Some kids and adults are picky eaters. There are a million tips and tricks, and from what I hear from some moms, sometimes you just want an easy and quick dinner that’s also healthy. I got together with my friend Monika to make this sauce that meets all the requirements: it’s healthy, it’s quick and kids love it.
Well, technically, it’s not a quick recipe the first time around, but that idea is that this big batch of tomato sauce holds you over for many lunches and dinners.
The good thing about this sauce it’s that it’s not an exact science. You can adapt it to the veggies in your fridge or you can ignore the tomato breakdown below and use only fresh tomatoes or only canned if you’d like. We do suggest to try to keep it as red as possible using very ripe tomatoes and red peppers.
To make the most of this big batch, we recommend freezing it in portions:
- In glass jars: If you use glass jars in your freezer we recommend to store enough for one meal. Make sure to leave enough room in the jar for the sauce to expand as it freezes.
- In reusable ziplocks: This is my favorite way to store liquids in my narrow freezer. I use reusable ziplocks and freeze the liquid flat horizontally. After they are frozen I stack them in bins vertically, kind of like file folders.
- In ice cubes: I also like freezing sauces into ice cubes which you can then store in whatever container you like. this allows you to only grab the ones you’ll be needing that day. I use silicone ice trays because they’re easier to pop out and then put them in reusable bags.
Of course, this sauce goes great with the classic spaghetti, but it’s also delicious:
- as a pizza sauce
- with zucchini noodles
- mixed with cream or a non-dairy creamy sauce to make a pink sauce
- in a lasagna
- as a base for a kid-friendly shakshouka
Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2.5 lbs tomatoes
- 1 large carrot roughly chopped
- 2 long celery sticks roughly chopped
- 1 zucchini roughly chopped
- 2 red peppers roughly chopped
- 700 grams jar of canned crushed tomatoes/ tomato puree
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of basil leaves
- 1 tsp Italian Herbs ( optional)
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- In a large pan with a lid, place the unpeeled tomato with a bit of water on low heat. Cover and let steam.
- Use a food processor to chop the veggies. If you don’t have a food processor, cut the veggies as small as you can. Do it in two batches:
- 1st: onion and garlic
- 2nd: carrot, celery, zuchini and red pepper in 2 or 3 batches.
- In a large pot add the oil and onion and garlic, sauté on low heat until the onion is clear.
- Add the dry spices if using them and stir.
- Add the veggie mix and sauté until the carrots are cooked through.
- At this point, the tomatoes should be cooked through. Peel them using tongs. If you use tongs, the peel should slide right off when you pinch it.
- Add the tomatoes to the large pot, along with the tomato water.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the canned/ jarred tomato pulp as necessary ( you want the sauce to be as red as possible and this helps a lot).
- Let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Let cool and store as you wish.
- This isn’t a science! Adjust veggies to your liking