Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

This hearty vegetable sauce combines onions, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes with diced tomatoes for a rich, flavorful base. Simple to prepare, it’s perfect for serving over whole wheat pasta for a nutritious and delicious meal.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion (or shallot)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced sweet potato
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta, optional for serving
  • Parmesan cheese, optional for serving


  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables, stir, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until mostly soft.
  • Remove lid and stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low, and place the lid so it's mostly covering the pot but not a tight seal. This will let some steam escape but also protect your cooktop from splatters. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until everything is soft.
  • (If you reach the end of that cooking time and the vegetables are not completely soft but it is thickening up, add 1 cup water and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft.)
  • Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Season to taste with additional salt as needed.
  • Serve with 1 pound of cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese, if desired.


    • Use veggies with colors like white, yellow, orange, and red that will blend together into a classic-looking tomato sauce when combined with the canned tomatoes.
    • Double the recipe to make more and freeze the second half of the batch for a future week.
    • Add some protein to the pasta and sauce by adding canned white beans or chickpeas, diced cooked chicken breast (or canned chicken), canned salmon, or even lentils.
    • Add dried oregano or Italian seasoning to flavor, or top with fresh herbs like minced fresh basil. You may like your serving with crushed red pepper flakes.