20 Minutes To The Table Episode 5: Zucchini Rotini Marinara with Vegetables

by on August 25, 2013

It’s been a long day, you’re tired, you’re hungry and you have no imagination for what to make for dinner. – I know this feeling and what to make for dinner when I have no inspiration. This vegan Zucchini Rotini Marinara is something that I make quite often because it’s easy to throw together and it’s great for using up vegetables in the fridge. Sometimes I’ll add in some mushrooms, broccoli, or carrots, but I really love this version with zucchini, bell peppers and peas. I use whole grain rotini and I like this style of noodle because it holds onto the sauce well, has a nice texture and looks really pretty on the plate. I got a giant box of this at Costco for a good deal. It lasted me forever and made quick meals really easy.

I actually prefer a spiral type of noodle compared to spaghetti or fettucini as well. This way I can add more veggies and have a little less pasta. Most of the time I make my own pasta sauce each time with just canned tomatoes and season it and blend it up, but I wanted to show you a quick version of this recipe. I know most of you are probably used to buying pasta sauce in a jar.

When I went shopping in Canada there weren’t too many brands of pasta sauce available that didn’t contain olive oil, canola oil or soy bean oil, but I did find 2 different brands. Just look for one that has a low fat, or light description on the front and then check the back to see if it has any oil. I really try to make sure everything I buy is oil-free, it just doesn’t need the extra calories and I don’t enjoy eating slick or greasy food anymore.

Vegan pasta marinara is one of the easiest dishes you can make, but you can make it delicious and special by jazzing it up with some fresh veggies, cooking them perfectly and seasoning your sauce to your liking. I always like to add some fresh chopped onions for more flavor. The recipe video is below.

If you enjoy  my video please click on it to view it in youtube so you can click the like icon and subscribe to my channel so you can get more recipe videos.   Thank you for the support!

Recipe follows below.

20 Minutes to The Table Episode 5: Zucchini Rotini Marinara with Vegetables


 Serves 6

Pasta Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
2 zucchinis sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
300g/4 cups dried whole wheat rotini (or GF)
1 700 ml/ 24 oz. jar of pasta sauce (look for oil free and low in sodium)
1 tbsp. fresh parsley
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt if desired.

2. When water is boiling add the pasta, bring it back to a boil and then begin timing it as per the directions on the package.

3. Saute onion in a non-stick pan, dry for 4-5 minutes.

4. Add the zucchini and bell peppers. Cook until just tender.

5. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine, when hot add the frozen peas.

6. Test the pasta for desired doneness. Drain in a colander.

7. Add drained pasta to pasta sauce in a large saute pan (or a pot if you don’t have one large enough).

8. Marry the flavors together for a minute or two to help the pasta absorb the sauce.

9. Add the fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

10. Serve!

Cranberry Walnut Salad


4 cups Spring Mix salad
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
Balsamic vinegar to drizzle


1. Assemble salad in a bowl or on plates.

2. Drizzle with dressing and serve along with pasta.

What is your favorite type of pasta and vegetables to cook together? 

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pauline September 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Just made this recipe for supper and it came out delicious. I used brown rice pasta fusilli and marinara sauce. My husband cut the veggies and I cooked. We were sitting down and eating within 30 minutes. Thanks again for a delicious, healthy meal.


2 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 8, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Awesome Pauline! Glad you enjoyed it.


3 tiffanyb September 1, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Another winner Veronica!! I just made this for lunch and it is delicious. I added some garlic, because the sauce I had didn’t have any in it. I also had some mushrooms and kale in the fridge so I put that in. So colorful, flavorful and healthy. It appeals to the eyes, the stomach, and the mind. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!


4 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 3, 2013 at 10:53 PM

You’re welcome 🙂


5 Pat Herne August 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

I’m new to the vegan game and need all the help I can get to change a lifetime of cooking with meat and fat. Love every recipe of yours that I have tried.


6 Renata August 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I made this dish last night. Very good. Thank you, Veronica.
However, instead of marinara sauce, I used fire roasted organic tomatoes from Trader Joe’s. Delicious.
Thanks again for this recipe.


7 Tricia August 27, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Thanks for another great recipe! I (sort of ) made this yesterday. I left out the pasta, and just feasted on the veggies. I used sauce I had made earlier and frozen. I need a better system of labeling, however. It was dated and labeled “Tomato sauce VG”. Now did I mean VG as in Veronica Grace? Probably. But which one from your Comfort Foods book? Or did I mean VG as in very good, as it definitely was. At any rate, VG = Veronica Grace = Very Good.


8 Nancy August 27, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Tried this recipe last night and it’s definitely a keeper! Easy to prepare, great flavor, lots of leftovers! Would definitely make this again!


9 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Awesome! Yes it’s a great recipe to make regularly everyone loves it. 🙂


10 Rachel August 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM

another great recipe Veronica I enjoy watching your videos and now I have your cookbook just got it today!. I look at your videos and then I make it for dinner, I was starting not to eat so well, you have given me inspiration. God Bless. Rachel.


11 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Wow thanks Rachel. Glad to help 🙂


12 Jason Harrison August 26, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Hmmm, do you have a pasta sauce recipe? Or a version of this, perhaps a bit longer that would incorporate the creation of the pasta sauce. Chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, some herbs.

Many ready to eat pasta sauces contain added sodium and sugar.


13 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM

There no way to make pasta sauce and this recipe within 20 minutes, so that’s why I didn’t. This video series is for fast meals. When I make my own pasta sauce I use canned tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, fresh basil, some oregano, salt and pepper. I provide lots of pasta sauce recipes in my cookbook Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World. All the pasta sauces in that book are made from scratch none are bottled.


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