Looking for a way to change up pasta night without alarming the kids too much? Try pureeing a medium roasted sweet potato into a standard quart jar of marinara sauce! We love this easy pasta sauce since it adds creaminess, natural sweetness, and it’s an extra dose of Vitamins A and C.
We eat a lot of pasta in our house and I often use it as a vehicle to serve new or different vegetables in a safe and familiar form. The addition of roasted sweet potato makes the sauce super creamy (without any dairy) and it perfectly coats pasta. It also has a flavor similar enough to traditional marinara sauce that the kids won’t feel like you’re trying to pull one over on them.
There’s always a short overlap between the end of our tomato season and sweet potato season, so that’s when I first made this easy pasta sauce. I love tomato soup with sweet potato so using a similar combination seemed like a good sauce for pasta. We like this sauce with plain pasta or with browned ground beef or Italian sausage. And it’s really good with the addition of thawed frozen peas or even cauliflower florets.
We like to top our pasta with sweet potato sauce with grated Parmesan to round out the flavors, but you can skip that or use another cheese if you prefer. This sauce could also be used as a dip for breadsticks or grilled cheese and if you cook it down until thick, it’d be great as a pizza sauce! Make it ahead of time for dinner and boil up a pound of pasta right before mealtime and you’re in store for an easy dinner that has a good chance of pleasing the littles.
(Looking for more easy make-ahead dinners? Check out 25 Make-Ahead Dinners for Toddlers.)
P.S. This also works with canned butternut squash puree or even leftover sweet potato or butternut squash baby food.Print
Adding roasted sweet potato to a quart of marinara sauce adds non-dairy creaminess and extra nutrition.
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 quart marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- Salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet or pan with foil. Wash and dry the sweet potato. Poke holes with a paring knife (to release steam as it bakes). Place the sweet potato onto the foil and into the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until very soft. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Add the marinara sauce and the sweet potato, discarding the skin, to a blender. Blend until very smooth. Warm in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Season to taste with salt and add Italian seasoning if desired.
- Serve with prepared pasta or over another favorite grain.