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!
I just discovered this one today and made it tonight for both of my kids (5&7) who loved it! I used my own home-made red-pepper hummus and skipped the hemp seeds. It was definitely a hit and so quick/easy to make that it will likely become a frequent meal for us. Thanks for the great idea!
Hi Angela! Long-time fan and first-time poster! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Since you noted the ‘ease’ of preparing this, I was wondering if you have any other thoughts/tips on easy/quick cooking? I recently started reading about the “Instant Pot.” Do you have any thoughts on that? As always, thanks for your wonderful recipes, insights, and stories!
Hey Kate, Oh that Instant Pot is all over, eh? I’m sad to say that I don’t have one so I’m not able to give tips for it. But in terms of tips on speedy cooking, two things I rely on every week are 1) leftovers (not glamorous, but we don’t mind them so I tend to make meals that have ample leftovers!), and 2) If I’m making a recipe which calls for a lot of chopped veggies or other prep work, I will often try to chop them in advance whenever possible (like the night before). It makes cooking the meal much less daunting the next day. Hope this helps :) Happy cooking
Thanks so much! Such a good reminder about the leftovers!
My hubby is allergic to cashews, what could I use instead??
Hey Rose-ann, Happily, this particular pasta recipe doesn’t call for any cashews. Did you maybe have another recipe in mind? Please let me know, and I’ll do my best to offer you a substitution, if possible!
This looks so yummy. I especially like the toddler friendly… My son has suddenly turned so picky! I’m going to have to try this!
I hope it’s a hit with your little guy, Heather!
Those pasta. I want some! :)
Random question (because I’m obsess with dinnerwave) : what’s the brand of the plate?
Thanks in advance
Hey Lula, I think it might be from Ikea! (But I’m not 100% sure on that.)
Loved this pasta! It was incredibly quick and easy and delicious. I’ve never put hummus in pasta, but highly recommend it. My whole family loved this dish.
I’m happy it was a hit, Susan!
This recipe sounds great! I also love to cook a quick meal of pasta and a sauce with whatever ingredients or even leftovers I have at that moment. However I really like to do something with tomatoes :)
My youngest girl loves chickpeas and I cannot wait to use hummus for pasta. I am 100% confident she ‘ll love it. Hummus = chickpeas, so we are about to taste some of the best pastas in the world.
PS. I agree about the beast could define toddlers, but toddlers are so great that we forget the beast that is in them ;)
Hummus def made it really creamy! I added a bunch of mushrooms just bc i love mushrooms and a grain mix instead of hemp hearts, and loved the extra texture of the grains
And again you did it! :)
I didn’t have any hemp but even without it was oh so good. Made my own marinara sauce and was very pleased so I’m off to the store now to go get some other ingredients and play in the kitchen with your recipes ;)
This was so good! I added hemp hearts and cooked some red lentils right along with the pasta, using half kamut and half regular, it was so delicious! Going to try feeding some to my toddler tomorrow. I’m not a fan of tomato based sauces so the hummus made this so much better. I love hummus and so does the kid. Thanks for such an easy toddler friendly recipe Angela!
Thanks for your comment, Sarah! I hope it’s a hit with your little one, too. :)
I wasn’t sure about hummus + pasta, but I had some hummus to use up, so I decided to go for it. I’ve liked everything I’ve made from this blog, and this recipe was no exception! I’ll definitely be making it again :) thanks for another great recipe!
I will have to try this recipe. I am always looking for healthy kid friendly recipes. My littles are 3, 5, and 7 years old. I also love the tips about adding in puréed veggies. I haven’t tried that before.
I hope it’s a hit with your family too, Heidi! I’d love to hear how it goes over. :)
I was so happy to find a single serving of this in the back of my freezer today! My daughter (18 months) loved it the first time, and again today too! It’s so quick and easy to make. Thanks for the great recipe!
the last time I made pasta it took me about an hour, doing it in 10 minutes is a dream come true considering how much I love pasta :D .. definitely trying this over the weekend.. thanks a ton, you always come up with amazing recipes :)
Also shouldn’t we wash the pasta under cold running water once after the boil?
Hey Richi, Thanks so much for your kind words! I hope you enjoyed this recipe. :) Typically, when serving pasta warm and with sauce, as in this dish, you don’t need to rinse it—just drain. Rinsing is intended to wash off the starchy film that forms on cooked pasta, which is definitely important when making something like a cold pasta salad, so it doesn’t all clump together; but for warm, saucy pasta dishes you actually want that film to stick around (apologies for the accidental pun), as it helps the sauce coat and cling to the pasta.
Well I think hummus is the real changer here. Hummus is not something one usually associates with pasta but I tried the recipe a couple of days back and it was perfect, definitely cooking this again. thanks for such awesome recipes you keep coming up with :)
I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the hummus addition, Vincent! We think it adds such a lovely boost to this everyday pasta recipe.
I’m not a toddler (or a have one) but this dish sounds delicious. I’ll let you know what I think when I try it. Thanks for sharing. :)
Lol, hope you enjoy it!
Being a big pasta lover, I decided to follow this recipe. It was really delicious. It was easy and quick. My kids loved it!
I love hummus very much, I’ll have to try this!
YUM I would have never thought to put hummus in pasta. Needing to try this now. Thanks for the inspiration!!
Hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try, Nikki!
great recipe I love your way of cooking and teaching.
I am going to make this recipe for my children and husband.
I think the recipe is decent but do not understand this idea of a child choosing to not be eating the food prepared for it.
This recipe really appealed to me as I want to prepare for my little girl going onto solid foods- Love the recipe and the plate is gorgeous!! I need that! ?
Hi Angela, I agree with the 20 exposures thing as far as kids taking to a food is concerned. But I guess the same can be applied to us adults too because it takes about 21 days for us to form a habit and affinity towards a certain food is no different! The hummus is a nice touch. I love how the vegetable ingredients and being an Indian and a strict vegetarian myself, I am going to try making this for sure!
This looks sooo good! :)
I have not tried humus with pasta before. Fabulously delicious idea! This is such a tremendous twist on a fun recipe. And, I love introducing new foods to the kids. I hope they can travel the world one day and will never be afraid to try new delicacies from other countries.
looking yumm.. will try soon
I just wanted to let you know that whenever I meet with someone who is asking for food advice in transitioning to vegetarian or vegan, yours is always the website I give them a link for. I’ve used some of your recipes and they’ve always worked out well so I’m not afraid to recommend you.
Congrats on all your success and thanks for the support.
Wow, thank you so much! That means a lot to me Debby. :)
I thought this dish was really easy to make and fast. I followed the 2 other reviewers advice and cooked the pasta separately for about 7 minutes, drained almost all of the water, and then added it to my already cooking tomatoes, garlic and onions. I really enjoyed this dish.
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!
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!
10 minute pasta is very quick indeed and my toddler did like it.
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 :)
Thanks so much for the kind words, Anna! I’m so pleased to hear this recipe was a hit with your little one. :)
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!
Thanks! If you try this recipe, or any others on my blog, I hope you enjoy :)
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!
Great recipe I love the way you teach & cook. I am surely gonna try this weekend for my children and husband.
Am interested in learning to cook more vegan.
Looks great and I think my kids would love it! Thanks for the idea!
Well, I don’t know about toddlers, but my extremely picky one year old sure liked this pasta. Thank you!
Yay! Glad to hear it, Katy. :)
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!
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.
If you decide to give a try, I hope it’s a hit with everyone, Edwina!
I love hummus very much, I will have to try this recipe. I am always looking for healthy kid friendly recipes.
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.
I hope it’s a winner, Taylor!
Super easy recipe and yummy one too.
I can make this and pack in kids tiffin.
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!!
Hi – the book I used to start cooking for my babies when they were interested in more than breastmilk is Super Baby Food. There are some non-vegan recipes but the majority of it has nutritionally dense food for babies that doesn’t include rice cereal or cow’s milk. I loved the book! Good luck!
Fabulous recipe. I love the protein boost the hummus gives it. I never considered adding hummus to pasta.
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.
Oh, I’m so happy to hear they love it!
Thanks for this recipe. Perfect for weekday nights after a long day at work and too tired to prepare anything complicated.
Looks delicious even for the non-toddler :). I’m definitely going to try this one out.
Our whole family loves it! I hope you do, too :)
For anyone that can’t have tomatoes or sauce, there is one you can buy it is called nomato, I used it for this recipe and it was super great, made it for a friend who has so many food sensitivities it is hard to find him a meal he can eat.
This pasta with a small sub for the sauce was perfect thank you.