Hidden Vegetable Recipes

It is easy to serve meals with hidden vegetables but I also like to serve vegetables plain and visible for the kids to see. However, I don't see anything wrong with adding pureed, grated or hidden vegetables in what I cook for added nutrition. The combination of the two makes for healthy kids meals.
hidden vegetable recipes

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How to Add Vegetables into Your Menu Plans

You can prepare vegetable purees for the freezer easily. Enlist help from the kids! They can help with peeling vegetables, chopping in smaller pieces, steam vegetables and puree in the blender.
peeling carrots

Some great vegetables that work well are:
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • onions
  • pumpkin
  • zucchini
Then pour into small containers and freeze.
puree vegetables
All these beautiful colors!
hidden vegetables for freezer
My favorite thing about these days are seeing their variations of spelling on the labels. Still brings a smile to my face.

What to Do with These Vegetable and Fruit Purees

I love to add vegetables in soups, breads, sauces and ground meat among other places. Once the meat is cooked it blends well and adds a lot of flavor to the meat. I don't always follow a recipe when adding vegetables, I just use whatever vegetables I have on hand.
hidden vegetables in hamburger
I added pureed broccoli, carrots, zucchini and onions to the hamburger in this picture.

Adding more vegetables to your favorite recipes is a great way to add healthy eating to your meals.

Healthy Meal Recipes with Hidden Vegetable Recipes

Zucchini Bread
Carrot Muffins
Sloppy Joes

Cabbage Rolls
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Lentil Pancakes
Taco Soup
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Egg Casserole
Meatloaf or Meatballs
Chicken Casserole
Shepherd's Pie
Macaroni and Cheese
Hawaiian Haystacks

Taco Meat
Cream of Potato Soup

Noodle Casserole

Reader's Hidden Vegetable Recipes and Ideas

Veggie Sauce Pizza

by Debbie

When I'm making homemade pizza I add 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree into the pizza sauce. Then I chop very finely or puree 1 red pepper and stir it into the sauce, also. Spread over pizza crust and top with shredded cheese and toppings. Bake.

I also have at least one vegetable on top of the pizza such as peppers, mushrooms, olives or broccoli.

If they aren't eating the topping at least they are getting the vegetables in the sauce.

Lentil Pancakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 small carton, 4 oz. or 1/2 Cup of plain yogurt
In blender, add all ingredients. Blend together and cook on a hot griddle.

Sneaky "Cheesy" Noodles

by Kim H. (WV)
  • Penne or any other shaped noodle, cooked to al dente or as desired 1/4-1/2 Cup milk (splash or to make as creamy as you like)
  • 1/4 Cup (or less) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Cup cauliflower puree (or squash)
  • 1 or 2 tabs of butter salt & pepper to taste
My son LOVES noodles....and cheese. By calling these noodles "cheesy", he is more likely to eat them.
I like to use penne noodles or another fun shaped pasta so he can pick up with his fingers or stab easily with a fork. Plus, it's a noodle we don't use too often, so it's 'special' for him.
Melt together the puree, butter, milk, & Parmesan cheese. The Parmesan cheese is just to help hide the flavor and give it some actual cheese consistency. But you can leave this out if you like. Add the cooked pasta and stir together. Season to taste if needed.
The cauliflower puree give the noodles the taste of mashed potatoes. My husband says it tastes like noodles mixed with mashed potatoes. The squash works well. Just make sure to use light yellow squash...not acorn. You may need more Parmesan cheese or seasoning to mask the flavor. I've used both and have used more and less cheese and milk. My son hasn't said anything and I "allow" him to use his fingers as long as he eats it. He likes the larger penne pieces. And I sit back and watch knowing he's eating cauliflower which has NEVER made it past his lips in its normal form. :-)

Boxed Mac & Cheese with a Twist

 by Kim H (WV)
  • any boxed macaroni and cheese butter milk
  • 1/2c - 1c yellow squash puree
  • Optional additions.... any fresh, frozen, canned veggie (peas, carrots, corn, etc.) leftover grilled chicken, pork, hot dogs, etc.
Make any boxed macaroni and cheese per instruction EXCEPT keep the noodles in the strainer and melt together the butter, powdered cheese and milk PLUS 1/2 - 1 cup of pureed yellow squash.

My purees are generally frozen, so I allow everything to melt together before adding the noodles. If you think the squash flavor may stand out (my son has never noticed it!) add about 1/4 c of grated Parmesan or any other flavorful cheese. Add the cooked noodles and stir then serve. It will be nice and creamy and the flavor is very subtle! If it turns out to be too creamy (the puree was too watery) then add less milk and/or butter than what is suggested.

OPTIONAL... If your child doesn't mind peas, corn, asparagus, or any other kind of veggie, add 1/4c - 1 can frozen, fresh, or canned veggie. If frozen or fresh, add when melting butter and puree, then add noodles once the veggies are to your liking. If canned, add with the noodles. They will heat through as you stir.

I generally add peas to my mac & cheese and sometimes my son will eat them, sometimes he will not. But knowing that I already added the squash, I don't fuss if he picks them out and sets them to the side of his plate. If you have leftover chicken, pork, hot dog or any other meat, cut into bite-sized pieces and add along with the cooked pasta and stir to heat through.

Hidden Veggies Macaroni and Cheese Video

Hidden Vegetable Cake Recipes

cake recipes
See these hidden vegetable cake recipes.

Share your favorite hidden vegetable recipes.

Submit your favorite kids recipe

Do you have a favorite recipe your kids love to make? Or a recipe your kids ask you to make again and again? Share it with us!

Related Easy Kids Meals and Ideas:
~Easy Kids Meals, ~Easy Meal Ideas, ~Breakfast, ~Breakfast 6 or fewer, ~Side Dishes, ~Snacks, ~Main Dishes, ~Desserts, ~No Bake Recipes, ~Kids Lunches, ~Portion Sizes, ~Microwave Meals, ~Hidden Vegetable Recipes, ~Healthy Kids Meals, ~Picky Eater Tips, ~Family Dinner, ~How to menu plan, ~Diabetic, ~Toddler Ideas, ~Low Calorie, ~Gluten Free, ~Vegetarian, ~Low Carb

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