Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy Garlic Pasta with Veggies and Parmesan

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Share This:

This flavorful Garlic Veggie Pasta is made with fresh broccoli, zucchini, red onions, seasonings, whole wheat spaghetti, and is topped with parmesan cheese. This easy Italian dish is a delicious, guilt-free solution to healthy eating.

garlic pasta with veggies in a white bowl with parmesan cheese

I truly enjoy eating healthy. It’s not just because I can feel good about the meals that I’m eating and feeding to my family; it’s that they actually taste amazing too!

I know many people have said that eating healthy is boring and flavorless. But that can’t be any farther from the truth! Eating healthy actually tastes wonderful if you add the right spices and combination of ingredients. Let me just say, this garlic veggie pasta has ALL the right stuff. 

By skipping white pasta and upping the nutrition with extra veggies you can make this a guilt-free indulgence.

I’m pretty sure you are going to be drooling by the end of this! 🙂 

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for garlic veggie pasta

How To Make A Healthy Spaghetti

  • Pasta: Use Whole Wheat Pasta, and stick to 2oz per serving. For more protein (and to make this gluten-free), use a legume or chickpea based pasta.
  • Veggies: Make your plate fuller with TONS of veggies. This recipe uses broccoli, red peppers and zucchini – load up on these and they will make you feel like you have more pasta on your plate!
  • Sauce: Get a really flavorful pasta sauce with no sugar added, or make your own at home.
  • Cheese: Don’t skimp on the cheese, but don’t go overboard either! Use 1 tablespoon of shredded fresh parmesan cheese to top each serving of your pasta, and it will melt and make the entire dish gooey, rich and satisfying.
  • Spices: Use plenty of spices (including salt + pepper) for flavor instead of oil or butter. Spices have health benefits and virtually no calories, and they make your veggies taste great. My go-to spices for pasta are: dried Italian spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme), salt, crushed red pepper, and garlic.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1:  Cook spaghetti according to package directions, set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic – saute for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are slightly translucent.

onions sauteeing in a pan

Step 2:  Add the broccoli, zucchini, oregano, crushed red pepper, and salt/pepper to taste. Cook for 5-10 minutes until all of the vegetables have cooked through. 

broccoli and zucchini sauteeing in a pan

Step 3: Heat the spaghetti sauce in a small pot over low heat. Add the diced red bell peppers to the sauce, simmer for 10 minutes.

marinara sauce in a large pot

Step 4: To serve: take 2 oz of the whole wheat spaghetti and top with ¼ of the sauce, ¼ of the vegetable mixture, and 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese. 

garlic pasta with veggies in a white bowl with parmesan cheese

What Makes This Veggie Pasta Healthy?

  • Low Calorie: even though it’s low calorie, you still get a giant serving. You can enjoy a big helping for about 360 calories.
  • High In Protein: You get 16.4 grams of protein every time you eat one serving of this dish! Protein is important for strong bones, muscles, and healthy skin. 
  • High Fiber: With 15.6 grams of fiber per serving, this is a dish that will keep you full and help keep your blood sugar steady too. Fiber also is important for healthy digestion.
  • High in Nutrients: Broccoli and zucchini are high in Calcium, Iron, Phosphorous, and Vitamins A, C, E, K and B. Red bell peppers are packed with Vitamin C, and all of these veggies have tons of antioxiants!

Will Kids Enjoy This Garlic Pasta?

Yes, there are very few kids that don’t love pasta! They won’t even notice the difference between regular spaghetti noodles and these whole wheat spaghetti noodles. Plus, this meal is a great way to sneak vegetables into their diets without them even thinking of it!

For super picky kids, I recommend dicing the veggies super small and adding them directly to the sauce to “hide” them, or you can even puree all the veggies and add it to hte sauce too (for the pickiest kids!) It’s a win all around. 

Recipe FAQs

How Do I Make This a Vegan Pasta Recipe?

It is super easy to make this healthy pasta vegan! Just omit the parmesan cheese, or use a vegan substitute.

How Do You Store Leftover Pasta?

After you’ve cooked the pasta dish, let it cool down all the way. Once it’s cool, you can place it in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. Typically, this garlic pasta will last around five days in the refrigerator.

Can Dry Pasta Go Bad?

Yes, pasta noodles can go bad, even though most pasta will last several months after the “best by” date. The best by date just simply means that’s how long they’re expecting it to remain fresh. You can still eat it after that date; it just may have a little bit of a different texture. Use your best judgment, and if you noticed that the pasta breaks apart very easily after you open, it may have started to go bad.

veggie pasta in a white bowl with parmesan cheese

Low Calorie Pasta Variations

  • Change Up The Veggies: You can throw just about any veggies you like into this low calorie pasta! Try kale or spinach for some leafy greens; or you can use mushrooms, carrots, asparagus, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, pretty much anything works!
  • For More Protein, add White Beans: Navy or cannelini beans both work well, and taste great too!
  • Try Fresh Herbs: This recipe uses dried spices for convenience, but fresh basil, oregano and rosemary would all taste amazing in this healthy spaghetti.
  • Switch Out Your Pasta: Try different shapes like penne, rotini or shells; try different types of pasta like legume/chickpea based, quinoa/brown rice pasta, or any other whole grain pasta you enjoy (anything other than traditional white pasta would be great!)

Top Tips For Making The Best Garlic Pasta

  • Never overcook the spaghetti noodles. It’s best to cook them al dente; otherwise, they may end up mushy. Trust me; nobody wants mushy spaghetti. 
  • While twirling spaghetti is fun, for easier cooking, break your spaghetti noodles in half. You won’t have as much clumping and the strands will still be long enough to twirl!
  • Cook your pasta in a large pot – again – to prevent sticking. A large stock pot works well.
  • If you need to sneak the veggies in (for picky eaters), either shred them, puree them, or dice them up super small.
  • Don’t rinse your pasta noodles after they have cooked! You want all that starchy water to stick to the noodles as it will help your sauce stick to the spaghetti as well.
garlic veggie pasta in a white bowl with parmesan cheese

Check Out These Other Easy Dinner Recipes!

If you have tried this Veggie Pasta Recipe or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

garlic pasta with veggies in a white bowl with parmesan cheese
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Garlic Veggie Pasta with Parmesan

This flavorful Garlic Pasta is made with fresh broccoli, zucchini, red onions, seasonings, whole wheat spaghetti, and is topped with parmesan cheese. This easy Italian dish is a delicious, guilt-free solution to healthy eating.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 363.5kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti 2oz per serving
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups pasta sauce choose a variety with no sugar added
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 2 small broccoli heads chopped into small florets
  • 3 zucchini diced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese use 1-2 Tbsp per serving
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions, set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic – saute for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are slightly translucent.
  • Add the broccoli, zucchini, oregano, crushed red pepper, and salt/pepper to taste. Cook for 5-10 minutes until all of the vegetables have cooked through.
  • Heat the spaghetti sauce in a small pot over low heat. Add the diced red bell peppers to the sauce, simmer for 10 minutes.
  • To serve: take 2 oz of the whole wheat spaghetti and top with 1/4 of the sauce, 1/4 of the vegetable mixture, and 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese.

Video

Notes

Low Calorie Pasta Variations
  • Change Up The Veggies: You can throw just about any veggies you like into this low calorie pasta! Try kale or spinach for some leafy greens; or you can use mushrooms, carrots, asparagus, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, pretty much anything works!
  • For More Protein, add White Beans: Navy or cannelini beans both work well, and taste great too!
  • Try Fresh Herbs: This recipe uses dried spices for convenience, but fresh basil, oregano and rosemary would all taste amazing in this healthy spaghetti.
  • Switch Out Your Pasta: Try different shapes like penne, rotini or shells; try different types of pasta like legume/chickpea based, quinoa/brown rice pasta, or any other whole grain pasta you enjoy (anything other than traditional white pasta would be great!)
Top Tips For Making The Best Garlic Pasta
  • Never overcook the spaghetti noodles. It’s best to cook them al dente; otherwise, they may end up mushy. Trust me; nobody wants mushy spaghetti. 
  • While twirling spaghetti is fun, for easier cooking, break your spaghetti noodles in half. You won’t have as much clumping and the strands will still be long enough to twirl!
  • Cook your pasta in a large pot – again – to prevent sticking. A large stock pot works well.
  • If you need to sneak the veggies in (for picky eaters), either shred them, puree them, or dice them up super small.
  • Don’t rinse your pasta noodles after they have cooked! You want all that starchy water to stick to the noodles as it will help your sauce stick to the spaghetti as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 363.5kcal | Protein: 16.4g | Fat: 6.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 3.6mg | Sodium: 773.1mg | Potassium: 1094.5mg | Fiber: 15.6g | Sugar: 9.3g

Posted In…

Entrees ·

From healthy versions of favorites to cozy curries, these main courses are sure to bring some new recipes to your family’s table.

36 responses to “Healthy Garlic Pasta with Veggies and Parmesan”

  1. Hi Anjali,

    Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe!

    It is great that you have dishes that use pasta as so many people think this is a food you should essentially avoid when dieting.

    It is great that you have included the nutritional information (ex. fat content) as I am following a Weight Watchers Diet I can calculate the points for the dish using this information.

    I have recently visited France and fell in love the French cuisine. <3
    Have you any healthy recipes for French cuisine that you could share?

    Thanks for your help 🙂
    Rachel

    • Hi Rachel! No problem at all — I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes and my blog! And yes, I actually think pasta can be really healthy as long as you use whole wheat pasta and you eat it in the right portion size (2 oz is plenty per serving)! Hmmm so I don’t typically make French dishes because they’re not very vegetarian friendly, but if there’s a specific recipe or two you’re looking for I can try to create (or recommend) something! Let me know!

  2. With my health issues it is important to stay on tip of the good food options.
    I am always searching for better meal planning and this website has great pics and recipes.I added flax to my diet and I can add it in the sauce. I am going to try the broccoli and zucchini.

    • I’m so happy to hear that my blog has helped you to eat healthier and maintain your health! Flax is a great addition to your diet – you can absolutely add it into the pasta sauce and you won’t even taste it 🙂 Hope you like this recipe!

  3. Hi Anjali,

    Thank you so much for sharing your amazing ways to eat healthily! I love your blog! I love your recipes, they’re delicious and simply easy to be prepared. Besides that, your blog layout is awesome, it’s very user friendly, you’ve linked up your blog so well that I get to pick whichever meal to prepare just by browsing through your. I’m a very picky eater myself, trying to keep fit and at the same time eat healthy and scrumptious food feels so much simpler following your blog. Especially when you link up all the nutritional information for every specific recipes.

    Great Job with your blog!

    Best,
    C

    • Hi Camilyn! Thank you sooo much for your kind words about my blog! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes! 🙂 It’s so wonderful to meet you – hope you are having a great week!

  4. Healthy, skinny pasta. Not bad! I love that you make a new twist to normal recipes; it’s a good way to make diets fun and interesting. I love pasta but it can definitely get you bloated. Great recipe, will try it out sometime.

    • Thank you Sasha-Lee! And yes! My passion is making a healthy twist to everyday recipes – because it’s all about having delicious and nutritious meals in the kitchen! Can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe when you try it! (Oh and fun fact – if you end up eating a ton of veggies with 2 oz or less of pasta, it will help you to not feel as bloated after 🙂 )

  5. This looks delicious and so simple! you’ve taken some really great photos I like that their sizing is in line with the writing its makes for easy reading, I particularly like the shot with all the ingredients it gives a great a before and after. It’s good to see a breakdown of the nutritional informations it gives me a better understanding of the differences in ingredients compared to white pasta as you say. Can’t wait to try it! thank you.

    • Aw thank you so much Jacinta! I’m so glad the photos and nutritional info was helpful for you! I’m sure you will love this recipe when you try it 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

  6. Hi Anjali,

    I found you through G+. Nice to make your acquaintance. We’re also neighbors (I live in Fremont). This dish sounds delicious and I like the addition of vegetables with the substitution of whole wheat pasta but there’s something that you’ve touched upon that I think is the key to eating healthy which is the whole concept of portion control. Do you know who Dr. Dean Edell is? I subscribe his theory of nutrition which, to summarize, says eat a varied diet (including the unhealthy stuff) but just watch your amounts.

    • Hi!! It’s nice to meet you too! That’s awesome that you’re in the bay as well – I used to live in Fremont a long time ago 🙂 I do know who Dr. Dean Edell is and I think he’s great! My dad is actually a huge fan of his and that’s how I got introduced. But yes, I completely agree with you – it’s all about portion control and eating “junkier” things in moderation. You can’t just deprive yourself of everything – it’s so important to have variety and things you enjoy! Thanks so much for your thoughtful words!

  7. This looks delicious and really easy to make, I cannot wait to try making it myself. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and the pictures show that it turned out really good. I really love the layout of your blog, it looks very warm and fresh at the same time. It truly inspired me to be more picky when choosing what I eat and also to try being more healthy in life.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Vaneeda! I can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe! 🙂

  8. This pasta has all of my favorite things in it! I can’t wait to try it out. I actually have some friends coming over for dinner this evening so I think I’ll try it out on them – LOL! They love it when I do that 🙂 Thank you for the wonderful recipe and have a fantastic weekend 🙂

    • Oh awesome!! You’ll have to let me know how you and your friends liked this recipe – I’d love to hear how it went! Hope you had a great weekend too!

  9. Oh this is just a beautiful dish and looks like spring. I’m vegan so would leave off the Parmesan but I’ve learned a trick for replacing it … I just toast some bread crumbs in a bit of olive oil and garlic. Then I sprinkle them on top of pasta. It gives one the “mouth feel” of Parmesan and adds a nice flavor. Thank you for sharing this recipe … I’m definitely trying it out! 🙂

    • That is such a great tip!! Love the idea of using toasted garlic breadcrumbs instead of the parmesan for a Vegan take on this recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Let me know how it turns out!

  10. I love pasta too! And it can totally be healthy if you don’t load up on cheese, creamy sauces or large portions. I always add tons of veggies to our pasta dishes. Makes them super yummy!

    • Exactly!! Whole wheat pasta can actually be a great base for recipes and a good way to get some extra fiber/whole grains into your diet. Sounds like you and I make our pastas in very similar ways 🙂 Adding veggies to bulk up the dish is wonderful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2020 The Picky Eater. All rights reserved.