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If you’re anything like me, you try to get your kids to eat a well balanced meal. You also encourage them to try new things. But getting vegetables into their diet isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Usually new vegetables and foods end up on our floor before they go in my kids’ mouth. But there’s one thing that’s universally loved in my house: Tomato sauce. Pasta, pizza, mozzarella sticks, you name it, Maddox will eat it with tomato sauce. It only seemed natural to sneak some veggies into his diet that way, hence my Versatile Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce.

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Look at all those veggies!

I’ve served this sauce twice and both times, Maddox ate pretty well. The first time, I grilled some pizzas. Even though his pie came out a little charred and crispy, Maddox still ate his pizza pretty well. Pizza is our go to food to get Maddox to eat. I’m pretty sure he’s never met a slice he won’t try. He didn’t even notice the difference in sauce from a traditional pizza. He gobbled that pie down and ate some more for lunch the next day. Didn’t even notice that this pizza managed to get him nutrients he’s been lacking lately.

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The sauce made a second appearance when I made the traditional spaghetti and meatballs. Now, spaghetti and meatballs can be a little hit or miss in our house, but with the hidden veggie sauce, it ended up being a hit. Maddox loved the idea of dipping his meatballs and noodles in the sauce, and even decided he would eat the sauce by itself. Normally eating straight sauce (such as ketchup or BBQ sauce) is not encouraged, but Kiersten and I were actually giving him more sauce to eat plain because we knew guilt-free it was. Unlike ketchup or BBQ sauce, this tomato sauce doesn’t have any added sugar. All the sweetness comes from the vegetables.

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Possibly my favorite characteristic of this sauce is the versatility of it. It goes with everything. Anything you’d serve with a tomato sauce, this can take its stead. And the best part is, it doesn’t taste like it has all of the veggies in it that it does. It just tastes like a normal tomato sauce. Of course, you can customize this sauce for whatever needs you may have. If you want the sauce spicy, add some red pepper flakes (although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this with kids). There will be a little trial and error when it comes to the flavors, but the result is worth it. This recipe isn’t just for kids; It’s for picky husbands and wives as well.

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So try it out and let me know what you serve it with. I’d love to hear your recipes. Comment or use the #DishingDaddyhood hashtag on social media.

Print Recipe
Versatile Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce
A delicious way to get vegetables into your picky eaters.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
16 ounce jars
Ingredients
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
16 ounce jars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add the rest of the veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, and bell pepper) and give it a little mix.
  2. Add the strained tomatoes and vegetable stock and stir to combine. Add the tomato puree, italian herbs, and paprika, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the veggies are soft. Stir occasionally so the vegetables don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the basil at the end.
  4. Remove from heat and use a blender to attain the desired consistency.
  5. Serve immediately, or let cool and can/jar or freeze sauce.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from My Fussy Eater.

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Like this recipe? Make some changes? Let me know what you think about it and how you made it your own. #DishingDaddyhood on social media!