Shortcut: Jarred Sauce
Italian-Style Meat Loaf
Moist and flavorful meat loaf is a family favorite that kids and parents both enjoy. And with just 263 calories per serving (2 slices, or 1/6 of the loaf), you can feel great about serving it to them. To elevate this humble dish, serve with a glass of Chianti or a California syrah.
Easy Meatless Manicotti
Baked pasta dishes rank high on our list of hearty comfort foods, and this vegetarian version is no exception. Filled with a satisfying blend of spinach and three cheeses, the stuffed shells simmer in tomato-basil pasta sauce as the dish bakes in the oven.
Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms
This slow-cooker lasagna is filled with super-satisfying flavors and textures that result in the ultimate comfort food. Three cheeses (mozzarella, provolone, and ricotta) meld with fresh spinach and sliced cremini mushrooms. Jarred pasta sauce and commercial pesto speed the prep time, and then the slow cooker does the work.
Cioppino may seem like a special-occasion meal, but it comes together quickly enough to make any weeknight a special occasion. A medley of seafood simmers in a herb-infused broth of white wine, clam juice, and pasta sauce that's perfect for dipping crusty bread.
This is no run-of-the-mill burger. Sautéed peppers and onions, cooked briefly in pasta sauce, top a robust patty made from ground turkey meat and spicy turkey sausage (removed from its casing). Serve with extra napkins.
Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Garlic
The garlicky goat cheese filling, colored with flecks of fresh basil, gives this quick-and-easy dish an elegance that belies the minimal effort required. Simmering whole garlic cloves in store-bought pasta sauce adds a layer of depth and flavor.
Ready in just 45 minutes, these stuffed peppers burst with flavor from a saucy beef-and-rice mixture spiced with paprika, allspice, and fresh parsley. Boil-in-bag rice and jarred pasta sauce are smart shortcuts.
Don't be fooled by the convenience products―frozen spinach, bottled roasted red peppers, refrigerated pizza dough, store-bought pasta sauce―this finished product is much greater than the sum of its parts. Packed with calcium, and less than 300 calories per serving, it's a real weeknight treat.
Lady and the Tramp Spaghetti and Meatballs
Most of the effort of this classic pasta dish goes into forming the meatballs. They're as easy as meat loaf, but quicker cooking: 6 minutes in a skillet is all it takes. Then add a jar of pasta sauce, serve over spaghetti, and sprinkle with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan.