This recipe is dead simple. Make it as complicated as you want. Use jarred sauce, make your own from scratch, or take a jar of sauce and church it up yourself. Whatever.
Frozen pasta, fresh pasta, heck, you can even use the shell stable/dried tortellini. You could use ravioli if you wanted.
You can make this Vegetarian, Vegan, Chock Full o’ Meat, Gluten-Free, it’s up to you.
This is one of those recipes that’s a big hit at potlucks too. It’s pretty inexpensive, and we always have the ingredients in one form or another to make a batch.
- 6-8 cups of Red Pasta Sauce. I usually make a big batch of this sauce and portion some out just for this recipe. If you use jarred sauce, I recommend you add 3-4 cups of veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, chopped/diced tomatoes, etc.)
- 22-30 ounces of Tortellini/Ravioli, cooked per the package directions (this will probably take a couple packages)
- 2 Cups Italian Cheese blend
- Cook the pasta per the package directions. Drain.
- Pour pasta sauce into a baking dish (I use a 9×13), toss cooked pasta in sauce.
- Sprinkle cheese on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-ish minutes until food is bubbly, and cheese is brown and delicious looking.
- Serve with hot French Bread or Garlic Bread and a green salad.
This serves 8-10 people as a main.
If you are vegan, substitute in filled pasta and cheese that works for you.
I’m always on a mission to add more fruits and veggies into our diet. My pasta sauce recipe is full of veggies: Onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, celery, fresh tomatoes.
And because I love meaty sauce, I can’t forget the 80/20 ground chuck!
I served it last night with both whole wheat pasta and Italian squash that I ran through the spiralizer (I have this one).
The kids aren’t too big on zoodles, but that’s ok. We paired our meal with a green salad (cucumber slices for the kids), and garlic bread (a family favorite).
Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce
- 1.5 lbs ground chuck or your favorite ground beef (don’t use super lean beef)
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1/2 c. each chopped or diced: carrots, celery, bell peppers (I used red)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 large can (28 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 t. Shallot pepper seasoning
- 2 T. Italian Seasoning
- 4 large zucchinis, spiralized, ends diced and reserved for sauce
- Brown meat in olive oil over low, breaking up meat as it cooks.
- Add onion, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cook until soft and onions are translucent.
- Add garlic, cook until fragrant.
- Add fresh and canned tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- De-glaze pan with wine, add seasoning, and small pieces of zucchinis leftover from spiralizing.
- Cook on low for 2+ hours, stirring occasionally.
- To cook zucchini spirals, steam for 6-8 minutes, drain and serve right away!
This sauce freezes well too and gets better overnight in the fridge. You can also use this sauce to make lasagna.