Vegetable Pesto Pasta Sauce is creamy and delicious but secretly packed with good stuff. Ricotta cheese and Parmesan add creaminess and mask any veggie taste that might scare off picky eaters. Meanwhile, spinach and peas add a serving of vegetables to a
Some days the best I can do is veggie wise for my picky eaters is to give them a fruit and veggie pouch and try to make boxed mac and cheese healthier.
Serving my kids a salad happily is just not our reality. I believe in doing what you can, encouraging healthy eating, and indulging occasionally. And, of course, getting a little sneaky when necessary.
Hidden veggie pesto pasta sauce for the win
You may have seen my veggie spaghetti sauce and my healthy veggie Alfredo sauce in the past. Truth be told, though, it all started with my veggie pesto sauce.
This is why I love hidden veggie meals! Pack your kids full of
This veggie pesto pasta sauce is a staple in our house. We have it at least once a week and I often double the recipe to eat as cold leftovers or pack it in school lunches. It’s that good and the green cheesy goodness is secretly packed with veggies.
Tips for making vegetable pesto pasta sauce
- Start with just 1 clove of garlic and work up from there. Our family REALLY likes garlic and the ricotta definitely tones it down, but it’s still a strong flavor.
- You can also roast the garlic to tone it down and add some sweetness. I go over how to roast garlic here!
- Use fresh spinach. Frozen makes the texture super smooth in a bad way and isn’t my favorite. Instead, try slipping it in this easy spinach smoothie!
- This isn’t a science and is so forgiving. To be honest, most nights I make this I totally wing and eyeball the measurements.
Like hidden veggie recipes? Try this: Over 100 Hidden Veggie Recipes Your Kids Will Love!
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If you don’t already own a food processor, you totally need one. Not only can you make things like pesto, but nut butter, oat flour, and even pastry and biscuits. This one has great reviews and it super inexpensive.
How to make vegetable pesto pasta
It’s really the most simple recipe ever.
- Add spinach and basil to the food processor with cheese, garlic, and peas.
- Begin blending with the food processor.
- Slowly stream in oil. Stop when spinach pesto is the desired consistency. We like ours pretty smooth.
- Add to pasta, toss with cooked chicken, top veggie meatballs, make creamy pesto pasta salad, or just slather on bread!
That’s it! Seriously so, so easy.
Vegetable Pesto Pasta Sauce
This spinach pesto sauce is packed with veggies! Your kids will love the garlicy, creamy pasta. You’ll love that they’re getting in their vegetables. This nut free pesto is sure to please the whole family.
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Vegetable Pesto Pasta Sauce
Veggie Pesto Pasta Sauce is creamy and delicious, but secretly packed with vegetables. Call them monster noodles to convince kids to give them a try, but after one bite your picky eater will be begging more.
- 1 cup fresh spinach*
- .5 cup peas
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1-4 garlic cloves
- .5 cup ricotta
- .5 cup grated parmesan
- .5 cup olive oil (more as needed)
Add basil, spinach, peas, garlic and olive oil to food processor. Process until smooth, adding extra oil if needed.
Add cheeses to processor and blend until smooth. Add pepper and salt if needed.
Serve on top of pasta, hot or cold, or as a spread on sandwiches or dip for veggies.
-Start with less garlic and build to your family’s preference.
-Add more ricotta if you think the veggie taste is too strong.
-Use freshly grated Parmesan – not the shelf stable shakable kind.
-Do not use frozen spinach. I’ve made the mistake and it gives a very odd texture.
Want to get the kids involved?
Have kids remove the basil from the stems and add to a bowl. No need to complicate life but exposing them to the food processor blade.
When everything is added to the food processor, lock the top on and allow your kids to press the button and/or stream in the olive oil.
Okay, so tell me – would your kids like this? Is your husband a veggie hater? Let me know in the comments!
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