On my Instagram story Q&A last week, someone asked me what my go-to healthy weeknight dinner recipe was. I shared my love for Banza pasta, and how I prepare it for an easy dinner at home. You could use any pasta for this recipe, I just like Banza because it’s super high in protein (25g per serving) and is low in carbs. Great for those bikini bodies!
By the way, this is in no way sponsored, I’m just a huge fan of the product and wanted to share the love! I’ve tried other bean-based pastas, but nothing has compared so far. If you’ve found any others that you love, let me know. Banza is definitely not cheap. At my local stores, it ranges from $9-$10/box (I usually buy mine on Thrive Market for $2.95), but given that I usually don’t buy meat for this dish, I can justify that cost if I need to run out and buy it at the store.
This is one of many ways that I like to incorporate protein into my diet as someone who doesn’t eat a ton of meat. I’ll be sharing all of my protein tips next week, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe that incorporates two of my favorite summer ingredients: tomato and basil. It’s a fresh and light dish, but the added protein from the pasta really fills you up. Just a warning, you think you’ll be able to finish a huge bowl of it and then you might might have to slow down halfway throuhg.
Scroll down for the full recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do! PS You could easily make this vegan by removing the Parmesan, and using a vegan pesto.
Summery Protein Pasta
Makes 4 servings
1 box, Banza pasta (I like the rotini, but any kind is fine!)
1 tablespoon, olive oil
1 large clove, garlic
1 tspn, red pepper flakes
Optional: 1 lb, organic chicken sausage
1 can, white cannelloni beans, rinsed
1 head of kale, stems removed, chopped OR 2 large handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
1 cup (or more), basil pesto (my vegan pesto recipe is the best)
3/4 cup, baby tomatoes, cut in half
Sea salt, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse thoroughly.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a large sauté pan until fragrant
Add chicken sausage (if using), and cook until browned
Add beans and cook, stirring for about 2-3 minutes
Add greens and cook for 2-3 more minutes
Add cooked pasta and salt, and give it a good stir
Remove from heat and mix in pesto
Serve the pasta mix in large bowls and top with tomatoes and a generous helping of Parmesan cheese