With four veggies in the mix and the classic flavor of marinara, this Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce is both delish and nutrient-rich. (I like to make it with or in front of the kids so they know what’s in the yumminess they’re about to enjoy!)

Hidden veggie pasta sauce in mason jar.

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

I’ve been adding veggies to my pasta sauces for years and years, and I love the flavor of an easy marinara with a few extra ingredients in the mix. To me, this is a great way to add nutrients and flavor without sacrificing expectations. And I love making this recipe in front of my kids so they know what they’re eating—and that they like the veggies in the mix.

This sauce is great on pasta but can also be used as a dip for Pizza Rolls, Pizza Bites, or Zucchini Fries. You can even serve it as a baby food puree off a spoon.

It also stores really well, so you can make it whenever you have the time and pop it into the fridge or freezer until you need it.

(You may also like my Bell Pepper Pasta Sauce and Spinach Pasta Sauce.)

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Ingredients You Need

Below is a list of the ingredients you need to have on hand to make this pasta sauce recipe so you know what to pick up from the store.

Ingredients for hidden veggie pasta sauce.
  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in my cooking and use it here to sauté the vegetables.
  • Onion: I prefer yellow or white onion in this recipe to add a base of flavor.
  • Carrot: You can use shredded carrot from the store, or peel and dice fresh carrots.
  • Celery: Celery adds wonderful flavor to marinara sauce. As long as you have a high-powered blender, you don’t have to worry about the stringiness in the celery.
  • Sweet potato: You can use freshly peeled and diced sweet potato or frozen diced sweet potato. This adds creaminess and pleasant flavor.
  • Tomatoes: You can use diced canned or shelf-stable tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. It’s fine to use plain ones or a variety with Italian seasoning such as basil.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of how to make the pasta sauce recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full information and timing.

how to make hidden veggie pasta sauce in grid of images.
  1. Heat the oil and garlic in a medium skillet or large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the vegetables, stir, and cover. Cook until mostly soft.
  3. Remove lid and stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until everything is soft.
  4. Puree very smooth. Store or serve with pasta.

How to Store

It will last up to 5 days in an airtight container like a quart-size mason jar, or store it in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for 6-12 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge or use the defrost feature on your microwave to thaw more quickly.

Hidden veggie pasta sauce in freezer container.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use veggies with colors like white, yellow, orange, and red that will blend together into a classic-looking tomato sauce when combined with the canned tomatoes.
  • Double the recipe to make more and freeze the second half of the batch for a future week.
  • Serve with a pound of whichever kind of pasta your family prefers.
  • Add some protein to the pasta and sauce by adding canned white beans or chickpeas, warmed frozen peas, diced cooked chicken breast, meatballs, or even lentils.
  • If the sauce is thickened by the end of cooking time but the vegetables are not yet soft, add water or vegetable broth and continue to cook.
  • Add dried oregano or Italian seasoning to flavor, or top with fresh herbs like minced fresh basil. You may like your serving with crushed red pepper flakes.

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Hidden veggie pasta sauce in mason jar.

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

With four veggies in the mix and the classic flavor of marinara, this Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce is both delish and nutrient-rich.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Dinner
Calories 91kcal
Servings 8 about 1.5 quarts

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion (or shallot)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced sweet potato
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound pasta, optional for serving
  • Parmesan cheese, optional for serving
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Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables, stir, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until mostly soft.
  • Remove lid and stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low, and place the lid so it's mostly covering the pot but not a tight seal. This will let some steam escape but also protect your cooktop from splatters. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until everything is soft.
  • (If you reach the end of that cooking time and the vegetables are not completely soft but it is thickening up, add 1 cup water and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft.)
  • Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Season to taste with additional salt as needed.
  • Serve with 1 pound of cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese, if desired. 

Notes

  • It will last up to 5 days in an airtight container like a quart-size mason jar, or store it in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for 6-12 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge or use the defrost feature on your microwave to thaw more quickly.
  • Use veggies with colors like white, yellow, orange, and red that will blend together into a classic-looking tomato sauce when combined with the canned tomatoes.
  • Serve with a pound of whichever kind of pasta your family prefers.
  • Add some protein to the pasta and sauce by adding canned white beans or chickpeas, warmed frozen peas, diced cooked chicken breast, meatballs, or even lentils.

Nutrition

Calories: 91kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 320mg, Potassium: 362mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 7196IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this! My husband (I know this was meant for toddlers, but we call it training for when our little one start to eat himself, he) hates celery and he didnt even taste it here! Great, my family loved this.