Plate of Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake. | Hello Little Home

Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake

This Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake is total comfort food ... make it tonight!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 to 8 people
Calories: 485kcal
Author: Ginnie

Ingredients

  • nonstick spray
  • 1 (16-ounce) box penne pasta
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, quartered and sliced (or zucchini)
  • salt
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce (tomato basil or marinara)
  • 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • handful basil leaves
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • 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 lightly browned, 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 hot, stirring frequently.
  • Add spinach and cook until wilted, stirring constantly.
  • 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!

Notes

If you'd like to cook the sauce completely from scratch, substitute a large can of crushed tomatoes for the premade sauce. You'll also want to add some garlic and spices (like basil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, etc.) to flavor the sauce. Add the garlic to the cooked yellow squash, then stir constantly for about a minute or so, or until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and spices, then simmer until flavors blend. Finish the recipe as directed.

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal
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