Hiding vegetables are the easiest way to get picky eaters to eat well. Here you’ll find 100 different recipes the whole family will love. These recipes to hide veggies make feeding toddlers less stressful. Just pick your vegetable and scroll to the section to find tons of options kids will love!
I was so diligent.
I practiced baby led weaning using whole fruits and vegetables, minimally processed foods, pretty much no sugar.
The result was the same with each kid. Both boys would look at most vegetables and make the face. You know, the “Yeah, nice try, no way am I eating that,” face.
Vegetable eating became pretty much nonexistent, regardless of how often I offered them.
On the bright side, the dog was eating a very balanced diet, consisting of every morsel of food that the boys tossed off their plates. Awesome.
Picky eater research
That being said, I did a ton of reading.
I knew the exposures of the vegetable was the most important thing. Recent research says it can take over 30 repeated exposures before a child enjoys a flavor.
Even more, the wider variety of foods kids eat before age 5, the more likely they are to have well-rounded palettes. This can be licking the food, spiting it out – anything really. Just get it in their mouths.
Hidden Veggie Recipes
This is why I adore recipes with hidden veggies. They get in those exposures, or, the vital ‘taste’ of a vegetable needed to encourage healthy eating and well rounded. All without having to fight with your kids.
I know I’m not the only parent with this love, which this type of recipe is so popular with kids.
So, I rounded up my favorites and sorted them by vegetable. I’ve also included some great tips for vegetable purees and how to use these sneaky recipes to your advantage.
Tips for using vegetable puree
A lot of hidden vegetable recipes use purees. Here are my best tips for using this trick to sneak veggies into food.
- Make it yourself.
Obviouslyit will take a bit longer, but it’s simple – steam vegetables and blend until smooth! Learn how to make vegetable puree here.
- Freeze. By freezing (use a silicone ice cube tray – way easier!) you’ll have puree on hand at all times to include at a moments notice.
- Buy some. We use veggie pouches a lot for snacks. The mixes of fruit and veggies are our favorite since the boys don’t notice. But if you’re looking to use
thein cooking, look for the plain versions without vegetables mixed in. The jars are usually your best bet.
Hidden Vegetable Recipes with Carrots
Carrot is a great “intro” to hiding veggies. It’s a simple vegetable to puree, it’s in almost everyone’s fridge, and it’s a sweet veggie. This means kids are much more likely to not even notice.
- Hidden Veggie Spaghetti Sauce. A HUGE staple in my house. I make big batches of this sauce and freeze.
- Homemade SpaghettiOs. This is a childhood favorite made healthy! It tastes the same as the canned version!
- Healthy Pizza Bagels. This bagel pizza is just like the junk food, but really they’re packed with carrots.
- Healthy Carrot Muffins. My boys helped me make these and didn’t care there were veggies in them.
Go Gurtwith Hidden Veggies If you have a yogurt lover likewe do, you’ll love this secretly good for you option.
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal. My boys aren’t big on oatmeal, but I could eat this one all alone and be happy.
- Carrot Fritters. This would be a fun side. They’re a bit less sneaky, but the fried aspect usually helps with kiddos.
- 4 Ingredient Cheesy Carrot Crackers. What kid wouldn’t love to eat these crackers? Smeared with nut butter they’d be a
- Healthy Orange Creamsicle Smoothie. Anyone else
lovecreamsicles as a kid? This version gets itscolor from a hiddenveg!
- Carrot Oat Cookies. Cookies are always a sure bet with
littles, but these could even pass as breakfast!
How to hide vegetables in kids food?
Hiding vegetables in kids food doesn’t have to be difficult – here are my best tips for hiding vegetables in food
- Use a puree. Pureed vegetables will be impossible to point out for picky eaters.
- Grate a vegetable. While a grated vegetable will be easier to spot, they will blend easier than chunks of vegetables.
- Remove the skin. If using
producewith a light colored inside, like a zucchini, try peeling it before using.
- Use similar colored foods. Use carrots in tomato sauce, butternut squash in mac and cheese, or spinach in pesto.
- Don’t make a huge deal about it. Just serve the hidden vegetable meal like you would any other dish.
Hidden Veggie Recipes with Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a fun vegetable to hide in food. Like carrots, it’s naturally sweet, but the texture adds a creaminess and thickness to recipes. You can substitute pumpkin or sweet potato in the same way in most recipes.
- Butternut Squash Fries. Not necessarily “hidden”, but it’s a familiar and kid friendly shape.
- Hidden Veggie Quesadilla. Quesadillas on their own don’t have a ton of nutritional value. But add in some squash and it takes it to a new level!
- Chocolate Butternut Squash Muffins. Muffins are one of my favorite ways to sneak veggies. These chocolate ones don’t even look good for you!
- Flourless Butternut Squash Peanut Butter Cookies. This is a great example of keeping the color similar!
- Butternut Squash Potato Tots. Such an iconic kids’ side! I love that they look similar but have more nutrients than a bagged of frozen potato ones.
- Hazelnut Butternut Squash Brownies. I could probably eat a whole tray of these, they look that amazing!
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. The OG hidden veggie! I’ve made butternut squash mac and cheese both by stirring it in diced and by adding puree to the sauce. Both are amazing!
Hidden Veggie Recipes with Cauliflower
Cauliflower has gotten a very popular reputation as of late as the perfect vegetable to hide in food. Rice it and add it to a ride dish or to make a pizza crust. Or maybe blend it up and you can create creamy, cheese sauces.
- Healthy Alfredo Sauce. Another kid favorite in my house, this creamy sauce tastes like Alfredo.
- Pina Colada Smoothie. I’m not a huge smoothie fan, even though my boys love them. This one made me a convert!
- Cauliflower Tater Tots. Serving these might make you feel a little better about serving those dino nuggets, too!
Tips for substituting vegetable purees
It’s easy to substitute in hidden vegetable recipes, but you want the sugar content and texture to be similar.
If you don’t have a specific vegetable on hand, chances are there is a similar vegetable you can use instead. Here are some simple swaps.
- Sweet potatoes for pumpkin or butternut squash
- Spinach for just about any other green
- Carrots for beets
- Broccoli for SOME cauliflower. Broccoli will rice in the same way more or less, but it doesn’t offer the same creaminess.
- Bell peppers for carrots
Hidden Vegetable Recipes with Broccoli
Broccoli gets such a bad rep. I love broccoli, and one of my boys does as well. My oldest? Eh.. not so much. Recipes where I can hide it away to get the ever so important exposures in? A total win!
Hidden Veggie Recipes with Zucchini
Come summer, everyone is making zucchini recipes left and right, but it’s the perfect option to get your veg intake up. Grated zucchini works in just about every recipe. Not only does it add a serving of vegetables, BUT it also brings a ton of moisture to whatever it’s in.
Meatballs with Zucchini. This is the ULTIMATE zucchini meatball recipe. You can’t see or taste the zucchini at all, but they’re super moist and flavorful. My kids GOBBLE them up.
Oatmeal Zucchini Cookie. This one is perfect for getting some zucchini in first thing in the morning! They also freeze well.
Cheesy Zucchini Rice. My boys loved this one and I was shocked. The cheese makes it creamy and irresistable.
Secretly Veggie Sloppy Joes. One of my most popular recipes, this is a kid favorite made healthy. No canned mix here!
Healthy Fudge Pops with Hidden Veggies. These are decadent! they look and taste like a cool treat.
Italian Fried Rice. Cheese, rice, sausage, and chopped veggies make this simple, quick dinner
Zucchini Fudgy Brownies. Healthy brownies. Yes, i said it. It’s a thing, and this is one of them.
Chive, Cheddar, Zucchini Bread. To me these sounds like old school Red Lobster biscuits, except way better for you.
Zucchini Tater Tots. One of my favorite uses for hidden veggie recipes is to add some veggie side to a non healthy kid friendly meal.
Taco Shells with Zucchini. What a genius way to add unexpected veggies to taco Tuesday!
Cheesy Hassleback Pizza Zucchini, I don’t even care that this is zucchini – it looks decadent and amazing.
Zucchini Breadsticks. Pair these with my hidden veggie spaghetti sauce and you’ve got a veggie packed meal your kids will love.
Zucchini Pizza. Again, try subbing in the veggie spaghetti sauce on this pizza for extra vegetables.
Baked Zucchini Bites. These could make an easy snack or something to pack in the lunch box.
Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread. Lemon Loaf from Starbucks is one of my favorite decadent treats. This version looks like the perfect compromise so I can have it every day!
The best types of recipes for hiding vegetables
- Sauces. Adding some pureed vegetables into sauces is my favorite hidden veggie hack. They blend in so well and can go on top of
- Baked goods. Grate up some veggies and fold them into batter OR substitute some oil for puree.
- Smoothies. Smoothies are the best way to get veggies into your kids. The fruit totally outweighs the flavor of the vegetables and it can feel like a decadent milkshake. Find all of my best veggie smoothie tips here!
- Soups. Add vegetable puree into your kids’ favorite soups. Cauliflower does well in chicken noodle, carrot into tomato soup… it’s an easy add!
- Popsicles. Just like with smoothies, making a healthy popsicle is simple when adding veggies. In fact, if you have some leftover veggie smoothie, this is a great way to use it up!
Hidden Veggie Recipes with Pumpkin
Another seasonal favorite, pumpkin is the mascot for fall. But it might not come to mind that pumpkin, a member of the squash family, is actually a vegetable! While I can’t say chugging a PSL will up the amount of veggies you’re eating in a day, I can say these pumpkin recipes will help get you to that number!
Hidden Veggie Recipes with Spinach
Spinach can be a really hard vegetable to get kids to try – that’s why so many moms love hiding spinach in kids’ favorites. Add in the fact that spinach is such a simple thing to slip into recipes, and you’ve got a winner. You can substitute most of the spinach in these recipes for any greens – kale is a popular one!
- Veggie Pesto Pasta Sauce. This is on our meal plan at least once a week, more in the summer. It’s simple, satisfying, and super versatile.
- Super Sneaky Spinach Brownies. The perfect compromise between tasty dessert and eating your veggies.
- Chocolate Spinach Cookies. Seriously, you would NEVER EVER know these decadent cookies have spinach. Just make them, trust me.
- Easy Spinach Smoothie Recipe. The easiest and most common smoothie! If the color freaks your kids out, just put it in a solid colored cup.
- Hidden Veggie Chicken Enchiladas. I love the idea of this – especially since it’s a super simple
- Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells. Stuffed shells are an absolute favorite in our house. It’s one of the few meals that I can serve my kids very visible spinach and they’ll gobble it.
- Creamy Pesto Mac with Spinach. I already mentioned pesto in our house is popular. Mixing it with another favorite, mac
andcheese? Total win.
- Grinch Christmas Smoothie. We loved these last holidays = just a simple green smoothie with a strawberry heart!\
- Spinach Tortillas. If you’re a family that does tacos often, try out these funky spinach tattoos.
- Green Banana Ice Cream. Banana ice cream is fun because it’s natural and easy. How have I never thought to toss in some spinach?
- Spinach Lemon Bars. These look simple and fun. The spinach is in the crust but it doesn’t look too obvious or obnoxious.
- Spinach Egg Sandwich. I love the spinach feta sandwiches at Starbucks. Adding a little green to a breakfast sandwich is so smart.
- Baked Ziti with Hidden Veggies. Baked ziti is always a win – how can you go wrong with cheese, sauce, and noodles? Add in a hidden veggie sauce and you’ve got an even better meal.
- Spinach Raspberry Pancakes. Raspberry pancakes sound luxurious and fancy. Who would think they’d go well with spinach?
- Spinach Sesame Crackers. These crackers look like the perfect crunchy way to curb a craving while getting in a veggie.
- Cheesy Spinach Tots. Tater tots, cheese, and hidden vegetables? YES
- Spinach Banana Bread. I love making banana bread when it’s chilly and bananas are on their way out. This is so smart.
- Spinach Hummus. Who doesn’t love a good dip?! My boys do, and I think this would be a perfect choice for chips, crackers, or, more vegetables.
- Spinach Crepes. We normally do pancake Sunday, but now I’m thinking we need to try crepes!
- Potato Spinach Gnocchi. Gnocchi seems fancy and hard, but it’s actually super simple. These look awesome!
- Easy Spinach Pizza Crust. Another
veggie packedpizza option, just in case you’re over arguing about meal planning.
- Hidden Spinach Healthy Guacamole. Uhm. YES PLEASE, I ate little more than Chipotle for two pregnancies and both boys adore guac.
For more spinach recipe for kids, check out this post!
Hidden Veggie Recipes with Sweet Potato
While many of us might not have a problem getting kids to eat sweet potatoes, it’s often in a ‘fry’ version. Your kids will love the subtle sweetness and creaminess that it offers, and you’ll love that they’re eating their veggies
- Leftover Sweet Potato Muffins. These are super moist and decadent. They definitely do NOT taste healthy, much less veggie packed.
- Sweet Potato Donuts. Less “hidden” and more “fun”. But you really can’t go wrong here.
SavouryWaffles. I never remember to make waffles. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve hidden the iron in Albania, or what. But these look amazing!
- Sweet Potato Bread. Quick
breadsare always a win in my house. A quick bread packed with veggies? Yes, please.
- Chocolate Cake. Sweet potato blends well and adds lots of moisture. The sweetness will let you reduce the sugar in this recipe!
- Flatbread. Got a kid like mine who loves all things carbs? This sounds like a great medium!
Hidden Veggie Beet Recipes
Beets are usually the vegetable that most of us make an “eek!” face at. Super earthy and packed with vitamins, this uncommon vegetable can be a great addition to your diet.
- Healthy Donuts with Hidden Veggies. The chocolate overpowers any lingering bet flavor in this donut. Your kids will just think it’s a fun treat!
- Layered Strawberry Beet Smoothie. Perfect for the pretty princess in your family – the pink color is absolutely magical.
- Strawberry Fruit Leather. If your kids love Fruit
Roll ups, try this healthier version!
- Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks. I’m totally trying these out ASAP. My boys love those little packets, but they are so not great for you.
- Blueberry Beet Scones. These sound fancy, but they’re actually super simple.
- Pink Dip. Plain and simple, kids love dip. Even if your kids just lick the dip and leave the veggies, this will still be veggie packed!
- Healthy Homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes. Is there anything better
thata decadent red velvet cupcake? Pssst – these have beets!
- Pasta with Creamy Beet Sauce. Gosh, this just looks so stinking pretty! I bet it tastes even better.
- Beet Applesauce. What kid doesn’t love apple sauce? This is a genius was to kick it up a notch!
- Beet and Black Bean Brownies. Double whammy – beets AND black beans! This hidden veggie recipe is perfect.\
There you have it – well over 100 different hidden vegetable recipes that will help you get your kids eating veggies without the stress. Which is your favorite? Which do you think your kids would love best? Let me know in the comments!
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