Back-to-school season means plenty of evening hours spent completing homework, attending extracurricular activities and preparing to repeat the school-day routine the next day. For many families, having time to prepare and cook quality, nutritious meals can be next to impossible.
Instead of choosing between valuable family time and hours spent in the kitchen, RAGÚ blogger, fitness enthusiast and busy mom Jamie Krauss Hess recommends stocking up on go-to pantry staples you feel good about and including them in quick, nutritious recipes everyone can enjoy together.
Try recipes such as Mini Turkey Sloppy Joes, which swap out beef for ground turkey to provide a flavorful alternative while offering a special twist to a classic family favorite. Quinoa Penne with Savory Tomato-Basil Sauce can hit the spot with just a handful of ingredients. Or, if the little ones clamor for a more kid-friendly dish and the adults don’t mind a throwback to childhood, Grown-Up Tomato Mac and Cheese can provide the best of both worlds.
All three recipes take less than an hour to make and feature RAGÚ Simply pasta sauces, which are made with 100 percent olive oil and contain no added sugar. They’re available in four varieties including: Traditional, Chunky Marinara, Chunky Garden Vegetable and Flavored with Meat. By using simple ingredients like California vine-ripened tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, onions and spices, the result is a tastetempting sauce with recipe versatility.
Find more family-pleasing and simple-toprepare recipes ideal for busy school nights at ragu.com.
Mini Turkey Sloppy Joes
Recipe courtesy of Honey and Birch
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Simply Chunky
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 mini buns
In large skillet over medium heat, heat extra-virgin olive
oil. When hot, add onion and garlic; sauté until onion
Add ground turkey to pan. Break up meat and stir
frequently until meat is browned. Add carrots, green
pepper and red pepper. Cook 5 minutes so vegetables can
begin to soften.
Add marinara sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground
mustard, kosher salt and black pepper. Stir and bring to
boil. Reduce heat so it simmers; partially cover pan. Cook
Serve on mini buns.
Grown-Up Tomato Mac and Cheese
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 box (16 ounces) gemelli pasta
4 cups water
2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese,
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Pecorino
Romano cheese, grated
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated
1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ
2 teaspoons cracked black
In large pot, combine pasta and water.
Cook over medium-high heat 20-22
minutes, or until pasta is done, stirring
In bowl, combine 2 cups cheddar cheese,
Pecorino Romano cheese and corn starch.
Reduce heat to medium; stir milk, cheese
mixture and sauce together with cooked
pasta. Cook 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is
melted and mixture is thickened, stirring
Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese
and pepper; serve immediately.
Tip: This stovetop method eliminates
the need to drain the pasta after cooking.
The starchy pasta water gets stirred in and
helps create an extra-rich sauce. Elevate
this dish by sprinkling crushed Parmesan
cheese crisps on top before serving.
Quinoa Penne with Savory Tomato-Basil Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
12 ounces (about 5 cups) uncooked quinoa penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Simply Chunky Garden
Vegetable Pasta Sauce
1 1/4 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves,
Cook pasta as directed on package.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallots; cook
5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add
garlic, tomatoes and paprika; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in
sauce and basil, reserving small amount of basil for garnish.
Drain pasta; add to sauce mixture. Mix well. Cook 1-2 minutes
until heated through. Sprinkle with reserved basil before serving.
Tip: For extra protein, add 1 pound sliced, grilled chicken
when stirring in pasta.