The idea for this Bright Vegetable Pasta came from a weelicious reader who’s child lives on this recipe and I love it. A lot.

At first look I figured it was way too many vegetables in one recipe for the average kid (coincidentally, I had recently been told by a 9 year old that “salad is death”. Whoa!).

Yet when I made this recipe for my kids, what worked so well for them is that the vegetables are grated and chopped into such tiny pieces that everything in the dish is really easy to chew, especially for small mouths. Plus, in every bite they got a burst of sweet veggies brightened by a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. Combined all together it’s a really simple dish that even the most resistant vegetables eaters should be willing to try.


Bright Vegetable Pasta

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Servings: 4
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 cups mini pasta (such as wheels, penne, bowties or spirals)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh baby spinach
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, broccoli, and peas and saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Add the vegetables to the cooked pasta, toss with the lemon juice, parmesan cheese and reserved pasta water to combine thoroughly.


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 20mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. This is great. My 19 month daughter devoured the pasta and all the vegetable, including the spinach! It is also so easy to cook. Thank you for this recipe.

  2. […] love this pasta, as does my whole family. The original recipe is from Weelicious, which I frequent often for meal ideas. I didn’t change the ingredients, but I did increase […]

  3. […] week, our “new recipe” is Bright Vegetable Pasta from Weelicious. I picked it because we love pasta and this seemed like a light and fresh option […]

  4. I made this tonight for my 20 month old as she loves pasta peas and carrots. She didn’t exactly dive in as she does with tastes she is familiar with 🙁 She kinda just picked at the pasta and the peas. I think it may be the lemon flavor she was questioning, and she wasn’t digging the broccoli. Ah well, we can only keep trying new recipes I guess. I thought it was delicious and will eat it myself!

  5. Hmm I have not tried freezing it, and I’m not sure that would work so well. Pasta dishes are better to freeze when they’re things like casseroles.

  6. Perfect! A no sauce noodle dish I can serve my picky daycare kids without feeling guilty about 🙂

  7. My kiddos (5 and 2.5) really enjoyed this for dinner tonight! Though my 2.5 year old me pick out the spinach as per usual, but I keep putting on his plate in case he changes his mind like he has about lots of other vegetables. Thanks!

  8. omg this is literally, no joke, what I ate as a child every day when I was growing up. I was a giant noodle. That’s all I would eat. And a few veggies too. Plus cheese. I love this!

  9. You can really use any oil you prefer! I like using a neutral flavored oil, but olive oil will definitely work!

  10. I like this recipe also but don’t understand why you are using canola oil instead of olive or something much less processed.

    I am guessing the smoke point but all of these items will saute nicely in Olive oil as well.

    Just a thought.

  11. I am making this tonight! My son LOVES wheel pasta, and I have all of these ingredients in my house right now! Yay!

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