Hidden Veggie Pizza Sauce
This Hidden Veggie Pizza Sauce is packed with over 1 1/2 cups of sneaky vegetables! Use this kid-friendly vegetable pizza sauce to top your favorite pizza or as a dip for grilled cheese sandwiches or pizza bites. This veggie-packed tomato sauce is easy to meal prep and freezes well.
Pizza is a kid favorite, and when it’s made with the right ingredients it can be a nutritious meal. Making pizza at home allows you to use a whole grain crust and a veggie-packed tomato sauce. If you top the pizza with a few more veggies (let the kids pick their own and help!), a slice of pizza is a good mix of whole grains, protein (from the cheese and possibly toppings), and vegetables.
To make homemade pizza the easy way, we will often use whole wheat English muffins as our crust. The English muffin pizzas are just the right size for kids. It’s fun to let everyone make their own! Kids are also more likely to try a food if they are involved in preparing it.
How to hide veggies in pasta sauce:
First of all, should you hide veggies in your kids’ meals? This question is the subject of debate among parents. My take is based on the idea of everything in moderation. Should you always hide vegetables to get your kids to eat them? No. It’s important to teach kids about healthy eating. You want them to learn that a healthy diet includes a variety of foods, such as whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables. Kids should be exposed to different kinds of vegetables, prepared different ways, often.
Is it okay to sneak extra hidden vegetables into your kids meals sometimes? I think so. Why not get extra nutrients into their meals whenever you’re able to? As long as kids are served vegetables prepared in other ways as well, I see nothing wrong with a few sneaky parent tricks here and there.
I’ve found that the easiest way to hide veggies in pasta sauce, pizza sauce, dips, pasta dishes, etc. is to puree them. So long as the flavor of the vegetables won’t change the flavor of the overall dish too much (or its appearance), your kids will probably not even notice the extra healthy vegetables in their meal!
For this Hidden Veggie Pizza Sauce recipe, I’ve listed some options for the vegetables that you might use. You can use just a few, or use them all. I’ve made this sauce with just carrots, bell pepper and zucchini. And I’ve made it with the whole rainbow.
Tips for making Hidden Veggie Pizza Sauce:
- Use a combination of at least 3 vegetables for the best nutrition and flavor. Different colors of vegetables provide different nutrients.
- I like to use a counter top blender to puree the sauce. I use and recommend a Vitamix blender (affiliate link).
- This recipe can be doubled to make 4 cups of sauce if you would like to freeze some for later.
Hidden Veggie Pizza Sauce
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups chopped vegetables (chopped small, such as zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, onion, spinach, etc.)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, dried basil and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Let cool slightly and then transfer to a blender to puree until smooth. (Or use an immersion blender to puree in the pot.)
- Use sauce on homemade pizzas or as a dip for grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza bites, etc.
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