Easy Ways to Sneak Veggies Into Your Meals

These ways are a great way to trick yourself–and your kids–into eating healthier.

Sneak veggies

There is no doubt in my mind that vegetables are good for you. Every diet on the planet (whether it’s Weight Watchers, Whole30, keto, paleo, or otherwise) encourages followers to eat vegetables. Sometimes specific veggies are to be avoided–like nightshades for auto-immune diets and carb-heavy types, like carrots, on keto. But, in general, amping up the number of vegetables you eat is never a bad idea. They’re low in fat, low in calories, and high in fiber. Some vegetables have a surprising amount of protein, too, to fill you up and keep you feeling full. So, finding easy ways to sneak veggies into your meals isn’t just about tricking your kids into eating more greens; it’s about creating healthier meals for the entire family.

Pulling it off is actually much easier than you think, too! Here are our top ways to sneak veggies into any meal. We’ve even included ways to make unhealthy meals like mac and cheese significantly more nutritious.

Easy Ways to Sneak Veggies Into Your Meals

1. Use veggies instead of pasta

Cook up a spaghetti squash or use spiralized zucchini, butternut squash, and carrots instead of pasta. It’s a quick and easy way to remove carbs while getting to sneak veggies into your diet. Try our Tuna Zucchini Noodle Bake or one of these five spaghetti squash recipes.

2. Fancy up your casseroles

Grab the box grater and feel sneaky as you add grated zucchini, summer squash, carrots, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes to your casseroles. They won’t change the texture of the dish, but they will add a punch of nutrition! Try it out on one of our 50 best skinny casseroles.

3. Veggie-up your mac and cheese

Pasta dishes like mac and cheese are creamy and comforting, but they’re also a perfect opportunity to add a serving of vegetables! Go for soft vegetables like tomatoes, steamed cauliflower, or roasted squash if your family doesn’t like anything crunchy. Or add thinly-sliced kale, spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, or onions if they don’t mind some added texture.

4. Go 50/50 with your mashed potatoes

Sneak veggies into your mashed potatoes by using half white potatoes and half vegetable puree. You can add sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or carrots if your family is okay with the color, or get really sneaky by using white cauliflower or parsnip puree.

5. Make more pancakes and fritters

It’s super easy to sneak veggies into pancakes for breakfast (like our 2-Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes or Zucchini Bread Pancakes). If you’re not a big breakfast person, make fritters instead! You can use almost any vegetable. Get started with our 5-Ingredient Butternut Squash Fritters and Crispy Quinoa & Kale Fritters.

6. Add veggies to your smoothie

Smoothies are always a good way to amp up your daily serving of vegetables. We have a ton of veggie-filled smoothie recipes, but you can also add a handful of kale or spinach to any smoothie, or use root vegetables like beets.

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Chef Lindsay

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary School, Lindsay worked as the executive chef of a farm-to-table restaurant in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate about using local, organic ingredients and loves teaching home cooks how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to create beautiful meals for her family. She lives with her husband in Colorado, where she enjoys the trials and errors of gardening.

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