Healthy Spaghetti Sauce Marinara - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Healthy Spaghetti Sauce Marinara

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

My Healthy Spaghetti Sauce is a great staple to keep around the kitchen.  You can make a big batch and freeze in smaller portions to have on hand.  And for those of you with kiddos who may not want to “see” all the veggies, you can puree it and voila!  Vegetables eaten and everyone’s happy.

All about my Healthy Spaghetti Sauce

My Healthy Spaghetti sauce is perfect for all sorts of occasions.  You can use it for an easy weeknight dinner, to impress a date, or store in your freezer for later use.

To make this nutritious sauce, start by sautéing garlic, onion, carrots, and zucchini in oil until tender, about 5-6 minutes.  Add in the Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper and cook 30 seconds more.  Next, stir in the tomato paste and continue cooking one minute more.  Finally, stir in the crushed tomatoes and soy sauce, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about an hour.

Once cooking time is complete, season with salt and pepper.  At this point you can either leave the sauce as is, or you can use an immersion blender and puree the mixture into a smooth consistency.  Spoon on top of your noodles and enjoy my Healthy Spaghetti Sauce!

Why add vegetables to your spaghetti sauce?

Your classic marinara sauce is made with onion, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and basil.  While that is delicious, I like adding extra vegetables wherever I can!  In my Healthy Spaghetti Sauce, I also include carrots and zucchini.  Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A and potassium, while Zucchini adds more fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.

Keeping these extra veggies chopped in your sauce adds a nice bite while you’re eating and makes the meal feel heartier.  Pureeing them into the sauce allows you to consume all the great nutrients without knowing they are in there!  Try my Healthy Spaghetti Squash both ways to see which you prefer!

Pasta and Sauce….but what else?

Pair my Healthy Spaghetti Sauce with all sorts of things! Pasta is a natural fit, but what about serving it on top of whole grains, such as farro or quinoa. You could mix it with some steamed broccoli or cauliflower or use it as a pizza sauce. Or how about a dipping sauce for pita bread or soft garlic breadsticks? Delicious!

What are some other ideas? Let me know your favorite fun ways to use marinara sauce!

Healthy Spaghetti Sauce Storage

Saving your sauce for later?  Simply allow the sauce to cool completely after you finish cooking, separate it into portioned out containers, and place in your freezer!  I like to make smaller portions of the sauce so I can easily grab one-meal’s worth of sauce without the hassle of defrosting the whole batch. Be sure to label any containers before they go into the freezer with the date and what it is so that you can keep track.    

Similar Pages

Looking for some more sauces?  Check out my White Bean Romesco, Lentil Bolognese, and Pistachio Pesto! 


Christensen, D. (2010, March). Zucchini. Retrieved on January 23, 2020 from

vegetable tomato sauce

Vegetable Tomato Marinara Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Keyword: italian, keto, mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, whole30
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • Optional: parsley and basil chopped


  • Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and zucchini and sauté until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook ~1 minute.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and soy sauce and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-60 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Optional: Put all ingredients in blender/vitamix and process till smooth.
  • Serve with parsley and basil.


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