Veggie Pasta Bake

This veggie pasta bake is one of my family’s favourite dinners, especially when we want a vegetarian meal. It’s filled with vegetables like roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, peppers, and spinach, paired with a delicious tomato sauce and baked with feta and Cheddar cheeses. It’s an incredible comforting dinner that is also nutrient-dense.


Vegetable pasta bake

In This Post:

My Favourite Veggie Pasta Bake

I have made this pasta bake many, many times. It’s our go-to comfort food in the cooler months and my family loves it.

This vegetable pasta bake requires a little bit of prep but once the dish is assembled (which you can do ahead of time), all you need is to pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. I often pre-make it on a Sunday as part of meal prep and then bake it on Monday evening.

With a plethora of vegetables, flavourful tomato sauce, gooey cheese crust and salty feta melted into the sauce, this is the ultimate veggie pasta bake!

👉 If you’re looking for more vegetarian dinner recipes, make sure to try my lentil and mushroom Stroganoff, this veggie-filled cottage cheese lasagna, the baked Italian eggplant Parmigiana, or the quinoa-stuffed peppers. You can find all of my vegetarian recipes here.

vegetable pasta bake with grilled cheese on top

You Will Need

This recipe is pretty forgiving and you don’t have to be super accurate with the amounts of veggies listed. A little less or more will work just fine! Here is what you need to make this veggie pasta bake:

  • Winter squash/pumpkin – you can use butternut squash or kabocha squash (Japanese or Kent pumpkin, for those in Australia). Cut it into cubes and roast a big batch (save the leftovers for a salad). This can be done ahead of time.
  • Mushrooms – good old cremini, white button mushrooms, sliced.
  • Spinach – Baby spinach is best for this recipe but you could also chop up some English spinach or defrost frozen spinach.
  • For the sauce – onions, red bell pepper, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes in oil (don’t skip!), paprika, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and tomato passata (aka tomato sauce or marinara sauce).
  • Cheese – feta and either grated Cheddar or Mozzarella; in Australia, Tasty cheese is also good here!
  • Pasta – I almost always make this dish with fusilli pasta as it holds onto the sauce so well. You could also use penne or rigatoni, nothing too small though.
Ingredients for vegetable pasta bake: mushrooms, butternut squash, baby spinach, onions, and red peppers; tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper, chili, salt; fusilli pasta, feta and grated cheese.

How To Make Vegetable Pasta Bake

Find the full list of ingredients, nutritional info, and instructions in the recipe card below. Here are some step-by-step pictures to guide you along.

  • Prepare roasted squash. Preheat oven to 400 F/200 C. Peel and cut the squash into large cubes. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast on a large, flat baking tray for 25-30 minutes, until lovely and soft.
  • Cook the mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms. Saute in a large pan with a little olive oil and salt over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until golden brown.
roasted butternut squash and sauteed mushrooms
  • Make the tomato sauce. Add olive oil, onions and red peppers to another pan and saute over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. You want the veggies to get soft and almost caramelized.
  • Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper, chilli, paprika and stir through. Follow with tomato sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Wilt the spinach: Finally, add the baby spinach and stir through; cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted into the sauce. Taste for seasoning.
steps showing how to make tomato spinach pasta sauce
  • Cook the pasta. While the above is happening, cook the pasta until just al dente. I like to reduce the cooking time by 1 minute as the pasta will continue to cook while baking and you don’t want pasta that’s too soft. Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and strain the rest.
  • Combine the pasta: Add the pre-cooked pasta to the sauce along with the mushrooms and most of the roasted butternut squash. Add the feta cheese and stir through. Place any remaining butternut squash pieces on top and finish the dish with grated Cheddar or Mozzarella.
  • Ready to bake: Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C (this can be done while you’re assembling the pasta if making everything at once). Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese has melted and golden brown crust has formed.
  • Making-ahead: You can store pre-made veggie pasta in a baking dish overnight. Bring to room temperature (10-15 minutes out of the fridge) before baking.
how to make a pasta bake with vegetables and cheese

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overcook the pasta! Keep it al dente, even a little undercooked as it will continue to cook while baking. Speaking of pasta, use larger shapes like fusilli and penne.
  • To speed up the time, roast the butternut squash ahead of time. It can be stored for 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Another speed hack is to use store-bought pasta sauce (something like a vegetable version) and add the spinach when heating it up.
  • If making your sauce like in this recipe, don’t skip sun-dried tomatoes! They are a key flavour ingredient and I am all about the flavours.

What To Serve With Pasta Bake

This dish is perfect by itself but you can freshen it up with a crisp green salad or some garlic broccoli. I also love a drizzle of chili oil on my serving.

Veggie pasta bake recipe in a skillet

More Pasta Recipes


Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

Veggie pasta bake with butternut squash, spinach and mushrooms feature image

Veggie Pasta Bake Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian Inspired
Print Pin Save
5 from 6 votes
Calories: 596kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large deep oven-proof skillet or casserole baking dish
  • 1 flat baking tray for roasting butternut squash
  • 1 frying pan or skillet to cook mushrooms and to make the sauce
My favourite veggie pasta bake filled with vegetables like roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, peppers, and spinach, paired with a delicious tomato sauce and baked with feta and Cheddar cheeses. Comforting dinner that is also nutrient-dense.

Ingredients 

Winter Squash/Pumpkin

  • 3.5 cups butternut squash diced or kabocha squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mushrooms

  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms about 200 grams / 7 oz
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For tomato spinach sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely, about 1 cup
  • 1 red bell pepper diced, about 1 cup
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 chili flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato strips chopped finely, used the ones stored in oil
  • 1.5 cups tomato passata aka tomato sauce or marinara sauce (about 400 grams)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup pasta water when mixing in the pasta

Pasta

  • 6 cups pasta such as fusilli or penne, about 400 g/ 13 oz
  • 1 tsp salt

Cheeses

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar or Mozzarella or mix

Instructions

  • Prepare roasted squash. Preheat oven to 400 F/200 C. Peel and cut the squash into large cubes. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast on a large, flat baking tray for 25-30 minutes, until lovely and soft.
  • Cook the mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms. Saute in a large pan with a little olive oil and salt over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Cook the pasta. While the above is happening, cook the pasta until just al dente. I like to reduce the cooking time by 1 minute as the pasta will continue to cook while baking and you don't want pasta that's too soft. Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and strain the rest.
  • Make the tomato sauce. Add olive oil, onions and red peppers to another pan and saute over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. You want the veggies to get soft and almost caramelized.
  • Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper, chilli, paprika and stir through. Follow with tomato sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Wilt the spinach. Finally, add the baby spinach and stir through; cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted into the sauce. Taste for seasoning.
  • Combine the pasta.  Add the pre-cooked pasta to the sauce along with the mushrooms and most of the roasted butternut squash. Add the feta cheese and stir through. Place any remaining butternut squash pieces on top and finish the dish with grated Cheddar or Mozzarella.
  • Ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C (this can be done while you're assembling the pasta if making everything at once). Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese has melted and golden brown crust has formed.
  • Making-ahead. You can store pre-made veggie pasta in a baking dish overnight. Bring to room temperature (10-15 minutes out of the fridge) before baking.

Notes

Nutrition is for 6 average servings but this could serve 4 if extra hungry!

Nutrition

Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1387mg | Potassium: 1246mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 11195IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 419mg | Iron: 4mg
Keywords: Easy Pasta Bake, Pasta Bake, Roasted Butternut Squash, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Pasta
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedandloved or tag #cookedandloved
Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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Comments

7 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    This pasta is beyond delicious. It’s the best pasta I have ever had. Thank you for such a rich, delicious recipe that is still zinging flavour on the tongue 20 minutes later.

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely loved this! It’s the perfect combination of hearty pasta, savory vegetables, and cheesy goodness. The flavors blend together perfectly, and it’s so filling and satisfying. It’s become a regular in my dinner rotation.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh. Heck. Yes! I have some kids that are picky eaters and they loved this recipe! Thank you so much for another great one! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    So many veggies in this but the kids loved it! One of them even asked for seconds. This is definitely a winner dinner!

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