Spaghetti Bolognese (with hidden vegetables!)

Healthy spaghetti bolognese Katrina's Clean Cooking

This quick and easy bolognese sauce is secretly healthy!
Vegetables are hidden within the sauce, but are so unnoticeable that the kids won’t even be able to tell (and neither will you!)

Healthy spaghetti bolognese

So, you’re trying to decide what to cook for dinner. You’ve got some leftover vegetables from last night’s meal, but the sight of shrivelled next-day broccoli doesn’t seem particularly appetizing.
Or maybe there are some lonely past-their-use-by-date vegetables sat in the fridge, just begging to be quickly heated in the microwave, which takes all of 5 minutes.

Either way, you know you need to eat some veg, because it’s healthy for you and it would otherwise be going in the bin. Right?

Don’t worry, I’ve got just the meal for you.

Healthy spaghetti bolognese Katrina's Clean Cooking
Healthy spaghetti bolognese

Ragù alla bolognese.

Or Spaghetti Bolognese as we know it. A delicious, comforting, traditional meal which probably ranks pretty high on your list of favourite dinners. But although a jar of tomato sauce would be so easy to just slop into a pan of cooked pasta, it doesn’t contain any vegetables, and you know you need those vitamins (and if you have children, it’s even more of a struggle to get them to eat their veggies!)

If you do have some veg leftover from a previous meal, you could add that, but the sauce would be full of lumps of broccoli and carrots, which isn’t fun.

The tomato sauce jars are actually only 80% tomato – the rest is sugar, cornflour, lemon juice, salt, sunflower oil, herbs and some onion.

Healthy spaghetti bolognese Katrina's Clean Cooking

I’ll let you in on a secret: this healthy spaghetti bolognese recipe is far better. Why?

  1. Takes almost zero effort [mostly consisting of pressing a button, if you feel up to that]
  2. So much healthier, but you can’t tell
  3. Made in under half an hour
  4. Uses 1 blender and 1 pan [and possibly 1 small casserole]
  5. Tastes just as good as traditional bolognese [I think it’s even better!]

Healthy spaghetti bolognese Katrina's Clean Cooking

This sauce is 30% tomatoes and 70% vegetables, and HALF the calories of a tomato sauce jar. It doesn’t get much healthier than that. Unless, of course, you add some low-fat, high-protein feta cheese, health-benefiting spices and maybe some good meat. Perhaps even some protein-packed chickpeas!

Serve that with some hearty wholewheat or gluten-free spaghetti, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, quick, easy, delicious spaghetti bolognese, which will leave you pleasantly full.


Spaghetti Bolognese (with hidden healthiness!)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4 people

Spaghetti Bolognese (with hidden healthiness!)

This quick and easy bolognese sauce is secretly healthy! Vegetables are hidden within the sauce, but are so unnoticeable that the kids won't even be able to tell (and neither will you!)


  • •400 g canned chopped tomatoes (1 can)
  • •500 g leftover vegetables *
  • •200 ml water
  • •1 tbsp ground coriander
  • •2 tsp cumin
  • •1 tsp paprika
  • •500 g lamb mince (omit for vegetarian version)
  • •1 can of chickpeas (optional - use instead of lamb mince for vegetarian version)
  • •300 grams whole-wheat or gluten-free spaghetti pasta (+ 1.7 litres of water to cook it in)
  • •a handful of cheese (feta, parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar etc.)


  1. Pour cold water into the kettle up to the 'maximum' point, and turn on the switch so it starts heating up.
  2. [FOR VEGETARIAN VERSION, SKIP THIS STEP] While the kettle is boiling the water, drizzle a tiny bit of oil in a frying pan and set heat to medium-high. After a couple of minutes, add the lamb mince. Once it begins to sizzle, move it around using a spatula, until all sides are grey-ish brown (about 5 minutes). Turn the heat to medium and keep lamb cooking in the frying pan.


*Anywhere between 200g - 700g of any subtly flavoured pre-cooked vegetables will work. The more you add, the more sauce it will make - I used 200g courgette (zucchini) and 300g carrots.

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Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Katrina's Clean Cooking

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