Every family loves a spaghetti Bolognese, and it’s one of my absolute favourite meals for the WHOLE family to enjoy. I wanted to share a recipe that means that you don’t have to make a separate meal for you and baby. It’s such a great recipe for introducing a variety of flavours and textures to your little one. If you’re looking for more inspiration for pasta recipes, check out my 7 easy and healthy pasta ideas for babies and toddlers.
The dish can easily be adapted in many ways for many requirements and seasoned to taste, with vegan and veggie versions. You can also adapt it to use up any other veg you have leftover.
This meal is suitable for young babies as well, depending on their weaning stage. It does contain allergens – wheat, celery and dairy, so if your baby has successfully had all of these, then you can go ahead and share it with them. You can blend it or mash it, according to their texture exposure and competence. It is an ideal meal for both spoon fed and baby-led weaning (especially if you don’t mind the mess!).
A flexible recipe for plant-based families
This recipe uses turkey, which is a great source of protein, iron and zinc for both children and adults alike. The traditional recipe uses beef, which you can absolutely use as well if you’d prefer. And, if you’re vegan or vegetarian this dish is so easily adapted. We’ve used soya mince as a replacement for the turkey – it’s easily accessible at most supermarkets and small convenience stores and is often cheaper than the meat version. Soya mince is a good source of protein, as well as being super tasty and filling. You could mix in some lentils with either the soya mince or turkey as well.
Finally, this family sharing dish is colourful, nutritious and contains an array of textures for your little ones to explore and enjoy, but for the parents and older siblings to devour too! For more on trying new textures when weaning your baby, check my blog. You can also read more on using herbs and spices for babies and toddlers here.
It makes 4 servings, so adjust the amount of ingredients used if there are more or less of you eating…or you could simply freeze any leftover sauce for another day!
Thank you to Emma Green, of Emma’s Food Stories for this recipe!
- 500g turkey mince/or soya mince
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove of garlic (optional)
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 2 carrots, grated
- 175g broccoli florets
- 125g mushrooms, sliced
- 325g spaghetti or tagliatelle OR you can use baby pasta for your little ones if you prefer! 30g per baby will do!
- 30g cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1tsp paprika (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pepper to taste
- Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic, pop into the pan with the oil and fry off lightly.
- Add the turkey/soya mince and cook until browned.
- Whilst your meat is cooking, prep your veggies! Chop your mushrooms into little cubes, grate your carrots and quarter the cherry tomatoes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, mix well then turn down the heat.
- Steam the broccoli florets for 12-15 minutes. Steaming means that you won’t lose as many of the vitamins, such as vitamin C and they will maintain their lovely bright colour too. Once they’re done, drain them and pop them into the sauce.
- Add in the other veggies and stir well, until cooked.
- Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
- Whilst the pasta is cooking and the sauce is simmering, add in the paprika if you’re using it. Again, paprika is an amazing spice for dishes but if your toddler isn’t quite used to spice yet, add only a little or not at all.
- Pasta done? Sauce smelling good? Time to drain the pasta and pop it in your plates and bowls ready to serve. Chop into smaller pieces if necessary.
- Take the sauce off the heat and add it on top of the pasta. Top with grated cheese. Blend, mash or chop to desired consistency for younger babies.
Remember to mix your little one’s well and leave to cool slightly, so it’s not too hot for those little tongues. And most importantly, enjoy! A healthy, nutritious meal for all the family. If you’re looking for more family friendly recipes that can be adapted for all ages, my book How To Feed Your Toddler is available to buy now.