When it comes to kid-friendly dinner recipes, pasta is a natural choice. It’s crowd-pleasing, easy (more of a parent benefit than a kid one) and can be served a zillion different ways. But there are only so many times a grown-up can eat spaghetti and meatballs before they start to crave something a little more vegetable-centric.
Sneaking veggies into your kid’s food can be tricky, but the combination of pasta and cheese is usually a good canvas in which to disguise things like broccoli, green beans, peas and carrots. The recipes below have at least a serving of vegetables per serving of pasta but aren’t adult or elevated dishes. In other words, your kids will actually eat them. Choose one of these 13 recipes to make for dinner tonight — if your kids eat it up (literally), add it to your rotation and maybe try another next time.
Creamy ham & broccoli shells with cheese
These savory, cheesy ham and broccoli shells are simple and filling, with just enough veggies.
Fresh vegetable lasagna
Zucchini may be a tough sell, but when it’s all chopped up and mixed into this cheesy vegetable lasagna, you’ve got a shot.
Penne bake with tomatoes & spinach
There’s a deceptive amount of spinach tucked away in this penne bake.
Easy cheesy broccoli pasta bake
This cheesy broccoli pasta casserole tastes just as good reheated the next day.
Spring pea pasta with burrata
This pea pasta is gorgeous but still neutral enough for kids.
Baked ravioli with asparagus & cheese
A great way to motivate some vegetable consumption? Baked ravioli with plenty of cream sauce.
One-pot pea & corn pasta
This simple pea and corn pasta is as easy as it is delicious.
Creamy carrot & tomato pasta
Blending carrots into this tomato sauce is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies.
Roasted vegetable stuffed shells
The roasted vegetables are almost undetectable in these warm, cheesy stuffed shells.
Easy cheesy sausage & green bean skillet pasta
Sausage is the major flavor in this green bean skillet pasta.
Slow-cooker hidden vegetable pasta
Blend this hidden vegetable pasta sauce after cooking, and no one will guess there’s eggplant in there.
Creamy tomato-spinach pasta
This simple tomato-spinach pasta is beyond easy to make and will please a crowd.
Creamy butternut squash Alfredo
Just like regular Alfredo, but this creamy butternut pasta has some sweet squash blended in.