Spaghetti and Meatballs with “hidden” Vegetables

My dearest 14th-month-old toddler has become a picky eater lately. She used to eat anything including vegetables. But now she only eats fruits aside from her main meal of rice, meat, and pasta. And that is why I’m bringing back an old trick back which I learned from my Mama a long time ago.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Hidden Vegetables

I make a big batch of this recipe every two weeks. I freeze the rest of the sauce in small containers so that when my daughter doesn’t want to eat rice, I always have a pasta dish ready whenever. She actually prefers pasta over any other carbs but she can’t possibly eat that every day.

You can use any vegetables you want but the three main vegetables I used here have proven to be good, taste-wise, even after being in the freezer for over a month. I imagine the sauce won’t smell nice for long if I use broccoli.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Hidden Vegetables

Making this also became so much easier because of the food processor. I have contemplated for so long before deciding to buy one. And when I did, I was like ‘why did I think I didn’t need this’? It is a MUST kitchen tool for busy mamas I tell you. If you don’t have one at the moment, just be patient with the mincing. You can also use a grater for the carrots, celery, and garlic. It will just be a bit messy.

For the canned tomatoes, I prefer to use Italian brands; usually whole-peeled or chunks because they are sweeter, not too acidic and sour. But I didn’t have enough the day I made this so I had to use another brand for the second can. I added a bit more sugar than usual to cut down the sourness of the sauce. You can also use whole milk instead of sugar as an alternative. Start by adding 1/4 cup and go from there.

I hope you enjoy this recipe with your family, especially the kids.

Watch the video on how to make Spaghetti and Meatballs with “hidden” Vegetables

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Hidden Vegetables

Spaghetti and Meatballs with 'hidden' Vegetables

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Servings6 -8 people



  • 3 celery stalks (minced)
  • 2 medium size carrots (minced)
  • 1 medium size bell pepper (minced)
  • 1 onion (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)


  • 250 grams minced pork
  • 250 grams minced beef
  • 1 teaspoon breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
  • ¼ cup minced vegetables

Pasta and Sauce

  • 2 cans tomato sauce (14oz each)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water or pasta water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (add more if necessary)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 500 grams cooked spaghetti or any preferred pasta
Author : Mella
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