Vegetarian Pasta Bake with Italian Herbs
This cheesy, healthy, Vegetarian Pasta Bake recipe is so easy to make and packed full of tasty, nutritious ingredients. Lightened up with roasted veggies, paired with a rich tomato sauce, it's a meal that the whole family will enjoy!
Servings: 8 servings
- 3 bell peppers (yellow, orange or red) cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
- 2 zucchini quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 summer squash quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 cremini mushrooms halved
- 1 yellow onion peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
- 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 1 tsp ground black pepper divided
- 2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
- 5 cups marinara sauce store bought or homemade
- 1.5 cups frozen peas thawed
- 1-1.5 cups shredded Italian cheese keep about 1/3 cup for the topping separate (I used a fontina, mozzarella & parmesan blend)
Chop all the veggies and preheat your oven to 450 degrees
On a baking sheet (or in a casserole dish/large pan), toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Don't overcook your pasta! It will cook a second time in the oven, so you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain and set aside.
Once the veggies are done, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. If you used a large casserole dish/pan to roast the veggies in, you can just dump all of the additional ingredients (pasta etc.) into that pan to mix everything together (that's what I'd recommend!). Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.
Top the pasta with the remaining cheese (about 1/3 cup).
Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
Top tips for making Vegetarian Pasta Bake
Adapted from FoodNetwork.com
- Make sure to use a large, deep casserole dish for baking so that you can fit everything into one dish!
- To save on cleanup, roast the veggies in the dish you're going to bake the pasta in.
- You can make this ahead of time - follow the steps to step 5 in the recipe, then cover and keep in the fridge until ready to cook later that day.
- Leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge - they will last for up to 4 days and gently reheated in the microwave or oven. You can also freeze this recipe in an airtight container - it will keep for up to 3 months! To reheat from frozen, defrost in the microwave on low and then heat in the oven on 350 until warmed through.
- Don't overcook your pasta. I recommend cooking it for 50-60% of the time recommended on the package. It should still be a little hard inside when you drain it, and it will continue to cook while it’s in the oven.
Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 59.9g | Protein: 16.1g | Fat: 8.5g | Sodium: 551.2mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10.6g