Because sometimes I’d much rather be in bed than in the kitchen.
We all have those moments, right? When you’re just reeaaalllyy not feeling the whole cooking thing, but it’s time for a meal. Not a why-don’t-I-just-make-a-cinnamon-bun-for-dinner-again kind of situation (worry not– I’ll still make it for dessert), but like an actual meal substantial enough to be indicative of my newfound adulthood. Maybe even featuring a vegetable. Or, in this case, a vegetable-esque fruit (tomatoes just can’t catch a break) that is still pretty much a vegetable. Maybe.
Folks, for a real (and dare I say classy?) dinner, this is about as easy as it gets. Almost embarrassingly so. I was considering not even sharing this because I thought you’d make fun of me for proposing something so simple that I could easily make it while basically asleep on my feet, as I am ever too often these days. But I figured, hey, for those days where taking it easy is really the thing to do, this might come in handy for you too.
There’s something very comforting about making a special pasta dish, holding the the bowl for an extra second before eating as I let it warm my hands, and knowing that it’s all for me. It’s a lovely moment, and I have to mention that it could be your reality in under 10 minutes. If you’re ever like me and want your dinner to be ready five minutes ago, I got your back.
As always, I designed this recipe so it could be made perfectly with traditional methods (with pots and pans over a stove) or simply in the microwave. Either way, you make the pasta, and while it’s boiling you cook the meatless meat (or just regular meat if you eat it!), add in your favorite pasta sauce and cook for a bit more. Add the sauce to the pasta and voilà! A special dinner just for you! I love self-love.
As for the meat part of the meat sauce, I use the beef-less crumbles from my beloved Trader Joe’s. I’ve also used their soyrizo in this and it was surprisingly amazing. But feel free to use pretty much any meat substitute you want. I feel like chopped tempeh would be amazing! Of course, you can also use regular ol’ meat if you’re not a vegetarian.
I also called upon Trader Joe’s when choosing a tomato sauce for this recipe. Their three cheese one is SPECTACULAR. But any pasta sauce that you like would be perfect here. If you are an avid DIYer, please feel free to make your own pasta sauce and enjoy your fresh homemade food, the satisfaction of being a kitchen star, and my undying respect.
I talk a lot about pasta options in my mac and cheese post, so I will refer you to that for any pasta-related inquiries. You are also more than welcome to make this spaghetti bolognese, and you can find even more spaghetti info in my crispy noodle post. Happy dinner time!
2 ounces dry Great Low Carb Bread spaghetti (100) + 1/3 cup vegetarian ground “meat” (70) + 1/2 cup jarred pasta sauce (50) = 220 calories for the whole recipe!
2 ounces dry Great Low Carb Bread spaghetti (7g) + 1/3 cup vegetarian ground “meat” (3g) + 1/2 cup jarred pasta sauce (6g) = 16g net carbs for the whole recipe!
2 ounces dry Great Low Carb Bread spaghetti (12g) + 1/3 cup vegetarian ground “meat” (11g) + 1/2 cup jarred pasta sauce (1g) = 24g protein for the whole recipe!
- 1 cup dry rotini
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup vegetarian ground "meat"*
- ½ cup pasta sauce**
- If making this in the microwave, combine the dry rotini, water, and a pinch of salt in the biggest microwave-safe bowl you have. If you're not making this in the microwave (congrats on having access to an actual stove), then boil the pasta as directed on the box and skip directly to step 4.
- Microwave on high power for 2 minutes, then stir. Keep an eye on it to see if the water bubbles the side of the bowl, then stir sooner if needed. If you need to stir it, use oven mitts or a kitchen towel so you don’t burn yourself!
- Continue microwaving in 2-minute intervals until the pasta is cooked. Stir between each interval and continue microwaving until the pasta is soft and cooked through. This should take 4 to 8 minutes total, depending on your microwave strength. If the pasta absorbs all the water before the pasta is cooked, add another 2 tablespoons of water. Remove the bowl from the microwave (using oven mitts or a kitchen towel).
- If making this in the stovetop, heat a small greased skillet over medium hight heat. Add in the meatless meat (or regular meat) and cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly warmed and starting to brown, about 4 minutes. If you're using real meat and are starting with raw ground beef, then obviously cook longer and make sure you cook it through. (No raw meat please! Be safe!) Stir in the sauce and cook for 2-3 more minutes until cooked through.
- If making in the microwave, add the meatless meat to a microwave safe bowl and microwave, covered, for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir in pasta sauce. Microwave covered for 45 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 15 seconds. Add pasta and stir gently to combine. Devour.
**Jarred or homemade, make sure to use a high-quality sauce that you love, because it will determine the flavor of the sauce.
More pasta-licious favorites: