This chunky vegetable marinara sauce with a lot of hidden veggie goodness is a great kitchen hack when you’re looking for quick yet healthy and delicious meals that require minimum effort and little time to prepare. Make a batch of this sauce, keep it in your freezer and use up when cooking your pasta, jacket potatoes, gnocchi, ragu, stews, pizza topping and much more. It’s a perfect recipe for fussy eaters as you can sneak that veggie goodness in very discreetly! Vegan & gluten free.
Hello, my friends! Today I’m going to share a super simple chunky vegetable marinara sauce recipe with you, which will be an absolute lifesaver for you in the kitchen! Well, it definitely has been for me, especially when I want to make a quick meal with minimum effort.
Being so versatile, you can use this sauce in pretty much everything: pasta, pizza base, ragu, stew, jacket potatoes… Make a big batch of it, store it in the freezer and it’s right there for you when you need it. This full of flavour marinara sauce is a much healthier alternative to the shop-bought sauces, a lot of which have high sugar content and additives.
This marinara sauce is loaded with a lot of vegetable goodness, so it’s a great way of sneaking in more vegetables into your diet. If you have fussy eaters in your family who won’t eat certain vegetables (my daughter is one of them), you can blitz this sauce in your blender for a little longer (like I did in the photograph below), to slightly ‘disguise’ the look of certain vegetables and make the sauce less chunky. I know, I know… things that we do as parents, huh?!
CHUNKY VEGETABLE MARINARA SAUCE INGREDIENTS
So, what are the key ingredients in this flavoursome marinara sauce?
- Extra virgin olive oil – make sure to use good quality olive oil for maximum flavor.
- Courgettes (zucchini)
- Bell peppers
- Tomato puree paste
- Spices & herbs: smoked paprika, cumin, chilli flakes, fresh basil
- Tinned tomatoes – make sure to use good quality tinned tomatoes as other cheaper brands tend to be very runny & acidic.
- Vegetable stock
- Coconut sugar (if required), to take away some acidity from tomatoes. I find that I don’t always need to use it, especially when I use high quality tinned tomatoes.
The key to getting this chunky veggie marinara sauce full of flavour and also getting it to the right texture is to simmer it very slowly, for 30-40 minutes. It allows the sauce to reduce whilst absorbing all the flavours from the vegetables, spices and herbs. Delicious flavours are definitely worth a little time investment, trust me!
WHERE CAN I USE MARINARA SAUCE?
- Pasta dishes. Obviously! Spaghetti Bolognese, lasagna, linguine, you name it! Because this sauce is so full of flavour, just mix in your cooked pasta of choice into this sauce, sprinkle with a little cheese (vegan if required) and there you have it. Easy, simple yet so delicious.
- Pizza sauce
- Jacket potato filling
- Stuffed vegetables
If you need some recipe inspiration to pair this marinara sauce with, check out my recipes below:
- READER’S FAVOURITE VEGAN SHEPHERD’S PIE
- HEALTHY VEGAN LASAGNA (GLUTEN FREE & NUT FREE)
- TWO-INGREDIENT QUINOA PIZZA BASE
- FAMILY FAVOURITE VEGAN COTTAGE PIE
- HEALTHY VEGAN CHILI
- CREAMY BEETROOT & BUCKWHEAT RISOTTO
If you’re looking for making healthier fast food choices without compromise on flavours, this marinara sauce is definitely worth stocking your freezer up with.
As always, if you recreate this recipe, I’d be delighted to read your comments and hear your feedback. Be sure to drop a comment here on the blog, tag me in your photos on Instagram @Fit Foodie Nutter, Facebook or Pinterest so I don’t miss them. It gives me so much joy seeing your takes on my recipes!
Thank you for visiting my blog. I’ll see you next week.
Stay safe and keep well.
THE BEST CHUNKY VEGETABLE MARINARA SAUCE
- Frying pan
- food processor or hand blender
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 1 small courgette or ½ big courgette, diced
- ½ leek finely sliced
- ½ bell pepper finely diced
- 1 cup mushrooms finely diced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree paste
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika not hot paprika
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes optional
- 2 x 240g tins good quality chopped tinned tomatoes
- A bunch of fresh basil finely chopped
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tsp coconut sugar optional
- Water as needed
- In a frying pan, heat up the olive oil until sizzling. Sautee onion and garlic over medium heat for a couple of minutes until slightly softened and translucent.
- Add carrots, courgette, leek, bell pepper, mushrooms into the pan and sautee for a further 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have slightly softened.
- Stir in tomato puree, smoked paprika, chilli flakes (if using), tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, fresh basil and bring to a gentle boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30-40 mins until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, add water as needed. Taste the sauce at this stage & season with salt & pepper. If the sauce is a little too acidic, add coconut sugar to reduce the acidity.
- Using a hand blender or a food processor, blitz or pulse the sauce for a few seconds depending on how chunky or smooth you prefer it. When the sauce is at room temperature, transfer into Tupperware. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 months. If freezing, you might want to divide the sauce into separate individual serving portion sizes.