Budget-Friendly Pasta

Apr 26, 2021
Healthy Eating
budget friendly pasta

Pasta Lovers Rejoice!

My husband’s Italian family refers to this as “Poor Man’s Pasta”, as it is a very economical meal to make, and you may have most everything in your cupboards already. It is quick to cook, and a personal favorite from flavor and nutrition standpoints. This recipe fits right in with our mission to be heart-healthy as it is meatless and low in sodium and saturated fat, while high in fiber. Watching your cholesterol? Going meatless at some meals may help lower your cholesterol, especially if you’re replacing a fattier protein like red meat for a meatless option like beans. Watching your blood pressure? Flavoring foods with herbs and spices or low sodium broth is an excellent way to season without excessive salt. This recipe does all of the above. Mangia! (Eat! In Italian)

Poor Man’s Pasta

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta of your choice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 can of reduced sodium cannellini (white) beans, rinsed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Prepare box of pasta according to box, set aside
  • In a pan, Sauté garlic in olive oil over low to medium heat until fragrant but not burning.
  • Add chicken broth, stir, and bring to a simmer
  • Add spinach and allow to cook down, stirring every few minutes.
  • Add beans and mix gently, simmering for one minute.
  • Toss in red pepper flakes and pasta, stirring gently.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Feel free to pair with a green salad or non starchy vegetable like broccoli, asparagus, or green beans

Bon Appétit!

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– Keeley Mezzancello, MS, RD, CSCS

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