Chunky Garden Macaroni

One of the babies in my classroom had a jar of baby food simply called “organic pasta dinner,” so I read the ingredients and found that it actually sounded delicious. The pureed baby food version wasn’t too appetizing, though, so I decided to try it at home in the crock pot with real vegetables. I started with the ingredients list on the jar, then added a few more vegetables for extra yumminess. It turned out to taste better and be much easier to make than homemade marinara sauce or anything I’ve found in a jar at the store. Enjoy!

[GF*] Make this recipe gluten-free by using rice pasta.


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 10 oz. carrots or baby carrots, washed and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, skinned and cubed
  • 10 oz. fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and mashed
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz.) green beans and wax beans
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup + 1 cup water, separated
  • 1 box (16 oz.) elbow macaroni


  • Crock pot
  • Small skillet
  • Food processor is very helpful but not required


  1. In a small skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes.
  2. In the crock pot, combine onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, green and wax beans, basil, oregano, and one cup water. Stir until evenly mixed.
  3. Cover and cook in the crock pot on low for about 3 1/2 hours, then high for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add uncooked macaroni and one cup water. Stir until evenly mixed, then cook on high for another 60-75 minutes until noodles are soft.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy! This dish also freezes well.


My own creation, inspired by reading the ingredients in a jar of Full Circle Organic Pasta Dinner baby food.