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3 bowls of spaghetti bolognese on a white bench top

Spag Bol - Veggie Loaded Bolognese

This veggie loaded spag bol recipe is the ultimate spaghetti bolognese for kids.
4.66 from 29 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: New Zealand
Keyword: Spag Bol, Spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti bolognese for kids, kid friendly spaghetti bolognese, hidden vegetable recipe
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 338kcal


  • 200 g mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot 150g
  • 1 medium zucchini 150g
  • 1 medium onion 150g
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500 g minced beef
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ Cup tomato paste 55g
  • 800 g tinned tomatoes 2 x 400g can
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 100 g chopped spinach frozen or fresh
  • 500 g dried spaghetti


  • Prepare the vegetables: Grate the carrot, zucchini, and mushrooms. Finely dice the onion, you can choose to grate the onion if you prefer.
  • In a large pan heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion, grated carrot, and zucchini until softened and starting to go golden.
  • Add the tomato paste, sauté for 2-3 minutes this helps deepen the flavour.
  • Add the mince and the mushrooms, cook until the beef mince is browned.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, dried herbs and spinach. If your kids are a little weary of green specks in their food please check out the tip section in this post as I have a great hack for that
  • Simmer for 25-30 mins until everything is well cooked, the sauce has thickened and flavourful. While the spag bol is simmering cook your chosen pasta as per the packet directions.
  • Serve with cooked pasta.


  • It can be tempting to just add all the veggies at the same time as the tinned tomatoes. The spaghetti bolognese will taste so much better if you add them in the order I've described and sauté them.
  • Take the time to cook off the tomato paste for a couple of minutes, it really does improve the flavour (it gets rid of the very acidic flavour tomato paste can add to a dish and instead gives richness to the spag bol sauce)
  • I used diced tomatoes but tomato purée or passata adds the same veggie content but will give a smoother sauce.
  • If your kids are weary of green things in their sauce then my tip is to make a quick smoothie. Yes, blend the tinned tomatoes and the spinach in a blender before adding them to the browned mince and mushrooms.
  • This spaghetti bolognese sauce can be stirred in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


    Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 1049mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4227IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg