Lifestyle change, Recipes

Easy ‘Healthy’ Penne Pasta

IMG_0086A few years ago, I discovered how delicious Trader Joe frozen meals are. They are delicious but are not very filling. I played around with their meals and figured out the best way to keep it tasting yummy, filling and low calorie.

This time, I started with Trader Joe’s Penne Arrabiata which is 180 calories per cup, with 3 servings in the bag, total 540. I always split the bag with someone or save it for later, so it’s about 270 calories per serving without adding anything.

Then, I add vegetables and a protein. I use any  vegetables I have around, that I think will work. This time I used zucchini, red pepper and eggplant. I normally always use add a onion but I didn’t have one at home.  For protein, I use either shrimp or grilled chicken. Today, I used Trader Joes frozen medium shrimp.

Chop the veggies.

Defrost the shrimp with hot water using a strainer. Move the shrimp around to ensure all them defrost.

Defrosting Trader Joe's Frozen shrimpI use Pam Spray to cook the veggies. I wait until they are good and soft before I add the meal.

When I am happy with how cooked the veggies are, I add the penne pasta. The directions on the back of the bag, says to add 2 tablespoons of water. I add 3 since I am adding more to the pasta.

I add the top of the pan to help the pasta and sauce defrost. I mix it often.

IMG_0095When it’s finished cooking, I add the protein, and some pasta sauce usually about 1/4-1/2 of a cup. Mix again.

And you have a delicious meal that is about 430 calories or so depending on what you add to the pasta.


This feeds two adults. If you want to make this for more people, like a family of 4, double the recipe using two bags of frozen pasta. Double other ingredients as you see fit.

Comment below if you make these delicious meal. Can’t wait to hear how it comes out.

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