Creamy Marinara with Hidden Veggies

Pasta is the ultimate meal that combines nutrition and taste. Most kids love pasta, so it's a great vehicle for sneaking in added nutrients and vitamins that our little ones might be missing. 

Makes approximately 3 cups of sauce for six 4-ounce (½ cup) servings


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 carrots, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 28-ounce can no-salt-added plum tomatoes, undrained

1 cup Else prepared  with 1 cup water + 4 scoops Else


  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add onion and saute until just softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute till fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  2. Add carrots and pepper and saute another 4 minutes.
  3. Add pumpkin puree, basil, oregano, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes. Lightly break up the canned tomatoes with a spoon. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Working in batches, transfer sauce to blender and blend until smooth. Pour sauce back into the skillet set over medium-low heat, stir in the prepared Else, and heat a few minutes more.
  5. Serve over your child’s favorite freshly cooked pasta. 

Note: For meat sauce, add browned ground beef or turkey to the sauce after pureeing.

Nutrition Information

Per 4-ounce serving (sauce only):

Calories: 144

Fat: 6 grams

Saturated Fat: Less than 1 gram

Cholesterol: 0

Sodium: 50 grams

Carbohydrate: 18 grams

Fiber: 5 grams

Total Sugar: 8 grams

Added Sugar: Less than 1 gram

Protein: 3 grams

 Plant-Based Toddler Nutrition Recipes

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