Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara

Finished Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara, Brussel Sprouts, and Caramelized Onions in two bowls

When I was grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s this week, I discovered Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini and my mind was blown. Lentils in the form of pasta! I was even more excited because I’ve been trying to eat healthier. Specifically, I made a deal with myself to avoid pasta. This discovery gave me hope that I could satisfy my pasta craving in a healthy way.

I needed to try it for myself. I looked in my pantry and freezer and found marinara, caramelized onions, and brussel sprouts. The result was delectable and guilt-free.

This protein-packed red lentil pasta with marinara, brussel sprouts, and caramelized onions is a simple, vegan pasta dish with freezer vegetable staples, basic marinara sauce, and this I-can’t-believe-it’s-lentils pasta. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in packing some protein into their diet.

To make this one-pot Trader Joe’s meal, I started with preparing the lentil pasta.

Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini Pasta in Trader Joe's packaging bag

Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini Pasta boiling in Flame Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Straining cooked Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini Pasta in KitchenAid colander

Cooked and strained Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini Pasta in Flame Le Creuset Dutch Oven

I like to make large batches of caramelized onions at once and then freeze them up into blocks for easy use. For this protein-packed red lentil pasta, I popped a few pre-made frozen carmelized onion cubes into the pot, and voila! A punch of sweet, rich flavor that normally would have taken hours in just minutes.

I made these caramelized onions using the slow cooker function on my Instant Pot over the course of 12 hours overnight. I woke up to the amazing smell of sweet onions throughout the house.

Bag of frozen pre-made blocks of caramelized onions

Frozen pre-made blocks of caramelized onions

When I looked through my freezer for the caramelized onions, I also found some Trader Joe’s frozen brussel sprouts and tossed them into the pot along with my pantry staple of Trader Joe’s Organic Basil Marinara Sauce.

Cooked and strained Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini Pasta in Flame Le Creuset Dutch Oven with marinara sauce, brussel sprouts, and caramelized onions

Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini Pasta in Flame Le Creuset Dutch Oven tossed with marinara sauce, brussel sprouts, and caramelized onions

After everything was fully heated and tossed, dinner was ready!

Finished Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara, Brussel Sprouts, and Caramelized Onions in two bowls with forks, napkin, and chili pepper flakes from top

Finished Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara, Brussel Sprouts, and Caramelized Onions in two bowls up close

Finished Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara, Brussel Sprouts, and Caramelized Onions in two bowls from top

Finished Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara, Brussel Sprouts, and Caramelized Onions in bowl with forks and napkin from top

Finished Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara, Brussel Sprouts, and Caramelized Onions in two bowls with fork, napkin, and chili pepper flakes from top

This reverse approach of eating protein in the place of carbs was delightful and confusing. After eating this protein-packed red lentil pasta, my stomach was full earlier than I expected and I had to keep reminding myself that eating this pasta was actually healthy!

Let me know if you give this recipe a try. I’d love to hear what you think about Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini.

Items used in this post:

  • Saucepan – I love my Le Creuset Dutch Oven
  • Strainer – I use my KitchenAid Colander
  • Glass bowls
  • Stirring spoon – I usually reach for my IKEA nonstick spoon
  • Bowls – This IKEA FÄRGRIK dinner set used to come in white
  • Handmade linen napkin
Protein-Packed Red Lentil Pasta with Marinara, Brussel Sprouts, and Caramelized Onions
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Servings: 4
Author: Nina
Ingredients
  • 1 bag lentil pasta (Trader Giotto’s Organic Red Lentil Sedanini)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts (Trader Joe frozen Brussel sprouts)
  • 1 cup caramelized onions pre-made from yellow onions and frozen
  • 2 cup marinara sauce (Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil Marinara)
  • 2 tablespoons red chili pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. In a large pot bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil.

  2.  Add salt to taste; add red lentil sedanini and stir gently.

  3. Return to a boil and cook 5 to 6 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat, drain and rinse.

  5. Add caramelized onions, Brussel sprouts, and marinara to the pasta.

  6. Heat until everything is heated through and coated in sauce.

  7. Add red chili pepper flakes as a garnish to taste and serve.

Recipe Notes

Substitute with any protein-based pasta, sauce, and vegetables.


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