An easy marinara sauce loaded up with chunky summer veggies and served over pasta. This Garden Veggie Pasta is a delicious, healthy meal the whole family will love!
Kids love anything with noodles, so pasta dishes are a great way to sneak in some extra nutrition!
This is a basic marinara recipe combined with sautéed chopped summer vegetables. If you’ve never attempted to make your own marinara sauce, you must try it – it’s so easy! I use canned crushed tomatoes for ease, and they are great year round, but you could certainly use fresh.
This Garden Veggie Pasta is the one of just a few ways I can get my son to eat zucchini (enchiladas, muffins and dessert bars are the other ways!). Give it a try today!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Tomatoes ~ I used canned tomatoes for convenience. Fresh tomatoes can be cooked down instead of using canned.
Veggies ~ With so many vegetables, like eggplant, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, and more packed into this veggie pasta recipe, it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, and more!
Feel free to use your favorite vegetables. Other summer veggies that would work great in this recipe: sweet corn, green beans, yellow summer squash, or green peas.
Pasta ~ Pasta not your thing? This healthy vegetable sauce would be great served over rice, baked potatoes, zoodles, or polenta.
Protein ~ Feel free to add in some white beans, chickpeas, or pan-fried tofu for an extra protein boost.
Oil-free ~ If you’re following an oil-free diet, feel free to use ¼ cup vegetable broth or water to sauté instead of olive oil.
Gluten free ~ Use gluten free noodles.
How to make the recipe
While the pasta is cooking, sauté the onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until starting to soften. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and eggplant and sauté another 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, dried basil, balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.
Simmer the sauce on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve the sauce over the cooked noodles. Easy and delicious!
Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
You can also freeze this Garden Veggie Pasta in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Please note, however, the vegetables and noodles may lose some of their texture upon reheating. For best results, freeze the pasta and sauce separately.
Recipe pro tips for success
~ Use a medium shaped pasta, like penne, rotini, rigatoni, or gemelli.
~ Cook the pasta in well salted water until al-dente.
~ Don’t skip the balsamic vinegar! It adds a sweetness and depth of flavor that rounds out the sauce beautifully.
~ Bump up the protein in this veggie pasta dish by adding a can of white beans or chickpeas (drained and rinsed) or cubed baked tofu.
~ Use gluten free noodles or spiralize some zucchini for a gluten free version.
~ For an oil-free version, sauté with ¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth or water instead of oil.
Of course! Most store-bought packaged noodles are vegan, but be sur to read ingredient labels as some may contain egg.
Pasta can definitely be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. Choose 100% whole grain pasta for added fiber and nutrients. Pairing noodles with a vegetable-heavy sauce like this Garden Veggie Pasta is always a good choice!
The word primavera in Italian means spring. Pasta primavera is an American dish consisting of pasta and fresh vegetables. Usually, these dishes are made with spring vegetables, but you can find a primavera recipe for any time of year. This Garden Veggie Pasta could also be called pasta primavera, but if you want a more classic version, try my Vegan Pasta Primavera.
I like medium size pasta noodles for this dish, like penne or rotini, as they match the size of the chopped vegetables best. Longer noodles, like spaghetti or fettuccine, are a bit clunky here and smaller noodles, like orzo or ditalini, won’t hold up to the thick chunky sauce.
More veggie pasta recipes
- Cauliflower Bolognese
- Vegan Pasta Primavera
- Easy Hummus Pasta
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- Easy Mediterranean Pasta
- Roasted Fall Vegetable Pasta
- Pasta with White Beans and Kale
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Garden Veggie Pasta
- 12 ounces penne or pasta noodle of choice (gluten free, if desired)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 ½ cups diced eggplant about ½ of an average sized eggplant
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced (or color of choice)
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 2 teaspoons [dried basil]
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- torn fresh basil
- sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package directions in well-salted water.
- Meanwhile, sauté the onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and eggplant and sauté another 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, dried basil, balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.
- Simmer the sauce on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve the sauce over cooked noodles.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
I confess I didn’t exactly follow the recipe. I basically used the new York Times classic marinara sauce recipe (plus a glug of red wine and about T. of tomato paste), and followed the directions to add veggies according to your recipe (I used a zucchinni, couple carrots, and red bell pepper). I wouldn’t do a thing different – it came out great! My dad and I ate it as vegetarian meal with garbanzo beans last night as per his diet restrictions. With a side of greens tossed in oil and vinegar it made a truly delicious meal the second day.
Jenn Sebestyen says
Glad you loved it, Beth!