Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

4.44 from 37 votes

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This creamy and easy hidden veggie pasta sauce is a total gamechanger. Kids and adults will never know that there are 5 to 6 hidden veggies in here. The sauce is silky smooth and no one will know that it’s loaded in healthy fiber and nutrients. There are many reasons why kids and adults don’t like eating vegetables and often the reason is texture. Enter this sauteed, blended sauce, which masks tender-cooked vegetables in a tomato sauce. This recipe is for anyone looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet without the overwhelming taste or texture.

My motto is; if they don’t ask, simply don’t tell. If your loved ones are picky eaters, serve them this pasta dish without telling them what’s in it and let me know if they notice or not. I served this to Steve and he had no clue what was in this sauce. I told him there were hidden veggies, and he was shocked. He said that this was one of the tastiest pasta sauces he has tried and would enjoy a bowl any time of day.

This recipe is perfect for back-to-school and meal prep, as it can easily be batch-cooked and frozen.

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

This recipe is for anyone looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet without the overwhelming taste or texture. It is perfect for back-to-school and meal prep, as it can easily be batch-cooked and frozen.
4.44 from 37 votes
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • 4 cups pasta, any shape you like (I boiled 300 grams of rigatoni which was about 4 cups)

Instructions 

  • Warm the olive oil in a large pan with high sides over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Stir in the garlic and add the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan with a lid, leaving a small opening on the side, and let simmer, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add carefully add the mixture to a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • In the meantime, boil your pasta of choice in boiling salted water until al dente. I used half of my sauce and added the cooked pasta to it with a touch of the pasta water.
  • Garnish with parm and enjoy. I reserved the remaining sauce for the week but you can use it all up if you are a family of 4 or 5 as this recipe makes a lot of sauce.

Notes

  • Please note that the vegetables should be chopped into small, equal sizes so that everything cooks evenly. You don’t have to precise as everything will get blended at the end regardless.
  • Feel free to use passata (strained tomato puree) or your favourite tomato sauce. Feel free to use a good quality sauce like Rao’s. I used half of my pasta sauce and saved the other half as there was only the two of us eating.
  • You can make a big batch of this sauce and freeze it for up to 6 months. You can even freeze it into small portions in a small Ziplock bag. When boiling your pasta be sure to boil the water and season generously with salt as it’s your only chance to season the pasta.
  • You are more than welcome to add a splash of heavy cream or coconut cream at the very end if you want a more luxurious and silky sauce. If you are taking this meal for work or sending it for the kids at school, you can boil the pasta in the morning, coat it with the sauce and pop it in a thermos. A trick to keeping the thermos warm is to add boiling hot water to your thermos and dump it out before you add the pasta in so that it ensures the thermos stays hot for longer.
  • If you don’t feel like eating this with pasta you can also add a touch of veggie broth as you will be left with the most delicious and creamy veggie soup. Please let me know how you liked this recipe in the comments or let me know what you did differently.
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

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17 Comments

  1. We felt like something was missing from this sauce as it was, and it tasted mostly of just plain pureed vegetables. The next day I reheated/simmered it with extra tomato sauce mixed it, and it was great. In all, I believe I more than doubled the tomato sauce in the recipe. Of course this can be due to the sauce we used so I am wary of rating the recipe. I’m still glad to have found this recipe and will make it again with the extra tomato sauce (and maybe feta cheese).

  2. 5 stars
    My boyfriends kids are so picky when it comes to food, especially when they know what’s in it so I try to hide veggies when I cam and they don’t see me. I made the sauce the night before and then let them see me add ground beef and make the rest of the pasta and they looooooved it! The youngest went back for seconds!!!

    1. I love to hear it!! The approval of going for seconds is the best!! Thank you for sharing, Lisa! I appreciate your rating! 🥰

    1. I don’t like this sauce with meat personally but you can absolutely experiment. I think it would pair much better with a protein like shrimp.

  3. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and my whole family loved it! I used half of the sauce for pasta and added to other half to a turkey chili. This is my new favorite way to add hidden veggies to our family’s food! Love your instructions, notes, and quick videos! Your recipes are becoming weekly additions in our house!

  4. Absolutely amazing recipe packed with lots of vegetables. It’s a simple dinner that’s super healthy too! Definitely a winner with the whole family. Sometimes I use the leftover sauce as a tomato base when making homemade pizza! So versatile, thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe since it hit the website. It’s made so often in our house now. Super simple & it’s packed full of veg that we wouldn’t normally like to each on their own. Great way to up the veggie intake 🙂 very impressed!

  6. Just made this recipe and I can’t tell you how much my husband and I are enjoying it (he’s licking his plate). Such a delicious, easy and healthy recipe!!!! Thank you so much for sharing it