19 recipes with hidden veggies

Kids not too keen on leafy greens or anything healthy? We've outsmarted them with these easy and delicious recipes featuring hidden veggies.

19 recipes with hidden veggies

Photo: Erik Putz

Recipes with sneaky veggies

Homemade Alphabet Pasta

One of the easiest lunches you can pack, this alphabet pasta will fill them up good. It’s filled with zucchinis and peppers, but the kids won’t even taste it, or see it (thanks food processor!). Make it the night before and simply reheat for the Thermos. Get the recipe: Homemade Alphabet Pasta

bento box with saucy alphabet pasta insidePhoto: Roberto Caruso

Bacon, Cheese and Veggie Fritters

These little fritters are perfect for small hands. They can be made as small as you like and they pack a lot of nutrition (thanks to the mixed veggies) into an easy-to-eat parcel. Get the recipe: Bacon, Cheese and Veggie Fritters

A plate with veggie fritters and a white dip in a pink bowlPhoto: Roberto Caruso


Green Bean Oven Fries with Sweet Potato Dip

OK, so they might realize that they’re eating crispy, breadcrumb-crusted beans, but they won’t know what hit them when they take that little bean-y for a swipe through the sweet potato dip. It’s super creamy thanks to Greek yogurt. They’ll be into it. Get the recipe: Green Bean Oven Fries with Sweet Potato Dip

plate of breaded green beans and creamy sweet potato dipPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Spaghetti and Meatballs with a Secret

This classic recipe comes with a surprising twist—grated veggies hidden away within the meatballs, which means even the pickiest of eaters will be asking for slurpy seconds. Get the recipe: Spaghetti and Meatballs with a Secret

Two bowls of spaghetti and meatballsPhoto: Erik Putz

Stuffed Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Pizza is a great way to disguise the enemy. This rolled up version makes it even easier. You can hide so many vegetables in those cheesy folds. Get the recipe: Stuffed Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Muffin tin with tiny deep-dish pizzas topped with torn basilPhoto: Roberto Caruso


Sausage Roll-Ups

Spinach lives here. But your kids are so busy mowing the sausage-filled, doughy masterpiece you whippd up that they don’t care. Get the recipe: Sausage Roll-Ups

Stuffed pizza dough with sausage and peppersPhoto: Vincent Noguchi

Cheddar Cornbread Pancakes

Tucked inside these little pancakes is corn. This savoury cake is a great vehicle for getting kids to try smoked salmon, too. Get the recipe: Cheddar Cornbread Pancakes

Plate with fried cornbread pancakes topped with smoked salmon and sour creamPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Chickpea Mac and “Cheese”

Where does that orange cheese colour come from in a vegan dish? So glad you asked. That’s butternut squash, baby. Unlike some vegan recipes, this one is quick and doesn’t require a million ingredients. Get the recipe: Chickpea Mac and “Cheese”

Elbow macaroni in a vegan orange Photo: Erik Putz


Leek and Shrimp Potstickers

Leeks are hiding out in a dumpling wrapper with juicy shrimp. Those grubby hands are going in for seconds and probably thirds. Get the recipe: Leek and Shrimp Potstickers

Plate with potstickers, chopsticks and soy sauce to dipPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Lentil and Beef Mini Meat Loaves

Lentils (which are vegetable seeds) are affordable, cook up fast and have a great hearty texture. Using half lentils and half ground meat for meatloaf and taco filling is a healthy choice for your budget (and for you!). Get the recipe: Lentil and Beef Mini Meat Loaves

plate with meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beansPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

Take the classic comfort food for a new spin by swapping heavy potatoes with hearty cauliflower. Get the recipe: Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

ramekins with shepherd's piePhoto: Erik Putz


Eggplant Parmesan Rolls

OK, so the eggplant isn’t exactly hidden, but it is masquerading as a noodle, and that’s a pretty cool trick. With all that cheese and tomato sauce, your kid won’t be fussed. Hot tip: grate zucchini into your next lasagna. Get the recipe: Eggplant Parmesan Rolls

plate of eggplant parm with green beansPhoto: Erik Putz

Easy Blended Vegetable Soup

Forget the can, this homemade vegetable soup can be on your table in just 40 minutes (using ingredients you likely already have on hand). Greek yogurt makes it creamy. Throw some croutons on top for some crunch. Get the recipe: Easy Blended Vegetable Soup

bowl of vegetable soup with croutonsPhoto: Erik Putz


A savoury Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki is delicious for dinner, lunch or as a snack. P.S. There’s cabbage tucked inside the dough. Get the recipe: Japanese Okonomiyaki

slices of Japanese pancake layered with shredded veggies insidePhoto: Roberto Caruso


Turkey and Zucchini Meatballs

Here are some sneaky meatballs, again. These little turkeys have grated zucchini lurking within. There’s a creamy dip for dunking or swaddle them in a lettuce wrap. Get the recipe: Turkey and Zucchini Meatballs

thermos filled with meatballs and veggiesPhoto: Maya Visnyei

Broccoli and Ham Biscuits

That’s broccoli keeping it low-key in a flaky biscuit. With salty ham by its side, these morsels can do no wrong. Get the recipe: Broccoli and Ham Biscuits

Biscuit with broccoli and ham on a white backgroundPhoto: Maya Visnyei


We’ve got three, secretly veggie-packed, bite-sized frittata recipes. They’re perfect in the lunchbox and for dunking in ketchup (they love it, why deny them that sugary, tomato sludge?). Get the recipes: Cauliflower FrittataRed Pepper and Cheddar FrittataZucchini and Feta Frittata

Zucchini and feta frittata in a bento boxPhoto: Erik Putz


Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Those noodle-looking swirls of orange and green? Oh, that’s just zucchini and carrot. If there are allergies in your family, swap the peanut butter for soy nut, almond or sesame seed butter. Get the recipe: Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce

plate with noodles and tofuPhoto: Maya Visnyei

Chickpea Burgers

While chickpeas aren’t technically a veggie, these burgers are packed with mushrooms, onion and garlic. To make this a truly vegetarian recipe, make sure to buy anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce. Get the recipe: Chickpea Bugers

A chickpea burger topped with mayo and cabbagePhoto: Maya Visnyei

Read more: 
8 easy rice recipes 5 simple breakfast for dinner recipes 40 fast and fun finger foods

This article was originally published on May 15, 2018

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