A Veggie-full Take on Your Family’s Favorite Pasta Dish


As a mama, I'm always on the hunt for healthy, easy foods my toddler will actually eat. My son is only two and not a huge meat eater, so I typically push the veggie agenda pretty hard in our home – luckily they're healthy and typically easy to cook! But, I know a lot of other littles aren't necessarily the biggest fans of veggies, so I tried to choose a recipe for inspiration that used kid-friendly veggies. I took this and made a few modifications to this pasta dish to suit what I felt my little guy would enjoy!

Why would I choose Barilla over other brands? I love that they use simple ingredients, no preservatives, and are GMO-free. I also like that their pasta is enriched with iron. My little guy's pediatrician recently communicated that he's on the low-normal end for iron, so I'm doing my best to change this nutritionally, which is hard when your babe doesn't especially enjoy meat! I chose rotini because I like that the sauce and cheeses stick to it so well.

Where can you find Barilla? At your local Neighborhood Market or Supercenter! Why should you choose Walmart? Well, they have pretty much everything, at reasonable prices, they're conveniently located, and if all of that is not enough, for every box of Barilla Blue Box pasta purchased at Walmart between 8/10/2017 – 10/31/2017, Barilla will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry, up to $50,000.

That’s enough to provide 500,000 meals to kids in need. Learn more at nokidhungry.org/onedollar

Amazing! Take my money. Why wouldn't you you choose this option when it's delicious, well-priced, AND will help children in need? Sold. 

Serves six


  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips then thirds
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2-oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2-tbs extra-virgin olive oil, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence (OR fresh herbs if you have them on hand: 1-tbs sage, 1-tbs rosemary, 1-tbs thyme, 1-tbs oregano, 1-tbs basil, and 1-tbs parsley, chopped fine)
  • 1/2 pound Barilla rotini or penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups Barilla tomato basil sauce 
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for topping

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Warm 1-tbs olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Once oil is slightly warmed, add in chopped zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Add remaining 1-tbs of olive oil over the veggies along with salt and pepper to taste, then toss and cook for 4-minutes on medium-low heat. Add herbs and toss again, then cook for another 4-8 minutes, stirring frequently, add more oil as needed to prevent veggies from sticking to the pan.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander.



In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the sauteed vegetables, marinara sauce, and cheeses. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.


Pour the pasta into a 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.


{ MORE: Spacing Out the Little Ones: To Wait or Not to Wait }

Is your little one a pasta fan? 

What do you think?

A Veggie-full Take on Your Family’s Favorite Pasta Dish

I have a constant craving for adventure and love to pack as much fun into life as I can. Becoming a mom to one sweet boy has caused me to slow down - a little, and provided me with a wonderful new way to find joy in life. I try my darndest to soak it all in, as I have already found life to move a lot quicker since welcoming this little hunk of love into it. I am married to an amazing man, and I'm still trying to figure out how to embrace the changes in our relationship that have come with new pa ... More

Tell us what you think!

1 comment

  1. Ezra says:

    this is a good recept,thanks


Send this to a friend