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Meat sauce in a white bowl garnished with basil.
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4.89 from 9 votes

Meat Sauce with Hidden Vegetables

A hearty meat and tomato sauce filled with hidden pureed vegetables. This healthier sauce is loaded with flavor and you'll never know it's filled with veggies. Serve this sauce with spaghetti, lasagna, stuffed peppers, roasted vegetables, and more!
Course main, Main dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 quarts (varies)
Calories 90kcal


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 heaping handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ΒΌ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 25 oz jars marinara sauce
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of sugar if desired


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute ground beef in olive oil until brown, periodically breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. While the meat is browning, place all the vegetables and garlic in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. Add the vegetable puree to the meat, and cook, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated (the mixture might look unappetizing at this point, but it will look better after adding the tomatoes). Add the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, marinara, crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, and a pinch of sugar. Stir to combine. Simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes. Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.


Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 251mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2455IU | Vitamin C: 17.2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1.3mg