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Cheesy Lentil Pasta

4.6 from 5 reviews

Cheesy Lentil Pasta is the perfect, wholesome, real food dinner (made from the pantry) in less than 20 minutes and under $5. Serve with a fresh Kale Caesar Salad!

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 1 quart homemade chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cups small whole wheat pasta (i.e. macaroni or shells)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, divided (I’ve tested with cheddar and Monterey Jack)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine lentils, chicken stock and taco seasoning. Bring to a simmer and cook lentils for 30 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is tender. (Stir occasionally, if needed, to ensure noodles are nearly submerged in liquid.)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Serve immediately and sprinkle with additional cheese.

Notes

* This meal is very much hands-off, but if you REALLY want to cut back on time, make a big batch of lentils ahead of time. Reduce the liquid to 1 1/2 cups and start the recipe at step #2.
* If you want it to be more like a conventional “helper,” use tomato sauce in place of diced tomatoes and add another cup of shredded cheese.
* Vegetarian: Use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock, omit cheese.
* Gluten-free/Grain-free: Use GF pasta, or even rice in place of traditional pasta.

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