My girls are extremely picky these days. Any other parents getting frustrated with picky kids? Knowing that pasta, chicken and cheese are foods they will for sure eat, I came up with a super easy kid-friendly one pan pasta bake recipe this evening.
This pasta bake recipe can be altered depending on what you have in your fridge and pantry and can even be spiced up a bit. I will include some optional add-in ideas in the recipe below.
Using the Right Pan
Before we begin, you should know that we are baking the pasta in the same skillet that we cook everything in. It’s important to use a pan that is oven safe, like the 11″ DaTerra Cucina Vesuvio Ceramic Coated Nonstick Frying Pan. The ceramic coating on this Italian-made frying pan is safer than Teflon and doesn’t include harmful chemicals like PTFE or PTOA.
I’m not a huge fan of heavy frying pans because transferring them from the stove to the oven is hard for me. This DaTerra Cucina frying pan is heavy-duty enough for everyday cooking, yet still light enough for one-handed transfers. It’s also a breeze to clean.
The average rating for the 11″ pan is 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with over 300 reviews. I’m a huge fan of purchasing based on reviews (if you couldn’t tell), and I was very impressed reading some of the reviews customers had left.
Promo Code: DaTerra Cucina is offering readers from The Naptime Reviewer 15% off their purchase + free shipping on orders over $100. Visit their website to learn more.
Kid-Friendly Pasta Bake Recipe
- 1 Package of Pasta (I used Casarecce)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3-4 strips of bacon, diced and cooked
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used Italian seasoned)
- 1 zucchini, cubed
- 1 can of Hunt’s Pasta Sauce (I used garlic and herb)
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese (or more if you like extra cheese)
- 1 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional Add-Ins:
- 1 small onion
- red bell peppers
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Boil a large pot of water and cook your pasta. Drain.
- Start by cooking bacon in your DaTerra Cucina pan on medium-high heat. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving some of the grease in the pan.
- Season your chicken with salt and pepper, then place your cubed chicken into the pan with a little bit of bacon grease and cook until almost done. Set aside.
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil into the pan and toss in your minced garlic and cook until fragrant (no longer than 30 seconds).
- Once the garlic is fragrant, toss in your zucchini and cook just until it starts to soften. It’s important not to overcook the zucchini at this point.
- Add your can of diced tomatoes, and half of your can of pasta sauce to your pan with the garlic and zucchini and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken up (about 10 minutes).
- Once your sauce has thickened a bit, place your chicken and bacon back into the pan. Place your pasta (one handful at a time) into your pan until you feel like you have an even amount of pasta, veggies, sauce and meat, stirring while adding. If you feel like you don’t have enough sauce, you can always use the other half of your can of pasta sauce.
- Mix together your Italian seasoned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of your pan of pasta.
- Place the entire pan into your preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until it starts to get golden brown on top. Using a potholder to protect your hand, carefully remove the baked pasta from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
This is a very kid-friendly recipe because it’s so mild. My three-year-old asked for a second serving, which was a complete shock to me. My husband kicked his serving up a notch with drops of his favorite hot sauce, which was also a great way to eat this recipe.
When I cook, I tend to not really measure anything — especially if I’m making up the recipe as I go along. I probably used too much bread crumbs in my own baked pasta, but in the recipe I advised you to only use about 1 cup.
Next time I think I will try covering the dish in mozzarella cheese instead of bread crumbs and parmesan, just to switch it up a bit. And I might add some fresh basil for a bit of freshness.
Do you have another great recipe I should know about? Leave me a comment below and I’ll check it out. DON’T FORGET TO GET 15% OFF YOUR DATERRA CUCINA VESUVIO PANS!
In partnership with DaTerra Cucina. All opinions are honest and my own.