Packed with 6 vegetables, this rich pasta sauce is the perfect option for a nourishing weeknight meal. This pasta sauce comes together super quickly – within 30 minutes! And it’s is great for meal prep. As this sauce is a double batch, you can enjoy one portion fresh and store the remaining sauce in the fridge or freezer.
Don’t we all just love the comforting smell of a rich pasta sauce bubbling gently on the stovetop? And even better, a pasta sauce that is as bursting with veggies and flavour? Well I know I do, and this pasta sauce is a winner!
This Vegetable Pasta Sauce an absolute hit with all my kids (a miracle worthy of reporting to the Vatican). And because it comes together so quickly with the heavy lifting done by food processor, this recipe is also an absolute hit with me too. And don’t worry, if you don’t have a food processor, I have a solution for you!
This is a big batch recipe and makes around 1.25 litres which is enough for two generous family sized meals. I generally portion the sauce into halves and serve each portion with 500g of cooked pasta.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This veggie sauce is packed with 6 vegetables – tomatoes, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, onion and garlic. And it’s so flavourful from the fresh and dried herbs and the magic ingredient – balsamic vinegar. Let’s take a look at these ingredients in a bit more detail!
- Sweet Potato – I use the golden variety. Sweet potatoes are packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They’re rich in Beta-Carotene that is important for eye health.
- Carrot – carrots are packed with fibre and are great for eye health too.
- Zucchini – also nutrient powerhouses and especially helps aid digestion. If you have pickier eaters you could peel these to make more inconspicuous in the sauce or replace with another carrot.
- Onion – not all kids love onion in sauces but mine do and I definitely prefer the onion in this veggie pasta sauce. If your kids don’t like onion you can reduce the amount. Or…you know…leave it in, that way there’s more for you 😉
- Olive Oil – prevents the vegetable mix for sticking when you’re frying in the pan. You may not need as much if you have a non-stick pan, but the oil also helps bring out the flavours of the dish.
- Garlic – while it is a technically optional ingredient, I really think the sauce is better with it – so leave it in! You could reduce the amount if that’s your preference.
- Balsamic Vinegar – the not-so-secret ingredient in this vegetable pasta sauce that enhances the flavours and gives an incredibly rich flavour to the sauce. Omit at your peril….😝
- Dried Oregano – the herbs in this sauce add a depth of flavour. You could used mixed herbs or Italian herbs or dried basil.
- Brown Sugar – there is really not much sugar that is added to this recipe (only one teaspoon) and does help with creating a veggie sauce that is rich and flavourful. You could reduce the amount or just omit if that’s your preference.
- Salt and Pepper – seasonings enhance the flavours in this sauce. You could omit if giving to babies.
- Passata – this is uncooked, pureed tomatoes and adds a lovely silkiness in this recipe. You could replace with more diced tomatoes.
- Diced Tomatoes – I love adding these in for more texture in this veggie pasta sauce. You could use more passata instead.
- Fresh Herbs – I use basil and parsley and they are just beautiful in this tomato based veggies sauce. These are for flavouring so you could leave out, but the sauce is better with them.
How to make Veggie Pasta Sauce
This vegetarian pasta sauce could not be easier to make. It comes together so quickly with the help of a food processor. Firstly peel the sweet potato and carrot. You don’t need to peel the carrot if you don’t want to. Roughly chop the peeled vegetables along with the zucchini and onion to a similar size and add into your food processor using the S-blade attachment.
Blitz the sweet potato, carrot, zucchini and onion together. My preference is to blitz until the vegetables are cut quite finely and have almost melted together but still have some texture.
If you do not have a food processor, simply grate the sweet potato, carrot and zucchini and finely dice the onion for the veggie base.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over low heat. Once you have prepared the vegetables, add them into the preheated pan, increase the heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes stirring so the mix does not catch.
Then add in the oregano, sugar, salt and pepper and crushed garlic and stir to combine for a minute.
Next, add in the balsamic vinegar, passata and diced tomato and stir through to combine. Cook for a further 8 minutes stirring occasionally.
The veggie sauce should gently bubble every now and then, and if it is bubbling hard or splattering out of the pan turn the heat down. Then add in the chopped herbs and stir through until evenly combined.
Portion the cooked vegetarian pasta sauce into halves and use each portion for 400-500g cooked pasta.
How to Store this Veggie Pasta Sauce
You can store this delicious rich veggie pasta sauce in the fridge for three to four days in a glass or stain proof container. This sauce will also keep in the freezer for up to six months. You can either store in containers or in zip lock bags in the freezer – just make sure they are airtight.
To reheat the pasta sauce, defrost and heat until steaming either in the microwave or on the stove top in a pan.
This veggie pasta sauce makes a great plant based meal and I tend to serve one portion with 400g – 500g cooked spaghetti and top with fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.
You can also use this pasta sauce as the base for a bolognese. Simply add into 500g cooked beef mince. This veggie pasta sauce recipe would also be great with a vegetarian or non-vegetarian lasagne.
Love this recipe? You might also love these!
- This Creamy Mushroom Spinach Pasta is a delicious, comforting pasta that is perfect for busy weeknights.
- Or this Zucchini Macaroni Cheese is a healthier take on a childhood favourite.
- If you are looking for more quick and simple weeknight recipes you can make ahead, why not try my Corn, Bacon and Cheddar Slice or my delicious Zucchini Slice?
- And if you are looking for more meat-free meals this Vegetarian Zucchini Slice is so easy to prefer and tastes so good!
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This quick and simple Veggie Pasta Sauce is packed with 6 vegetables. It is rich and flavourful and comes together within 30 minutes. It’s the perfect kid-friendly pasta sauce for busy weeknights.
- 200g (one small) peeled sweet potato
- 100g (one medium) peeled carrot
- 200g (one large) zucchini
- 1 medium brown onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 500ml passata
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped soft herbs – basil and parsley work very well in this sauce
- Roughly chop the peeled sweet potato, carrot, zucchini and onion to a similar size and put in a food processor with the S-blade attachment. If you do not have a food processor grate the sweet potato, carrot and zucchini and finely dice the onion.
- Preheat a pan over a low heat with the olive oil.
- Blitz the vegetables together until finely chopped to your desired consistency. I prefer mine to still have some texture.
- Add the prepared vegetable mix to the pan and increase the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure that it does not catch on the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the garlic, oregano, sugar and salt and pepper and stir through for one minute
- Then stir in the passata, diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should only gently bubble so if it is boiling hard reduce the heat.
- Stir the fresh herb through the veggie pasta sauce then divide the mixture into two portions. See note for storage instructions.
- If serving one portion immediately, stir through 400-500g cooked pasta and top with fresh herbs and parmesan if desired.
This is a double batch designed to be divided in halves. Each portion equates to around 625 ml which when added with 500g pasta will serve 5 people.
The remaining portion can be stored in the fridge for three to four days or in the freezer for up to six months.
To reheat the pasta sauce, heat until steaming either in the microwave or on the stove top in a pan.
Keywords: Veggie Pasta Sauce, Pasta Sauce, Vegetarian Pasta Sauce, Tomato Based Pasta Sauce, Rich Tomato and Vegetable Pasta Sauce