It’s Tuesday, and you’ve got a major task at hand: Cook a meal that’s healthy, ready in minutes, and delicious enough to please everyone. On nights like these, it’s easy to default to ordering takeout or heating up a microwaveable meal. But it doesn’t have to come to that.
Because there’s nothing like gathering around a home-cooked meal, we teamed up with Barilla® to ask three of our favorite food bloggers for their tried-and-true family recipes. These are the healthy yet satisfying dishes they keep coming back to—the ones they know will bring everyone together, even after the table is cleared.
Need more inspo? The folks at Barilla make getting dinner on the table easy with their recipe builders, which use everyday ingredients and global flavors to inspire you to create a dish you can feel good about serving.
1. Easy Baked Spaghetti
Feel Good Foodie blogger Yumna Jawad has fond memories of watching her mom get creative in the kitchen. One of Jawad’s favorite inventions? Baked spaghetti. Jawad even created her own one-pan version that cuts down on prep time. The trick is not boiling the pasta.
OK, we know it sounds implausible, but Jawad found that if you toss spaghetti in olive oil and add enough water and sauce (about 1 ounce liquid per 4 ounces pasta), your spaghetti will cook in the oven, no stovetop prep required.
To up the flavor and texture, she adds a helping of chopped onions and peppers, but encourages anyone trying this recipe at home to get creative with their own combo of veggies. Other go-tos: mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, eggplant, and olives. Layer ingredients together in a baking dish, give them a quick mix, top with a light sprinkle of cheese, then bake. It’s that easy.
2. Healthy Rainbow Fettuccine
To create a filling, nourishing treat her family loves, Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast mixes fettuccine noodles with freshly shaved carrot and zucchini ribbons. Boil Barilla® Fettuccine one minute less than directed on the package (for that tender-but-firm al dente texture), then sauté in a pan with veggie ribbons, diced garlic, thyme, and butter (or, for a Mediterranean-friendly option, try olive oil). Serve warm and watch your fellow eaters go nuts.
Want to get extra fancy without extra work? Try this version topped with—wait for it—edible flowers.
3. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Blogger Brittany Mullins grew up loving the sweet potato casserole her mom made every Thanksgiving Day, but as an adult, she didn’t want all the sugar and butter that came along with it. So Mullins developed her own vegan, gluten-free version, subbing in a crispy, pecan-based topping for the typical marshmallow mixture.
“Making healthy versions of the not-so-healthy family recipes my mom made for us growing up brings me so much joy,” she says.
Another Mullins pro tip? Sprinkle nutmeg on sautéed greens. “If you add just a pinch, it’s barely detectable but adds a hint of nuttiness,” she says.
These bloggers prove it doesn’t take a ton of effort to put together a meal your family and friends will enjoy. Keep it simple and focus on what really matters: time together.