An ultra-loaded easy vegetable pasta bake, packed with four of my favorite veggies, and topped with melted mozzarella cheese. You can't go wrong when making this one. Excellent for kids, perfect as meal prep, and the best kind of leftovers you'll eat.
Pasta recipes are perfect for any time of day, any season of the year!
Making pasta recipes loaded with veggies is one of my favorite things to make, and you can easily make a meal plan for the week out of this, and pair with my creamy tuscan chicken (link recipe), chicken francese (link recipe), or a simple chicken sausage sheet pan (link recipe).
What are the ingredients for this recipe?
Making a pasta recipe with vegetables really only calls for essential ingredients such as veggies you have in your home, some seasonings, a jar of sauce, and of course pasta. Specifically, here's a full list of what you will need:
- Vegetables - I like to use zucchini, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach.
- Garlic Powder - we'll season the sauteed veggies with the garlic powder.
- Olive Oil
- Marinara Sauce - you can use whatever kind or brand you like. I prefer Primal Kitchen, Delallo, or even a can of crushed tomato sauce with basil like Tuttorosso or Cento brands.
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Basil
- Mozzarella Cheese
See the recipe card below for specific information about quantities.
How do you make this pasta recipe?
There's two steps to this dish: preparing the vegetables, and making the pasta. Then, it all comes together in one baking dish!
Start by preheating the oven to 350º. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta two minutes less than what directions indicate. Strain and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, sauté the vegetables in a large frying pan with olive oil and garlic powder: begin with the brussel sprouts and broccoli, letting render down and soften, approximately 10 minutes. Add in the spinach and zucchini, and sauté until the spinach is wilted and the zucchini has become semi-translucent.
To a large oven-safe baking dish, pour in the pasta and mixed vegetables, then add in the marinara sauce. Mix the veggies and pasta in with the marinara to fully coat. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes, broiling for 3 minutes at the end to get the cheese nice and melted.
HINT: When prepping the dish to go into the oven to bake, be sure there is enough sauce to coat all of the pasta and the vegetables. The pasta needs sauce, otherwise it could dry out while baking.
Pasta Swaps and Substitutions
I would be remiss if I didn't offer you some substitution and swap options for this recipe, so that you can fully enjoy it, regardless of any dietary needs.
- Pasta - instead of using durum or regular flour penne, you can easily use gluten free penne.
- Cheese - swap the regular mozzarella for dairy-free.
- Veggies - the vegetable options are entirely up to you! Feel free to use whatever veggies that you have on hand, including frozen!
Try out some of these yummy variations when making this dish!
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes and mix it in for a little heat before baking.
- Ricotta - add a few dollops of ricotta cheese and mix it in if you're feeling it!
- Homemade Sauce - you can absolutely use a homemade sauce, or even blend the veggies together with some cream and make your own veggie-based sauce for the dish!
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
For this recipe, we'll need pretty standard tools and kitchen equipment when it comes to making the pasta and baking it. One of the tools I highly recommend using is a spider skimmer or spatula. This spatula is circular, and has tiny holes in it. I find it's a lot easier to make pasta recipes when it calls for straining and baking pasta to just use the spider spatula and move the pasta from the water and pot directly to the dish. Less mess and less things to dirty.
Otherwise, here's other common tools you'll need:
- Strainer - if you're not using the spider skimmer/spatula
- Medium Frying Pan - to saute the vegetables.
- Large pot
- Oven safe casserole dish
How would I store this recipe? Can I freeze this?
All leftovers can be placed in a tightly sealed tupperware and placed directly in the fridge. This recipe is also freeze friendly, so if you want to make this dish for another day, simply prep the veggies and pasta, place into an oven-safe tupperware (or transfer prior to cooking) and into the freezer it goes. When ready, you can defrost the pasta, top with the cheese and bake according to instructions.
Cook the pasta two to three minutes less than what the directions say on the package. The pasta will continue to cook as it bakes, and the last thing you want is overcooked, soggy pasta.
Hungry for More?
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Easy Vegetable Pasta Bake
- 1 large pot
- 1 strainer
- 1 oven safe baking dish
- 1 frying pan
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 28oz jar or can of marinara or tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large zucchini sliced, then quartered
- 1 cup spinach sauteed
- 2 cups broccoli sauteed
- 1 cup brussel sprouts trimmed then halved
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Start by preheating the oven to 350º. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta two minutes less than what directions indicate. Strain and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, sauté the vegetables in a large frying pan with olive oil and garlic powder: begin with the brussel sprouts and broccoli, letting render down and soften, approximately 10 minutes.
- Add in the spinach and zucchini, and sauté until the spinach is wilted and the zucchini has become semi-translucent.
- To a large oven-safe baking dish, pour in the pasta and mixed vegetables, then add in the marinara sauce.
- Mix the veggies and pasta in with the marinara to fully coat.
- Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes, broiling for 3 minutes at the end to get the cheese nice and melted.