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  • Vegetable Marinara alla Maria

    40 minutes

    vegan 1 comment

    A delicious tomato-based, vegetable-packed sauce recipe that is paired with pasta for a quick, easy, and light meal.

    Save Vegetable Marinara & Pasta Recipe

    Vegetable Marinara alla Maria

    This veggie marinara recipe is super easy and gives you the satisfaction of cooking a meal from scratch. Similar to a classic spaghetti dinner here in the Midwest, this is our go-to with tomato-based pasta dinner. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to call it. I’ve been known to throw around terms like bolognese and ratatouille, but they don’t label it very well. Growing up, a meal like this was simply called spaghetti. I landed on calling it marinara, as it helps convey that it is a tomato-based sauce. Despite that, this sauce recipe is rather light on the tomatoes, as I prefer it.

    Zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes come together to create a nutrient-rich, thick sauce. Additionally, classic Italian herbs, including bay leaf, oregano, and thyme, are used. The red wine is optional but highly recommended. If nothing else, it gives you a reason to open a bottle of wine. I know, who needs a reason? Joking aside, it really does intensify the flavor in the best way possible.

    Notes / Suggestions

    If you want to take it one step further, you can use fresh tomatoes that are cooked down to about 2 cups instead of canned tomatoes. You may want to increase the cooking time with fresh tomatoes, depending on your flavor preference.

    Our favorite pasta to use with this dish is capellini, also known as angel hair pasta. However, we use whatever we have on hand, all with great results. Pasta that can be used includes, but is not limited to, thick spaghetti noodles, bow tie pasta, penne pasta, and macaroni noodles. I also recommend protein-packed legume-based pasta (chickpea, lentil, and etc.), which goes really well with this sauce.

    If you are limiting sodium intake, making your own pasta sauce is a great idea. Jarred spaghetti sauce is generally packed with sodium. I would opt for reduced sodium tomatoes if you can find them.

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    Vegetable Marinara alla Maria

    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
    Yield: 4 Servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

    A delicious tomato-based, vegetable-packed sauce recipe that is paired with pasta for a quick, easy, and light meal.


    • 2 cups chopped zucchini
    • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
    • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
    • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 can (15 oz.) can diced or stewed tomatoes (you can leave the tomatoes chunky or crush them with a blender)
    • 1/2-1 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
    • 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
    • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) pasta, preferably capellini (angel hair pasta)



    Chop vegetables according to your preference. I generally dice my vegetables, but on occasion make them chunkier.


    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots, and zucchini, and saute for about 5 minutes (longer if the vegetables are chunky). Then, add in mushrooms.


    Add in the bay leaf and minced garlic, and then sprinkle with oregano, thyme, and salt. Cook another 5 minutes.


    Add soy sauce or tamari and red wine (if using).


    Then, add in the tomatoes and water, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add extra water if the sauce gets too thick for you.


    While the marinara sauce is cooking, boil water for pasta. Cook according to package directions.


    • Serving Size: 2 oz. pasta + sauce
    • 305 Calories
    • 57g Carbohydrates
    • 5g Fat
    • 5.4g Fiber
    • 11g Protein
    • 0.5g Saturated fat
    • 8g Sugar
    Estimated per-serving amount


    • If you prefer a very saucy, heavy on the tomatoes kind of pasta dinner, then I recommend substituting a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes instead of the 15 oz. can of stewed or diced tomatoes. I prefer a light tomato presence.

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    1 Comment

  • Reply
    Di-Di Hoffman | Flat-Out Flexitarian
    May 8, 2019 at 2:48 am

    The name suits the recipe perfectly Maria. Love your classic fabulous flavour combination of tomatoes, pasta, Italian herbs and red wine. It makes it a sauce recipe worth saving.

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