Chickpea Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 cups pasta and 1 Tbsp. cheese)

Chickpea Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins

This is one of those fallback recipes you can count on when you have little time to cook but want something really good, really comforting, and really easy. My hubs said it felt creamy and indulgent, but it’s actually quite light at only about 400 calories. The serving size is large, too (2 cups!), and all that fiber (13 grams!) will fill you right on up. A good bit of the fiber comes from the chickpea pasta, which I adore; if you sub traditional pasta, the fiber will go down considerably. I love the bite of broccoli rabe—and, luckily, so do my kids—but if you’re not a fan of its bitter edge, you can sub broccolini or broccoli.


  • Cooking spray

  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup vertically sliced white or yellow onion

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed

  • 8 oz. uncooked chickpea pasta—rigatoni, penne, cavatappi, or rotini

  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)


  1. Bring a large pot of water (such as a Dutch oven or small stockpot) to a boil. 

  2. While water comes to a boil, heat a large skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook, stirring frequently to crumble, until browned and cooked through (about 6 minutes). Remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings. 

  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add oil to drippings in pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and red pepper to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft (about 10 minutes).

  4. Meanwhile, add broccoli rabe to boiling water; cook 2 minutes. Remove from water with tongs (reserving boiling water), place in a colander, and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well; cut into 2-inch pieces. Add pasta to boiling water; cook until al dente (about 8 minutes). Be careful not to overcook, as chickpea pasta falls apart when cooked too long. Reserve 1 1/4 cups pasta water; drain pasta.

  5. Add garlic to onion mixture in pan; cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 cup pasta water and salt. Add pasta, sausage, and broccoli rabe; stir very gently to combine. Stir in additional pasta water as needed to form the sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.


Calories 409; Fat 17g (sat 6g); Protein 30g; Carb 41g; Fiber 13g; Sugars 7g (added sugars 0g); Sodium 654mg
Created using The Recipes Generator

Creamy Sausage and Spinach Lasagna


I certainly love a good red-sauce lasagna—but a creamy white-sauce version? Oh yeah, I’ll take that any day. My Creamy Sausage and Spinach Lasagna is rich and indulgent–tasting, yet clocks in at fewer than 400 calories per serving. The sauce uses a combo of flour-thickened milk and chicken stock to keep things light, and chicken Italian sausage pulls its weight, flavor-wise, without loading on calories and fat. (Scroll below recipe card for photo step-by-steps on layering.) Hooray for lasagna night!

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

prep time: 35 minscook time: 42 minstotal time: 77 mins

How 'bout a plate of cheesy, starchy, creamy comfort ... that won't leave you feeling awful after you eat it? That's what this white lasagna offers. It hits all the high notes of comfort food goodness but keeps things a little lighter than the typical versions you'll see. You won't have to resign the rest of your night to recovering from lasagna, if you know what I mean. It's packed full of garlicky spinach, too, and the thin lasagna noodles do something really rather lovely—they don't soak up much sauce, so the lasagna stays creamy-wonderful. My husband, who typically doesn't like lasagna, asked to pack up leftovers to take to work the next day. But then the kids ate what would have been the leftovers. Teenagers...


  • 9 oz. raw chicken Italian sausage (with casings removed, about 3 links)
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup packed)
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 6 oz. shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; cook until browned, stirring to crumble, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage from pan. (Do not wipe pan clean.)
  3. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add spinach, tossing with tongs until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes total. Spoon spinach mixture into a strainer; press with back of a spoon to remove excess moisture. (Do not squeeze spinach dry in a towel, as this will make it so dry that it absorbs all of the cheese sauce. Trust me; I found out the hard way.)
  4. Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour milk mixture and chicken stock into skillet; add bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently with a whisk. Simmer until thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in pepper, salt, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. 
  5. Coat an 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of dish. Top with 2 noodles. Sprinkle one-third of sausage over noodles, then top with one-third of spinach. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella. Top with 1/2 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice (2 noodles, one-third of sausage, one-third of spinach, 1/3 cup mozzarella, and 1/2 cup sauce). Top final layer with remaining 2 noodles. Spread remaining sauce over noodles, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover pan with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. 
  6. Uncover pan. Heat broiler to HIGH. Broil lasagna until browned on top, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.


Calories 376; Fat 16g (sat 7g); Protein 27g; Carb 33g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 4g (added sugars 0g); Sodium 720mg
Created using The Recipes Generator

This lasagna does involve a little bit of prep: browning the sausage, wilting the spinach, making the sauce, and shredding the mozzarella (seriously, please shred it yourself from a block; it’ll melt smoother and be creamier). Before you start layering, gather all the components together:


And then rearrange them in order of the way you’ll layer them in the pan. Then spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of the baking dish…


And top with two of the lasagna noodles.


Then sprinkle over one-third of the cooked sausage.


Top with one-third of the spinach.


And then 1/3 cup of the mozzarella.


Spread 1/2 cup sauce over all that.


Repeat those layers twice, and then top with 2 more noodles and the rest of the sauce.


And finish with the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Then cover the dish with foil and bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.


At that point, the lasagna will be done, but just a little pale. See?


But then pop it under the broiler for a few minutes (and top with parsley), and wow—hubba hubba!