Every kid loves pizza, many love spaghetti so a marinara sauce is a great way to get your children to enjoy more veggies. Try garden veggie marinara sauce!
I’ve never been a big fan of sneaking veggies into food as I’d rather my kids learn to love vegetables, but I see nothing wrong with packing something full of them in an easy to eat way like garden veggie marinara sauce.
There’s only one step that I insist on for this entire recipe, please make sure you take a moment to sauce the vegetables before making the sauce. Think of it like corn or grilled corn. Isn’t grilled corn so much more delicious? Same thing with sautéing vegetables for a dish, the heat breaks them down and really brings out the flavor.
I mean, it’s like eating raw carrots with your roast at Sunday dinner or nice and caramelized carrots from baking in the pan with that beefy babe.
I think that’s one of my favorite tips about cooking. To some it may seem obvious but to a large portion of the public something like sautéing everything versus just throwing it all in a pot to simmer may not be.
What is Sauteing?
The word sauté (pronounced “saw-TAY”) refers to a form of dry-heat cooking that uses a hot pan and a small amount of fat to cook the food.
This sauce really doesn’t need much fuss either. A bunch of veggies, a little cheese and a dollop of butter and you’re good to go. The secret is a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I don’t know why it works but it does. I’ll wait for America’s Test Kitchen to figure that one out.
Oh, and this is a recipe that once cools, freezes really well in a ziploc with all of the air pressed out. When you’re ready to reheat just put it in the fridge to defrost and then bring it back to temperature. Use it in spaghetti, lasagna or anything that would normally take a sauce.
Is there a Difference Between Spaghetti Sauce and Marinara Sause?
In the U.S. Marinara is a vegetarian Italian style tomato sauce and it may have olive oil and cheese like parmesan mixed in. But never meat or anchovies. Spaghetti Sauce in the U.S. is culinary slang for manufactured tomato sauce served over spaghetti.
Other Italian Sauce Recipes
Looking for more Italian Sauce recipes? Who doesn’t love Italian sauces!? Make sure you try these out the next time you are making that Italian dish:
- Classic Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Pizza Sauce
- The Ultimate Pesto Recipe
- Easy Beef Ragu
- Cilantro Pesto
Here are a few more yummy saucy pasta dishes that our family loves:
Garden Veggie Marinara Sauce
Garden Veggie Marinara Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 Zucchini, Grated
- 1 Large Carrot, Grated
- 2 Baby Bella Mushrooms, minced or diced
- 1/2 Red, Yellow and Orange Bell Pepper, diced
- 28 ounces Crushed Tomatoes
- 8 ounces Tomato Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, more to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, minced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- Pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and once shimmering, add the garlic and crushed red pepper.
- Stir around a few times and quickly add the vegetables.
- Stir occasionally for 5-8 minutes or until everything is tender.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately or cool and freeze in ziploc bags for up to 3 months.
This was so good! After following the recipe, I added more pepper and it was perfect. Kids loved it too. Will definitely be making again!
I added ground turkey to this and LOVED it! Saving this recipe now!
Yum! That sounds delicious! So glad you enjoyed it!
What I love about this recipe is the versatility. Great recipe! Thank you!
Hi Moni! That’s one of the reasons I love it too! So glad you enjoyed it!
Approximately how much shredded zucchini did you use? Some of my zucchini will yield 2 cups shredded or 4-5 cups shredded.
Ours was about 2 cups, but you can add as much or as little as you would like!!
There’s a typo in the first part when you say an important part, can’t wait to make this!
I made this yesterday and it’s delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.
One question–the ingredients list “2 baby Bella mushrooms.” Is that correct? I doubled the recipe when I made it and used a whole container of baby Bellas.
Hi Heather, yes we only used two, but you can use as few or as many as you’d like. Sometimes we add more and it’s still wonderful. 🙂
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life
What a great way to get a lot more veggies in your diet!