• Shaina Painter

Healthy & Quick 20 min Meal: Spicy Red Lentil Veggie Pasta with Homemade Meatballs

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

I love Italian food like nothing else on this planet. A good pasta dish kills it every single time but sometimes, I don't really want whole grain pasta, get me? NOTHING against carbs, if you know me well - you know I love carbs. Plus, it has to be the EASIEST and most efficient meal to make on the planet.


Anyways, Trader Joes makes an awesome Organic Red Lentil pasta, and you guessed it, it's made from red lentils! I seriously love this because you get to check off a healthy legume serving for the week and it adds protein to any meal.



Alright, let's get to the goodness.


 

Spicy Red Lentil Veggie Pasta with Home-made Meatballs

yields roughly 8 small meatballs and 4 servings of pasta


I N G R E D I E N T S:

  • Organic Red Lentil Pasta (or any GF pasta)

  • Organic grape tomatoes, zucchini, crimini mushrooms and onion

  • 1 jar of organic marinara sauce

  • 0.5lb Grass-Fed beef

  • Fresh or dried oregano, parsley, basil, thyme and oregano

  • panko crumbs




 

D I R E C T I O N S:


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and thaw out 0.5lb grass-fed organic beef.

  2. Dice 1 organic onion, zucchini, and carton of crimini mushrooms to sauté in a frying pan with avocado oil. When the veggies begin to look almost cooked, add 2 cups of sliced organic grape tomatoes. We will come back to the sauce in a second.

  3. Once the meat is ready to prepare, place the meat in a glass bowl with the following ingredients: 1/2 - 1 cup GF panko, fresh or dried basil, thyme, parsley and oregano, pink Himalayan salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp turmeric (or a TON if your me.. hehe what zac doesn't know won't hurt him, right?!)

  4. Mix until the meat begins to form a dough-like consistency. Roll the meat into a small meatball shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  5. Cook the meatballs for roughly 15-17 minutes in the oven. Check the inside by cutting into one with a knife and gage based on your preference for cooked meat.

  6. After the meatballs are in the oven, begin to boil water for the pasta.

  7. Add a can of organic marinara sauce to the sautéed vegetables with Italian seasoning, salt + pepper, and my personal favorite, fresh red pepper flakes! By this time, you should be adding 1 bag of Trader Joes (or any brand really) Organic Red Lentil pasta to the water.


Key tip - stir the pasta frequently. Since it is gluten-free, it cooks differently than glutenous pasta therefore it sticks and needs more time to become al dente.


After the pasta sauce tastes good and comes to a little simmer, keep it on a low heat until the pasta is finished cooking.


Strain the pasta, mix into the sauce, and serve. Dish up the meatballs once the finish and garnish with fresh parsley, nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan, or reg parmesan & ENJOY!






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