Wagon Wheel Pasta Bake is a quick and easy make ahead meal that is perfect for dinner and reheated for lunch the next day! A true cook once dine twice meal.
Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the #PastaFits campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time. As always, thoughts, opinions, and stories about my kids are my own— you can’t make this stuff up folks!
Most of my childhood memories surrounding food involve red sauce and pasta. Now that my boys are both eating solid foods, we have pasta for dinner once or twice a week. You can imagine my excitement [and theirs] when I was asked to participate in the #PastaFits campaign. I’ve never thought twice about feeding my family pasta. It’s fast, inexpensive, and extremely versatile. It’s also a familiar food for my kids… so when I want to introduce a new vegetable to the dynamic duo, I almost always serve it with pasta and red sauce [or BBQ sauce—- don’t ask]. While pasta is the ideal partner for veggies, alone it’s a nutritious carbohydrate I feel confident feeding my growing boys.
Even though the duo is not old enough to attend school, I find that this fall seems SO much busier than usual. Having said that, I’m also doing my own kind of classroom learning or cooking school with the boys in our kitchen. Well, mainly Joey. Anthony is more concerned about eating food rather than learning about it. Joey’s almost two, so he’s learning shapes, colors, numbers, and most importantly, flavor. This wagon wheel pasta bake is an educational lesson in itself! The shape of the pasta is so kid-friendly, and the crevices really help to soak up the sauce. The shape is also easy to hold and count— right into his mouth!
Cook once and dine twice with this 3 Cheese Wagon Wheel Pasta Bake #PastaFits #ad Click To Tweet
Because straight tomato sauce can have a strong tomato flavor for the tiniest of taste testers, I added plain Greek yogurt to my traditional red sauce recipe. The verdict? No one knew it was in there! Baking the pasta and sauce is an extra step, but one I find worth doing especially if you want to add extra crunch and curb appeal with the kiddos. For those of you packing lunches [for work or school], this recipe reheats nicely and is definitely one of those meals I make on Sunday and have for dinner on Monday and Tuesday. Paired with some sautéed spinach or a simple green salad, you have lunch or dinner for a few days.
Enjoy this one. It’s pure comfort food amongst the busiest back to school season!
- 6 cups wagon wheel pasta [uncooked]
- 4 cups of marinara sauce [I used this recipe]
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- ¼ cup each of Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- Note: You can and should add extra veggies to this dish if you family likes it. I’ve included suggestions in the directions below.
- Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta for about 1-2 minutes less than what the packaged directions call for.
- Meanwhile, combine the yogurt and marinara sauce in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Drain the pasta and add to the same bowl as the sauce. Toss until the pasta is well coated.
- THIS step is where you can add extras: cooked ground beef crumbles, chopped spinach or zucchini, or even broccoli or cauliflower florets. My family prefers greens on the side rather that in the pasta, but that’s your call!
- Spoon pasta into a 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
Are you as crazy about pasta as the Serbinski crew? Then head on over to the Pasta Fits website for more nutritious and delicious pasta recipes.