Family-Friendly, Veggie-Packed Pasta

March 22, 2023

My older son has become quite the picky eater and avoids anything green, so, even though I don’t like trying to “sneak” vegetables past him, I am leaning into recipes that contain greens that aren’t visible. Once this sauce goes through the blender your little one will not be able to find and remove any of those pesky green bits :) I hope you enjoy this recipe - it's full of iron, protein, and delicious flavor!


  • 1 Box of Banza (or your favorite) pasta
  • 1 T Olive Oil 
  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, finely chopped 
  • 1 Carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 Zucchini, grated
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ C Red Split Lentils 
  • 1 T Tomato Paste 
  • 1 t Dried Oregano
  • 2 C Passata
  • 1 ½ C Vegetable or Chicken Stock or Broth 
  • 1 Bay Leaf 


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic on low heat for 10 mins.
  2. Add the bell pepper and zucchini and stir for a further minute.
  3. Add the lentils, tomato paste and oregano and stir until mixed.
  4. Add the passata, stock and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 20 mins. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the pan.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and, using a stick blender or large blender, blend until smooth (I recommend waiting a few minutes after removing from heat so the sauce isn’t simmering as you pour it into the blender).
  6. Stir through cooked pasta.
  7. Add parmesan cheese to taste. I serve a bowl of this with some sliced fruit for my boys and call it a good night! Mike prefers his pasta accompanied by a glass of red wine ;)

*Recipe adapted from Healthy Little Foodies