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Healthy Hidden Veggie Pasta Dish

I’ve never really been one of those moms that hides vegetables in foods my kids like. I just put them on their plate and make them try them. They don’t love every vegetable, but thankfully they have their favorites that I can count on for good nutrition. One day I was struggling to come up with lunch. They will always gobble down pasta, but I feel bad unless I add some protein and vegetables to it. But all I had was squash, and that is one veg they have not yet come around on. I decided to try something new and hide the squash by peeling it and mixing it in with small shaped noodles. The verdict: delicious! They ate every single bite! They didn’t even try to eat around the veggies like usual, because I don’t think they could see or taste the difference. Just another step in the process of teaching my children to love good, nutritious food.

Healthy Hidden Veggie Pasta Dish


Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com


  • 8 ounces elbow pasta (or other favorite shape; substitute whole wheat or GF if desired)
  • 1.5 cups summer squash, peeled and diced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 0.25 teaspoons onion powder
  • pinch of ground red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup cooked ground beef
  • grated Parmesan (garnish)


Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook 2 minutes, then add squash. Cook another 5-7 minutes (depending on pasta shape) or until pasta is tender. Drain pasta.

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, onion powder, and red pepper and cook 2-3 minutes until bubbling. Stir in basil, cooked pasta and squash, and ground beef. Sprinkle bowls with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Freezing Directions:

Prepare pasta and sauce and directed above, but do not combine. Cool and divide pasta/squash among gallon freezer bags. Cool and divide sauce among quart freezer bags and place inside bag with pasta. Label and lay flat to freeze. TO SERVE: Thaw. Combine pasta and sauce and reheat. Garnish with Parmesan cheese as desired.

Servings: 2 


**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

2 Responses to “Healthy Hidden Veggie Pasta Dish”

  1. Stacey S says:

    A big hit with my very picky eater 5 year old son!
    Thank you!

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