I am not above hidden vegetable pasta sauces or what I like to call them – sneaky sauces – one little bit. In fact, I almost always hide healthy foods in my dinner and I don’t feel guilty or bad about it in the slightest. Let me show you how to hide vegetables in spaghetti sauce and other meat sauces.
My family now all knows that I like to add hidden vegetables to pasta sauce or other things in my meals and it doesn’t bother them either. If that is what it takes to get your kids (or even your husband) eating a little healthier I say go for it.
They’ll even say “This is good mom, what did you hide in it this time?” Sometimes they have a good laugh about it too as they try to guess what is in dinner tonight.
They were floored that I added avocado to my homemade Strawberry Avocado Ice Cream.If you can puree it you can hide it. All it does is thicken your sauces and no one is the wiser.Click To Tweet
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You know what is kind of funny. My kids will know that I’ve hidden mushrooms or that I’ve pureed tomatoes and added it to dinner and they like it. However, if I just dice up the mushrooms or tomatoes they will pick them out and leave them on the side of their plate.
Maybe it’s a texture thing, or maybe it’s a psychological thing … I’m not sure.
Adding vegetables to spaghetti sauce is super easy and I basically do the exact same thing with my taco sauce or sloppy joe mix, really any meat sauce or pasta sauce.
How to hide vegetables in spaghetti sauce
- bell peppers**
- or other favorite veggies
The amount you use depends on how much sauce you are making but I will tell you I always add at least 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks and one onion. Then I’ll add others depending on what I have on hand. I also cook for a family of 7 and make enough to have leftovers as part of my meal planning technique.
Chop your vegetables up, medium to small dice (they don’t have to be pretty). Saute until the veggies are soft & the onion is translucent. I’ll throw in some minced garlic and saute it for 30 seconds to a minute then transfer all of this to my blender. Blend until smooth.
Then brown your meat (beef, chicken, turkey, etc.) and season it with salt, pepper & other spices of choice, depending on what you are making. You will want to use a little more seasonings then normal because of all the extra veggies.
Add your pureed vegetables, stir and warm back through. If I’m making spaghetti sauce I’ll also add my home canned tomato sauce. I found this a few years ago and it is hands down the best tomato sauce I’ve ever made.
One great thing about this hidden vegetable pasta is it is great for your health, waistline & wallet. you won’t need to add as much meat because all of the veggies you are adding adds volume to your sauce.
*If you are adding mushrooms I actually just throw my mushrooms in my food processor until they are chopped to the consistency of the ground meat and “brown” them with the meat, no need to saute and puree.
**Bell peppers have a stronger flavor than these other veggies so they can be a little harder to mask, just as an FYI.
***If I’m making a creamy soup or a white sauce I almost always steam and puree cauliflower and add it to thicken and “creamify” the soup and/or sauce.
And that my friends, is how to hide vegetables in spaghetti sauce, pasta sauce or meat sauces.
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