marinara sauce

Hidden Veg Marinara Sauce

The versatility of this hidden veg marinara sauce is what makes it so special! It’s freezable (for up to 4 months), easy to batch cook and great for getting some hidden veggies into your toddler too.

It’s very rare that I’m ever without some in my freezer, as it is such an easy ‘grab’ option for when you’re struggling for meal inspiration with kids. Just chuck the sauce through some cooked pasta and top with some parmesan cheese for an instant crowd pleasing family dinner.

You need this (plus some cheese) to take your lasagne from a basic homemade dish, to meltingly hot, cheese-pull-tastic restaurant quality goodness!


And I also use this super simple hidden veg marinara sauce on a variety of other dishes; including my aubergine parmigiana dish, as a pizza sauce base or paired with garlic aioli as a side for my halloumi fries. Let me know in the comments if there is anything you use it for that I’ve not already listed.

Halloumi Fries

You can use fresh or dried herbs – I use dried as it’s more likely you have them on hand but there is no substitute for fresh basil in my opinion. If using fresh thyme and oregano, then simply finely chops and use at the same stage as cooking as described in the recipe below.

I would personally recommend some great quality tinned tomatoes and pasatta, like the Mutti brand, as I feel this really helps the sauce sing in terms of flavour. Otherwise, just make sure to try it once blitzed up at the end to ensure the right balance for you personally (in terms of salt etc.).

You can choose not to pass the sauce through a fine sieve, but be prepared for some ‘bits’ or a slightly more textured sauce. Not at all unpleasant, I just simply prefer when it’s all super smooth.

marinara sauce

Marinara Sauce

A tasty, simple and versatile marinara sauce that can be used for anything from lasagne to pizza sauce to dip!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12
Calories 78 kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic or 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 690g pasatta approx. is fine – so between 600-800g ideally
  • 250 ml water use this to rinse out jar and tins of tomatoes
  • 800g chopped tomatoes 2 tins
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper white or black pepper is fine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 15 g fresh basil optional


  • Soften 2 carrots, 3 stalks celery, 1 onion & 4 cloves garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Add 1 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp dried oregano, fry for a minute or so
  • Then add 690g pasatta and 800g chopped tomatoes (rinsing out with 250 ml water) and simmer for approx 1 hour on low/medium heat
  • Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp sugar and 15 g fresh basil and simmer for further 5 mins
  • Add all ingredients to a blender and ensure it is blitzed smooth, then pass the sauce through a fine sieve to remove any 'bits'
  • Finely, taste the sauce and add any more salt, pepper or sugar as required based on your individual taste


Calories: 78kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 318mgPotassium: 532mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2260IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Hidden Veg Marinara Sauce
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