The humidity has FINALLY left North Carolina, which means fall has officially arrived. Naturally, we are super eager to make some warm dishes featuring our favorite fall flavors. And our One Pot Fall Pasta with Veggies & Chicken Apple Sausage is one such dish that we promise won't disappoint!
Our One Pot Fall Pasta is packed with savory veggie-bean-pasta yumminess. To add a sweet element, we threw in some chicken-apple sausage, which was a big hit with the little ones. And the resulting combination of savory and sweet was perfect.
Oh how we love ONE POT meals!
While there is chopping involved, preparing this meal is fairly straightforward and only requires ONE pot! Once the veggies and sausage are chopped, it's all smooth sailing!
While you can use whichever veggies you like for this pasta bowl, we used veggies that generally come to harvest from late summer through (early) fall. And for an even heartier dish (and if you had some extra time), it would be fun to use more root veggies, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and fennel.
(Our kids loved using their Opinel kids knife to chop the veggies)
Eggplant for the win
While making this dish, my kids couldn't help but be intrigued by an eggplant's appearance. They loved its shiny purple surface and were surprised by how different it looked once cut open. Because they were so intrigued, they wanted to make their own eggplants to play with (see Halloween Craft: Eggplant Witch)!
We were also surprised to read that although eggplant is culinarily considered a vegetable, it's actually a member of the berry family, as it contains small, edible seeds.
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Swap the veggies. Try exchanging some veggies in the dish for ones your kids prefer. Or increase/decrease veggies in the recipe.
🍅Pick another pasta. Swap the macaroni for your kids' favorite noodles, i.e. rotini or orzo. If that gets them more pumped to eat dinner, it's totally worth it.
🍅Add some carbs! You can have some bread, toast, or crackers with the meal. My kids are always fans of toast!
🍴 MODIFY THE MEAL🍴
🍅Make it Vegetarian! We originally planned to make this dish vegetarian, but we added sausage last minute to bring more protein to the dish. So, basically I'm saying that this dish is totally delicious in its meat-free form. And if you use a vegetable base instead of chicken, your pasta will be totally vegetarian.
🍅Make it Gluten Free! Swap the pasta for brown or white rice, quinoa, or polenta. And make sure your stock base and sausage do not contain traces of gluten. I'm a huge fan of the Aidells brand, and their chicken apple sausage is gluten free.
🍅Make it Dairy Free! Simply remove the parmesan cheese and replace it with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
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One Pot Fall Pasta with Veggies & Chicken Apple Sausage
- 2 T cooking oil (vegetable or olive oil)
- 1 small eggplant (cut into 1" pieces)
- 1 medium zucchini (chopped)
- 3 roma tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
- 1 small red onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 T salt
- 1 t black pepper
- 12 oz pre-cooked chicken apple sausage (sliced)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups dried, whole grain elbow macaroni
- 1 15 oz can cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans, rinsed and drained)
- 2 big handfuls baby kale
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (as a topping)
- Heat cooking oil on medium-high heat in a large 5 Qt. stock pot. Add eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook veggies for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add sausage and cook another 2 minutes.
- Pour broth into the pot. Bring mixture to a boil and then add macaroni. Bring back to a boil, then cover and cook on medium/low for 8-10 minutes (or until pasta is done). Remove lid, fold in beans and kale. Stir until kale shrinks down, and then remove from heat. Garnish with cheese.
- [Note: This recipe is based on using a gas stovetop that can reach high temps relatively quickly. If you have electric burners, you may need to do all this cooking on high heat, and you may have to adjust/lengthen the cooking times]
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