Hidden Veggie Marinara (great for kids!)


  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 small beets or 1 large beet, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, fronds cut off, core removed, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. In a large pot, add some olive oil over medium high heat
  2. When hot, add all your veggies and season with salt and pepper
  3. Let this cook down for about ten minutes, stirring often, until the veggies have started to soften and come together
  4. To this, add your tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine and let cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, stirring often
  5. Lower your heat, add your canned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer on low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies (specifically the beets) are tender when pierced with a fork or knife
  6. Turn the heat off and, using an immersion blender (or stick blender), puree the sauce until it is totally and completely smooth
  7. Add your 1/4 cup of olive oil and blend again, until the olive oil is emulsified and the sauce is thick and smooth
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and you’re done!


If you can’t find “Italian seasoning” at your grocery store in the spice aisle (or if you don’t want to buy it), it’s just basically a mix of basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano, so you can just mix those together at home and use 2 teaspoons of the mix!

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree this with a regular blender in batches. Just add some of the 1/4 cup of olive oil to each batch as you blend it so it’s emulsified throughout the whole sauce.

I portion this into several tupperwares, put one in the fridge, and put the rest in the freezer. When my fridge sauce is running low, I’ll pop a tupperware out of the freezer and let it thaw!