This post is sponsored by Mezzetta. All opinions are my own.
This Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake is total comfort food … make it tonight!
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Fall is just around the corner, and that makes me so happy. It’s my favorite season, and I’m looking forward to enjoying everything it has to offer!
Pasta is another fave dish in autumn, and I love experimenting with different flavors. This Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake cured my craving for something rich and delicious, and it was easy to make with my secret ingredient, Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauce!
During my first year in New York, I remember wondering when fall was finally going to arrive. It stays warm through September here, and it seemed like the leaves were never going to change colors.
When they finally did, I couldn’t believe how beautiful the city looked!
My favorite fall activity is strolling through Central Park with my husband, hot drink in hand, and taking in the vibrant fall colors. And of course, when I return home I love to warm up with something delicious, like this Cheesy Veggie Baked Pasta.
This vegetarian baked pasta recipe is packed with fresh veggies, plenty of ooey gooey cheese, and yummy penne pasta. It’s total comfort food!
Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake
Pasta is definitely an indulgence, so I filled this easy vegetarian baked ziti with lots of fresh veggies.
This Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake is simple to prepare, and I have a secret for cutting down on prep time in baked pasta recipes. Instead of making my own sauce, I use a ready-made pasta sauce like Mezzetta’s. It’s rich, flavorful and was the perfect choice for this dish!
I already love Mezzetta’s olives (kalamata are my fave!) and pickled vegetables, so I couldn’t wait to try their Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauces.
Mezzetta has been family owned and operated for over 80 years, and each jar of sauce is made with 100% hand-selected plum tomatoes. There’s no added sugar or paste, and you can taste these personal touches in each bite!
For this dish, I used the Tomato & Sweet Basil sauce, and I loved the thick consistency and amazing flavor.
The flavorful sauce paired perfectly with the sautéed onions, bell pepper, and yellow squash I added …yum! Then, add some penne or ziti pasta and cheese to complete this recipe.
After a quick bake, this Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake is ready to eat. This is a meal your whole family will love digging into!
This Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake is total comfort food ... make it tonight!
- nonstick spray
- 1 (16-oz) box penne pasta
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 8 oz brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, quartered and sliced
- 1 (25-oz) jar Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade Tomato and Sweet Basil, or other marinara sauce
- 1 (6-oz) package baby spinach, roughly chopped
- handful of basil leaves
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick spray.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add penne and cook until al dente. Do not overcook.
Drain pasta and set aside until sauce is ready.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
Add onions and bell pepper to oil; cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown.
Stir mushrooms into pan and saute until they begin to brown, stirring often.
Add squash to pan and cook until brown, stirring frequently.
Season veggies to taste with salt, then reduce heat to medium and allow pan to cool slightly.
Mix pasta sauce into vegetables and cook until bubbly.
Carefully mix spinach into sauce and cook until wilted.
Tear basil into pieces and stir into sauce. Remove sauce from heat.
Stir pasta into sauce, then mix in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.
Transfer pasta to baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake pasta for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and pasta is hot.
Serve pasta immediately, topped with additional fresh basil, if desired. Enjoy!
This Cheesy Veggie Baked Pasta is easy to customize with your favorite veggies and herbs. It would even be delicious with some feta or olives thrown in.
Try it with other Mezzetta Sauces, too. I can’t wait to try Spicy Marinara or Wild Mushroom.
Just look at all those fresh veggies … suddenly, I’m hungry again!
Make sure to visit Mezzetta’s website for more recipe ideas, too!
What is your favorite fall meal?