A quick and healthy dinner made with more veggies than pasta. Vegetable Garden Pasta uses fresh tomatoes, in season vegetables, and fresh herbs! This meal is meatless, vegan, and has gluten-free and grain-free options. No one realizes it’s a healthy pasta dish!
An Easy and Fresh Pasta Dish!
It’s that time of year where I am CRAVING the taste of fresh produce. I love when the seasons change, and warmer days mean delicious tasting veggies!
As a nutritionist, I am always looking for simple and tasty ways to incorporate more vegetables into our diet. Vegetables are my absolute favorite thing to eat! Whether it be my Mediterranean Chicken Skillet with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto, Summer Ratatouille, or my Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque, I love a recipe that uses garden fresh tomatoes.
I have this delicious fresh tomato sauce recipe that is absolutely perfect when tomatoes are nice and ripe. Tomatoes are tasting awesome right now in my neck of the woods. This method was taught to me in an Italian Cooking Class in Tuscany. It’s the real deal my friends!
Combine the delicious sauce with some fresh sautéed summer squash, corn if you’re into it, and fresh herbs.
A lightened up way to enjoy pasta:
While I typically don’t eat any pasta, my family loves it. With that in mind, I will happily make it every once in a while, but find ways to lighten it up!
I do that in a few ways here:
- Use a grain-free pasta or pasta loaded with fiber
- Incorporate fresh vegetables
- Add in fresh herbs for both flavor and nutrients. A handful of basil is loaded with Vitamin K!
How to Make Vegetable Garden Pasta:
Here is what you will need to make this pasta:
- Vine ripened tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. You can also use a combination of both!
- cloves of garlic
- avocado oil or olive oil
- Yellow Squash
- Corn (fresh from the ear or organic frozen corn)
- Fresh basil
- Sea salt
So let’s get started with this awesomesauce!
- Heat up a pan with some olive oil, throw in a few cloves of garlic, and then add your fresh tomatoes. Your tomatoes will slowly cook and start to soften and open up. Sprinkle with some sea salt.
- While that is happening, cook your pasta according to package directions
- In another separate pan, saute the zucchini and corn together for about 10-12 minutes.
- Once the zucchini and corn are ready, toss in with the tomato sauce and stir in the pasta.
- Top with fresh basil!
Tips and Recipe Adaptations:
- Roasting veggies in the oven: You can toss the zucchini and corn in the oven and roast at 400 degrees at 20 minutes while the sauce is simmering. This is more of a hands off approach.
- Kid friendly option: My kids like cheese and it helps them to eat more vegetables. Whatever works. You can add some mozzarella and parmesan to the finished pasta, then place in the oven under a broiler for 3-5 minutes.
- Fall vegetable variation: You can swap out the zucchini and yellow squash for some butternut squash or even sautéed Brussels sprouts. If using the butternut squash, I love the option of throwing in some fresh sage!
- Protein: If you want to add in some protein, chicken sausage or Italian sausage work perfectly in this recipe!
Gluten-Free and Grain-Free option:
To make this dinner gluten-free and/or grain-free, just swap out the type of pasta use use.
One of my new favorites is the Casava penne pasta from Jovial. Feel free to use a legume based pasta, rice pasta, or traditional gluten-free pasta.
Be sure to rate the recipe below and comment if you make it! Also, tag me on Instagram @wholesomelicious with your creations. I love to see them!
Vegetable Garden Pasta
Vegetable Garden Pasta uses fresh, in-season produce for maximum flavor! This simple vegetarian dish is healthy and adaptable.
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 2 lbs fresh cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn (or 8 oz frozen organic corn)
- 2 medium sized zucchini (chopped)
- 1 yellow squash (chopped)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil
- Crushed red pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt + more to taste
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese (optional)
Begin by preparing your pasta according to package directions.
For the sauce: Cut your cherry tomatoes in half, or vine ripened tomatoes in quarters. Heat up a skillet to medium, add 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in pinches of salt along the way.
For the vegetables: Heat up a seperate large skillet on medium high heat. Add remaining olive oil and all veggies. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until veggies are cooked and soft, sprinkle with salt.
In a large dish, combine pasta, tomato sauce, and veggies and mix well. Add in fresh basil, crushed red pepper, and any other fresh herbs.
If using cheese, place the pasta mix into a 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for about 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted and slightly golden) at 400 degrees.