3-Color Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

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Spaghetti noodles, carrot, zucchini, and pesto for making a delicious pasta dish

I love pasta, but I don’t love the carb heaviness it can leave me with afterwards. In fact, just this week I ate one small pancake at Bob’s Red Mill and on the way home I felt tired enough for a nap after only being up for about 3 hours.

So my simple solution to off-setting the carbs is to sub in vegetables for two-thirds of the noodles. This not only makes the dish lighter in general, but also provides another two to three servings of vegetables which pretty much benefits everyone whether they like it or not (i.e. husbands).

Photo of ingredients for making our 3-Color Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

I’ve used carrots for 100 percent of the noodles in a pasta dish before but it ultimately left me feeling unsatisfied. So by mixing carrots and zucchini ribbons in with whole wheat spaghetti noodles, I was able to satisfy my raging pasta cravings with less than half the calories.

Not to mention, it’s quite a beautiful dish.

Cutting board with zucchini and carrots cut into noodle shapes with a veggie peeler

Ribboning vegetables is simple: Just rinse the veggies and peel away any rough parts of the skin with a vegetable peeler, and then continue to ribbon out the vegetable until it’s practically gone. And if you’re looking for an easy way to spice up your go-to marinara, simply add in some sun dried tomato sauce or spread to give it a sophisticated twist without much effort.

Stirring together a batch of Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce to go over pasta

3-Color Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

This simple, 5-ingredient pasta comes together in about 15 minutes and is full of flavor from the sun dried tomato sauce. Add a few sprigs of basil on top to give the dish a fresh note. It can be made vegan by forgoing cheese, and gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta noodles.
Author Minimalist Baker
Spaghetti noodles, carrot, zucchini, and pesto for making a simple pasta dish
4 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Course Entrée
Cuisine Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days


  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small-medium zucchini
  • 2 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (a small handful)*
  • 1/3-1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 Tbsp sun dried tomato spread (or pureed sun-dried tomatoes)
  • Vegan parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh basil (optional)


  • Cook the noodles according to package instructions, shooting for al dente.
  • Rinse and peel any rough skin spots from the carrot and zucchini. Then continue using the peeler to ‘ribbon’ them into noodles.
  • Combine and warm your tomato sauce and sun dried tomato spread in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring to combine and adding a little water if too thick.
  • Once noodles are done, scoop them into a strainer (reserving the water) and cover with towel to keep them moist.
  • Place zucchini and carrot noodles in the pasta water and boil for 3-4 minutes until tender or ‘al dente.’
  • Add pasta noodles and vegetable noodles into the sauce, toss lightly and serve immediately.
  • Garnish with vegan parmesan cheese and basil for additional flavor.


*Use gluten-free noodles to make this dish gluten-free.
*Questions about substitutions, equipment, or troubleshooting? Check out our Recipe FAQ page.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 1 servings)

Serving: 1 g Calories: 215 Carbohydrates: 38.5 g Protein: 8.5 g Fat: 2.4 g Saturated Fat: 1.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 900 mg Potassium: 1125 mg Fiber: 8 g Sugar: 15 g Vitamin A: 11117 IU Vitamin C: 47.3 mg Calcium: 76 mg Iron: 3 mg
3-Color Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce #minimalistbaker

I loved this dish not only for the flavor and ease of preparation, but also for how healthy it was. I was so satisfied by the time I’d finished my bowl, which probably contained at least 2 if not 3 servings of vegetables. If you’re not a fan of marinara, you could also toss your noodles in pesto or a mix of olive oil, garlic and parmesan instead.

3-Color Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce #minimalistbaker
3-Color Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce #minimalistbaker
3-Color Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce #minimalistbaker


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My Rating:

  1. Lauralee says

    The whole family enjoyed this meal! And I loved how simple it was to whip up. I used a jar of marinara instead of plain tomato sauce and enjoyed the extra flavor it added.

  2. Shield says

    Excellent recipe. I love it. All your advices were very useful. Thank you very much for your help. My family and I always will remember it.

  3. Ellen Lederman says

    Had this for lunch and loved it! Amazing how something so simple can be so good. The sauce is so full-bodied (dare I say it—almost meaty!). My only changes were to saute the zucchini and carrot ribbons in a little olive oil with some garlic and add some dried basil and oregano. Yum! Why can’t Italian (or any) restaurants offer something like this to their vegan customers? Oh well, that’s where cooking at home comes in as such a winner, nutritionally and gastronomically.

    I had to smile at your photos and my actual lunch because it was so pleasing to the eye, with the colors and textures. I had just looked at some photos online of a Meetup group that ate at a typical Southern restaurant here in Atlanta. Everything was beige and fried! I am not exaggerating. The only colors were a little cranberry sauce for the turkey and the canned peaches, although they were covered with cottage cheese. Okay, I am being judgmental. And I am also being grateful for people like you who show us the way to great eating without sacrificing our tastebuds or our health!

  4. Ellen Lederman says

    Dana, should roasted red pepper be in this? You mention it under the description before you give the recipe, but all I see is tomato sauce and sun dried tomatoes.

  5. M T says

    This is an amazing recipe. This was a great hit at home, and I’m definitely going to make this more often. I added broccoli as well, and it tasted great. You guys are fantastic. This is the fifth recipe I’ve tried from this website, and not one recipe has failed. Thanks!!

  6. Allie says

    This sounds great! Do you have a recipe for the red pepper sauce you mentioned, as well? I just had a romesco sauce for the first time and I’m hooked!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The sauce was actually sun dried tomato, which I got store bought. But I assume you could buy sun dried tomatos, add a bit of water and maybe some seasonings and puree them into a tasty sauce : )

  7. Margaret says

    Brilliant idea! I’ll try anything from your blog after those amazing pancakes! My husband is from Italy and loves veggies with his pasta so I think this might be a big hit. Can’t wait to try this :)

  8. Brittany says

    This looks delicious! I love carrots and pasta but I haven’t found many recipes that combine the two. I need to make this soon.

  9. Sharlee@believinginsomething says

    Hi, Dana! Stopping by your blog from Pinterest. I love what you see and I’m so glad you decided to start up a blog and share. We will be trying the oatmeal choc chip pancakes on Sunday (hopefully) and this lovely pasta dish in the very near future. I am thinking of even trying it with some white spaghetti recipes I’ve seen. I’m adding you to my Google reader. Just thought I’d drop a note and say hi.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely to hear from a new reader! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how you found me. Hope you like the pancakes and pasta – let me know how they turn out! -Dana

  10. Caitlin says

    what a beautiful, delicious solution to a traditionally carb heavy dinner. i love the ribboned carrots and zucchini. beautiful photos!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha ha, I had one “small” restaurant sized pancake – which was huge – and an egg with tons of fruit. One pancake would never fill me up!

      • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) says

        Okay, thank god. Thanks for the clarification! Now I don’t have to worry about you, friend. ;)

  11. Heidi @ Food Doodles says

    Yummy! I’m totally with you on lightening up pasta dishes, especially in the summer the last thing I want is a whole meal of pasta. This looks perfect to satisfy those carby pasta cravings though :)

  12. Sara @my less serious life says

    i adore the idea of combining spaghetti noodles and veggies. i need a few carbs in my life, afterall!