May 24, 2024

Winning Weeknight Dinners

Weeknights are hectic! Between work, school, and activities, finding time for a relaxing family meal can feel impossible. The ideal dinner solution? It should be:

  • Healthy: Packed with essential nutrients for growing bodies.
  • Fast & Easy: Minimal prep and cooking time for busy schedules.
  • Family-Approved: A dish everyone enjoys, including picky eaters.

This recipe for One-Pot Spinach, Sausage & Feta Pasta checks all the boxes!

The Power of Spinach (Almost Invisible)

Let’s be honest, spinach isn’t always a crowd-pleaser. This recipe cleverly incorporates it in a way that even veggie-wary teenagers will devour. Here’s the magic:

  • Flavorful Partners: Thick-cut chicken sausage, salty feta cheese, and briny Kalamata olives create a flavor explosion that masks the spinach.
  • Wilted to Perfection: The spinach cooks quickly in the pot, becoming tender and almost invisible. It adds a nutritional boost without compromising taste.

The Beauty of One-Pot Cooking

This recipe takes one-pot cooking to a whole new level:

  • No Ratio Worries: Unlike some one-pot pastas, this recipe allows flexibility. Cook as much pasta as you need without worrying about messing up the liquid-to-other-ingredients ratio.
  • Simple Steps: Boil the pasta first, then use the same pot to sauté the remaining ingredients. Easy cleanup!

Meal Prep Magic (Even Without Planning)

This recipe is designed for meal prepping, but even if you’re short on time, it works:

  • Quick Chopping: While the pasta boils, simply chop the other ingredients.
  • Leftover Love: This dish reheats well, making it perfect for school lunches or quick weekday meals.

Ingredients You Can Count On

This recipe uses readily available ingredients with minimal prep:

  • Baby Spinach: Opt for the tender leaves for a milder flavor and less work.
  • Creamy Feta: Blocks of feta in liquid provide a richer taste compared to pre-crumbled options.

A Dish the Whole Family Will Love

Spinach may not be your family’s favorite green, but this One-Pot Spinach, Sausage & Feta Pasta will change that. It’s a delicious and healthy weeknight dinner win!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cooked chicken sausage links (around 9 ounces), sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup diced onion (about half a medium onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach (half of a 5-ounce box)
  • 6 cups cooked whole-wheat rotini pasta (or your favorite pasta shape)
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup finely crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (optional, for an extra pop of flavor)

Cooking Up Comfort Food:

  1. Heat Up the Pot: Grab your large, trusty skillet and set it over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it shimmer.
  2. Sizzle the Sausage & Onion: Toss in the sliced chicken sausage and diced onion. Cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown and become fragrant.
  3. Add the Flavor Builders: Introduce the minced garlic and cook for another minute, letting the garlicky goodness infuse the oil. Pour in the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Spinach Power! Now comes the secret weapon – the spinach. Add the 4 cups of baby spinach and toss it with the other ingredients. Watch as it wilts quickly under the heat, becoming tender and blending seamlessly into the dish.
  5. Pasta Perfection: It’s time for the cooked pasta! Drain your 6 cups of whole-wheat rotini (or your preferred pasta) and add it to the pot. Give everything a good stir to coat the pasta in the flavorful sauce.
  6. Salty & Savory Touches: Sprinkle in the chopped Kalamata olives for a briny burst of flavor. Then, crumble in the feta cheese, letting it melt slightly and add a creamy richness.
  7. Fresh Finish (Optional): If you have fresh basil on hand, chop it up and give the dish a final flourish for an extra layer of freshness.

Dinner is Served!

Dish up your One-Pot Spinach, Sausage & Feta Pasta and enjoy a satisfying and nutritious meal. It’s perfect for busy weeknights, and the leftovers reheat beautifully for lunchboxes or quick lunches.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Need a Vegetarian Option? Simply swap the chicken sausage for your favorite plant-based sausage alternative.
  • Adjust the Spice: If you prefer a bit more heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes when cooking the sausage and onion.
  • Leftover Love: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.

This one-pot wonder is a delicious and hassle-free way to incorporate spinach into your family’s diet. So, ditch the takeout menus and whip up this flavor-packed pasta dish for a satisfying and healthy weeknight meal everyone will love!

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