better for you pasta with meat sauce | & vegetarian options

My friend Lauren is an inspiration.  She has been pushing herself through a complete life and body transformation–eating cleaner, pushing harder, running faster, tracking those calories in and definitely tracking them out.  She posted a meal on Instagram [follow her, really!] the other night that just looked RIDIC.  A tofu and kale stir fry pasta sauce over veggie noodles with feta.  I had to have it.

Her vegetarian version included: pesto tofu [Twin Oaks ‘More Than Tofu’], kale, organic red sauce, and veggie pasta [Barilla]. She added EVOO, garlic, cayenne pepper, oregano, parsley, nutritional yeast, and feta crumbles.

Lauren's Pesto Tofu Kale Pasta

Lauren’s Pesto Tofu Kale Pasta

Now, pasta with meat sauce is a staple in my house…so, naturally, I took Lauren’s delicious version [that I will still make when I want a good hearty vegetarian meal] and made it into a more fiancé-friendly weeknight dinner: ground turkey breast with meat and veggie sauce, veggie pasta, cauliflower, and fat free feta crumbles.

And man was it good.

My Meat & Vegetable Sauce Veggie Pasta w/ Cauliflower & Feta

My Meat & Vegetable Sauce Veggie Pasta w/ Cauliflower & Feta


ground turkey breast & vegetable meat sauce with veggie pasta, cauliflower, & feta :.

yield: ~6 servings | roughly 440 calories and 7 grams of fat per measured serving [3 oz turkey breast, 1/3 cup sauce, 1 oz feta, 2 oz uncooked pasta, 1 cup cauliflower]


  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 8 crimini or baby bella mushrooms chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 lbs 99% fat free ground turkey breast
  • 1 jar of favorite organic pasta sauce
  • 1 ounce [per serving] of fat free crumbled feta cheese
  • 1-2 boxes of Barilla Veggie Rotini noodles [depending on how large your servings are]
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower florets
  • salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning, dried basil, sugar – all to taste


  1. Heat EVOO in skillet and sauté bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms and set aside.
  2. In same pan, brown ground turkey breast with garlic and crushed red pepper [if your turkey breast is 99% fat free, you shouldn’t have to drain anything off the meat].  Once cooked through, add sautéed vegetables back to pan.
  3. Add jar of sauce to turkey and vegetables [I usually add about 1/3 cup of water], balsamic vingear, and season to taste with dried basil, sugar, and italian seasoning.
  4. Let sauce simmer for 30 minutes or more.
  5. Boil noodles [7 minutes for a perfect al dente with the veggie noodle].
  6. Steam cauliflower in microwave or stovetop [1 cooked cup per serving].
  7. Plate and serve with 1 ounce of fat free feta crumbles on top.


My standard pasta and meat sauce is a recipe that I stole from my mom growing up.  Follow the same steps as above, but substitute your favorite Prego, Ragu, Barilla, etc. jarred sauce with 1 lbs of lean ground beef.  Serve over your favorite noodle.  This is still an easy make-ahead or night-of weeknight meal that makes plenty of servings for entertaining or leftovers.

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