Home ยป Money Matters: Grown Up Spaghettios

Money Matters: Grown Up Spaghettios

Tis the season for…soup.

Be it the weather or the wish for lower calorie meals that are still filling and delicious, soups are the answer. The varieties are endless and they pair well with other lighter fare such as salads and sandwiches.

I didn’t grow up on spaghettios…at least not that I recall (my household was more chicken noodle soup-ers). But spaghettios are one of those foods that most people really like, even though its simplicity and whereabouts from a can may give it a sub-optimal reputation.

Unlike spaghettios in the traditional sense, these Grown Up Spaghettios offer more balance and bulk. With turkey sausage, whole wheat macaroni, and green veggies this version certainly appeals to adults and kids alike.

One pot. And 25-ish minutes from start-to-finish.

Few ingredients. Eight, if you’re counting.

Healthy. A mere 207 calories for a plentiful 2 cup serving. Low in fat and 4.4 grams of fiber.

Inexpensive. Paying $2.00+ for a can of soup is absurd.

And even better as leftovers. No, really.


Grown Up Spaghettios based on Kaylyn Kitchen’s Italian Soup, as seen on and slightly adapted from My Bizzy Kitchen

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (29 oz) can no salt added tomato puree
3 links turkey Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat macaroni
3 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
1 large zucchini, cut into half-moons


Take the sausage out of the casings. In a large stock pot, brown the sausage with the Italian seasoning and garlic until no longer pink.

Add chicken broth and tomato puree. Bring to a boil and add macaroni and cook about 12-14 minutes, until the macaroni is tender.

Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes on low. Remove from heat and add baby spinach. Serve hot. Yield: 7 servings (2 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 207 calories; 5.1 g. fat; 30 mg. cholesterol; 465 mg. sodium; 24.9 g. carbohydrate; 4.4 g. fiber; 15.7 g. protein

Result: It doesn’t get much simpler or quicker than this! These spaghettios offer up fun textures and desirable nutrition stats. Making soups such as this are not only healthier but cheaper, too! Enjoy!

Money Matters: I buy broth on sale for $0.60 for a 14 ounce can (x2). Whole wheat macaroni was $1.60/box ($0.12/ounce). Italian sausage was $4.85 for a package of 5 links (I used 3 – $2.91). The package of spinach I purchased was 10 ounces ($0.20/ounce – I used 3 ounces). Zucchini were $0.60 each and the tomato puree was $2.19 for a 29 ounce can. The total cost of the recipe can to $8.32 making the cost per serving $1.19.


Mr. Prevention, Lily, and I are heading back to Columbus today. It’s hard to believe I’ll be at work tomorrow – boooo. Luckily, there’s only two days to get through and ease me back into the real world. December has been swell and I have some big news I’ll be sharing on Friday!

See you in Ohio,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Gina (The Candid RD)
    December 28, 2011 / 7:42 am

    I think this sounds more like minestrone soup than spaghettios. IT sounds WONDERFUL. Minestrone soup is probably my all-time favorite type of soup. I also love spghettios, but the reason I love them is because they are thick and not watery, and because they are loaded with SALT! haha. This is why my mother never let me have them. Only on RARE occasions.
    Great recipe Nicole!

  2. Joy
    December 28, 2011 / 8:25 am

    I didn’t grow up on any canned soups (I’m going to guess that was more $ related than anything else) my mom made us soups anytime we wanted – from scratch (I actually had my first canned soup 3 years ago after her death – I was horrified) but the husband loves them and spagwttios are his favorite! I’m trying this! (as a side note I’ve learned to like the low sodium organic boxed trader joe’s soup)

  3. Biz
    December 28, 2011 / 8:30 am

    Hooray – glad you liked the soup! And have a safe trip back home – can’t wait for your news on Friday! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Laura
    December 28, 2011 / 9:36 am

    I’ve been waiting for this post! Glad to hear that you liked this soup. I’ll have to give it a try. I grew up on Spaghettios and they are a comfort I crave about once a year when I’m sick.

  5. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    December 28, 2011 / 9:46 am

    You didn’t miss much by not growing up on the spaghettios in a can. They definitely left much to be desired. But at least my brother and I only got them on random occasion that both parents were too busy to cook. Whew… ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Kasey
    December 28, 2011 / 12:33 pm

    This looks delicious. I grew up eating Spaghettios! I haven’t eaten them in about 10 years… I much prefer homemade spaghetti ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    December 28, 2011 / 3:35 pm

    This looks incredible!
    I never had spaghettios often growing up, but my mom made would buy them occasionally as a treat.
    Hope your work week goes by fast! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Lena
    December 28, 2011 / 6:47 pm

    I do like spaghettios (both kinds). Am excited to hear the news on Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Crissy
    December 28, 2011 / 8:32 pm

    This looks delicious! Thanks for posting. I started a health and nutrition blog a few months ago so I’ve been very interested in finding others. I found yours through the Nutrition Blog Network and I love your story and all the pics you included. You look great! Looking forward to more posts.

    • Nicole
      December 28, 2011 / 10:27 pm

      Thanks, Crissy! I look forward to reading your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your sweet comment!

  10. Renee @ Mykitchenadventures
    December 28, 2011 / 8:54 pm

    have a safe trip back! these looked great when biz made them, and they look great in your pics too…I must make soon. A good lunch I think!

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