Sneaky Veggie Filled Tomato Sauce and Penne for Kids

A great Mother's Day present would be to have dinner ready quick and easy and something the toddler wouldn't fight to eat. She does love her pasta and tomato sauce so I started getting sneaky and adding some diced veggies to my homemade tomato sauce. As soon as my toddler spotted the diced green peppers she told me this is "yucky" and started picking everything out of her pasta bowl.

First I went to Walmart to pick up some veggies, cans of tomato sauce and Barilla® Penne. After trying to dice the veggies smaller and it took too long, I decided to dump everything into my food processor and pulse away. I added carrots, peppers, mushrooms and onions and pulsed until it was very finely chopped. Since the vegetables were chopped so finely it released a lot of liquid so I placed the veggies on top of a flour sack towel and squeezed all the moisture away.

After the veggies were dry, I added them to a hot sauce pan with olive oil and some minced garlic. I stirred the veggies until they were softened. Then I added a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato paste. I added some seasonings and stirred on low heat for about 15 minutes. I let the veggie tomato sauce cool and put it into a mason jar to have for the week and some portioned out into ziplock bags in the freezer.

I love having Barilla® pasta on hand at all times because it is one of the few things my daughter will eat without a fight. She loves the penne pasta because she can easily eat it all by herself like a "big girl" I love it because it is super easy to do and with my prepared sauce it takes just minutes for dinner to be done.

Sneaky Veggie Filled Tomato Sauce and Penne (Printable Recipe)
  • 1 box of Barilla® Penne
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 8 button mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tblsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tblsp dried basil 
  • 1/2 tblsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tblsp garlic powder
  1. Roughly chop the vegetables and place into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Place the vegetables on top of a flour sack towel and bring up the sides. Twist all of the liquid out of the vegetables. 
  2. Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil and add the drained vegetables. Stir until the vegetables are softened. 
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste and stir. Add the herbs and seasonings and stir frequently for about 15 minutes. 
  4. Cook the  Barilla® Penne according to the instructions on the box. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.


  1. This looks delicious! What a clever way to add in the extra vitamins and nutrients!

  2. Looks great! Love any recipe where we can hide more veggies!

  3. That's awesome! I love that you are able to sneak it in so they are able to enjoy it!

  4. Successfully, completion of the Survey you will receive Tommy Hilfiger Coupon for $20% OFF Coupon Code as a Tommy Hilfiger Guest Survey hereTommys Surveys….