BLW Pasta Ideas
A lot of babies, Sloane included, are pasta lovers - and this is a food that you can serve so many different ways and incorporate lots of veggies. So I made a post exclusively for sharing a few pasta recipes! You can definitely make these alongside something for the whole family (your baby's just might be a little different to avoid excess sodium) so you can check off dinner for everyone. You can follow us on Instagram for more - we post meal ideas in our stories daily!
1. Pumpkin Spinach Fusilli
- Whole wheat fusilli noodles - You can use any type of noodles that you like, but I always recommend a healthier version, whether that is whole what, chickpea, spaghetti squash, or another type of veggie noodle. Fusilli worked nicely here with this "sauce" but it is totally up to you! I simply filled a pot with water and boiled a cup of pasta until tender. I did not salt the water as most recipes suggest since this was for Sloane and one of our priorities is reducing sodium. You can add a little olive oil to the water if you're worried about the pasta sticking and to add just a touch more flavor. They were soft in less than five minutes. I then drained the water but left the pasta in the pot.
- Pumpkin puree - I chose a can of organic pumpkin puree as part of my Misfits Market order and it was perfect for this recipe. I simply poured the puree over the cooked pasta, mixing as I went. To make this a bit more "creamy sauce" like, I added 1/4 cup of organic whole milk.
- Spinach - You can add whatever veggies you would prefer, but I thought spinach was a nice compliment to the dish and super easy! I simply chopped some fresh spinach leaves and added them to the still warm pasta, sauce, and milk. The heat cooked the spinach quickly. You could also throw in some other vegetables, but would want to make sure they were cooked until soft.
- Spices - Again, I tend to try to diversify Sloane's palate, so I added a variety of spices to the sauce. Garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and a sprinkle of ginger and crushed red pepper.
2. Deconstructed Lasagna (noodles, ricotta, ground beef, spinach, tomato)
- Lasagna noodles - I recommend whole wheat if you can, but then prepare how you normally would (some lasagna noodles you boil and others are ready to bake). Once your noodles are cooked, slice into strips and top with ricotta. I seasoned the ricotta with oregano, garlic powder, and some sautéed spinach and diced garlic. You can add a little pasta sauce, but since it is usually high in sodium, I just sautéed slices of tomato and squeezed those juices on top!
- Tomato, spinach, and onion - You can add whatever "lasagna" veggies you'd like, but these were my choices. Again, at ten months, Sloane is eating bite-sized pieces, so I cut them first and then sautéed them together.
- Ground beef - You can use ground turkey or ground beef, but since we just had turkey, I used organic, grass-fed, lean ground beef instead. I sautéed the meat in a pan with EVOO and diced garlic. Sloane can eat it as is, but you can always do meatballs instead if baby isn't ready for bite-size pieces.
- Whole wheat penne - Again, select your healthy pasta of choice; for this I used organic, whole wheat penne. I cooked in unsalted, boiling water until soft, approximately 5-8 minutes.
- Fresh mozzarella cheese - Although traditional alfredo sauces use parmesan, that cheese is very high in sodium, so I looked for alternatives. Fresh mozzarella was a pretty decent substitute. If you want to go the full sauce route, it's a longer process (make a roux by melting lots of butter and garlic in a pan and slowly adding flour and stirring until you create a thick paste; then slowly add milk or heavy cream and finally slices of cheese, letting it melt in the sauce). However, I knew Sloane did not really care about the sauce consistency (she is not a food critic) so I went for a faster option. Melt some butter/EVOO in a pan and add diced garlic until fragrant. Pour in some whole milk a little at a time, stirring as you go. Then add slices of mozzarella, stirring and letting them melt on a medium heat. The longer it cooks, the "thicker" the sauce will become.
- Veggies - As the sauce cooked, I cut up some spinach, carrots, and celery into fairly small (bite-sized, able to be picked up with pincer grasp) pieces. I added this to the sauce while it was in a pretty liquid state and put a lid on the pan so they were definitely cooked/softened as the sauce continued to cook and thicken. I tested them before giving Sloane a bite and both the carrots and celery were soft and easy to bite through. This is important, as both are known choking hazards.
- Spices - To improve the taste of my "alfredo" sauce, I added garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, a shake of crushed red pepper, black pepper, and just a pinch of shredded parmesan cheese to her finished bowl (not necessary, but I was nervous about how the sauce would taste and threw it in last minute. It would have been fine without it).
- Tomato sauce - As I've said, premade sauces have a ton of sodium and sugar, but if that's your best option, just try to find a brand that is low in both/either! There are lots of brands that try to do this. I made my own with organic canned tomatoes, sauteed onions and garlic, spinach, and spices. Nothing fancy, but Sloane didn't mind.
- Veggie spaghetti - Using your choice of pasta (spiralized zucchini, spaghetti squash, store-bought veggie spaghetti) cook your noodles and add it to your sauce!
- Impossible meatballs - We are not a vegetarian family, but I wanted Sloane to try this healthier plant-based meat. I added some spices (chopped onion and garlic, Italian seasoning, and black pepper), rolled it into balls, and cooked it in the oven. She really liked them and my husband said he couldn't tell the difference!
- Pesto sauce - I make so many things for Sloane from scratch, but I had no desire to make this sauce. It is a decent amount of work and neither my husband or I would end up eating any. So I sucked it up and bought pre-made pesto. However, since it is pretty high in sodium, I used half of the normal serving size, and added EVOO, lemon juice, and basil that I had on hand. All of these are already ingredients in the sauce, but would dilute it without additional sodium. If you want to make your own, here is an easy recipe I found.
- Chickpea pasta - The Banza chickpea pasta is a great alternative for those who are gluten free or looking for a healthier pasta. I got the shell shape, but they have many varieties. This requires cooking for just a bit longer than the average pasta, but it was no issue, and I made sure they were nice and soft for Sloane. When done, I drained the water and added the pesto and extra ingredients. Then, I transferred to her silicone bowl.
- Mozzarella - This is a great low-sodium cheese for babies if using fresh mozzarella. I sliced this into bite-sized pieces and simply stirred it into the pasta and sauce once they were in her bowl.
- Ground Turkey - I cooked a pound of ground turkey in a skillet with olive oil and minced garlic; sprinkled with garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. I stirred until the meat was browned.
- Chickpea pasta - Once again, Banza chickpea pasta is a great alternative for those who are gluten free or looking for a healthier pasta. This time it was the spaghetti version, which I cooked in water with a bit of olive oil. I cooked as per the box directions to make sure it was as soft as possible. I drained the water and tossed the pasta in a little bit of olive oil, garlic powder, and black pepper. I added the cooked pasta to the turkey skillet and sprinkled everything with parsley and just a teeny bit of Parmesan cheese.
*If you are making for adults, I would add a little butter, lemon juice, or more parmesan for your dishes for some more flavor!