Here are two things I’ve learned while spending time with kids. 1) Not all kids eat their vegetables. 2) Almost all kids love pasta. With those two facts in mind, I wanted to create a recipe for pasta sauce that snuck in as many veggies as possible— for those moments when little ones decide to be picky and ignore the broccoli I put on their plate.
I’ve put a wide assortment of veggies in the recipe below, but the truth is you can add almost any veggie you want. This recipe is particularly helpful when you have a fridge full of vegetables about to hit their best by date.
In this recipe, I decided to use carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, red bell peppers and tomatoes. Carrots serve as a great source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K and manganese. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, and potassium (yum). Zucchini, also known as a courgette, is a green-skinned summer squash that is an excellent source of potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Mushrooms are a great source of omega-6 fatty acids (great for brain function and the healthy promotion of growth and development), as well as B vitamins and copper. I chose to use red bell peppers because they’re the sweetest, but you can use any color you have on hand— they’re all delicious and an amazing source of vitamin C, amongst other nutrients. Finally, tomatoes— the key ingredient to any red sauce. They’re high in vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.
This sauce checks off so many boxes, it’s kind of a multi-vitamin in pasta sauce form. Pretty great. And if you want to add some protein into this sauce, cook up a package of organic ground beef or organic ground turkey and just add it into the sauce. Yum 😋
From Our Kitchen: Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
The perfect way to make your pasta sauce as nutrient dense as possible.
2 tablespoons olive
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1-28 oz can organic diced tomatoes
2-15 oz can organic tomato sauce
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- In a large saucepan, combine olive oil and onion, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until onions begin to soften.
- Add in dice carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell pepper, and sauté for 7-8 minutes, until the vegetables have begun to soften. You can place a lid on the pot to speed up this process.
- Once the vegetables are mostly soft, add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and serve immediately over pasta, or blend the sauce in a blender until smooth, and then serve over pasta.