Hidden Veggies: Cheesy Baked Pasta with Zucchini Recipe

To be entirely honest, when it comes to kids eating, I'm pretty lucky. I have kids who are generally pretty open about trying new foods. And while they certainly enjoy some junk food too, they still also actually enjoy eating vegetables. 'Yay broccoli!' is a phrase that I have heard from my 5-year-old's mouth on more than one occasion.

Like I said, I'm pretty lucky in that respect.

Unfortunately among other moms, this is a complaint that is far too common. Sometimes we have to be a little creative in getting our kids to eat those veggies!

Recently, I decided that I was going to take a classic favorite in my house, and mix it up a little bit to incorporate more veggies! And you know what? The kids didn't even notice. Today, I'm sharing how I did that!



Cheesy Baked Pasta with Zucchini


  • Pasta of Choice (1 pound)
  • Pasta Sauce (1-2 jars or equivalent)
  • Ricotta Cheese (16 oz)
  • Mozzarella Cheese (2-3 cups)
  • Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Zucchini (1-3 depending on size/preference)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your pasta according to direction. You can use any kind of pasta for this, but I prefer penne or spaghetti... try whole wheat or veggie pastas for a healthier all around dish.
  3. Chop your zucchini  into small pieces. You can choose how many based on their size, and how much you want included. I personally used 2 average sized vegetables. Toss into a bowl.
  4. Add half of your pasta sauce and your cheeses, saving some mozzarella for the topping. I don't generally measure, but just eye it... add more or less to suit your tastes. Mix well.
  5. Add cooked pasta into the cheese mixture. And mix.
  6. Prepare your baking dish by adding a thin layer of sauce into your dish. Top with cheese/pasta mixture.
  7. Top with sauce and remaining mozzarella. 
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.

Like I said, this cheesy baked pasta is a staple in my house WITHOUT the added zucchini, and that addition just made it that much better! While I cannot say that it's quite healthy with all that cheese, it DOES at least provide a good serving of veggies anyway!

Do your children avoid veggies like the plague? What other clever ideas have you found to mix them into favorite dishes? Share in the comments below. 

6 comments

  1. This looks so good and I love how sneaky it is :) Thanks for the idea!

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  2. This is a nice way to use zucchini, and I love these cheeses with pasta. Nice recipe!

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  3. This looks delicious and I'm pinning it so i have it for next weekend! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I love zucchini and would love to make this for my family! My email is traciemcooper0515@gmail.com

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  5. I have made hidden veggies sauces before and they are so good!

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  6. That's a healthy pasta that might make me eat zucchini!

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