Hi everyone! I’m Allison from Lighten Up, where I share my favorite fast, fresh, lightened-up recipes. I’m a newlywed with a passion for cooking up everything from appetizers to dessert (my favorite meal) in a lightened-up but still delicious kind of way! You can see what’s cooking on my blog or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. I’m so excited to share one of my go-to pasta recipes with you today – sundried tomato and spinach pasta with chicken sausage. Delicious ingredients come together in this dish to create a quick and healthy yet super flavorful meal.

One of my biggest challenges in life is figuring out what to make for dinner during the week since the hubby and I have long commutes from work and would like to eat at a decent hour (9pm dinnertime is not an option!). This is one of those dishes that popped into my head on a busy weeknight when I was short on time, groceries, and patience. The hubby and I got home late from work (on top of the long commute) and hadn’t eaten since lunch. I was running low on groceries, so this recipe uses mostly pantry staples that I typically have stocked: pasta, baby spinach, sundried tomatoes and cannellini beans.

2014-03-06 23.00.46I happened to have leftover chicken sausage in the freezer so I threw those in, but feel free to make this a vegetarian dish by substituting with more beans and spinach. Start to finish, I had dinner on the table for us in less than 30 minutes!

Sundried Tomato & Spinach Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Serves 2 people; Serving Size = 1/2 of recipe
440 calories|70g carbs|9g fat|25g protein|12g sugar|656g sodium
Nutritional value based on whole wheat penne.
2 links of fully cooked chicken sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used Sweet Italian)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 cups dried short pasta of your choice (I used penne; can use gluten-free, whole wheat, etc)
1/2 cup cannellini beans
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (packed in oil)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp olive oil (I used the olive oil from the sundried tomato jar)
salt, pepper to taste
Optional: grated parmesan cheese to garnish (omit for dairy-free diets)

Fill a medium pot with water, bring to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
In the meantime, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and add chicken sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned.
Add minced garlic to skillet and saute until fragrant. Next, add sundried tomatoes and cannellini beans to skillet and warm through, then add spinach and saute until just wilted.
Add drained pasta and olive oil to sundried tomato/spinach/bean mixture in skillet, toss to coat the pasta with olive oil and mix ingredients.
Transfer pasta mixture to bowls and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Top with grated parmesan and enjoy!

2014-03-06 22.59.312014-03-06 22.57.34
Recipe source: Lighten Up Recipes
Photography: Lighten Up Recipes

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