Very Veggie Pasta

Very-Veggie-Pasta Recipe

This recipe is a devious attempt to get you to eat your vegetables.  Except, now that I’ve told you, I guess it’s no longer devious.  Shall we call it creative?  Artful?  Subtle?  I don’t know.  I just know that vegetables can be boring and this is yummy. Even though it has vegetables in it.

So the secret to making veggie pasta that doesn’t taste like a plate of noodles being invaded by yucky vegetables is to cut the veggies into itty bitty teeny tiny pieces.  And mix it with a flavorful sauce. Voila!  Rich, saucy pasta … and, oh, wait … are there vegetables in here?

Is Pasta Fattening?

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that, while I think whole-grain pasta is a good food choice for healthy weight loss, I am most definitely NOT a fan of cardboard-tasting whole-grain pasta.

Tinkyada pasta to the rescue!  This stuff is the best tasting, whole-grain (dried) pasta I have ever had.  No, let me rephrase that.  Tinkyada pasta is the best tasting pasta, whole-grain or not.  I’ve tried numerous brown rice pastas and other whole-grain pastas, and Tinkyada wins, hands-down.


At a weight loss class I taught a few years ago, I made two pots of soup – each with identical ingredients in them, except in one pot I used regular white pasta, and in the other I used Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta.

I served each class participant the two different soups, but I didn’t tell them which was which. Then I took a survey asking the participants which pasta/soup they liked best.  Forty-eight out of 49 said they couldn’t tell the difference, and the one person who said she could tell the difference responded she liked soup #2 (the one with Tinkyada pasta) best!

(With all this Tinkyada praising, I thought I should mention I’m not associated with Tinkyada in any way.  I just like their pasta, and I think it’s an excellent choice for weight loss.)

Pasta with Veggie Sauce

Very Veggie Pasta

This simple pasta dish features fiber-rich vegetables and delicious whole-grain (but not cardboard-tasting) pasta. Delicious! (I use my veggie chopper to cut the veggies small. Saves a lot of time.)
Course Main Course
YIELD 4 servings
All recipes on are property of jennifer’s kitchen and cannot be republished without written permission.


  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded or diced small - (I use my veggie chopper to cut the veggies small. Saves a lot of time.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups very small cauliflower florets - (about 1/2 head)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water - or vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces uncooked spiral or spaghetti pasta - I recommend Tinkyada pasta.
  • 3 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes - or tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar - optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • black olive halves or slices - optional


  • In a large soup pan, sauté onion in oil over medium heat until they begin to look translucent, about 8 minutes. If using diced carrots, saute them along with onions. If using shredded carrots, wait to add them in step #2. Meanwhile, start water for pasta.
  • Add cauliflower and garlic. If using shredded carrots, add them now. Sauté for 1 to 2 additional minutes.
  • Stir in seasonings. (See note.)
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add 3/4 cup water or broth, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy – about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Stir in tomatoes or tomato sauce, raw sugar, and fresh parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. (See note.)
    (At this point, sauce can be cooked longer if you prefer your vegetables to be softer.)
  • Add peas and cook until heated – about 2 minutes. Serve hot.


Different varieties of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce come seasoned differently. If using tomato sauce, cut seasonings in half. If using crushed tomatoes, do a taste test at step 6 and adjust seasonings if desired.

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  1. I agree about Tinkyada pasta. We also like the Brown Rice & Quinoa pastas from Trader Joe’s. Realize not everyone has a TJs nearby. What do you think about making some zucchini noodles and sauteeing in pan to use as the “pasta”?

    1. Hi Nina,
      Thank you for your comment. I hear so many great things about Trader Joes; I wish we had one nearby!

      “Zucchini noodles” are quite an creative invention. : ) I’ve been wanting to try them and for some reason have never got around to it. I need to give them a try. Have you tried them? If so, do you make them with a veggie spiralizer?

      1. I do use a spiralizer but I hear from others that they swear by a julienne slicer. The spiralizer does give you other sizes besides noodles though. We have used it to spiralize other veggies as well, like potato, turnip, even celery root! I am thinking that raw zucchini noodles (zoodles) with your Avocado Sauce or Healthy Cheese Sauce or your Creamy Italian Salad Dressing would be really tasty. Your site always gives us lots of inspiration. We now always have onion and garlic powder around to add to everything!

          1. Hey Jennifer, wanted to ask about granulated garlic vs. powder and granulated onion vs. powder…:) I notice you use granulated more…curious to hear your thoughts on when you choose either and amounts..thanks!

            1. Hi Nina,
              I prefer the taste of granulated garlic and onion over powdered because it’s less bitter. Also, it doesn’t clump up in humid weather as much as the powder.
              But you can use powdered in any of my recipes if preferred. As far as amounts, they are pretty much interchangeable.
              Hope this helps 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    This is delicious—I love a one-dish meal. I added more vegetables—some broccoli, yellow squash, and mushrooms. Yum!

  3. This looks delicious. I have a question. Can I use fresh tomatoes in place of the canned? I have so many tomatoes from my garden that I would like to use up before they all get spoiled. What would I need to add more of if I go this route?

    1. Hi Jeanne,
      I haven’t tried this with fresh tomatoes, so I’m not exactly sure, but I do think it would be delicious!
      I think what I would do is cut the fresh tomatoes into a colander that is set in a bowl. The bowl would be to catch the juice from the tomatoes. Then use the juice in place of the water or broth in step # 4.
      Let us know if you try this. 🙂

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