My Favorite Weight Watchers Pasta Recipes
I shared my favorite “big portion” Weight Watchers recipes earlier. For this article, I have chosen recipes for my favorite pasta dishes. I’ve said before that I used to be a starch-aholic. Italian food would be one giant reason why.
I previously shared my experience with Weight Watchers using their quick start cookbook. You can refer to this article for an overview of Weight Watchers’ older exchange program and my changes to customize a diet that would work for me. I included some very basic information on what constitutes a serving in my original article. Women’s daily exchanges are 3 fruit, 2 milk, 2 bread, 3 fat, 6 protein, and at least 2 vegetables. (I tweaked my program a bit per my food preferences.) Men get 4 fruit, 2 milk, 4 bread, 3 fat, 8 protein, and at least 2 vegetables.
These pasta recipes reflect my modifications. The only thing wrong with them is that they “taste like more.” Plan on having them with a big green salad.
3 Great WW Pasta Recipes
Recipes in this article:
- Spaghetti Pie
- Lasagna Rolls
- Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine
1. Spaghetti Pie
Yield: 4 servings with 3 protein exchanges, 1 bread, 1 1/2 fat, 1 vegetables.
- 2 cups thin spaghetti, cooked
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese, part-skim
- 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced red or green pepper
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- 5 ounces cooked and drained ground beef (weight after cooking)
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes with liquid, or 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Combine ingredients for crust in a bowl. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Spread pasta mixture evenly over the bottom and up the side of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Carefully spread ricotta cheese over bottom of spaghetti crust.
- Heat oil or butter in a skillet. Sauté onions, peppers, and garlic.
- Add ground beef, tomatoes, tomato paste. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to soften meat. Add a little water if needed.
- Spread mixture over ricotta and pasta.
- Bake 30 minutes.
- Distribute mozzarella over pie and heat until cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before cutting.
My Tips and Modifications
Ever get aggravated by recipes that call for a couple teaspoons or tablespoons of tomato paste? Look for tomato paste in a tube on the shelf with the other tomato products. I saw this on Rachel Ray and later bought some at a specialty store, but now they have it at my WalMart Superstore.
I frequently play with ingredients to match my daily targets for bread or protein exchanges. For example, if you use 2 egg whites instead of 1 egg in the crust, cut the mozzarella to 1 1/2 ounces, and cut the ground beef to 4 ounces, you will save 2 proteins for the pie, or 1/2 protein exchange per serving, making it 2 1/2 protein exchanges instead of 3.
2. Lasagna Rolls
Yield: 2 servings of 2 lasagna rolls with 2 ½ protein exchanges, 1 bread serving, and 2 vegetable servings each.
- 3/4 cup ricotta, part skim
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 ounce shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 bag baby spinach, or 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach
- 2 teaspoons Parmesan
- 1/8 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 Tablespoon Lawry’s garlic powder with parsley
- 4 curly-edged lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, egg, and seasonings.
- On a cutting board or other clean surface, spread out lasagna noodles. Divide cheese filling evenly among the 4 noodles. Spread along length of noodles.
- Slice baby spinach into ribbons on a cutting board. Wilt in a skillet. Divide and evenly spread on the 4 lasagna noodles. If using frozen chopped spinach, thaw, drain, and squeeze out as much water as possible. Spread evenly along noodles.
- Place lasagna rolls in a baking sprayed baking dish. Cover with tomato sauce.
- Bake 40 minutes.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan.
3. Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine
This recipe is my modification of two great Weight Watchers pasta recipes: fettuccine and asparagus in Parmesan sauce, and fettuccine supreme, which has broccoli and prosciutto.
Yield: 4 servings of 3 protein exchanges, 2 bread, 1 fat, and 2 vegetables.
- 3/4 cup ricotta, part-skim
- 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter
- 8 ounces roasted or pan fried boneless chicken breast
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked fine chopped broccoli; drain well if you use frozen
- 4 cups cooked fettuccine
- 1 ounce Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- Combine ricotta and milk in blender or food processor and process until it is smooth.
- Heat butter or oil in skillet. Sauté onion, garlic, and mushrooms.
- Add broccoli and milk-cheese mixture. Heat on medium, stirring frequently until the sauce begins to bubble.
- Slice chicken breast lengthwise, then crosswise, so that pieces are about 1 1/2” to 2” long and about 1/4” thick.
- Reduce heat. Add chicken, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
- Add fettuccine and stir to coat. Reduce heat to low. Heat for 5 minutes.