What's healthier for a quick weekday dinner: pasta or frozen pizza?

I think both pasta and frozen pizza can either be healthy (or not-so-healthy) options during the week. For example, a frozen pizza topped with sausage, peperoni, ham, and a lot of cheese would not be considered a very healthy meal option. In addition, enriched pasta topped with a processed cheese sauce and made with a lot of butter would not be a great choice. However, if you take some time and investigate all your options, a healthier frozen pizza can be found and you could whip up a tasty but good-for-you pasta dish!

If you and your family are in the mood for frozen pizza, take some time in the frozen food section. Choose a pizza that is fairly low in calories per slice (~250-350) and that is low in sodium and saturated fat but high in fiber. These pizzas are likely made with whole wheat flour. They may be margherita pizzas, basic cheese pizzas, or pizzas topped with a lot of vegetables. Serve this healthy pizza alongside a veggie salad with light vinaigrette, and you have a well-rounded and healthy meal. If it is pasta you are craving, start by selecting the right type of pasta noodle for the sauce. Angel hair pasta pairs well with light sauces, egg noodles add heartiness to soups and stews, fettuccine goes well with a cream sauce, penne pairs well with chunky meat sauces, etc. Once you have your pasta selected, make sure you choose the “whole wheat” type. This is filled with fiber and protein and will help you to feel fuller longer. Now look for a recipe that is easy but healthy. You can make a light sauce by sautéing garlic and olive oil and then add a little balsamic vinaigrette. Add to the cooked pasta and top with fresh basil and shaved parmesan cheese. If you are hoping for a heartier meal, brown up some ground turkey and combine with a store bought spaghetti sauce (one that is lower in sugar and fat). I will frequently cook up angel hair pasta and add it to my stir fried vegetables with sliced chicken. All of these dishes are relatively low in calories and high in fiber. But, remember that even though they are considered “healthy” this does not mean that you can eat all you want. Eating too many slices of frozen pizza or consuming large portions of pasta can lead to you overdoing it with calories, which can lead to weight gain.

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