Adriana’s Fave 10-Minute Pasta (toddler-friendly)

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At long last, I’m sharing the recipe I’ve probably made the most since Adriana started eating solids (which somehow feels like forever ago and just yesterday at the same time). I’ve had so many requests for this recipe, but never got around to sharing it because it would always be devoured right away, leaving no time for photos. Last week, I finally made it in the morning so I’d have a bit of time to snap a few shots.  

I use the term “recipe” lightly here because I never measure the ingredients for this pasta; not having to measure anything is part of its beauty and ease. I measured it here so you can get a feel for it, but once you do, I encourage you to throw caution to the wind and wing it! It’s really hard to mess up. You can often find me glugging marinara, spooning hummus, and dumping hemp hearts with abandon into the cooked pasta. The quicker the better, especially when there’s a hangry toddler screaming “Paaaaaaaasta!” at your feet.

Not only is this pasta fast and delicious, it packs in tons of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. You can also change it up and customize it so many different ways—I’ve provided a few ideas in the recipe, but I’d love to hear what you come up with, too!

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I’ve been hesitant to share “toddler-friendly” recipes on here because I’ve learned a few things about feeding a toddler: 1) what they claim to love and hate changes by the day (or minute), 2) toddler likes and dislikes are not one size fits all, and 3) the food my daughter loved at one year old (virtually everything!) is certainly not what she loves at two years old (this age is much more hot and cold, as she loves to assert her independence). It’s not uncommon for me to think I’ve found a foolproof toddler-friendly recipe to share with you, only for it to then be rejected for a month straight. (And I once read that a little one often needs 20 exposures to the same food before they take to it, too.) Luckily, my dear recipe tester, Nicole, runs a daycare and she shares most of my recipes with her daycare children, which gives me a much better idea whether a recipe will be, generally speaking, a winner. I’m happy to say this one was enjoyed!

Anyway, I’m sure we’ll have a mix of “my baby/toddler/kid loved this” and “my kiddo only ate one bite” in the comments—that’s just the nature of the beast. (And by “beast” I mean toddler, in a sometimes cute/sometimes scary kinda way…am I right?) But my hope is that some of you will be able to fall back on this recipe as often as we do. I don’t know what I’d do without it as it’s just so easy. Oh, and yes, us adults like it too, so even if you don’t have kids you may want to give it a try on those busy, too-tired-to-cook weeknights. It’s great paired with a simple side salad and Lemon-Tahini Dressing, which can be thrown together while the pasta cooks.

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Adriana's Fave 10-Minute Pasta

Vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

I’ve made this pasta countless times for our family; it’s hard to beat how fast and nutritious it is, and it can be changed up so many ways. It packs in around 20 grams of protein and 11 grams of fibre per (adult-size) serving (depending on which kind of pasta you use, of course—see my notes), not to mention healthy fats from the hemp hearts. My advice if you’re in a rush is to start heating up the water first, before you gather any other ingredients, as it can take some time for the water to come to a boil. If you happen to have a batch of my Fail-Proof Marinara Sauce from Oh She Glows Every Day (p. 175) on hand, it works wonderfully in this dish. Of course, store-bought marinara works just as well, too.

Yield
4 (adult-size) servings
Prep Time
Cook time

Ingredients:

For the pasta:
  • 1 box (340 g/12 ounces) rotini or fusilli pasta*
  • 2 cups (500 mL) marinara sauce
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup (80 mL to 125 mL) hummus
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) hemp hearts
Optional add-ins:
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Frozen peas or other veggies**
  • Cooked lentils or beans
  • Fresh spinach or basil, minced in food processor
  • Puréed cooked carrots or cauliflower***

Directions:

  1. Add water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. While you are waiting for it to boil, gather the rest of the ingredients. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, add the pasta, and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, stirring every now and then to prevent the pasta sticking.
  2. Drain the cooked pasta well and place it back into the pot. Stir in the marinara, hummus, and hemp hearts until combined. Taste and add a bit of salt or other mix-ins if desired.
  3. Heat over low until warmed throughout. If serving this pasta to a little one, spread a scoop of pasta out on a plate to gently cool it before serving.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple days. To reheat, add the pasta into a pot along with a bit of extra marinara sauce (this adds moisture back) and stir to combine. Heat over medium-low heat until warmed throughout.

Tips:

* I typically use whole-grain kamut pasta. And sometimes, I mix in a bit of red lentil pasta for a protein boost. Feel free to use any kind of pasta you and your family enjoy!

** To quickly thaw frozen peas, add them to the pot during the last minute or two of cooking the pasta.

*** When I have time, I love to steam or boil carrots (or cauliflower) and then purée them until smooth. Then I stir the puréed veggies directly into the pasta. It’s an easy way to add even more nutrition without impacting the flavour too much.

This pasta goes lovely with a simple side salad and garlic bread. If your little one isn't a salad fan, try giving them small lettuce leaves for dipping into the dressing.

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Last but not least, be sure to follow me on Instagram if you aren’t already! I have an exciting Vitamix and OSG cookbook giveaway coming up!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

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Olle Fagerlin June 19, 2017

Looks delicious even for the non-toddler :). I’m definitely going to try this one out.

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Angela Liddon June 19, 2017

Our whole family loves it! I hope you do, too :)

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Nicole June 15, 2017

Thanks for this recipe. Perfect for weekday nights after a long day at work and too tired to prepare anything complicated.

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Kerri June 10, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Thank you a million times over for this recipe! We’ve recently changed to a plant-based diet in our house and have been looking for toddler-friendly meal ideas. My 11 month old twins both go nuts over this one. It’s a hit in our house.

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Angela Liddon June 12, 2017

Oh, I’m so happy to hear they love it!

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Jessie Gill June 9, 2017

Fabulous recipe. I love the protein boost the hummus gives it. I never considered adding hummus to pasta.

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Anne June 6, 2017

You may be too busy for this now, but I would love if you could write a post about how you started your babies going vegan. My son is just a little younger than yours, at seven months, and I keep postponing starting solids almost paralyzed with fear of not knowing what to do! I know they just recommend white rice cereal and pretty soon cows milk. But I don’t want to do that. I do plan to breast-feeding to a year, I know that’s his main nutrition, but I think I might start drying up probably sooner than I’d like judging by a drop in supply now. Anyway, if you do have time, or if you already wrote some posts that you could direct me too, I would appreciate it. I did make this pasta for my husband and I, and it was good :-) but I’m guess I’m talking a little more basic baby stuff first. Thanks!!

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Raksha Kamat June 2, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Super easy recipe and yummy one too.
I can make this and pack in kids tiffin.

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Taylor Reed May 30, 2017
Recipe Rating:

My sister’s daughter is so very picky about what to eat so I am helping my sister to have some toddler-friendly recipes. Oh wow, I was just looking ‘Pasta for kids’ and found your blog. This is really helpful so I will cook this for my niece hoping she will like it.

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Angela Liddon May 31, 2017

I hope it’s a winner, Taylor!

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Nancy Moore May 30, 2017

I love hummus very much, I will have to try this recipe. I am always looking for healthy kid friendly recipes.

http://fitnessgrams.com

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Edwina at The Equipped Cook May 20, 2017

I think my little ones would like this too. Pasta has always been a favorite for me and my children love it too. I like the idea of putting hummus in this recipe. Great addition. I can’t wait to try making it. Thanks for sharing.

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Angela Liddon May 23, 2017

If you decide to give a try, I hope it’s a hit with everyone, Edwina!

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Elsa May 17, 2017

OMG I’ve been doing this forever now and had now idea it was even a thing! I have two noodle addicted kiddos and i feel much better about it when tossing in the hummus! The tolerant lentil noodles have been a life saver too!

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Katy May 13, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Well, I don’t know about toddlers, but my extremely picky one year old sure liked this pasta. Thank you!

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Angela Liddon May 15, 2017

Yay! Glad to hear it, Katy. :)

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Addison Jones May 10, 2017

Looks great and I think my kids would love it! Thanks for the idea!

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Victoria May 4, 2017

Am interested in learning to cook more vegan.

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Supriya Kutty May 4, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Great recipe I love the way you teach & cook. I am surely gonna try this weekend for my children and husband.

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Deb Hatton May 2, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Soooo simple and so yummy. I know you have the spinach listed as an optional add-in but it really takes it to another level!

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TheCannizzoClutch May 2, 2017

Wow! That looks really tasty and seems so easy to make. I’m newly vegan, so I’m trying to find more recipes that are plant-based and quick to prepare. Love your site!

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Angela Liddon May 2, 2017

Thanks! If you try this recipe, or any others on my blog, I hope you enjoy :)

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Anna Hayes May 2, 2017
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This is such a great idea!! My toddler is obsessed with hummus and was never a big fan of tomato sauces but adding hummus turns the sauce into something so creamy and delicious we both had seconds!! You are such an inspiration as a vegan mum recipe blogger! Thanks :)

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Angela Liddon May 2, 2017

Thanks so much for the kind words, Anna! I’m so pleased to hear this recipe was a hit with your little one. :)

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Priya May 2, 2017

10 minute pasta is very quick indeed and my toddler did like it.

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Cheryl May 1, 2017

I made this the other night and it’s my new go-to pasta! My picky husband, and three-year-old gobbled this up! I love how the hummus makes it creamy without any dairy. I am not able to have dairy or turkey/pork/soy, so when I found your blog and cookbooks I was so happy! I just purchased your second cook book and spent the weekend reading each recipe…the recipes and pictures are just beautiful. I am so excited to begin my health journey alongside you! The best part…you’re an Ontarian to boot! :) Thank you for sharing your passion with us!

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Angela Liddon May 1, 2017

Thanks for the support for Oh She Glows Every Day, Cheryl! I’m so thrilled to hear you’re enjoying it so far (as well as that this pasta was a hit with everyone). Thank YOU for leaving such a lovely comment!

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