Hidden Veggie Marinara Sauce is a secretly healthy marinara sauce recipe made with onions, carrots, celery, mushroom, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and a few pantry essentials. This 30-minute homemade marinara sauce gets the veg-finicky to eat ALL the vegetables.
Hidden Veggie Marinara Sauce
Not everyone loves vegetables, but everyone loves pasta!
So I came up with a homemade marinara sauce recipe that’s secretly loaded with vegetables.
The secret to anyone’s success of getting finicky eaters to eat vegetables is all in how you prepare the vegetables.
For this homemade marinara sauce, you’ll want the veggies chopped as finely as possible so they’ll cook down easily and lend to the texture of the finished product.
Mincing veggies might be the most challenging part of this recipe because not everyone has ninja knife skills.
How do you mince vegetables with a dull knife?
You don’t! You do this instead…
1. run the veggies over a box grater
OR use my favorite method…
2. finely chop the veggies in a food processor, using the chopping blade attachment.
In the end, minced, sautéed veggies lend so nicely to the flavor and texture of this sauce…and no one is the wiser to how healthy it is!
Those mushrooms though, they’re my favorite meat substitute in any meatless meal.
Hidden Veggie Marinara Sauce recipe steps
Step 1. shred veggies in food processor
Step 2. sauté the veggies
Step 3. add the liquids and seasonings
Step 4. simmer until thickened
Step 5. serve over your favorite pasta
* See full recipe below
I know, I know. Sounds too simple…but it really is that simple!
Once you make this recipe, you’ll be a pro and wonder why you haven’t been making homemade marinara sauce with hidden veggies all these years!
Hidden Veggie Marinara Sauce Recipe Ingredients:
- extra virgin olive oil
- canned tomato sauce
- tomato paste
- Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- bay leaf
- (optional) crushed red pepper flakes
- (optional) vodka
Tools I use for this recipe:
Want more EASY, vegan, pasta recipes?
Check out my Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe for a classic marinara sauce.
Try my Sesame Kale Noodles made with kale, Brussels sprouts, sesame seeds, and noodles, in a creamy tahini sauce.
Or, for a zoodle-noodle recipe, check out my Thai Peanut Zucchini Noodles. This recipe is so delish and easy to make, it should be in my regular rotation!
These Veggie Lo Mein Noodles will have you skipping takeout on the regular!
Optional secret ingredient in this marinara sauce recipe
I love to add 1/4 cup of VODKA to this recipe.
Since this is not a lengthy simmer sauce, the vodka adds a certain depth of flavor in the short cooking time.
Don’t worry, the alcohol burns off during the cooking process, so you won’t get sauced, or even remotely tipsy, when you eat it 🙂
Hidden Veggie Marinara Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Onion grated
- 2 cloves Garlic grated
- 1 large Carrot grated
- 1 stalk Celery grated
- 1 cup Mushrooms finely chopped
- 1 28oz can No Salt Added Tomato Sauce
- 2 Tbsp No Salt Added Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Bay Leaf
To prep veggies:
- Place ONION, GARLIC, CARROT, and CELERY in a 7 or 9 cup food processor with the chopping blade in place.
- Pulse the blade until all veggies are crumbly in texture (don't overmix or they'll become mushy).
- Pour veggies into a bowl and set aside.
- Repeat the same process with the MUSHROOMS; add crumbled mushrooms to other veggies.
For the sauce:
- In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, heat OLIVE OIL.
- Add ONION, GARLIC, CARROT, CELERY, and MUSHROOMS; sauté until fragrant and slightly translucent (about 3 minutes).
- Add TOMATOES, TOMATO PASTE, ITALIAN SEASONING, SALT, RED PEPPER FLAKES, BLACK PEPPER, BAY LEAF; bring all to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes (stir as needed).
- Serve over your favorite pasta, garnish with Parmesan cheese (optional), or allow to cool and store in a refrigerated, airtight container up to 5 days.