How to Eat a Full Bowl of Pasta—and Still Lose Weight


A Skinny Pasta Recipe You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

Imagine the new year is here, brimming with so many possibilities—and the most promising possibility of all is a healthier, more svelte you.

And this time, you’re ready for it.

Your fridge is stocked with fruits and veggies.

You’ve started using a phone app to track what you’re eating.

Your Pinterest feed is full of healthy food pictures. In fact, you’ve started saving food prepping posts--you never know when that might come in handy!

In short, you’re on a roll. And we’re proud of you.

We want to say, “You can do this!” “You definitely have what it takes!”

And most importantly, “Don’t give up!

Because there will be times when you will want to.

There will be mornings when getting up to go to the gym seems like a joke.

And there will be evenings when a drive-through seems like the only way to get dinner on the table within the hour.

We get it. Honestly, we’ve been there ourselves.

Which is why we want to give you a resource that will help you tackle the time obstacle before it even becomes an issue.

No, we can’t add time to your day, but we can minimize the time it takes you to put a delicious, healthy, and weight-loss friendly meal on the table.

Each week, for the next three weeks, you’ll have access to one tasty, slimming recipe that you can make in the same amount of time you’d spend going through a drive-through.

This week, we’re showing you how to transform everyone’s favorite quick-and-easy dinner into a guilt-free feast. That’s right, we’re taking on pasta.


How to Make Your Skinny Pasta Bowl

Watch the pasta bowl come together step-by-step so you can recreated it without any trouble.

There are various ways to save time in the kitchen—from pre-cooking the pasta, to using leftover steamed broccoli.

But one of our favorites is reducing the amount of dishes we have to clean afterwards. So instead of making pesto from scratch (which would require getting your blender dirty) we opted to try the basil paste found in the produce section of most grocery stores. (If you decide you want to use your blender, use 1 cup basil leaves instead of the basil paste.)

Why didn’t we just use store bought pesto to begin with? Because one serving has anywhere between 21-36 grams of fat. That’s just from the pesto. Yikes! Using veggie stock instead of oil really cuts down on the fat and calories, making this meal even more slimming.

Take it to the next level: Use whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. Studies show whole grains help reduce belly fat. Eating refined grains (such as white pasta) is associated with more belly fat.

Skinny Pasta Bowl Recipe

Download a recipe PDF and shopping list


  • 2 oz (⅔ cup dry pasta) whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli (steamer microwave bag)
  • ½ cup cannellini beans (canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Skinny Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp basil paste
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp shredded parmesan
  • 1 tsp finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup veggie stock


  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Microwave broccoli according to package directions.
  3. Slice cherry tomatoes. Rinse and drain beans.
  4. Add pasta to boiling water and cook 6-7 minutes, or according to package directions.
  5. In small bowl mix all skinny pesto ingredients.
  6. Strain pasta and place in serving bowl. Add broccoli, sliced tomatoes, cannellini beans, and pesto. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 1 serving

Calories: 419 ● Fat: 3.5g ● Sodium: 693mg ● Carbohydrate: 65g ● Fiber: 16g ● Protein: 20g

Full Plate Living is a small-step approach with big health outcomes. It's provided as a free service of Ardmore Institute of Health.

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