Beef & vegie pasta salad

Family meal + textures for development stages
Family meal + textures for development stages Photo: MLA

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins


600g rump steak, trimmed of fat
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
800g pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 1.5cm cubes
250g farfalle pasta
150g green beans, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
100g baby spinach leaves
125g fresh ricotta
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts, to garnish


1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced) and place pumpkin on a tray lined with baking paper. Spray pumpkin with oliveoil and roast for 25-30 minutes or until golden and tender. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to packet instructions, adding beans for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain well.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan or char grill over a high heat. Brush steak with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Cook steak for 2-3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking and rest for 5 minutes, loosely covered with foil.

4. Toss pasta, beans, pumpkin, sliced steak, spinach, ricotta and remaining olive oil together. Serve garnished with pine nuts.

5. Use cooked ingredients to adapt the family meal for different developmental stages.


This recipe can be changed to suit your child's developmental stage - just follow the instructions below. 

  • Silky smooth: Blend 2-3 slices (30g) beef with 3-4 cubes of roasted pumpkin, some spinach leaves and ricotta, adding 1-2 tbsp boiling water if necessary.
  • Lumpy, mushy: Pulse 2-3 slices (30g) beef with spinach leaves until partially smooth and mix with 3-4 pieces of mashed pumpkin and ricotta.
  • Finger food: Place some slices of beef cut into smaller pieces, green beans, cubes of pumpkin, and pasta on a plate to eat as finger food.
  • Toddlers: Place some of the tossed pasta in a small bowl and serve with a fork.

Toddler tips


Around 12 months of age, your toddler will start exerting their independence. They can be picky about when and what foods they will eat.
It is important you maintain control of the food on offer!

  • Let your toddler choose what to eat from a limited choice of only nutritious foods.
  • Avoid encouraging or rewarding them with less nutritious treats for finishing their plate.
  • If your toddler does not eat as much as you think they should, do not offer favourite alternatives – even if they are nutritious (eg, cow’s milk).

Originally published in the How to make every bite count! A guide to nutritious family meals for babies and toddlers, produced by Meat & Livestock Australia. Information has been independently reviewed by Meat & Livestock AustraliaDietitians Association of AustraliaNational Heart Foundation and Tresillian.

For free copies of this brochure visit