This "Healthyish" Pasta with Creamy Pasta Sauce is a wonderful lightened up pasta recipe that has less than 400 calories per serving!
Sometimes it's hard to go all-in on "healthy" when you make a recipe. Sometimes you want a recipe to be mostly healthy, but you also want it to have a little richness to it so you don't feel like you're completely depriving yourself.
That's definitely the best approach for a long-term, sustainable diet change: eating mostly healthy, but still enjoying treats sometimes. Those treats can come in the form of a not-very-healthy food sometimes (like a big serving of Pumpkin Dump Cake after dinner) or in the form of a "healthyish" meal like this "Healthyish" Pasta with Creamy Pasta Sauce.
At 389 calories per serving, I think it does a pretty good job of being a lightened up recipe. The big secret to lightening up this recipe is using 1 cup skim milk to ¼ cup heavy cream. You still get some of the creaminess and richness thanks to the heavy cream, but the skim milk dramatically lowers the calorie and fat content.
And you still get to add bacon to "Healthyish" Pasta with Creamy Pasta Sauce. You'll also add broccoli, which further helps reinforce the "healthyish" designation. Heavy cream, skim milk. Bacon, broccoli. Eating healthier is all about making a few small trade-offs!
I really don't think you'll mind (or even notice) the trade-offs in this recipe. You still get pasta in a delicious creamy pasta sauce topped with grated Parmesan cheese. Not bad for eating healthy...ish.
3 Tips for Making "Healthyish" Pasta with Creamy Pasta Sauce
Here are a few tips for making this pasta with creamy pasta sauce:
Tip #1: You can easily make this into a gluten-free pasta recipe. The only gluten in this recipe is in the 8 oz. of cooked pasta, so feel free to use rice pasta, corn pasta, black bean pasta, or any other gluten-free pasta that you enjoy.
Tip #2: You can also make this into a dairy-free pasta recipe. Creamy pasta sauce doesn't require dairy! Instead of the skim milk and heavy cream, use a combination of almond or coconut milk plus dairy-free cream cheese.
Tip #3: This is a great recipe to make when you're short on time... but pre-cook your pasta first. "Healthyish" Pasta with Creamy Pasta Sauce is so easy to make and only takes about 15 minutes as long as you've pre-cooked your pasta. It's an easy dinner to throw together when you're short on time and want something that's pretty healthy and tastes good, but isn't too heavy.
A Few More Delicious Recipes for You to Try
These recipes are healthy, not "healthyish," but feel free to make them healthyish by adding to them. (Maybe some bacon to those butternut squash noodles? Heck, you could probably add bacon to all three recipes!)
- Savory Butternut Squash Noodles - Healthy Noodles Recipe
- Arugula, Portobello, and Feta Frittata - A Healthy Breakfast Recipe
- Low Carb Crepes - Sweet or Savory Flourless Crepes Two Ways
"Healthyish" Pasta with Creamy Pasta Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ can whole peeled tomatoes
- ¼ cup water
- Salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup broccoli florets cooked
- ¼ cup cooked bacon
- 8 ounces pasta cooked (can be whole wheat)
- To a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes. Cook for 20 seconds. Next, add peeled tomatoes and water, and use a wooden spatula to break them up.
- Mix in salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Mix in skim milk and heavy cream. Add in flour and break up the lumps.
- Mix in broccoli, bacon, and cooked pasta. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.