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!
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.
Adriana's Fave 10-Minute Pasta
4 (adult-size) servings
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.
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
- 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***
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
* 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.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
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!
Hummus in pasta sounds interestingly delicious. I’ve had hummus on a lot of things, but not on pasta.
I agree, it’s kinda weird, right?! My daughter is a huge hummus fan, so one day I was just like…why not? heh. It makes it so creamy.
It definitely is yummy on pasta. Gives it a creamy texture and flavour!
I do similar with white beans (purée or mash them) as they are soooo nutritious and makes tomato sauce milder to kids taste buds. Can add them even to smoothies.
This recipe is so flavourful and quick to make…I love love love the way the hummus cuts through any acidity in the tomato sauce and makes the sauce velvety. I think the hummus might be the secret weapon that makes the children (and me!) fall in love with this dish; it has a “gentle” flavour.
Plus, its a great excuse to make or buy some hummus for dipping veggies the next day.
Cauliflower puree was undetectable in the sauce … I love that I can add the benefits of cruciferous veggies without changing the flavour. Thanks, Angela, for this superfast recipe :)
Will share this with my bestie who’s got a very hungry toddler :-) Personally I always have cooked Puy lentils in the fridge (I’m French, that’s why) and make a quick “sauce” with those + onion, garlic, miso, bay leaves, red wine and vinegar + lots of pepper. It is super fast to make and my boyfriend loves it too. Thanks for all the inspirations!
Oooh, I love hummus, I’ll have to try this!
This is totally being made next week!
Haha! This post made me laugh. I’m glad to hear another mom has the same problem with finicky eaters. ‘Noodles and sauce’ is a go-to for us too, but I never thought to add the hummus or hemp. I’ll have to give a try next time with them! :-)
Yum; I don’t have hummus at home, but I have tahini, so I’m thinking I’ll toss that in instead – our whole family loves it in your Fusilli Lentil-Mushroom pasta recipe. My co-worker is a nutritionist and she raves about that recipe as well – and she, by the way, has guided me through my twins’ food phases: my daughter, who will try anything, and my fairly picky son – they really do come with those inclinations intact!
It came out great, and this makes me feel less guilty on “pasta nights,” since I’m still getting some protein into them.
Oh my gosh, I was literally just thinking that I have ZERO ideas of what I’ll make for dinner tonight when this post popped into my feed, and I think I have everything at home to make it….so I know what’s for dinner now! Ha! Thanks so much!!
This looks amazing!
I love how quick it is. x
This sounds really great and I’m definitely going to make it. Is there a fave brand of marinara sauce that you recommend? Also where would I find kamut pasta in the GTA…regular health food store? Thanks :)
Hi Kery, my favourite store-bought marinara is Costco’s White Linen Collection Marinara Sauce. I highly recommend it! As for kamut pasta, I’d say check out the health food/organic section of your grocery store. I use Eden Organic brand and looooove it. Hope this helps!
Do you use plain hummus or is there a particular flavored hummus you find works best?
Try roasted red pepper on pasta! It is a favorite in our house!
I tend to use plain, but you can use any flavour you love to change it up. :)
My kids don’t like hummus.. but I’m going to sneak some in the next time I make them pasta to see if they notice since I have some leftover.
The kids are also willing to try blended spinach in their pasta next time (they do enjoy it already in smoothies so they are a little less apprehensive)
Oh my goodness, I mix tomato sauce with hummus ALL the time, and everyone I know finds it so odd. I guess maybe now I can just say that I have the tastebuds of a toddler? :)
Whilst I’m not a toddler (just at heart) I’m definitely going to be keeping the ingredients on hand to make this simple dish. Hummus in pasta – WHO KNEW?! But I love the idea! x
I thought I was the only one who put hummus in pasta sauce! I find my 2 year old suddenly rejecting lentils in their whole form (just a phase, I hope), so it’s been my go-to along with red lentils, which are pretty much mush anyway and can’t easily be spit out!
My advice based on experience for those with picky (or newly picky in my case) eaters that will ALWAYS eat pasta is to mix it up as much as possible. Every pasta shape and sauce I can think of has been tried to make sure she doesn’t get “stuck” on one food until she’s 18. Anytime I have leftover soups, sauces, etc., I freeze them in silicone ice cube trays or silicone muffin cups and they all work GREAT to throw on various pastas and grains. Angela, your Thai soup from the new cookbook makes a great creamy pasta sauce, FYI ;)
My fridge freezer has a bin of ready to go soups/sauces, a bin for grains/proteins (also frozen in pucks), and a bin with pre-cooked/cut up/pureed veggies. Meals are SO EASY, especially since our supper is often not on the table until late evening. At least she eats on time! Good luck to all the toddler mamas and papas out there, and thanks again Ange for always inspiring us!
Hey Sarah, Oh I LOVE your tips and tricks! I too have tried adding soup into the pasta and find it works great. I’ve never thought of adding frozen cubes though, but I will definitely try this out soon. Your frozen “bin” sounds like a perfect solution. Thanks so much for sharing!
This sounds so good and healthy! I would never have thought to add hummus with marinara. I would love to see more toddler recipes!
Hope it’s a hit when you give it a try, Christine! We just love the addition of hummus.
I’ve just made my first recipe from your book …tex mex casserole …I loved it ..my meat eating husband loved the cashew sour cream ..I loved the tastiness of the tex mex and that it will feed me for a few days xxx
I’m so happy you enjoyed the casserole, Michele! I hope you love whatever recipe you try from the cookbook next just as much. Enjoy those leftovers!
I’m wondering about freezing the sauce in ice cube trays so it’s easy to reheat a few for a toddler sized portion on demand?
What I ended up doing was steaming carrots and cauliflower and then pureeing. I also cooked some lentils. I then froze the pureed veggies and cooked lentils in ice cube trays. Today I made the pasta and it was super easy to throw the ice cubes (4 veggie, 2 lentil) into the sauce and heat while the pasta was cooking for added veggie and protein boost. My one year old is on his third helping now and I have to admit I am eating a bowl too and it’s delicious!
I’m sorry I haven’t tried freezing this sauce before, but I love the idea!
This recipe is amazing! I made it yesterday for dinner for my whole family and they all loved it. It’s my new go to recipe when I’m shot on time. I didn’t have any hummus at home but had canned chickpea, so I was able to make hummus while pasta was cooking. I’m going to prepare several jars of marinara sauce just for this recipe. Thank you so much, Angela, I’ve been following your blog for many years now and you have inspired my whole family to adopt a mostly vegan lifestyle.
Oh, I’m so happy to hear it was such a hit, Olya :)
This recipe is great! I don’t usually eat pasta with marinara because it is too acidic for my tastes, but adding the hummus makes all the difference in the world! I also love the subtle bite of the hemp seeds. Easy, quick, healthy and delicious – great recipe! Thank you, Angela, for all you do!
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it, Elizabeth! I really love the twist the hummus adds, too. :)
i love your all recipes thanks for sharing
Can’t wait to make this. I love any kind of spiral style pasta, but you had me sold at 10 minute pasta.
Hi Angela, thanks so much for sharing these super tasty, easy ideas to get toddlers to eat healthy! Question for you….what do you think about adding the hummus and hemp seeds to your Easy Tomato Basil Cream Sauce? http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/10/easy-tomato-basil-cream-pasta/ The pureed cauliflower might work as an add-in for that too, no?
I think that could be a great twist on the recipe! With the addition of hummus especially, you may find you need to add more water to thin out the sauce a bit. If you experiment, I’d love it if you’d report back with what you tried and how it went. Happy cooking, Danielle!
It looks so good. seems it’s decided for me to make it
Looks amazing! Also adding some lentil taco meat. Thanks for planning my dinner!
Ahhh I can’t wait to try this! Love your recipes – I look forward to trying more!
I could eat pasta everyday! And this looks like my tomorrows dinner haha
Thanks for sharing
Ok, so I’m scarfing your Nut Free Taco salad from your app as I type, trying not to make a mess of my keyboard. But I had to stop by & say: OMG, it’s soooooo good! :) I’m a Texas girl so I know & love me some taco salads! I’ve tried meat subs before & they’re usually disappointing. But this one blew my mind! I added some black beans & skipped making the dressing since I had a hangry toddler on my hands. I just topped it with a scoop or two of hummus. I also realized mid-prep the only salad greens I had were half wilted spinach & arugula but they worked too. I have so many plans for this…burritos, seven layer dip, the list goes on. Planning on trying this pasta dish on my toddler this week! Thanks for another home run recipe!
Thanks for the love, Kelley! So glad you’re enjoying that recipe. Happy cooking!
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We have just started baby led weaning with my 6-month-old so I am pleased to see child recipes starting to appear! I can already see that what is a winning food one day may not be the next but it’s good to have easy meals up one’s sleeve :)
I have two toddlers and can’t wait to try this recipe out for them!! They love pasta (thankfully are good with whole grain), as well as hummus so hoping it goes over well! Now that you have a toddler, have you thought of making a vegan toddler-friendly cookbook? Or do you have any toddler-friendly cookbooks that are your go-to? Thanks!!
Hi Marielle, I hope your little ones enjoy it! To be honest the thought of creating a cookbook for little ones is a bit intimidating because toddlers can be SO picky, lol. It’s something I may consider in the future after I have more practice under my belt. ;) I’m sorry I haven’t used any kids cookbooks yet, but maybe someone else can weigh in on a good one!
I highly recommend reading Karen Le Billon’s amazing book, “French Kids Eat Everything: and Yours Can Too”. You’ll discover how her toddler and young child got over picky eating and become healthy eaters. (The book includes several recipes, although only about half of them are vegan friendly.)
That said, I have a 17-month old toddler who eats everything! I’m not kidding. He eats broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, zucchini, rutabaga, all sorts of legumes and pulses and strong flavoured foods like tempeh and fresh herbs all with a huge smile of his face! The trick is: (1) no snacking,except for afternoon tea (2) serve vegetables first at lunch & supper (3) serve each course separately so your child can focus on the food, and (4) model a love of vegetables yourself. I also serve my meals without any distractions, no TV, no radio and no music. Instead, I focus on providing a pleasurable, relaxing time together by dressing the table with fresh flowers and candles, and being organized so that I’m in a calm state, not jumping up and down for stuff, but able to enjoy the joy of eating together with my family.
Thanks for the inspiration. I added humus and hemp hearts to the pasta last night and it was delicious. Have shared the recipe with my kids to try on the grandkids – which will be the true test. Not sure my version could be called toddler friendly, as I used my favorite spicy sweet potato hummus, but it sure was delicious. The hummus makes the pasta sauce stick to the noodles. Great for toddlers as they will actually get more of the delicious sauce in their mouths.
Oh, that hummus sounds delish, Darlene! I hope your kids have success with the recipe, too.
well, sometimes it’s the easiest things that are the best, right? i can see why your toddler would like this pasta the best, sounds lovely! will try soon, sounds good for a lunch at the office cause it can easily be prepared and filled in a container!
all the best, stäf | eatwholegreens.com
Thanks for sharing this gem! It was so good and so easy to make (which a student can appreciate hehe :) I really enjoy drowning this with some hot sauce and some butternut squash on top.
We (myself, husband and toddler) all loved this. My husband doesn’t always love the idea of meatless meals, but he always goes for it I when I tell him it’s an OSG recipe ? Thank you!
Wow, never thought of adding hummus in pasta, I should try this for my little ones :)
If you try it, I hope it’s a hit, Rose!
Tried this last night with Trader Joe’s red lentil pasta and it was terrific. The additional protein from the hummus and lentil pasta kept us from looking for a snack later in the evening. I keep the Costco single serving hummus packs in the fridge since they are great for travel (under 3 oz for US carry on requirement) and snacking, so just added one of those when I heated up the sauce. A winner in our house and also a pantry recipe since we usually have everything on hand.
Hey, that’s just like my name! ;) :) :)
this look delish. i can’t wait to try it. thanks for sharing.
Probably a little odd but I do love hummus as a creamy sauce base. I think I started using it when trying to make a recipe that called for tahini…haha hummus has tahini right? Looks delicious!
Hummus in pasta actually sounds so good!! Thanks for the inspiration, as always. Xo
This is amazing. It tastes like you added a splash of heavy cream to the dish without the animal protein/fat! It’s easy to make a big pot of marinara and pasta and keep it in the fridge for quick weekday meals. I nuke it for a minute or so with a spoonful of hummus mixed in. I’ve been eating it for breakfast it’s so good :)
Genius Angela!! Thank you!
This is now one of my go to recipe’s LOVED it!!!!
My kids and other family members loves the Pasta so much! Thanks for the recipe. Oh i just forget to mention the [email protected]@. Great presentation i.e. anyone will edger to eat them at a glance.
Thank you! I’m so happy the recipe’s a hit.
I seem to always have these ingredients on hand. I’ll have to try it. Though my girls are closer to tweens at this point, I am sure they would love it!
Hi Angela – Brilliant recipe everyone should do at home. I have visitors today and I shall be cooking this. Wish me luck, though the way you laid out the description makes it so simple. Today lunch is pasta and hummus. Thanks a lot. From the Omigy family.
Love this pasta dish! I use it all the time when I haven’t pre-planned a meal and need something quick and yummy. Thanks. On another note, re: cocoa powder, do you only use natural cocoa powder in all your dessert recipes? I know you use it for anything requiring baking soda but what about your recipes that call for baking powder like your fudgy black bean brownies or the brownie breakfast bake. Am I supposed to use the dutch pressed cocoa powder for those or can you still use the natural one? I thought you shouldn’t use natural with baking powder. Sorry for my confusion…
Hey Joanna, I’m so happy you love this pasta so much! Regarding your question: Yes, you are right about the distinction between natural and dutch cocoas! I tend to only use dutch-proceed unsweetened cocoa powder (my go-to brand is Cuisine Camino) in all my recipes. It says to use it in recipes that call for baking powder (but I probably have a few where I’ve used it in recipes with baking soda, too). In other words, you can assume dutch-processed in my recipes, unless you see otherwise. :)
Thanks so much for the reply! I just wanted to clarify your comments. I have both your books (yum!) and in both your pantry sections you mention using natural cocoa powder in your recipes but in your reply you mentioned using Dutch processed. I mostly stick to your savoury recipes but I want to try some of your desserts and just want to make sure I don’t mess them up. ?
Will be trying this recipe on the family this week. Angela, please share as many family friendly recipes as possible. As a working mom, who also wants to feed her family real food, I appreciated this post with variations and shortcuts. Not always possible to find the time to cut up and cook multi-step recipes. And over the years, I have found that the less effort I put into supper, the more they love it!
I just wanted to let you know that the link for your Vegan Broccoli and Cheese Soup is down on your website. Was really looking forward to trying that recipe.
Thank you, we had some problems with the website but they should be fixed now. Hope you enjoy the recipe!