This week, I was craving classic spaghetti and meat sauce. As you know, I love to add vegetables to my recipes whenever possible. To make this amazing “hidden vegetable” pasta sauce, I chopped a few vegetables and added them to the sauce. It’s more flavorful and has more color and texture. It’s a win/win situation!


I love to substitute half the ground meat with vegetables or beans. This is my favorite way to stretch ground meat in recipes. I used shredded vegetables to mimic the texture of ground meat and added a subtle sweetness and extra nutrition to the sauce. The sauce is so good that I could not stop eating it while taking photos.


You can make this hidden vegetable pasta sauce vegetarian by mending 8 oz. Sautee the mushrooms in the oil and add them to the pan with the garlic and onions. The texture of the minced mushrooms will be similar to ground meat.


If you make double batches of this sauce, it freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for quick meals. Ensure the sauce cools completely in the fridge before transferring it to the freezer. The sauce will keep in the freezer for several months. You can heat the sauce over medium-low until it is heated through.


This hidden vegetable pasta sauce will give your spaghetti a boost. It contains a mix of vegetables and extra herbs, which gives it optimum flavor.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 small zucchini ($0.57)
  • 2 carrots ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.25)
  • 2 cloves of garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1/2 lb. Ground beef ($2.50
  • 1/2 tsp dried Basil ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried Oregano ($0.05).
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
  • One teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional). ($0.02)
  • 1 24oz. jar pasta sauce* ($1.49)
  • 12 oz. spaghetti ( $0.75)


  • To grate the carrots and zucchini, use a cheese grater. Each will need about 1.5 cups, but you can adjust the quantity. Chop the onion and mince garlic.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and the ground beef. The ground beef should be cooked on medium heat until it becomes golden brown. Continue to sauté the garlic and onion dice for a few more minutes, or until they are translucent and soft.
  • In a skillet, add the carrots and the shredded zucchini to the pan, the salt, Basil, Oregano and freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of each red pepper. Continue to saute the vegetables until they are tender (about five minutes).
  • Stir the pasta sauce into the skillet. Let the skillet heat to boiling. Once the water has boiled, reduce the heat to low. Meanwhile, prepare the spaghetti. As the sauce simmers, stir it occasionally.
  • Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain in a colander. Turn off the heat and return the drained spaghetti to the pot. Stir the pasta with one cup of sauce. Add the sauce to your pasta and divide it into bowls.


Serving Size: 1 Serving Calories 563 kcal Carbohydrates 80 g Protein 24 g Fat 17 g Sodium 1105 mg Fiber 7 g

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