When it comes to nutrition, I’m a big believer in finding foods I enjoy that make me feel satisfied, not deprived, while still providing my body the fuel it needs. Several years ago I was introduced to macro counting as a way to track what I eat, and it has changed my relationship with food into a healthier, more sustainable long-term approach. If you haven’t heard of macro counting, it’s essentially breaking down the calories you consume into protein, carbs, and fat, which helps you meet your nutrition goals without restricting certain foods like a typical “diet” would.
I’m far more aware now of making sure I get adequate protein daily (important for increasing and maintaining muscle and bone mass + weight management – I aim for at least 30 grams at every meal). And I’m able to have a much more mindful and flexible approach to food. I could do an entire blog post or series explaining all the benefits of macro counting, but I know that’s not what you’re here for. You’re here for a healthy, easy meal that tastes delicious and feels like comfort food – without all the guilt!
And that’s exactly what I have for you today – a satisfying, nutritious, easy to make pasta dish that you’ll definitely want to add to your macro-friendly meal rotation: Creamy High Protein Italian Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms!
I’ve been making this recipe weekly for months because I love it that much. It’s quick and easy, has a good serving of vegetables, plenty of protein, tons of flavor from the garlic and Italian dressing seasoning, and feels like a hearty, satisfying, comfort food bowl of pasta.
I included details in the recipe notes for specifics on the ingredients and brands I use, so be sure to take a look at those. If you are counting macros and want to be exact, I recommend calculating your own with the ingredients/brands you’re using in an app like MyFitnessPal. But to give you a close ballpark, this recipe divided into 6 servings will come out to around 353 calories with 32 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of fat. You always adjust the amount of servings for additional calories and protein, if needed.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do, and I’d love some feedback if you want to see more healthy, macro-friendly recipes like this in the future!
- 8 oz high protein pasta
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 16 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup (240 ml) half and half
- ½ cup (120 ml) chicken bone broth
- ½ cup (113 g) cottage cheese
- ½ cup (60 g) reduced-fat parmesan cheese
- 1 packet (19 g) Italian dressing seasoning mix
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups (45 g) spinach
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water generously, and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally to keep pasta from sticking together. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large deep-sided skillet over medium heat and brown the turkey, crumbling into small pieces as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and set aside.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the same pan, and cook until softened and slightly browned.
- To make the cream sauce, combine the half and half, bone broth, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian dressing mix, garlic, and garlic powder in a blender or food processor, and whip until combined and smooth.
- Transfer the sauce to the pan with the mushrooms, and simmer on low heat for a few minutes until it slightly thickens. Add the drained pasta, cooked turkey, and spinach, and allow to continue cooking another 1-2 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
Chicken bone broth has more protein, collagen, vitamins and minerals than regular broth, but you can use either in the recipe.
You can buy cottage cheese with varying amounts of fat, but I recommend skipping fat-free for this recipe an opting for full fat, which is only 4%, for a really creamy, delicious sauce. The macros still come out less than 10 grams of fat per serving.
I always use Good Seasons brand for the Italian dressing seasoning mix.
MORE MACRO-FRIENDLY MEALS:
Healthy One Pan Roasted Sausage and Vegetables
Quick, Easy Beef Stroganoff
Spring Vegetable Fettuccine Alfredo
One Pan Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus
Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Healthy Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos
SHARING IS CARING! IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, TAG @LIZLOVEGROWSWILD ON INSTAGRAM!