Pasta bakes are a no brainer when it comes to easy weeknight meals. They are fairly quick to prepare and you can make them ahead and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake (*Note: I wouldn’t consider a pasta bake an ideal freezer meal…but it will do well prepped the night before and placed in the fridge).
Veggies do great in this dish and you can easily use frozen or fresh, not to mention whatever is in season. Mondays are notoriously insane for me because my toddler doesn’t go to preschool on Mondays and I do consulting work from home. My clients are getting their weeks started, therefore I spend most Mondays answering as many emails, calls and text messages as I can, while simultaneously attempting to entertain a toddler (it’s not really ideal and I don’t really recommend it).
Anyway, this morning I saw an opening and decided to take it, by prepping dinner for tonight. Frankly, I feel victorious.
Behold! My Easy and Healthy Veggie Pasta Bake! Try it, Mikey. You’ll like it.
- 2 Handfulls of Frozen Organic Broccoli
- 1 Handful of Pre-chopped Portobello Mushrooms
- 1 Handful of Grape Tomatoes
- 2 Handfulls of Organic Baby Spinach
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to Taste
- 1 Box of Your Favorite Pasta (I chose Gluten Free Quinoa Pasta in shapes my toddler can easily eat)
- 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
- Start sautéing your frozen broccoli in a little olive oil on a medium heat.
- While you have your broccoli going, fill a pot with water and a dash of salt and bring to a boil for your pasta.
- Once broccoli is starting to cook, add in mushrooms, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- When pasta water comes to a boil, add pasta, but cook 2-3 minutes less than you normally would, because it will continue to cook in oven.
- While pasta is going, add grape tomatoes to sauté pan. Pasta cook time will be just enough time for them to start to blister.
- When your pasta is ready to drain, turn off heat to saute pan, toss in your spinach and cover. This will wilt it, but not over cook it.
- Drain your pasta.
- Add 1/2 to 3/4 of pasta sauce to the same pot you used to boil the pasta, then dump in veggies and pasta, and stir.
- Transfer mix to a glass baking dish, top with shredded or grated parmesan cheese if desired and then either cover with plastic and refrigerate or pop into a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- *If you have refrigerated your pasta and when ready to bake it looks like a lot of the sauce has absorbed..just add more sauce.
- *Use whatever veggies you like! I try to buy organic, but use what works for your family!
- *We are not gluten-free in our house, but I often buy gluten-free pasta, particularly quinoa pasta because I find it less bloating and it also has naturally sourced protein...not "added".