Baked Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pesto, Noodles and Zoodles

Give your kids another reason to love pasta (and you another reason to feel good making pasta again for dinner) with this recipe that is packed with a ton of healthy ingredients. With greens, veggies, protein, a touch of fat and awesome flavor, this dish, created by Veggies Don’t Bite, will be your new favorite dinnertime meal.

Makes 9×12 pan of goodness

16 ounces gluten free fusilli noodles (or pasta of choice)
3 medium sized zucchinis (about 6 inches)
Spinach Tahini Pesto
1 cup chopped sundried tomatoes, dried or in water (I use the dried ones in a bag)
10 partially cooked Kale & Lentil Balls, optional for added layer of flavor (use ½ the recipe)
Hemp Almond Parmesan, optional for added layer of flavor

1. Preheat oven to 350. If using the Kale & Lentil Balls, follow recipe and make half to get 10 balls. When baking, only bake for half the time, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Cook pasta according to directions, but cook 1 minute less than done. Since it will be baking you don’t want the noodles to overcook. Drain and place in a large bowl.

3. Meanwhile, make the Spinach Tahini Pesto and Hemp Almond Parmesan if you haven’t made it ahead of time. Set aside.

4. Wash the zucchini. Using a spiralizer, make zucchini noodles out of the zucchini. I use the flat thin blade versus the spaghetti like blade. Make sure you stop and break the sting of noodles as you go or cut them down a bit after so you don’t have one long zucchini noodle. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also cut the zucchini into flat thin noodle like slices. Add the zucchini noodles to the bowl with the pasta.

5. Pour pesto into the bowl.

6. Chop sun-dried tomatoes and add to the bowl.

7. Once cooled, crumble the Kale & Lentil Balls into the bowl. They may be slightly soft still since they were only partially cooked, but they will bake in with the dish. Mix everything well.

8. Pour the whole mixture into a 9 x 12 baking dish. Sprinkle with Hemp Almond Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes. You can add more Hemp Almond Parmesan when serving. Enjoy!

Notes and Tips from the Chef: You can use sundried tomatoes in a jar just make sure they are packed in water if you want to keep this oil free. The Kale & Lentil Balls and Hemp Almond Parmesan are optional, but give it a great extra flavor. I made it both ways and liked the added touch of flavor that they gave. But the dish is still amazing without them.

Tips to prep ahead: Make Spinach Tahini Pesto, Kale & Lentil Balls and Hemp Almond Parmesan. Spiralize zucchini.

Baby/toddler food idea: Steam zucchini and puree with pesto and Kale & Lentil Balls. Use liquid of choice to thin out to desired consistency. For toddler, cut into small pieces and serve.

veggies-dont-biteSophia DeSantis is the author of Veggies Don’t Bite, a vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free food blog targeted to all types of eaters. She is the mom of two beautiful boys and wife to an amazing husband. Her and her family live a vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free life 90% of the time because she believes that the stress of having to be perfect shouldn’t overpower the benefits that their healthy lifestyle brings. Through her website, she hopes to reach anybody interested in making a positive health change in their life.