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The Monday after Thanksgiving weekend (which was spent in the beautiful Virginia!), and after an hour long cardio workout, I wanted some carbs. I took out a box of rotini pasta  and grabbed a jar of tomato sauce. Not gourmet, but I really didn’t have much else to make.

Or did I?

I had 7 cans of pumpkin (you can never have too much), lots of beans, frozen veggies, and a bag of Cabot cheddar cheese. So I got to work. I’d made countless pumpkin and black bean dishes before. I could totally do this without a recipe!

45 minutes later, I had a creamy, hearty, healthy, mouth-watering pumpkin pasta bake getting shoveled into my mouth.

And now you can, too.

Healthy and Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 box whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 oz light cream cheese (half a package)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft. Add the thawed broccoli florets and black beans to the pan. Heat through.
  4. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot it was cooked in. Add the cream cheese and pumpkin, stir until melted and creamy. Toss in the mushroom, bean, and broccoli mixture. Season with the garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the pasta mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is lightly browned.

My Two Cents: The addition of the cream cheese really made this dish. I only put in half a package, but it would be even creamier (and perhaps more delicious) if you added more.

This is a great way to use up that extra can of pumpkin you have lying around from the holidays. I think pumpkin-y pasta is a great savory way to eat pumpkin in a healthy way ;)

I personally think the veggies and beans I used in here worked the best, but really, any combo of veggies will work here. Go wild!

Hope you enjoy :)

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