I’m always thinking about what I can add to my family meals to make them veggie packed and nutrient dense. I love taking a meal that my family already loves, like pasta and meat sauce, and challenging myself to elevate it and take it to the next level.
The school year is just beginning, so I’m extra motivated to get in the veggies and strengthen my girls’ immune systems. If this veggie packed recipe seems like too big of a leap for your kids, start small, which is exactly what I did. If your kids already like carrots, I recommend starting there, and adding 1 shredded carrot to the meat sauce. Then you can slowly build from there.
The goal is to raise healthy eaters who love their veggies but that takes time and often requires baby steps. If this recipe is a hit make sure to try our Veggie Packed Meatballs which is another family favorite.
If getting your kids to actually try the meal is the biggest challenge, I highly recommend the Taste-O-Meter which is a great tool to make trying new foods fun. You can download this tool and then print it out and keep it on your refrigerator. Here is a great post on exactly how to use the Taste-O-Meter with your family.
1 large summer squash, shredded
1 large zucchini, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 jar pasta sauce (look for one free of sugar and refined seed oils)
1 pound ground meat (ideally pastured turkey or 100 % grass finished beef)
cheese, shredded (optional)
nutritional yeast (optional for a dairy free version)
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Once pan is heated at avocado oil.
- Add shredded carrots, zucchini, summer squash, and chopped mushrooms to the pan and stir on occasion for about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add meat of choice and cook until the meat is browned.
- Once the meat is browned add pasta sauce. * Simmer for 5 minutes then add spinach.
- Cook until spinach is wilted.
- Serve meat sauce over your favorite pasta and top with grated cheese or nutritional yeast.
- If you are looking for a clean pasta option I love Jovial and Tolerant. Both organic, gluten free, made with simple ingredients, and delicious.
I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family does. If you give our Veggie Packed Meat Sauce a try please report back and let me know what your family rates it.