Spaghetti Sauce with a Secret Ingredient

By May 23, 2011May 13th, 201230 Comments

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If you are anything like me, you always have a bag of carrots at the bottom of your refrigerator crisper. It doesn’t matter the time of year, season, or holiday- there is always a bag. (sometimes large, sometimes small) Most of the time, those carrots find their way into our dinners, lunch bags, and maybe even a carrot cake dessert– but sometimes they sit. sit. sit.

And, if you are anything like me– you hate cleaning out the refrigerator and throwing away food that at one point in time would have been great to eat. But you forgot about it, and now it’s too late. The wobbly carrots, well– they’ve seen better days, my friend. Whenever I toss that old food into the garbage, I am instantly transported to that skinny little eight year old with pigtails, sitting at the dining room table, pushing around the food on my plate and listening to my dad go on about starving children in some far away land. I feel guilty.

But, you are in luck! I’ve found a way to utilize those carrots! You know the ones. Just head to your refrigerator and look under the bagged lettuce, and to the left of the cucumbers. There they sit! Waiting for you to transform them into something amazing! And get ready, because– it really is amazing.

Emily’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce

1. Chop 2 of those large carrots, one onion, and two cloves of garlic.
2. Add 2 TBSP of olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the veggies until they are soft.
3. Add a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, a T basil, and a tsp of oregano into the skillet with the veggies.
4. Simmer, until sauce is a bit thickened. About 10 minutes.

5. Remove from heat. Blend until smooth in a blender or food processor. (Use care, it’s very hot!)
6. Pour the puree back into the skillet and add 2 tsp sugar, one tsp red pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper to taste. Heat through on medium.
7. Meanwhile, boil your spaghetti.


Serve and enjoy. Top with grated parmesan, crusty bread, and a salad! Voila! Will your family even know that you have hidden carrots in their spaghetti? I’d bet not! Pat yourself on the back, you are SO sneaky!

About Emily Louise

Emily is a apron-wearing, camera-wielding, mother and pilots wife who has found her niche in discovering a reason to celebrate every day and enjoying the simple things life has to offer.


  • Alia says:

    Wow! What a nice recipe!! Finally, I don’t have to throw away those wobbly carrots! Thanx a ton!

  • Michelle G says:

    I ALWAYS have a bag of carrots in the fridge! I’ll buy a bag for one recipe and then forget, just like the article said – this is a great idea! I love to make homemade marinara/spaghetti sauce, it’s so much better than canned!

  • How easy is that??? And I have a sack full of wobbly carrots that would love to contribute their lives to the cause!

  • My husband (who is Italian and I am not) always teases me when I put carrots in my sauce! I am glad that I am not the only one who does it! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • The Souper says:

    Since I learned how to cook fresh, I always make fresh marinara sauce with veggies on hand. That said, the recipe of the day usually begins with sauteing onions, garlic, peppers and grated carrots which adds sweetness to the sauce. If I have zucchini, that goes in the sauce too.
    Then my secret is to always add a few tablespoons of tomato paste (from a tube) and then add a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, low sodium.
    I season my marinara sauce with salt, crushed black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sometimes sugar is added if tomatoes are tart from the can. If I have fresh parsley, that is chopped and goes into the sauce at the end.
    No need to puree in blender. Put cooked pasta into the sauce when cooked (not sauce into a plate of pasta). The starch from the wet pasta right out of the pot creates a thickness to the fresh marinara sauce.

  • Blond Duck says:

    I actually do have a bag of carrots!

  • Janie says:

    Excellent tip! I was just thinking of other ways to sneak in veggies in to my toddler’s meals! Thanks “sneaky” momma 🙂

  • OMG! Yummy says:

    Nice post – I always love to see food posts on The Sits Girls. I have those carrots but rarely use them for spaghetti sauce – although a traditional bolognese has carrots in it. So thanks for the great idea! I also use those carrots in almost any soup I make and also in fried rice!

  • Melissa says:

    Wow — I never would have thought of putting carrots into spaghetti sauce! And I love that they can be the “old” carrots. I, too, hate throwing those out! Hmmm… I wonder how it’s going to taste. Next time I’ve got some wilted carrots lying around, I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the idea!

  • Grams says:

    What a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that? Can’t wait to try it.

  • Great recipe! Can’t wait to try it out!

  • Thanks for the tip. I’m looking forward to trying it. When I have carrots I tend to make a carrot cake but my hubby just asked for a non sweet way to use them. Good timing.

  • Luci says:

    Great way to get more carrots in! Did you know that when you add veggies like that it makes you more full so you don’t eat as much pasta? I like to chop up broccoli, cauliflower, and add red beans to my sauce. Shake some parmesan cheese over the dish, and voila! But, that’s not very sneaky -everyone would know there’s veggies in there!

  • Liz says:

    Oh yum! I have always wondered what the heck to do with those extra carrots. This is fantastic!

  • Liz says:

    Oh yum! I have always wondered what the heck to do with those extra carrots. This is fantastic!

  • Venassa says:

    I can’t believe I never thought before to puree my sauce. I hate veggie chunks but pureed I could totally eat them. And I love the idea of throwing carrots in there. I actually like carrots in chunks but I think this recipe would be so yummy. Definitely trying it in the future.

  • Rach says:

    Hahaha! This cracked me up because it’s true! I totally do always have a bag of carrots in my fridge. 😉 Great recipe and cute post! 🙂

  • Evin Cooper says:

    I grate them into the pan when I sautee the onions and garlic and no one ever knows they’re there! I sometimes add a can of pumpkin, too, for extra fiber! Keep ’em poopin’!

  • Natalia says:

    Wow that sounds fantastic!!

  • Amy says:

    You can also grate the carrots (zucchini too) and it just disappears right into the sauce. Love it!

  • Leah says:

    I can relate! Some of my best tomato sauces have leftover chopped or pureed carrots in it. Love it!

  • Lena says:

    That looks really good!

  • That sounds so yummy .. I think spaghetti for dinner it will be (with carrots).. HHL

  • Yum, I know what we are having for dinner tonight.

  • That looks delicious, and so easy to do!! 🙂