Look no further to find the perfect paleo spaghetti recipe. If you’re like me, you love spaghetti. You love the simplicity of spaghetti and the comfort of spaghetti. The problem is, the easy way to make spaghetti is to buy a jar of sauce, add some meat and top over noodles. If you are frantically trying to get your family to eat vegetables, you may find yourself desperately serving a side salad to the dismay of your toddler-who sees something green and puts a hand up to claim “I don’t like it.”
I have adapted that easy spaghetti recipe to sneak in the vegetables without anyone knowing or caring. This recipe keeps the simplicity, especially if you use a pre-made jar of sauce or prepare the sauce ahead of time. My vegetable phobic family has been enjoying this paleo spaghetti for a couple of years now and friends are always shocked to learn what’s actually in this spaghetti.
Feel free to substitute your favorite jar of sauce for the sauce in the recipe below. If you are trying to keep it paleo, look for a jar without any sugar and ingredients you can read. Beware of the hidden cheese in some jars. My favorite is the Organics brand Tomato Basil flavor by Safeway. I don’t have to add much seasoning to give it the kick I like. The organic Kirkland brand sauce from Costco is paleo, but I need to add a lot of spices to enhance the flavor to our liking.
This sauce is really tasty and packs a sneaky bunch of vegetables inside. I haven’t tried, but you could probably leave out the meat and even add more vegetables and have a vegan paleo sauce. This recipe makes a large batch. So it’s perfect for cooking when you have company. You can freeze any leftovers or eat them throughout the week. Last week, I used the meat sauce on a pizza (try this paleo crust if you have been missing pizza) instead of pizza sauce and topped with goat cheese (not paleo). It was really delicious and made topping the pizza much easier.
Figuring It Out Tip: If you make “spaghetti packets” ahead of time, this process is even faster. I don’t often do this because meal prepping isn’t my jam (yet?), but when I do, I am really grateful. If you have any peppers, mushrooms, onions and/or garlic that you need to use before they go bad, chop them all up as you would for the spaghetti and add them to a freezer safe container (I use BPA free plastic storage bags from Target). Label the bag for spaghetti with the date and stick it in the freezer. When it’s time to make spaghetti, you will be stoked to have all your vegetables chopped and ready to add to the meat. You can just add them frozen.
Super Sneaky Veggie Spaghetti
A paleo spaghetti recipe packed with hidden vegetables that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy!
Sauce (you can also substitute your favorite jar)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- 3 tsp salt
- 1/2-1 pound ground sausage
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 4 ounces mushrooms
- 1 cup loose (not packed) spinach
Your favorite noodles
Chop 3 cloves of garlic, onion, bell pepper and mushrooms as small as you desire.
Add finely chopped vegetables and sausage to pan on medium heat. Use a 3 quart pan or larger so it will hold everything.
Brown your meat with the vegetables, stirring often. I also crumble the sausage as I am cooking to get it small because that's what my family prefers.
Chop your spinach as small as you want and add to the sausage/meat once the meat is cooked through.
Cook the meat and vegetables until the spinach is slightly cooked.
Add in the sauce, reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 15 minutes or so. The longer the better. Give it a little stir every once in awhile.
Prepare your noodles as the sauce simmers.
I buy any flavor of Mulay's sausage at my local market or I use the plain ground sausage from Trader Joe's.
Any color bell pepper will work, but I prefer a green one.
My favorite noodles are from a spaghetti squash. You can cook one in your Instant Pot (I talk about this favorite kitchen tool of mine in this post). Just add a cup of water to the Instant Pot. Slice the squash in half, lengthwise. Remove the squash guts and add it to your Instant Pot. You can just stack the two pieces on top of each other with the open part facing up. Then press the Manual function and - to get to 8-10 minutes. I use 8 minutes for a small squash and 10 for a large one. You can use the quick release or let it slow release. Pull the squash out and shred with a fork.
If you tolerate lentils (technically a legume, which isn't paleo compliant), Trader Joe's has a really great, inexpensive bag of red lentil pasta.
If you are a fan of spinach, you can also eat the sauce over a bed of spinach. It's delicious and simple.