Pantry meals. You know, the ones you can pull together on short notice, with essentially no forethought, by grabbing a few canned goods out of the pantry. They’ve saved the day on many occasions when the family needed to get fed. Here’s another recipe that fits that bill: Bruschetta Pasta. You need just 6 ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand. If so, you can have a tasty Italian dinner in 20 minutes flat.
If you’d like to see how this recipe fits into a full week’s menu from Trader Joe’s, take a peek at A Week’s Worth of Trader Joe’s Dinners for Less than $100. And for help with shopping, you’ll find a grocery list included below the recipe.Print
This shopping list was prepared for a trip to Trader Joe’s, but any grocery store should have similar items. It was updated in 2020 with current prices and product names.
Bruschetta Pasta Shopping List
16 oz. Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) Italian fusilli pasta ($0.99)
8 oz. TJ’s raw pine nuts ($7.99) or 8 oz. TJ’s dry toasted pignolias* ($9.99)
3.8 oz. can TJ’s sliced black olives ($1.39)
15 oz. can TJ’s garbanzo beans ($0.79)
12 oz. Trader Giotto’s Bruschetta (sauce) ($2.69)
7 oz. TJ’s Grana Padano cheese ($5.40)
Two 12 oz. bags TJ’s haricots verts ($2.99 x 2)
14 oz. TJ’s sourdough batard ($2.29)
TOTAL $29.52 with accompaniments
– Processed foods are high in sodium! I sort of view the way I cook as a compromise between fresh and convenience foods. However, I was a bit shocked by the sodium content of this meal, mostly contributed by all the canned/jarred stuff. I know I generally do well with keeping cholesterol and saturated fat intakes low, but had always suspected I was pushing the upper limit on sodium. Depending on whom you ask, the healthy goal is around 1500-2300 mg/day and one serving of this recipe provides 540 mg, or 800 mg for the meal. Suspicion confirmed.
– Half a can??? If it will drive you crazy to just use half a can of an ingredient you paid good money for, you could easily toss in all of the beans and olives. But, remember, it will push the sodium and calorie contents up a bit more.
– Pasta meals are high in carbohydrates! Vegetarians tend to eat a lot of carbohydrates which actually mirrors the recommendation that we should get 225-325 g per day, or the majority of our calories, from these nutritious foods. But, if 95 g of carb for this meal freaks you out, you could reduce your pasta portion to 1 cup or forgo the bread in place of more non-starchy veggies.
– What about protein? The garbanzo beans, noodles, and nuts come together to boost this recipe to 17 grams of protein per serving, or 20 grams for the whole meal with sides. Plant protein for the win!
– Pine nuts are expensive! At Trader Joe’s the pine nuts are basically a dollar an ounce. And buying a bag of them pushes up the overall cost of this meal. Most nuts have similar nutrition profiles, so you could absolutely use a less expensive nut, without affecting much.
If you get in the habit of keeping noodles, canned beans, olives, and some flavorful tomato canned tomato products on hand, you can be a master of the speedy pasta pantry meal any day of the week.
Let me know what you think! Buon appetito!
This is not a sponsored post. I bought all the groceries on my own and happily consumed them.
Kristine Duncan, Registered Dietitian
I’m a Registered Dietitian, the author of Veg Girl RD, and a vegetarian who loves to eat. I’m a nutrition nerd who teaches at the University of Washington and Skagit Valley College. I also write about nutrition professionally for magazines and books. If you want to know more, check out my About page.