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Balsamic Red Lentil Pasta Salad - Meal Prep

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz box red lentil pasta sub: any type of pasta
  • 5 oz fresh spinach sub: kale
  • 4 - 5 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes sub: nothing, can leave out if you want
  • small can black olives sub: another type of olives, or leave out
  • 1 rotisserie chicken skin removed, meat shredded (sub: homemade chicken, or make vegetarian with a can of drained and rinsed beans)
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella pearls sub: dice large balls of mozzarella, or use 1 cup shredded
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove crushed or minced
  • 1 shallot diced or sub 1/2 red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • salt/pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook red lentil pasta - watch closely. There is nothing worse than over cooked red lentil pasta! When it's done, immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Put in a large bowl.
  • Make the dressing. Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a mason jar or sealed container and shake.
  • In the large bowl with the pasta, add the remaining ingredients and add dressing stirring gently.
  • Serve with more Parmesan cheese and salt/pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Notes

Other Thoughts:
  • Because red lentil pasta packs some serious protein, you can absolutely leave out the chicken if you are vegetarian and it will still be very balanced.
  • This is a super easy meal prep option - all you have to cook is the pasta. And, dump the other ingredients in! Okay.... you have to make the dressing too - but promise it's worth the extra 5 minutes.
  • Already gluten-free as is - just double-check the brands of sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and cheese you buy to make sure - if this is needed.
How-to-Use:
Athletes: This recipe is specifically built to meet the nutrition needs of athletes. You don't need to add anything else. Just eat it as is - anything from 3 - 5 cups!
Healthy Eating: All your protein, healthy carbs, veggies, and fats in one meal. Adjust the portion to your hunger levels.
Kids: My kids have a 'green' aversion lately. So, one kid was fine as long as the spinach wasn't present. She wasn't sure about the 'balls' of cheese but once we encouraged her to try them.... she was IN. <can you blame her?!>