This Pasta Power Bowl is a perfect cozy weeknight meal. Packed with fresh veggies AND comfort food classics like pasta and veggie sausage, it’s sure to be a hit with your whole family.
My Own Creation
We are deep into the world of Legos at my house. My kids seemingly eat, sleep, and breathe legos. All Legos, all day long. They’ve even incorporated it into their vocabulary. We regularly have conversations that include words like KFOL (that’s Kid Fan of Legos) and AFOL (Adult Fan of Legos, obviously.). Perhaps Jonny’s favorite Lego acronym is MOC—My Own Creation. And he now uses it to refer to things outside of Legos as well. Recently, when I made this Pasta Power Bowl for dinner he asked “Mom, is this a MOC? Like, you didn’t get the recipe from a cookbook?” (my kids are still impressed that I can somehow cook without a cookbook—a skill I like to call survival.)
Pasta Power Bowl
This pasta power bowl is indeed a MOC. A few weeks back I made ramen for our dinner (using my fave recipe from Olives For Dinner). I didn’t have any true ramen noodles, so I substituted spaghetti noodles. That got the wheels turning—I could make a similar meal using more Italian inspired flavors—basil, tomatoes, olives—an “Italian Ramen” if you will (one of my friends even described it as “Italian Pho”). Just load up your bowl, and pour a warm garlic shallot broth over top—the coziest comfort food meal!
A Complete Meal
I try to avoid assigning labels to foods like healthy or unhealthy (certainly in front of my kids). Rather, I described recently to the boys that I wanted a dinner where I felt like I could go on a walk after eating, and not want to lay down on the couch to binge watch HGTV (hello Seattle in January—the struggle is real). This Pasta Power Bowl fits the bill. I love this meal because it has a rainbow full of veggies + protein. But I also include some pasta and pre-made veggie sausages—sort of a “high low” theory. All about balance. It’s delicious, no gut bomb feeling, and pretty simple to make!
Need to make a few swaps? Or keep this meal gluten free?
- Swap pasta for gluten free pasta
- Swap pasta entirely for cooked farro for a whole grain option
- Swap store bought veggie sausage for more roasted chickpeas
Easy Weeknight Meal
This meal essentially comes together in 3 pots and about a half hour of time (sorry, it’s just not a gimmicky 1 pot meal!). Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, and cooking the pasta according to package directions. While that cooks, slice your shallots and garlic and give them a quick sauté (don’t mince your garlic or your broth will be “muddy.”). Pour the broth over the shallots, and simmer while you keep prepping. You can cook the zucchini, chickpeas, and sausage in one large skillet. While those brown on each side, prep your remaining veggies. Then layer it all up into a bowl and pour the broth over top. Easy peasy—I promise! Bonus that having multiple “topping” options is great for a family—everyone can choose what they prefer.
Other Pasta Meals You Will Love!
- Vegan Pasta Bolognese with Lentils (Pantry Staple Recipe)
- Pasta with Vegan Vodka Sauce — Nut Free!
- Almond Butter Red Curry Noodles
- Uncle Jon’s Pasta Salad
- Classic Vegan Pesto
- Mac and Cheese with Pumpkin
Let’s Make a Pasta Power Bowl!
Ready? You’re just minutes away from a cozy meal! Leave me a comment below letting me know how you like my MOC!
Pasta Power Bowl
- 1 pound cut pasta (not long spaghetti noodles)
For the Broth:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallots, sliced (about 2 shallots)
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced (not minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups "no chicken" broth (I like Better than Boullion No Chicken and Imagine Foods No Chicken broth)
For the Sautéed Veggies:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (or enough to lightly coat your pan and prevent sticking)
- 3 small zucchini, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 package vegan Italian sausages (amount depends on how many you are serving! I like gardein and Field Roast brands.)
For the Fresh Veggies:
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup kalmata olives, sliced
- fresh basil, chopped
- 1 lemon, sliced into quarters
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt liberally and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a separate pot, warm the olive oil and lightly sauté the shallots and garlic. Add the oregano and give it a good stir.
- Add the broth, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Salt to taste. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, warm the olive oil. Add the zucchini, chickpeas, and Italian sausage. Cook until both sides are browned, turning as necessary (just roll the chickpeas around with a spoon). Set aside.
- Chop or slice all fresh ingredients as listed above. Set aside.
- Assemble your bowls: I start with a scoop of pasta, add the sautéed and fresh vegetables, and top with a ladle of the broth. Garnish with basil and a lemon wedge. Serve and enjoy!