Beef and Pasta Skillet Primavera

Make Beef and Pasta Skillet Primavera for a nutritious meal that the entire family – infants and toddlers included – will eat and love.

This post and video were developed in sponsored partnership with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.

Most parents wish for the same thing when it comes to feeding their children—that they can make 1 meal that everyone in the family will actually eat (from infants through adults and everyone in between).  I know I’ve fallen into the short order cook trap more times than I want to admit (especially since I have two “selective” eaters that seem to change their food preferences daily). In fact, since Ellie and Frances began eating solid food, I feel like I’ve struggled finding meals that everyone will enjoy.

As a registered dietitian and mom, making sure they received the best nutrition from the very beginning has always been a huge priority. That’s why when they were infants and toddlers, I started introducing a variety of foods with different textures, colors and flavors so that they could get an array of nutrition while also being exposed to various tastes. Did that mean they would always eat it? No. Does that mean they eat it now? No. However, I believe in continued and repeated exposure to a variety of foods with the hopes that they will learn to like it (if they do at all!).


Simple, One- Skillet Meal

There are always two main concerns I hear about from new moms…First is which foods to offer when and second is how to get past being a short order cook so that the baby and the family can enjoy the same meal. Beef and Pasta Skillet Primavera is an easy recipe that puts both of those concerns to rest because it can be made in 30 minutes in one skillet and tastes delicious. It also is ideal for feeding an entire family including infants and toddlers because it can easily be modified.

Begin with beef

As one of the first foods introduced to infants (usually starting around 6 months), beef is a natural source of more than 10 essential nutrients like high-quality protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins. It provides the nutrients infants and children need to set the stage for successful development and lifelong health. That’s why this recipe is one that moms (like me) can feel confident feeding every member of their family—even the choosy ones.

Beef and Pasta Skillet Primavera

The beauty of this dish is that it eliminates short order cooking—which is crucial for us busy moms and dads—because it has food that every member of the family can enjoy.

Check out these clever twists for modifying the recipe for your infants and toddlers:

  • Chop ground beef crumbles, cooked pasta and tender vegetables into smaller pieces when feeding infants and toddlers.
  • Modify spices based on taste preference. If introducing spices to new eaters, go half and half Italian-style diced tomatoes and plain diced tomatoes. Or kick up the spice if you know everyone likes bold flavor.
  • Add additional on-hand veggies like mushrooms, peppers, broccoli or grated carrots. In fact, if there is a vegetable you know your child likes to eat, make sure to add it to the medley.

Get the Recipe

Beef and Pasta Skillet Primavera

  • 1 pound Ground Beef (93% lean or leaner)
  • 1 can (14 to 14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat or whole grain pasta
  • 2 small zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

View the full recipe at

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