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protein & veggie spaghetti

Protein & Veggie Quick Spaghetti

protein & veggie spaghetti

We took a classic (and kids favorite) and amped it up with lean pastured protein + loads of veggies!

I’ve discovered a new secret weapon in the beef department: First Light. It’s 100% Grass-fed, Wagyu-Angus cross. Granted, its out of New Zealand and I’m generally more of a “local farm” advocate. But man, I’ve eaten several cuts from them now and have to say, the flavor is absolutely stellar.

New Seasons sells First Light now in the bulk meat dept, and I really hope they continue doing so.

If you can’t get First Light, there are lots of other grassfed options out there. They tend to be leaner and have a different taste than you’re used to (the taste cows are supposed to have, not the corn-based meat we’re conditioned to “like”). So you can treat pastured meat more gently while cooking.

I also added a pound of 99% lean ground turkey in this dish. Diestel Family Farms has an organic version that is pretty much just pure protein.

Beyond that, we’ve got plenty of fresh garlic, a large onion, and carrots along with a tomato-based sauce. As jarred marinara goes, beware of Prego and Ragu – they are often loaded with sugar. I really like the Kirkland Signature Organic at Costco – its low sugar and has a hearty robust tomatoey flavor.

A healthy spaghetti is a win for everyone on Family Dinner night.

And with its combination of carbs & protein, its a great meal after a heavy strength training day too.

It reheats exceptionally well and keeps for a week in the fridge. It’s a great meal prep with 8 servings. If you plan to freeze, just freeze the meat sauce apart from the spaghetti.


Protein-Veggie Spaghetti

protein & veggie spaghetti


1 tsp olive oil

1 large onion

4-6 cloves garlic

1 large carrot

1 glass jar organic marinara (I used Kirkland Signature)

1 lb grass-fed ground beef, preferably wagyu, 85% lean or more

1 lb organic ground turkey, 98-99% lean

16 oz organic spaghetti pasta (ours was from Costco also)

Garlic powder, onion powder & salt to taste

Freshly grated parmesan, optional



Prep veggies: Peel and halve the onion then cut into wide slices. Smash and peel the garlic. Peel or scrub the carrot & cut into rounds.


Add all veggies to small food processor, working in batches if necessary. Pulse until veggies are a finer consistency (small dice to mince).


Heat olive oil in large, deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Add veggies and saute until softened, 5-7 minutes.


Increase heat to medium-high. Add ground beef & turkey and work to break into crumbles as it softens and browns. Give it a good sprinkle of garlic powder and onion powder, and a light sprinkle of salt.


Meanwhile in separate large stockpot, add water to 2/3 full and place over high heat to boil.


When water in pasta stockpot is boiling, add 2-3 tsp salt. Break spaghetti noodles in half and add to pot, stirring well to break apart. Set a timer for 1 minute LESS than al dente and let cook.


When meat is browned and crumbled, add marinara sauce and stir well. Thin with 1/4 cup water or broth if needed. Simmer gently until pasta is done. This should take about 20 minutes between water boiling & pasta cooking.


When pasta is slightly less than al dente, reserve 1/2 c pasta water and drain. Add pasta to the skillet, stirring well to combine. Loosen sauce with pasta water if needed, adding 1-2T at a time.


Taste and adjust seasoning to preference. Optionally stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or serve at the dinner table for individual tastes).


Portion by tongs or pasta claw into 8 equal portions. Eat whatever portions are needed for dinner and save the rest for grab-and-go meals throughout the week. Each portion gets about two full scoops.

Nutrition Per Serving







Dinner In Provence
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