The Perfect Post-Workout Pasta Recipe

4 Dec

p7310141-e1355760455714[1]Regardless of whether it’s after a workout, practice, or game, your body needs to replenish with carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to recover and provide long-term energy reserves. Sometimes the activity ends right around mealtime, when you are craving something heartier than a snack. If that’s the case, your answer might be my “perfect post-workout pasta,” an easy recipe that’s also an old family favorite. Not only does it make for a great post-workout meal, it can also serve as a pre-workout meal or as a nutritious dinner anytime during the week. (Pasta lover? This may be the diet you’ve been searching for.)

The Perfect Post-Workout Pasta Recipe


  • 1 pound Barilla Plus spaghetti
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 10-ounce package frozen spinach
  • 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • Fresh parsley


  • Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
  • While pasta is cooking, mince the fresh garlic (or save time and use one tsp. garlic from a jar) and brown it in two tbsp. olive oil (here is where I also add a little crushed red pepper flakes to “spice up” the recipe).
  • Microwave the chopped spinach, according to package directions.
  • When pasta is done, before draining the pot, save a cup of the pasta water to add later.
  • Quickly drain spaghetti (but do not rinse) and return to the pot.
  • Over low heat, add the olive oil, garlic and spinach mixture plus the ricotta cheese to the spaghetti.
  • Mix until all ingredients are blended and distributed evenly.
  • To add moisture if needed, add some of the saved pasta water and a little olive oil.
  • Season the dish with grated parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh parsley.

This recipe makes four generous servings. Of the primary ingredients, the pasta provides carbs; the ricotta cheese provides quality whey protein (ricotta is made from whey drained from cheeses such as as mozzarella and provolone); the olive oil and ricotta offer healthy fats; and the spinach and garlic provide a plethora of micronutrients.


Your thoughts?


4 Responses to “The Perfect Post-Workout Pasta Recipe”

  1. callielacinski December 7, 2015 at 9:10 PM #

    Thank you so much!! Tried this with grilled chicken and roasted carrots on the side. It was super easy for me to make (which is helpful in college) and fueled me right up.

    • Brian Lebo December 7, 2015 at 10:59 PM #

      Thanks for the feedback, Callie, and hope all is well. I love the addition of grilled chicken and roasted carrots!

      • Tammy Miller December 12, 2015 at 7:11 AM #

        Good recipe, but switch pasta to wheat noodles, not the enriched.

      • Brian Lebo December 12, 2015 at 10:44 AM #

        Thanks for the suggestion, Tammy!

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