40 Meal Ideas for Sneaking Vegetables into Your Food

40 Delicious Meals, Sides, Snacks, and Desserts That Sneak Veggies into Food

20 Oct 2023


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average adult should eat two to four cups of vegetables per day. That amount varies for kids, with younger children needing about a cup daily but reaching up to 3.5 cups from ages nine to 13. And for both groups, regularly eating ample veggies is often easier said than done. Many kids shy away from eating their vegetables, and that distaste can follow them into adulthood too.

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This is why many recipes sneak veggies into food via other tasty ingredients that mask their presence. Read on to find healthy and delicious meals for even the most anti-veggie palates.

1. Spinach-infused cupcakes

Combine applesauce, flour, spinach, and just a bit of sugar to make these subtly sweet on-the-go cupcakes.

2. Carrot-infused mac and cheese

The savory flavors of mac and cheese disguise carrots in this quick, delicious, healthier take on a comfort-food classic.

3. Zucchini chocolate chip muffins

Just a bit of shredded zucchini makes these sweet, green-flaked muffins a hit for breakfast or as snacks.

4.Peanut butter banana smoothie with greens

This spinach-infused peanut butter banana smoothie is rich in nutrients, not to mention sweet flavors for jump starting any day.

5. Vegetable pizza sauce

Grab your food processor and combine veggies with tomato sauce for a savory pizza base that tastes like it came from your favorite pizzeria.

6. Sweet potato and carrot tater tots

This classic french fry alternative gets a beta-carotene and vitamin C boost through shredded carrots a and delicious flavor fromoven-roasted sweet potatoes .

7. Pumpkin pancakes

Add a bit of pumpkin puree a rich in vitamin E, iron, and folate a to pancake batter for a one-person or family-pleasing veggie-infused breakfast .

8. Veggie-infused meatballs

The next time you make meatballs from scratch , finely chop some veggies (and chopped mushrooms, technically a fungus), then mix them with your ground meat.

9. Tropical carrot smoothie

Add carrots and tart, sweet fruits to your blender for a fiber-and-vitamin-packed smoothie you'll be shocked has any vegetables.

10. Summer squash and shrimp fricassee

Shrimp and broth offer the star flavors of this light, fresh squash dinner that picky eaters might love as much as adventurous ones.

11. Marinara sauce with peas

Frozen peas thaw within a simmering stovetop marinara sauce in just a minute a and sneak right into savory pasta dishes for kids and adults alike.

12. Broccoli and cheese sauce

Although the veggies in this meal won't quite be invisible, the cheese sauce will mask their taste without detracting from their vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

13. Roasted beet hummus

Beets rich in vitamin C give this easy hummus its color but not much of its taste, which instead is primarily that classic hummus earthiness.

14. White bean kale soup

After you puree the beans and veggies in this healthy soup recipe and add kale, all you'll taste is creamy, savory deliciousness.

15.Lettuce burgers

Although the greens in lettuce burgers aren't quite hidden vegetables, they're basically tasteless, letting the fatty, juicy beef patty shine.

16. Pureed vegetable soup

Many picky eaters love vegetable soup, and pureeing the veggies before serving this staple creates a creamy texture that masks them even more.

17. Green bean French fries

Breaded, oiled, and baked in the oven, green beans become a healthier, more veggie-forward version of universally beloved French fries.

18. Vegetable meatloaf

When you add vegetables to meatloaf, you get more of your most important vitamins and minerals while still savoring that one-of-a-kind tender, fatty taste.

19. Chocolate zucchini bread

For some palettes, dessert is the only realistic meal for sneaking in ample veggies, and this chocolate zucchini bread recipe is an indulgent example.

20. Tomato soup with pureed veggies

Sneak veggies into food with a basic tomato soup recipe that you mix pureed veggies into a you won't even notice the difference.

21. Broccoli tots

This veggie-forward twist on a side dish staple pairs broccoli with breadcrumbs and cheese for flavors nearly everyone loves, alongside the nutrition of cruciferous greens.

22. Homemade kale chips

Reach for these healthy kale chips you can make in your oven instead of potato chips for crunchy, salty joy in just a few bites.

23. Shepherds pie

Peas, carrots, and corn all but disappear into this shepherds pie recipe - an American dinner classic as meaty as it is filled with veggies.

24. Veggie Sloppy Joes

Hide minced veggies of any sort in this classic American sandwich to bury your least favorite tastes in an onslaught of comforting, savory flavors.

25. Veggie lasagna

Pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce are great at hiding vegetables, so this veggie lasagna recipe offers a surefire way to sneak veggies into food.

26. Veggie lover's pizza

Sure, you might be the opposite of a veggie lover, but with this cheese-and-sauce-heavy pizza, you won't even notice the veggies.

27.Chocolate beet cake

Although there's as much beet as flour in this chocolate beet cake recipe , the sweetness hides the taste while delivering beets antioxidant-rich nutrient profile.

28. Corn chowder

Add whatever veggies you're trying to eat to a traditional corn chowder recipe to bury them in savory, sweet flavors you know and love.

29. Chicken and rice casserole

Tender chicken and starchy rice beautifully hide standard celery and carrots in this casserole recipe .

30. Chicken pot pie

This chicken pot pie recipe calls for two cups of any vegetable, so add your least favorites to entirely obscure their taste with meaty bliss.

31. Kale orange banana smoothies

The only thing that's veggie-like about these kale-infused smoothies is their green color a as flavor goes, it's all delectable fruity sweetness.

32. Eggplant parmesan

With enough salting and oven-baking, eggplant can resemble chicken, making traditional eggplant parmesan a worthwhile meal for hiding veggies.

33. Butternut squash quesadillas

Mashing potassium-rich butternut squash and using it as a quesadilla filling gives this Mexican meal a rich flavor you might just love.

34. Veggie frittata

Several frittata recipes fold veggies ranging from asparagus to red peppers into this eggy breakfast delight to mask veggies with fatty bliss.

35. Cauliflower rice

Ditch your typical grain-based rice for cauliflower rice a it's just as mild in flavor, making it a great veggie base for all your favorite meals.

36. Spinach mashed potatoes

Cut spinach into tiny pieces and work it into your favorite mashed potato recipe for a folate-rich side dish that's the essence of comfort.

37. Mashed cauliflower

Puree cauliflower into a smooth, creamy blend, then add veggies and seasonings to fool anyone a including yourself a into thinking these are real mashed potatoes.

38. Stuffed peppers

Yes, the vegetables in stuffed peppers are visible a but with ample oven-roasting, tender beef, and melty cheese, savory is the only flavor you'll get.

39. Veggie burgers

Store-bought or homemade veggie burgers often look like their more familiar meat-based siblings while abounding in nutrients and vibrant flavors.

40. Shredded carrot and cabbage tacos

Assemble your favorite basic tacos , then top them with raw shredded carrots and cabbage for veggie crunch masked under meaty, complex taco flavors.

Sneak veggies into food without any meal prep

Maybe you're looking to increase your veggie intake but you don't have the time to break out the food processor - or prep meals at all. If this sounds like you, then try ordering ready-to-eat meals from Meal Village to hit your daily veggie requirements. In meals such as our BBQ Chicken Salad and Spinach and Feta Quesadillas, the veggies disappear under mouthwatering flavors you know and love. Browse the Meal Village menu now to start getting your veggies without any unwanted flavors and textures - and without any chopping, cooking, or cleaning.

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