose whole-grain pasta," Rachael Hartley, RD and author of Gentle Nutrition, says.
Get the One-Pot Pizza Pasta recipe and nutrition info at Five Heart Home.
9. One-Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta
- 748.68 calories
- 41.75 grams of protein
Consider this a well-balanced meal in a pot. "The use of sun-dried tomatoes concentrates all the benefits found in fresh tomatoes with more vitamin C, lycopene and fiber," Hartley says. And for even more nutritional benefits, sneak in additional veggies like peppers, broccoli or peas.
Get the One-Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta recipe and nutrition info at Budget Bytes.
10. Party Pasta Salad
- 189 calories
- 10 grams of protein
Pasta salads get a bad rap because they're usually coated with mayo, which racks up calories quickly. Instead, this version is made with olive oil and vinegar. "Because there are pasta and lots of veggies in this dish, you get a hefty dose of fiber — 5 grams per serving," Gorin says.
Get the Party Pasta Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
11. Whole-Wheat Pasta With Sausage, Peas and Ricotta
- 571 calories
- 32 grams of protein
"Whole-grain pasta is a tasty and budget-friendly source of fiber," Hartley says. To make this a well-balanced meal, she suggests adding more veggies and serving it with a salad of arugula, toasted walnuts and a lemon vinaigrette.
Get the Whole-Wheat Pasta With Sausage, Peas and Ricotta recipe and nutrition info at The Lemon Bowl.
12. Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet
- 333 calories
- 21 grams of protein
You only need eight ingredients to whip up this pasta dish. The only thing missing is a healthy dose of vegetables. Consider adding spinach or kale to the pasta bake or serving with a side of grilled zucchini and squash to round out the meal.
Get the Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet recipe and nutrition info at The Cookie Rookie.
13. Magic One-Pot Mac and Cheese
- 539 calories
- 26 grams of protein
While we like to consider mac and cheese a well-balanced meal, it doesn't quite cut it if you're looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle. "Serve this with crispy baked chicken thighs and roasted broccoli for a balanced meal," Hartley suggests.
Get the Magic One-Pot Mac and Cheese recipe and nutrition info at Nourish and Fete.
14. Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- 415 calories
- 15.7 grams of protein
"Mushrooms are a great way to add meaty, umami flavor to meatless dishes," Hartley says. "They're also packed with antioxidants, zinc and vitamin D." To add even more protein, pop in a plant-based source like vegan sausage or tempeh.
Get the Vegan Mushroom Pasta recipe and nutrition info at Avocado Centric.
15. One-Pot Vegan Pasta
- 427 calories
- 13.7 grams of protein
Whether you're vegan or not, we can all benefit from enjoying a meatless meal from time to time. Instead of adding beef or chicken, pack on more protein with ingredients like chickpeas or vegan meat substitutes, Hartley suggests.
Get the One-Pot Vegan Pasta recipe and nutrition info at Minimalist Baker.
16. Creamy Lemon One-Pot Pasta
- 373 calories
- 14 grams of protein
While this pasta looks delicious on its own, you can make it a more wholesome meal by adding grilled chicken strips and a side of roasted vegetables, Hartley says. And if you're vegetarian, opt for tofu or peas.
Get the Creamy Lemon One-Pot Pasta recipe and nutrition info at Diethood.
17. One-Pot Summertime Primavera
- 425 calories
- 29 grams of protein
If you love veggies or strive to eat more of them, primavera pasta is the way to go. There really are no rules or limitations with this pasta, so you can feel free to add as many vegetables as you'd like. "To add more protein to this dish, stir in a can of white beans," Harley says.
Get the One-Pot Summertime Primavera recipe and nutrition info at Wholefully.
18. Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Broccoli
- 472 calories
- 23.3 grams of protein
The combination of broccoli and mustard makes this mac and cheese recipe truly unique. "The sodium content is high, so consider cutting back or removing the added salt," Gorin suggests.
Get the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Broccoli recipe and nutrition info at Eat Yourself Skinny.
19. One-Pot Creamy Tomato Chicken Spinach Pasta
- 216 calories
- 21 grams of protein
"Work in nutrient-rich green leafy veggies in this creamy pasta," Hartley says. "Spinach packs a dose of vitamin C, iron, vitamin K, folic acid and calcium." Plus, it won't alter the flavor of your pasta, only up the nutrients.
Get the One-Pot Creamy Tomato Chicken Spinach Pasta recipe and nutrition info at Cooking LSL.
20. One-Pot Pantry Pasta With Chickpeas and Peppers
- 279 calories
- 14 grams of protein
Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, weighing in at 10 grams per 1/2 cup serving, according to the USDA. To make this pasta dish even more nutritious, sneak in additional vegetables like mushrooms, broccoli, spinach or onions.
Get the One-Pot Pantry Pasta With Chickpeas and Peppers recipe and nutrition info at Lexi's Clean Kitchen.
21. Baja Chicken and Pepper Pasta
- 214 calories
- 24 grams of protein
Cutting protein and vegetables into the same shape as fettuccine makes it a pasta dish, right? To add even more veggies, consider adding in fresh-cut spiralized noodles like zucchini, carrots or squash. And utilizing low-sodium broth helps to keep the sodium content down.
Get the Baja Chicken and Pepper Pasta recipe and nutrition info here.
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