Cooking with Kids ~ Fun Shape Veggie Pasta

by Heather

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla. All opinions are entirely my own

No more Teachers, no more books, no more…Wait.

Wrong season. It’s not the end of the school year, it’s the end of summer. And you know what that means? That means it is back to school for all our little (and not so little) ones. Among all the chaos and drama of Back to School shopping it can be hard to prepare a decent meal. I mean, all summer long you’ve had nothing but free time to make gourmet meals every day, right? And now those days are numbered with school and activities looming.

Well, I don’t know about you, but my summer has been just as hectic as the rest of the year. But now with the added pressure of Back to School shopping I have even less time to make dinner. So today I am hoping to bring you another super simple meal to add to your arsenal of simple healthy meals that you can feed the ravenous unforgiving hordes (aka the family) when dinner time comes around. Around our house Barilla Pasta is a regular staple (seriously, I have shelves full of it in our couponing stockpile). The hubby loves regular spaghetti, but my daughter and I love Rotini. She loves it because of the shape, I like the fact that the shape actually holds on to the sauce. So, step on out to Walmart and pick up some Barilla Pasta and Sauce, a squash and a zucchini and follow along to make our super simple Fun Veggie Shape Pasta.

Bonus, for every box of Barilla Blue Box pasta purchased at Walmart between 8/10/2017 – 10/31/2017, Barilla will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry, up to $50,000. That’s enough to provide 500,000 meals to kids in need. Learn more at

I should admit that this recipe didn’t turn out the way I originally intended. I had all kinds of plans for crazy shaped veggies and noodles made from zucchini (that’s in addition to the actual pasta, not instead of). But when it came time to actually execute my grand plan I realized the complicated nature of it. Lots of knife cuts and shaping and stuff, and sometimes I’m not so coordinated with the knives and the sharp edges, etc. Plus, some of the kitchen gadgets I was going to use are still MIA from moving a few months ago. So, I had to come up with a backup plan. That involved cookie cutters (hey, they’re not just for cookies anymore).


You see, this recipe is designed to sneak some vegetables into your kids (or mine). One of the tried and true ways to do that is to let them help make it. And to present the food in fun shapes. Ok, so that is two of the tried and true ways, not one. Just go with it. The alternative to get my kid to eat something is load it up with sugar or chocolate. And I’ve been told that’s not super healthy (Buddy the Elf would disagree, but we aren’t working with elf food groups).

Check out our fun video to see the process of building our Fun Shape Veggie Pasta.

Cooking with Kids ~ Fun Shape Veggie Pasta
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 Box of Barilla Rotini
  • 1 Jar of Barilla Tomato and Basil Sauce
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt


  1. Fill up a pot ½ to ¾ full with water and heat until boiling.
  2. Slice up the Zucchini and Squash into cookie sized slices (about ¼ to 3/8 inch thick)
  3. Use cookie cutters to cut them into fun shapes
  4. Pour your olive oil into a skillet over medium-high heat
  5. Add in the minced garlic and mix around
  6. Switch over to your boiling water, sprinkle in some salt and add pasta, stir often
  7. Add the Zucchini and Squash to the oil and cook until they are heated through and begin to get tender
  8. Sprinkle in Italian seasoning as you like
  9. Add Tomato and Basil sauce to the veggies, heating through
  10. When the sauce is heated through and the pasta is cooked, drain off your pasta and serve.

I know, that is like a super-complicated recipe. But that’s the beauty of it. My daughter proceeded to literally scarf it down because it tasted good, it was fun, and she helped make it (hint, she has the smaller hands in our video).


Barilla Tomato Basil Sauce

Simple Ingredients

No Preservatives

Gluten Free


Made with Non-GMO Ingredients

Barilla Rotini Pasta

Simple Ingredients

Low Glycemic Index, keeping you fuller, longer

Enriched with Iron and B Vitamins

Made with Non-GMO Ingredients

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Linda Manns Linneman August 15, 2017 - 6:37 am
My grandchildren would love this. We love Barilla products and use them often. Thank you for sharing this great recipe. God Bless
Cecil August 15, 2017 - 3:18 pm
Great idea!! Love the fun shaped veggies, makes a very pretty plate.
Armando Rincon August 15, 2017 - 4:14 pm
it's always good to teach your kids to cook from very early in life, specially if its pasta,yummy.
AnnaZed August 16, 2017 - 2:58 pm
To me this looks great, and we love that pasta, but the day that Alysia regards a zucchini as a fun shape has yet to come.
Veronica Lee August 16, 2017 - 11:32 pm
Marvelous idea! This would make an adorable plate.
stephanie mitchell August 26, 2017 - 6:39 am
Thanks for the recipe. Saving it, to make with my little.
denise low September 24, 2017 - 10:56 am
Thank you for sharing your recipe. My grandkids come over quite often so I will try this out on them.
USSROVER (Michael) October 17, 2017 - 5:34 am
I learned how to cook (quick & fast meals) when I was about 7 years old (51 years ago)
Kathy March 26, 2019 - 2:30 pm
This recipe looks great. I'm always looking for something new to try with the kids. I'm sure they'll love this one too.
Lauryn R June 10, 2022 - 1:51 pm
What a great idea for a quick meal that kids will be sure to love! My kids are pretty picky, but this sounds like something they would enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing!

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