Back to school season is a busy time for families. There are new routines and picky eaters to contend with, but casseroles are an easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly dinner option. And, if you have a large enough dish, you can get two full meals for the whole family out of the recipe. This recipe is adapted from one developed by the chef and pediatric nutritionist at Childventures Early Learning Academy where the philosophy is “healthy body, healthy mind.”
Whole Wheat Veggie Macaroni Casserole
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
- 1 cup (250 ml) green zucchini
- 1 cup (250 ml) yellow zucchini
- 2 cups (500 ml) broccoli
- ½ cup (125 ml) red onion
- ¾ cup (175 ml) red pepper
- ¾ cup (175 ml) green pepper
- 2 cups (500 ml) of homemade or jarred marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 2½ cups (625 ml) dry whole wheat macaroni (note: pasta will double in size after cooking)
- 1 cup (250 ml) cottage cheese
- 2 cups (500 ml) shredded mozzarella (or as desired)
- Chop all vegetables into approximately 1 inch pieces.
- Heat oil in a pot. Add all vegetables and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add marinara sauce and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and add pasta. Cook according to the directions on the package. Drain.
- Add sauce with veggies, cottage cheese and three-quarters of the mozzarella to the pasta and mix.
- Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Bake in preheated oven at 350° F (200° C) for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
If you enjoy cooking, being part of a supportive team environment and having a positive impact on children, you might want to consider a profession as a chef at an early learning centre. Find more information at childventures.ca/careers.