Finally, tetrazzini can be a healthy meal option! This delicious, creamy pasta casserole checks all the boxes for being low fat, low sodium, high fiber, high protein, and absolutely mouth watering! Plus, it can be prepped ahead and simply popped in the oven when you get home from work. Vegetable Tetrazzini is the comforting meal you will make all season long!
We all know tetrazzini for its ability to help us use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey. And while delicious, it's not exactly a heart healthy meal.
So we made some changes, and now you can feel good about making this healthful dish anytime! We started with whole wheat spaghetti to increase the fiber. But we didn't stop there. We loaded this dish with tons of veggies - onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and bell peppers - for ample vitamins and minerals, making it high in vitamin C and magnesium.
We kept our meal high in protein by using chickpeas and plain yogurt in our sauce. And because we kept the majority of our ingredients on the healthy side, we had room for a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to bring the whole thing together!
We're using lots of fresh ingredients here, plus a handful of things from our pantry!
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- Olive Oil
- Red Onion
- Red Bell Pepper
- Button Mushrooms
- No Added Salt Chickpeas
- Granulated Garlic
- Italian Seasoning
- Ground Pepper
- Homemade Vegetable Broth
- Plain Nonfat Yogurt
- All Purpose Flour
- Parmesan Cheese
See recipe card for quantities.
Chopping all your veggies will take a little bit of time, but the steps for this vegetarian tetrazzini are really simple.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the spaghetti al dente, according to the package directions.
In a large skillet, sauté the onions.
Add the rest of the vegetables to the onions, and continue to sauté until they are softened. Meanwhile, whisk the vegetable broth, yogurt, parmesan cheese, and flour together in a bowl.
Add the chickpeas, herbs and spices, and the yogurt mixture to the pan, bring to a simmer, and cook a few minutes until thickened.
Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan, and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, sprayed with some cooking spray. Sprinkle extra cheese and herbs on top, and bake until bubbly and browned.
Hint: It's important to whisk the vegetable broth and yogurt together before adding to the pan to prevent the yogurt from curdling and separating.
Vegetable tetrazzini is vegetarian, low fat, and low sodium. Here are some ideas for further modification if you need!
- Vegan - use an unsweetened vegan yogurt, and vegan parmesan cheese
- Gluten free - use a gluten free spaghetti, and use cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead of the flour to thicken the sauce
- Chickpeas - use another bean of your choosing, or cooked green lentils
- Pasta - if spaghetti isn't your speed, use any other whole grain pasta you like
The great thing about tetrazzini is that it's really versatile and easy to change up. Most any veggies you like can be added, and what you don't like can be removed. Some other variations to healthy pasta casserole are:
- Spicy - add crushed red pepper flakes along with the other herbs and spices
- Pesto - add minced basil and pine nuts to the sauce
- Crispy topping - mix some breadcrumbs and a drizzle of oil with the parmesan cheese and herb topping
Learn how to make your own breadcrumbs using the heel of the bread with this recipe!
No special or weird equipment needed for this! You probably have everything you need.
- Chef knife and cutting board
- Large pot with lid
- Large pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large wooden or plastic spoon and tongs
- 9 x 13 casserole dish
Cool leftovers completely, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Vegetarian tetrazzini does not freeze well.
The yogurt is one of, if not THE most important ingredient. Look for plain (unsweetened), nonfat yogurt (or a vegan version if you prefer). Regular yogurt is best. I have tried with Greek yogurt, and the results weren't as good.
Yes, look for the lowest sodium option available at your super market.
To prep vegetable tetrazzini ahead of time, you will prepare the dish in its entirety, down to the step of baking. Instead of baking it, cover the casserole dish, and refrigerate for up to 5 days before you plan to eat it. Then, preheat your oven and bake until bubbly and browned on top. It may take upwards of 45 minutes or more since the dish will be cold now.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Vegetable Tetrazzini:
- 8 oz Uncooked Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 medium Red Onion chopped
- 1 medium Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 8 oz Button Mushrooms sliced
- 1 small Zucchini quartered lengthwise, and sliced
- 1 can No Added Salt Chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon Ground Pepper
- 1 ½ cup Homemade Vegetable Broth
- 1 ½ cup Plain Nonfat Yogurt
- 2 ½ tablespoon All Purpose Flour
- 3 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onions, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini, and continue cooking until the vegetables are soft, and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking the vegetable broth, yogurt, flour, and parmesan cheese together in a bowl.
- When the vegetables are soft, stir in the chickpeas, garlic, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, and ground pepper, and cook for another minute.
- Turn the heat to low and slowly pour in the yogurt mixture.
- Stir frequently, while bringing the mixture to a simmer.
- Simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the vegetables, and combine.
- Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish, sprayed with cooking spray if desired.
- If you like, sprinkle a little more parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning on top.
- Bake uncovered until browned and bubbly, about 30-45 minutes.
Safety is our top priority in the kitchen! Always keep these tips in mind.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands before touching food, and after touching raw meat, your hair, face, pets, etc.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours (or 1 hour if the weather is hot)
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove