Get more for your money with these homemade frozen pasta meals! Made with a hearty meat and veggie sauce and freezer friendly!
Anyone here survive on those microwave dinners for awhile?
Pasta is a favorite food in our household. It’s something I can get the whole family to eat. And those frozen dinner meals were such easy meals for me! You pay a dollar for the simple kinds, and like 2 minutes later you have a delicious pasta meal.
They’re good and all, but I wanted to create my own version- one that was healthier and had a lot more food in it!
These Pasta Microwave Lunches are easy freezer meals, full of vegetables and flavor with a hearty red sauce, and are perfect for lunch or busy weeknights. This is a GREAT freezer meal that I make a few times a year.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to get to the recipe card. Or keep reading for extra tips and tricks!
- Pasta- I used rotini, but any kind will work
- Ground beef or ground turkey
- Shredded carrots- for extra veggies
- Jarred spaghetti sauce
- Fresh mushrooms
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
There are tons of good substitute options for these pasta dinners, depending on your needs! Here are some examples:
- Meat: Use shredded chicken breast (or rotisserie chicken) instead. Or to make this a vegetarian meal, omit the meat and use extra vegetables, like mushrooms and green pepper.
- Cheese: Use Parmesan cheese instead of mozzarella, or omit the cheese to make this dairy-free.
- Pasta: I used rotini. But you can use penne pasta, spaghetti noodles, rigatoni pasta, or other favorites.
- Pasta Sauce: You can use a jarred marinara sauce, or even a jar of Alfredo sauce. You can also make your own spaghetti sauce using cans of tomato sauce and other spices like Italian seasoning.
Can pasta dishes be frozen and reheated?
Absolutely! I do this all the time, especially with pasta freezer meals. I have even more like this in my 4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer e-book.
If you can, try to undercook the pasta just slightly because microwaving/baking frozen pasta will help cook it the rest of the way.
Make sure your meals cool to room temperature first. Otherwise you might accidentally thaw some of the other foods in your freezer.
Most freezer meals will stay fresh for about 3 months. So for best results, try to use them up before the 3-month period. They’re still safe to eat, but you risk them getting freezer burn the longer they’re in the freezer!
Is this cheaper than buying store-bought meals?
This is seriously a great option for those wanting to eat healthier and save money.
Let’s do the math for a minute. I’m using the Main Street Kitchen Ziti with Meat Sauce frozen meal as an example, found at Wal Mart for 97 cents. It has meat sauce and cheese, just like mine.
Breaking down my cost, for 5 homemade bowls:
- 9 ounces pasta: $.75
- 1 pound ground turkey: $3.00
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce: $2.00
- Carrots: $.20
- Mushrooms: $1.39
- Mozzarella cheese: $1.00
Cost per bowl: $1.66
So technically, mine is more expensive than the one at the grocery store. However, look at how much you get in my container. It’s a LOT more than what you’d find in a 97-cent meal, plus you know exactly what’s in it. AND you get the added vegetables, so extra nutrition!
It doesn’t take a lot of time to put these together. Maybe a little effort, but the end result is worth it.
Do you serve anything with these pasta bowls?
I served mine with some frozen broccoli and homemade Jalapeno Cheese Bread, but you could probably just eat your pasta bowl by itself depending on your calorie needs.
Here are some other side ideas:
- Side salad
- Garlic bread
- Other roasted vegetables like green beans
I may have to make up more of these soon. They’re such an easy lunch to meal prep and grab and go!
How to make
Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta to just slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside.
In a large pan, cook the ground turkey along with the carrots and mushrooms until the meat is fully cooked.
Add the jar of spaghetti sauce and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Divide the pasta, about 1 cup each, into 5 freezable containers.
Divide the meat sauce, about 3/4 cup each, into the containers with the pasta.
Top with shredded mozzarella. Eat immediately or place in the freezer.
These taste even better the next day, with the sauce and spices mixing together! Make a double batch to save even more time on your next few meals, too.
Need more freezer friendly meals? Check out my 4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer page!
- 9 ounces dried pasta, any variety
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 6-ounce package sliced mushrooms
- 1 28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta to just slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan, cook the ground turkey along with the carrots and mushrooms until the meat is fully cooked.
- Add the jar of spaghetti sauce and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Divide the pasta, about 1 cup each, into 5 freezable containers.
- Divide the meat sauce, about 3/4 cup each, into the containers with the pasta.
- Top with shredded mozzarella.
To freeze, cool completely and place the lids on top. Label with a marker or a sticker, then place in the freezer.
When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave for 90 seconds.
If heating from frozen, defrost for 1-2 minutes in the microwave and then cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring inbetween.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 607mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 29g
Nutrition is an estimate and should not be regarded as medical advice.
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.