Why You Should Think Twice Before Purchasing Store-Bought Pasta Dinners

Sometimes there's nothing more difficult than forcing yourself to make a homemade meal after a long day of work — after all, it takes a whole lot of time, effort, and concentration. Because of this, it can be tempting to turn to a pre-made meal, such as a store-bought pasta dinner, either frozen or refrigerated and ready to reheat. However, you should think twice before buying one of these because, well, they're not exactly healthy.

As it turns out, these pre-made pasta dishes are full of sodium and fats — two things that are certainly best to avoid. Further, pasta does not reheat super well; when it's reheated, it bloats up and becomes a resistant starch, which means that it resists being digested. This is a problem especially if you end up eating a late dinner after a long day, because it's important to give your body time to digest — about three hours between dinner and bedtime is recommended — so if you end up turning to a premade pasta dish, then you may end up going to bed bloated.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you have to give up pasta altogether — the delicious dish is way too good to give up. There's one key way to ensure that you're eating a healthier version of it than the store-bought kind: making it yourself.

You're better off making a simple pasta dish

As noted above, it can be hard to cook after a long day of work. However, there are plenty of simple pasta dishes out there, some of which you can easily whip up in 30 minutes or less. For example, there are plenty of one-pot pasta recipes out there, including a rasta pasta recipe from Tasting Table that includes chicken (or your preferred protein), peppers, olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, and an array of spices, as well as rotini pasta.

Additionally, there are plenty of pasta recipes out there that require very few ingredients — the fewer ingredients to think about, the easier the cooking process will seem. For example, you could go with a creamy garlic butter noodles recipe, which requires just spaghetti (or any pasta type of your choosing), garlic, unsalted butter, lemon juice, and parsley.

Or, when it comes down to it, you can quickly whip up your own pasta recipe, starting with whatever type of pasta you have on hand, as well as your favorite sauce from the grocery store. From there, you can add in whatever veggies or meat you'd like. And if you don't want to add in the extra step of cooking meat, you could go with a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or you could skip meat altogether and keep it vegetarian. And, to make things even easier, you can throw your vegetables into the oven to bake them while you're waiting for your pasta water to boil. You could even opt for some ready-to-go vegetables, such as pre-marinated artichokes.