This vegan Spaghettios recipe was generously sponsored by our friends at Pastabilities—makers of the most fun pasta on the planet! Their pasta comes in all different shapes like the kid-friendly dinosaur shaped pasta we used here. It’s available on Amazon!
When I saw this adorable dinosaur pasta I thought it would be really fun to make an upgraded spin on traditional SpaghettiOs (which aren’t vegan). Meet: Dino Spaghettios!
It’s mandatory that you say it like the jingle from the old-school TV commercial: “Oh-Oh, SpahettiOs!”
The dinosaur pasta in this dish is not only wildly popular with kiddos, but is also fitting because dinosaurs are often called the “Original Herbivores.” And the dinosaur shapes are easy to eat and mess-free, compared to a saucy bowl of spaghetti. Did you know that is the original reason why SpaghettiOs were made with small round “O” pasta shapes? Kids can easily eat them without making a giant mess. Parents will give anything for a mess-free kids meal!
This dish takes just a few minutes to pull together. The sauce comes together easily while the pasta is cooking, and then BOOM. Lunch is served.
One of the world’s most popular kid-friendly dinners made vegan! Today we’re dishing up our do-it-yourself Dino Spaghettios recipe. This has all the nostalgic flavors and sweet tomatoey goodness you remember, without any dairy or yucky processed junk. Vegan Spaghettios, here we come!
8 oz (⅔ package) of uncooked dinosaur-shaped pasta (or pasta of your choice)
15 oz of tomato sauce (plain)
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder or granules
1 tsp of salt
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of vegan butter (optional)
2 tablespoons of pasta water
1 tablespoon of fresh sliced basil or chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove and cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse pasta with cold water immediately after cooking.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the tomato sauce, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast, sugar, and butter and whisk for a few minutes until thoroughly combined and heated through.
- Once pasta is done cooking, drain well, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Add the pasta water to the sauce and mix well.
- Stir cooked, drained pasta into the sauce one scoop at a time until you’ve reached your desired pasta-to-sauce ratio.
- Serve garnished with basil (unless your kiddos request “no green stuff!”) and enjoy!
This dish is meant to be enjoyed hot, just after cooking! It’s still delicious if it cools or you have to refrigerate it, but it will lose it’s soupy saucy-ness.
Keywords: kids, family, dinner, pasta, fun, dinosaur
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Dinosaur Pasta – I used this dinosaur pasta from Pastabilities (which is what makes this ‘Dino Spaghettios’ so fun). But you can use any pasta shape you’d like! The recipe calls for ⅔ of a 12 oz package (a rough estimate is fine), but you can use the entire package for less saucy Spaghettios. Or, you can cook all the pasta at once and save the remaining ⅓ of the pasta to serve as a snack for your kiddos. Reheated plain pasta is delicious drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt and nutritional yeast.
- Tomato Sauce – You’ll need a 15-oz can of plain tomato sauce for this recipe—not pasta sauce! The can of tomato sauce should be much thinner and more soup-y than pasta sauce, and that’s essential to this recipe.
- Spices – The flavor of the original SpaghettiOs is very mild and sweet, designed to appeal to a kid’s palate. We include some basic spices in this dish: onion powder, paprika, and garlic powder (or garlic granules). Feel free to add other spices you know your kids will love! Basil or oregano would be great in these vegan Spaghettios!
- Nutritional Yeast – Also known as “nooch,” this ingredient is optional, but I like to add it to give the sauce an extra cheesy flavor. Old-school SpaghettiOs contain “modified cheese” and this is an easy and much healthier way to get that effect.
- Sugar – This is one of the key ingredients that sets classic SpaghettiOs apart from other pasta marinara dishes. Adding sugar gives the dish a sweeter flavor profile that makes it a big hit with the kids.
- Vegan Butter – This ingredient is optional, and if you do use it, you can use any brand you’d like! My go-to is Earth Balance, but you can also find vegan butter from Miyoko’s Creamery, Melt, Forager, and beyond.
- Pasta Water – After you cook the pasta, the water it was cooked in is called “pasta water.” You can reserve a little of this starchy water to add to the sauce which will thin it out a bit. If you forgot to reserve some pasta water, don’t worry. You can just add regular water instead.
- Fresh Basil – When I was a kid, I used to request all my food with “no green stuff.” I hope to raise my own son to have a fondness for greens, and I hope he’ll love basil and other green garnishes. But if your kids are in the no-green camp, simply leave this off!
Mix It Up With Your Favorite Veggies!
While we kept this recipe super simple to replicate the SpaghettiOs you find at the store, we encourage you to add in some healthy veggies, like spinach, peas, broccoli (“baby trees”), or your kiddos’ favorite veggies.
More Vegan Kid-Friendly Recipes
More Resources for Kids
Many thanks to The Pasta Shoppe a.k.a. Pastabilities for making this recipe possible, and supporting our work at World of Vegan! You can order their pasta on Amazon and it ships free with Prime! They even have vegan macaroni and cheese. Vegan Spaghettios recipe by Michelle Cehn and photos by Alfonso Revilla for WorldofVegan.com. All content copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Please note that this article contains affiliate links which means shopping through them supports World of Vegan.