Pasta recipes?: Hi guys! I'm hoping for a... - Weight Loss NHS

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Pasta recipes?


Hi guys! I'm hoping for a few ideas for healthy things to do with pasta that are a bit different?

I always make pasta with either a tomato based sauce (ragu, bolognese etc) or pesto. Any ideas that don't use pesto or tomatoes?

Everything else I can think of is creamy (and high calorie!)

20 Replies

I try to stay clear of pasta when possible as I find it difficult to portion control - and there are a lot of calories in pasta alone.

But I'm a huge fan of grilled veg - courgettes, aubergines and peppers go well with pasta. Grill and season them and add some olive oil or go back to the tomatoes just to turn them into a sauce, chop the veggies up and add a can of chopped tomatoes, just to add some juicy-ness.

in reply to Foodie87

Thanks! I agree it can be high cal, but depending on the sauce, I'll usually bulk out with lots of veg, and maybe serve with salad. I might try pre-roasting the veggies next time I make a ragu.

DartmoorDumplingSuper Trier

Philadelphia Cheese is a great basis for a healthy sauce, and they now make a useful product called "Simply Stir" Garlic and Herb sauce. You can use plain "philly" cheese and add your own herbs if you don't like garlic.

Bake up some peppers, courgettes, red onion in the oven for 30 mins at 200C, until beginning to brown. At the same time, bake a chicken breast in the oven and cook up a (weighed) portion of pasta on the hob. Cut the chicken into small pieces and mix, on the hob, with some Philadelphia "simply stir" cooking sauce (100g = 80 cals) and a couple of spoonfuls of natural yogurt. Add the cooked pasta. Serve the chicken and pasta next to the oven baked veg and you have a delicious meal using a very healthy sauce.

Yes, I've used simply stir before! It was quite good, I'll give that a try.

in reply to DartmoorDumpling

Another vote for this 😊

Hi Cooper 27, personally I prefer a sauce of some description with pasta. You can mix tuna, and add veg, but even a little white sauce made with cornflower and milk, as opposed to roux, improves the flavour. I would add a little grated cheese on top as well.

Yes, definitely another for sauce, but the only sauces I know are creamy, tomato or gravy (and I don't think gravy would go with pasta - yuck!)

I have made tuna pasta with creme fraiche before (oh so calorific!), so white sauce would be similar I guess. I'll give it a try, thanks!

Hi Cooper27, have you tried pasta (small macaroni type) with any of your pulses?? They are so filling ,full of fibre, & not loaded with calories. Chick-peas, kidney-beans, yellow & green -lentils etc. So easy to cook . If they are fresh then you need to soak them over night before boiling. If in tins I always wash until water is clear before boiling. You can add chopped onion , a veg stock, garlic. a little tomato puree. Cook pasta separately and drain, then add your pulses to your pasta and just mix. They are a nice change and filling. At a guess I would say altogether a portion of pasta & beans about 400/500 cals. for a meal. Hope that helps a little.

Oh this sounds like a good idea - I'll bear it in mind for work lunches!


Pasta (especially whole wheat) is filling and nutritious 😊 I used to always weigh it but am getting better at portion control. my favourite recipe is a roasted vegetable lasagne, oven roast peppers onions courgettes and cherry tomatoes, (garlic if you like it) with a little bit of olive oil. layer with lasagne sheets and a low fat white sauce made using low fat cheddar. I always make a 6 portion lasagne, hubby has 2/6 and I have 1/6 so it does two meals. Lasagne sheets vary but i usually use 9 sheets to make three layers. serve with salad 😊 Yum yum

I quite like this idea, I'll give it a go. I'm usually not too bad with eyeing a pasta portions either, but every so often I will do a spot check with the scales to check my handfuls haven't grown bigger!

I do hope my OH likes the recipe as much as yours does! Cooking would be a lot easier without men to worry about ;)

ZestHealthy BMI

Hi Cooper27,

I love pasta meals, but I do tend to usually use a tomato based sauce for most of the recipes that I do - it's nice and easy. So I'm glad you posted this thread to find new ideas.

Here is one that I have which I've not yet tried, but think it sounds really delicious, and it is a Greek recipe:

Spaghetti with Feta (I guess you could substitute whatever pasta shape you wanted)

Serves 2 to 3.


115g spaghetti

1 garlic clove

30ml extra virgin olive oil

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

a little freshly grated nutmeg

salt and ground black pepper

75g feta cheese, crumbled

15ml chopped fresh basil

a few black olives (optional) to serve

1. Boil the spaghetti in plenty of lightly salted water according to the instructions on the pack, then drain.

2. In the same pan gently heat the garlic clove in the oil for a minute or two then add the cherry tomatoes.

3. Increase the heat to fry the tomatoes lightly for a minute, then remove the garlic and discard.

4. Toss in the spaghetti, season with the nutmeg and seasoning to taste then stir in the crumbled feta and basil.

5. Check the seasoning, remembering that the feta can be quite salty, and serve hot topped with olives if liked.

(This recipe is from a book by Roz Denny & Christine Ingram, called "Vegetarian Cooking").

As I copied it down, I wondered if maybe some pine nuts might go really well with it, as an optional extra - just a few toasted and sprinkled through. I think I might try adding those when I make it.

Lowcal :-)

in reply to Zest

Oh this sounds quite good. I might try this but without the cherry tomatoes, or adding mushrooms instead. I do like a bit of feta - it goes a long way!

in reply to Zest

I cook this too 😊 It's very good

in reply to Zest

I thought I'd try this out tonight, but I used some spiralised veg instead of pasta, left out the tomatoes, and added some chorizo for extra flavour (didn't add the olive oil, as I figured the chorizo would provide the oil instead) - very tasty, although a touch dry (mind you, I oven baked it, as I don't like to boil the veg)...

ZestHealthy BMI
in reply to Cooper27

Hi Cooper27,

Wow, that sounds delicious! I also prefer to oven bake my veg - usually with olive oil. I suspect it would have been potentially less dry with the olive oil as well as the chorizo. Olive oil is well supported as being a healthy fat (e.g. research papers on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet for example) and I consequently favour olive oil myself and consider it healthy and delicious. It does have quite a few calories of course, so it's good to weigh it to ensure you don't go overboard.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Lowcal :-)


I sometimes do spaghetti and just a very small amount of pesto stirred into it, then grilled salmon and cooked cherry tomatoes on top - had it tonight, delicious :-)

Creamy pasta with mushrooms is y favourite

Here is a recipe:

And with shrimps it's norishing too

in reply to Resse

Hello Reese and welcome to the forum

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