Serve up a filling, yummy baby meal with this easy Baby Pasta. It includes a tomato based sauce with extra veggies and beans blended in for an iron-rich meal perfect for lunch or dinner. Plus: The sauce freezes so well so you can have a stash of future meals ready and waiting!

baby pasta in white bowls with teal spoon

Baby Pasta

When my oldest was a baby, there was a period that I remember so well when she was hungry. And while she was still learning to eat, I found that an easy pasta recipe with a hearty veggie-based sauce was an easy way to help her fill up before bedtime.

This recipe is one that I served to her (and my other two kids) when they were babies and one year olds, but that has stayed in rotation since them. I love it because it’s versatile, it’s filling from the pasta and beans, and it has iron (even though it’s vegetarian).

It’s also easy to adjust for a baby who eats from a spoon or a baby eating with their fingers and for the type of pasta you plan to serve it with.

This can be served as an easy lunch or dinner— and can be made ahead and warmed up to serve.

So many options to fit your lifestyle and preferences!

ingredients in baby pasta

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need just a few ingredients including:

  • Pasta: I prefer a smaller shape such as stars, pastina, ABC pasta, or ditalini as they are often easier for baby to eat.
  • Crushed tomatoes with basil: This can be purchased in a can or a jar near other crushed tomatoes.
  • White beans: Drain and rinse your canned beans for the best flavor and texture.
  • Sweet potato, butternut squash, or pumpkin puree: I prefer sweet potato most.
  • Italian seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

TIP: I like to use a small pasta shape here so that it’s easy to eat off of a spoon or for baby to pick up and eat.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Gluten-free: Use a favorite gluten-free pasta.
  • Dairy-free: Omit the Parmesan. Some people like to use nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan to add flavor.
  • You can use marinara sauce in place of the crushed tomatoes with basil—this will have more flavor and older kids and parents may prefer it this way. It will have more sodium, but you can decide if in the mix of the rest of the food you make whether that is something to worry about. (I do not overly worry about sodium.)
  • Sweet potato puree and butternut squash puree have a slightly sweet flavor, so they are a great option here. You can also use pumpkin puree.
  • If you don’t have one of the veggie purees, you can also skip it and just plan to add the beans.
how to make baby pasta step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this baby food recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

  1. Add the sauce ingredients to a blender. I like to do it first to avoid having to blend piping hot sauce.
  2. Blend very smooth.
  3. Prepare the pasta according to package directions and drain.
  4. Warm the sauce through, then stir some into the pasta and serve with Parmesan if desired.

TIP: You can use whichever puree you have or like, and you can freeze extra sauce for future meals too.

baby pasta on baby spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

Can babies eat pasta?

Babies can start eating pasta soon after they start solids, which is usually around 6 months. Smaller shapes like stars and pastina are often easier for babies to eat, and they can progress to slightly larger shapes like ditalini and elbows as they get a little older.

How do I give a baby pasta?

You can cook the pasta until it’s soft and spoon feed it—I like the pasta to be in a flavorful sauce in this case–or you can offer pasta as a finger food from about 9+ months when babies typically are able to pick up and eat early finger foods.

Many people also serve pasta BLW style, though know that it can be slippery in baby’s mouth and large pieces of something like rotini or spaghetti may be very difficult/tricky for baby to eat.

What kind of pasta is good for babies?

You can offer any kind of pasta that you prefer, regular semolina pasta, whole wheat pasta, or a bean-based pasta like chickpea or lentil (which are both higher in iron).

How can I freeze this baby pasta?

You can either make the sauce and freeze it in an ice cube tray, then transfer the cubes to a storage bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Then you can thaw 1-2 per serving to mix into pasta. Or you can make the whole recipe and freeze the pasta and sauce together.

If you do that, expect the pasta to be very soft when it’s thawed and reheated.

baby meal of baby pasta and diced yellow kiwi

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftovers, either combined or separate, in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can freeze the sauce in an ice cube tray, transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 6 months.

Best Tips for Success

  • You can use mashed sweet potato, butternut squash puree, pumpkin puree, or purchased purees. I prefer sweet potato best.
  • I like this to be pretty saucy for babies, especially if you’re serving off of a spoon. If serving from a spoon, use a very small shape like star pasta or pastina.
  • If planning to serve this as a finger food, use a small shape that’s easy to pick up such as ditalini, mini shells, mini farfalle or elbows. (If you use a larger shape, cut it with kitchen scissors so it’s in small pieces that are easy for baby to chew.)
  • You can use fully cooked lentils in place of the white beans if desired.
  • You can use marinara sauce in place of the crushed tomatoes with basil.
  • You can skip the blending and serve this sauce as a chunky style if preferred to save a step.
  • To serve this to an older child or an adult, season to taste with salt.
  • Top with grated Parmesan for additional flavor.
  • You may also like Favorite Toddler Pasta Recipes, Veggie-Packed Marinara, Sample Baby Meal Plan, and Baby Cookies.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment and rate it below!

baby-pasta-in-four-white-bowls

Extra-Veggie Baby Pasta (with Iron)

Adding beans and extra veggies helps make this easy baby pasta satisfying, nutritious, and yummy. Serve it more or less saucy as you like. (You can even freeze the sauce for easy future meals.)
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Baby Food
Calories 234kcal
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta (such as star, ABC, pastina, or ditalini)
  • 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil (or marinara sauce)
  • 1 cup white beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato puree (or butternut squash puree or pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, onion powder, garlic powder (optional to taste)
  • grated Parmesan (optional to taste)

Instructions

  • Add the tomatoes, beans, sweet potato, and Italian seasoning to a blender. Blend smooth.
  • Add the olive oil to a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in the tomato mixture and warm through, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and additional spices for more flavor as you like.
  • (You can also warm a small amount of sauce in a heat-safe bowl in the microwave If you're just making one serving.)
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  • Return the pasta to the pot. Stir as little or as much of the sauce into the pasta and top with grated Parmesan if desired. (You may have some sauce leftover.)
  • Serve warm or portion into storage containers to serve throughout the week.

Video

Notes

  • Store leftovers, either combined or separate, in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can freeze the sauce in an ice cube tray, transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 6 months.
  • You can use mashed sweet potato, butternut squash puree, pumpkin puree, or purchased purees. I prefer sweet potato best.
  • I like this to be pretty saucy for babies, especially if you’re serving off of a spoon. But you can add just as much sauce as you like and save the rest for a future meal.
  • If serving from a spoon, use a very small shape like star pasta or pastina.
  • If planning to serve this as a finger food, use a small shape that’s easy to pick up such as ditalini, mini shells, mini farfalle or elbows. (If you use a larger shape, cut it with kitchen scissors so it’s in small pieces that are easy for baby to chew.)
  • Add extra iron with a side of Chicken Meatballs, Chicken Tenders, or my Fav Toddler Meatballs.
  • You can use fully cooked lentils in place of the white beans if desired.
  • You can skip the blending and serve this sauce as a chunky style if preferred to save a step.
  • To serve this to an older child or an adult, season to taste with salt.
  • Top with grated Parmesan for additional flavor.
  • Gluten-free: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
  • Dairy-free: Skip the Parmesan. Some people like to use nutritional yeast in place of grated Parmesan.

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 101mg, Potassium: 492mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1723IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so easy and so delicious! Both of my big kiddos (ages 4 and 2) loved helping me make it and eat it. I overdid it on adding basil (because I couldn’t find tomatoes with basil at the store) so I added some heavy cream at the end to mask that and it was so yummy! Next time I’ll go easier on the spices. Haha.

  2. Hi! Have you ever used this as a pizza sauce? If so, how did it go over with your kids/family?

    1. I haven’t, but I think it would likely work fine? You could use pizza seasoning instead of the Italian seasoning or in addition to it if you wanted more classic pizza flavor.

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious!!! My 13 month old (who used to eat everything and now is starting to have opinions) went crazy over this. We all had pasta for dinner and though my husband and I planned to have ours with just Rao’s, we ended up eating her sauce too, ha! It was so great to see her enjoy something with her old enthusiasm!!

  4. 5 stars
    This was so delicious when I made it! I have a very picky 19 month old and he inhaled it. I added riced broccoli to the sauce for additional hidden veggies and you couldn’t see or taste it. We try offering him full, visible veggies but he keeps refusing, so in the meantime I don’t feel bad sneaking them in.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this a few months ago and came back here so I can make it again tomorrow. The first time around, my 2 year old son started eating it out of the pot when I had my back turned to clear the table! My husband loved it too.
    I do have one question: it calls for a tablespoon of olive oil but in the recipe, it’s mentioned twice (in the first two steps). Do I need to use a tablespoon in each (to blend and in pot)?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Oh I’m sorry, it’s not meant to be in the first step. I will fix! (It’s fine to be in there twice but it wasn’t intentional.)

  6. 5 stars
    One of the best “spaghetti” recipes I have come across for the little ones. Kids loved it and when I froze it and told my husband it was just spaghetti sauce (a very picky man) he used it and loved it. I will definitely be using this again in the future maybe with some other hidden veggies too. Thank you so much for this life saving recipe!

    1. You can thaw overnight in the fridge, at room temperature for an hour or so, or in the microwave in 15 second increments, stopping to stir once it’s no longer frozen solid.

  7. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! My four year old and sixteen month old loved it and both had several helpings. The pasta and sauce were the perfect consistency for my sixteen month old to eat with a spoon. Thank you, Amy!

  8. 5 stars
    Made it for my 15 month old little chick who has started to exercise some toddler independence and now enjoys refusing foods she once loved… it was a big hit!! Super quick and easy to make and she loved it. Got lots of “mmmmm” from her. Big win for mom. Thank you thank you! Thinking of what other veggies I might be able to squeeze in next time 🙂

    1. I’m so glad to hear that and look forward to hearing what else you try adding. Someone mentioned that she was going to try sauteeing some chopped zucchini and blending that in too.