Creamy Caramelized Onion Pasta

Looking to revamp pasta night? Love a creamy sauce, but looking for a dairy free version? Try this Creamy Caramelized Onion Pasta, using hummus as the base of the sauce. 
creamy pasta in a white bowl with mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and parmesan cheese

I received free samples of Sabra mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I have so many memories of my childhood going to Grandma’s for Sunday night dinner with my whole family. Pasta was always on the menu. It’s the Italian way! The second you walked into Grandma’s house you could smell the gravy that has been simmering all day.
Funny story about gravy .. Well, I thought everyone called marinara sauce, gravy. I remember teaching one of my first cooking classes discussing the baked eggplant parm that we were going to top with homemade gravy. With all the puzzled faces looking back at me, I instantly got nervous thinking, “oh no, maybe no one likes eggplant parm?”, but one participant spoke up and questioned the unique combo. They were all thinking gravy = the brown gravy you put on turkey during Thanksgiving. I would have given the same look if I thought I was going to be eating baked eggplant parm with brown gravy. From then on, I’ve been pretty specific when explaining the recipes we are making in cooking class.
creamy pasta in a white bowl with mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and parmesan cheese

creamy pasta in a white bowl with mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and parmesan cheese

Use hummus as a base to create a creamy sauce.

I love creamy pasta, but it always leaves me with a stomach ache because it’s just so heavy. Did you know you can create a creamy sauce using hummus? Is your mind blown? By using hummus as the base for a creamy sauce, not only makes it dairy free but also is a plant-based protein making it a more filling and satisfying bowl of pasta. There are over a dozen delicious flavors of Sabra to choose from, but I have a sweet spot for anything caramelized onion.
creamy pasta in a white bowl with mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and parmesan cheese
To double up on the caramelized onion flavor, I added even more caramelized onions and other veggies to round out this meal. Revamp your pasta night with this new recipe!

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creamy pasta with vegetables in a white bowl

Creamy Caramelized Onion Pasta

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: dinner, pasta

Description

This creamy pasta is completely dairy free with the base of the sauce being hummus!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 pound linguine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 8 oz. jar roasted red peppers, packed in water, sliced
  • 1 (10 oz.) container Sabra Caramelized Onion Hummus
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to pasta directions.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic for about 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5-7 minutes, until tender and most of the water has evaporated. Tips: Do not rush this step. The mushrooms will release a lot of moisture. Saute until most of the moisture evaporates.
  3. Add the spinach and stir to combine and wilt. Fold in the roasted red peppers. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the container of Sabra Caramelized Onion Hummus and broth. Whisk and bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Add the sauteed vegetables and linguine to the sauce. Season with salt to taste.

Notes

For a lower-carb version: Use half pasta and half zucchini noodles (or all zucchini noodles)
For gluten-free: Use a gluten-free paste (my favorite it Banza!)
To pack in more protein: Use a bean-based pasta.

Keywords: pasta, dinner, vegetarian

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of julieharringtonrd.com

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Creamy Caramelized Onion Pasta @julieharringtonRD #pasta #hummus #dairyfree #caramelizedonion #dinner

For more delicious recipes, click the link below or go to Sabra.

Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Swiss chard walnut pesto and roasted tomatoes is the perfect heart healthy topping to your favorite pasta.

Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenMonday night was always pasta night at my house growing up. (and sometimes Sunday too, if we were going to Grandma’s!). Over the years our traditional pasta dinner has transformed into healthier variations. I like to give myself some credit for these changes (hello, dietitian in the family!), by introducing some healthy twists to pasta night.
Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenRevamp your pasta dish with starting with the pasta itself. Switch it up to add more variety, but also a boost in nutrition. Try whole wheat pasta for more fiber or a plant based pasta like Banza (chickpea pasta) or black bean pasta for an extra boost of fiber & protein.
I used Banza pasta for this recipe because I love the rotini shape. Banza packs in 13 grams of fiber and 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounce serving. It’s like built in portion control because it’s so filling!
Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen

Skip the heavy cream sauces and try a pesto as a heart healthy pasta topping. The ingredients in this Swiss chard walnut pesto recipe contains heart healthy benefits including:

  • Swiss chard contains Vitamin E which has shown anti-inflammatory effects and helps protect tissue from oxidation damage. Eating foods with plenty of vitamin E might also reduce the chances of developing coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack or heart failure.
  • While most nuts contain monounsaturated fats, only walnuts are comprised primarily of polyunsaturated fat (13 grams out of 18 grams total fat). Polyunsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells.
  • Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease.

Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenRethink your pasta night by trying this pesto! This recipe does make more pesto needed for the amount of pasta. To save leftovers, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, or freeze in an ice cube tray for later use.

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Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

  • Author: Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups Swiss chard, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 lemon, juice and zested
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 box pasta (I used Banza)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath and a colander. Blanch the Swiss chard in the boiling water until tender, about 2 minutes. Shock immediately in the ice water. Drain by squeezing the leaves in a ball in a clean kitchen cloth.
  2. In a food processor, add the cooked Swiss chard, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 3/4 cup olive oil. Pulse until the mixture breaks down. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  4. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the grape tomatoes and saute about 5 minutes until tomatoes begin to burst. Add the 2 cups of the Swiss chard walnut pesto (there will be some leftover) and heat through. Toss with the cooked pasta.
  5. Top with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

*Makes about 3 cups of pesto. Reserve leftovers in the refrigerator for about a week or freeze into an ice cube tray for later use.

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Pasta with Swiss Chard Walnut Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen

Supermarket RD’s Pick: Banza [Chickpea Pasta]

A pasta made from chickpeas? Transform pasta night into a high protein, high fiber meal with the help of Banza pasta making it this week’s Supermarket RD’s Pick

Supermarket RD's Pick - Dietitian approved items that you can find in the grocery store! #rdchat
Monday night was always pasta night in my house growing up. Over the years what was considered the typical pasta dinner has evolved. It used to be just a plate of pasta with gravy.
Side note: Anyone else call pasta sauce, gravy? I was teaching a cooking class and we were making a gravy (aka pasta sauce) from scratch. Before we started cooking, I was introducing the recipe and explaining the cooking techniques we would be using and everyone had a confused look on their face. At first I thought they weren’t happy with the recipes we were making, but then one of the participants raised their hand and with a puzzled look asked why we would be making a brown gravy on top of pasta? No wonder they looked confused, brown gravy on pasta sounds pretty gross ha.
Supermarket RD's Pick: Banza [Chickpea Pasta] via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
Anyway, back to the evolving pasta dinner plate. In my counseling sessions with clients, I discuss a lot about balance – specifically balance of various food groups on your plate. Instead of just having pasta, make pasta part of your meal. Add a form of lean protein, like meatballs, chicken, beans, etc. and half your plate vegetables which could be veggies within the pasta dish or a salad on the side. Now, pasta is part of a complete meal. Practicing what I preach, I too try and make my plate balanced at every meal.
Banza pasta is unique, because since it is made from chickpeas, it has that boost of protein and fiber already in itself. One serving of Banza has double the protein as regular pasta. Protein helps speed recovery after exercise, and will help keep you fuller for longer. Banza has more than four times as much fiber as regular pasta per serving. Eight grams is more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal. With the protein and fiber being so high, it’s like built in portion control and one serving is very filling.
Supermarket RD's Pick: Banza [Chickpea Pasta] via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen
What I really like about Banza, is that it cooks up just like pasta. Many other bean based or gluten free pastas tend to be too al dente or too mushy. Bonus, it reheats well. I brought it as leftovers for lunch the next day and it tasted great and kept its structure.

Plus, Banza is a great option for anyone following a special diet since it is protein packed, high in fiber, gluten free, grain free, non-gmo, and vegan.

Stop by the Banza website if you are looking for ways to cook with Banza. Supermarket RD's Pick: Banza [Chickpea Pasta] via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenPumpkin Mac and Cheese

Supermarket RD's Pick: Banza [Chickpea Pasta] via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenRoasted Eggplant, Ricotta, and Basil Penne

Supermarket RD's Pick: Banza [Chickpea Pasta] via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenWalnut Pesto Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes

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Disclosure: Banza did not sponsor this post. Recipe photos property of Banza. All thoughts and opinions are my own to share healthy items found in your grocery store to RDelicious Kitchen readers.

Tortellini with tomatoes, white beans, & spinach

Pump up your pasta dish with colorful vegetables. Try this simple tortellini with tomatoes, white beans & spinach recipe for an easy weeknight meal. 

Tortellini with tomatoes, white beans, & spinach @ RDelicious Kitchen
This recipe was inspired by my boyfriend, Adrian. Adrian and tortellini have long history.
I learned from his mom that he literally would eat it every. single. day. in high school. Tortellini with Prego tomato sauce. When we started dating, that was pretty much the extent of his cooking. Oh, and PBJs. He can make a mean PBJ.
One of our favorite things to do together is cooking. Over the past 3 years, Adrain really stepped up his game in the kitchen. One of my favorite dishes he makes is a southwest quinoa dish. Maybe one of these days, Adrain will make a guest appearance on RDelicious Kitchen!
Julie & AdrainWhen you are dating a dietitian, a whole package of tortellini with tomato sauce just doesn’t cut it for a balanced meal. To keep his love of tortellini still on the menu for our dinners, I created a more balanced meal by adding veggies and protein.
Tortellini with tomatoes, white beans, & spinach @ RDelicious Kitchen
You can make this recipe from start to finish in less than 15 minutes. It is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. What helps make this recipe quicker is the use of canned foods. Research found that canned fruits and vegetables are nutritionally similar to fresh or frozen and in some cases, even better. For example, canned tomatoes have more lycopene, which is associated with reducing cancer risk and has more B vitamins than fresh tomatoes. Canning also helps make fiber in certain vegetables, like beans, more soluble and therefore more useful to the human body. (source)

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Tortellini with tomatoes, white beans, & spinach on a white plate

Tortellini with tomatoes, white beans, & spinach

  • Author: Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen
  • Cook Time: 14 mins
  • Total Time: 14 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (9 oz) package cheese tortellini
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added, italian seasoned, diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • (optional) parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and white beans and bring to a boil. Stir in spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until spinach has wilted.
  3. Add the tortellini to the pan. Add the basil and let everything heat through, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve and sprinkle with cheese.

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Tomato, Eggplant, and Spinach with Mini Raviolis

So I went to Trader Joe’s today and picked up a few things. My friend Kim told me about these mini raviolis they had there. I just had to get them. They are just so little and cute! I also picked up 2 small eggplants that I wanted to use for dinner tonight. The rest of the ingredients were inspired from just rummaging through my kitchen and used what I had on hand.

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Tomato, Eggplant, and Spinach with Mini Raviolis
Makes 6 servings

 

Ingredients:
1 (16 ounce) package of mini raviolis (can be substituted with any type of pasta)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small (or 1 large) eggplant, peeled and diced
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (make sure it’s in it’s own juices – no salt added)
3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook mini raviolis (or other pasta) according to package directions
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the onion. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
3. Add the eggplant to the skillet with 1 tsp of the salt. Eggplant is very porous and adding a little salt will help release the moisture and allow it to absorb the flavors in the dish.
4. Add the diced tomatoes, spinach, and oregano. Season with the remaining salt and pepper, to taste.
5. If you want the mixture to have a little more liquid, add a ladle of water from your pasta pot.
6. Drain the pasta, and top with the tomato, eggplant, spinach mixture. Top with parmesan cheese (optional).


mini raviolis RD2.jpg

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(nutrition facts based on MyFitnessPal)

 

Enjoy!