Homemade Healthy Beefaroni

Makes 5 Servings
Using whole wheat pasta ups the fiber, and the lean ground beef adds high-quality protein as well as important nutrients like iron and zinc.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1½ cups)

8 ounces mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 pound lean ground beef (90% or higher)

One 26-ounce jar marinara sauce

2 cups water

8 ounces dried whole wheat rotini pasta

1 cup shredded light Italian cheese blend or Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Chopped fresh basil, optional

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes
  2. Add the meat and cook, breaking up the large pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in the pasta sauce and water, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil, covered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover and let stand until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil as desired.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 serving): 400 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated), 580mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 31g protein, 30% vitamin A, 50% vitamin C, 20% calcium, 25% iron