With carrots, spinach, and onions deliciously blended into the tomato sauce base, these homemade Spaghetti-Os are as healthy as they delicious, are done cooking in just 20 minutes + made all in one pot! A healthy, homemade twist on a nostalgic meal from many of our childhoods, this recipe will likely have the big + little eaters in your home licking their bowls clean.

3 bowls filled with Homemade Spaghetti-Os, topped with sprigs of basil and some pieces of Parmesan cheese. Two of the bowls have a spoon in the Homemade Spaghetti-Os. Bowls are sitting on a countertop and surrounded by a napkin, a bowl of grated cheese, and a few sprigs of basil, ground black pepper, and grated cheese spilled on the countertop.

Did you ever have Spaghetti-Os growing up? You know…the ones in the can that tended to be THE go-to dinner when you had a bit of food independence as a kid? My husband sure remembers them! And, even with that distinct, nostalgic, undeniable flavor from the OG version, I still got the stamp of approval for these healthy spaghetti-Os.

Truth be told, he said these are better than ACTUAL Spaghetti-Os! Even my tween adored having these leftover homemade spaghetti-Os in her lunchbox. Doctored up with onions, carrots, and spinach blended right into the sauce before adding the perfect, little “O”-shaped pasta, these homemade spaghetti-Os are also uber-convenient thanks to being made in one pot and done from start-to-finish in about 20 minutes.

Considering my twist on this childhood classic has upped the veggie factor while keeping its fun, kid-friendly appeal, I’d say these easy homemade spaghetti-Os are a hat trick if I ever saw one! (Although, I’d say my hamburger helper and cauliflower mac and cheese recipes also nail the nostalgia + veggie vibe!)

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: blending veggies into foods (as I do here in the sauce) can get a bit controversial. Do I personally “hide” veggies? Nope. If someone asks, I am always honest about what veggies I’ve included. And, if I know it’s something someone isn’t a big fan of, I do my best to give them a heads up. Why? Because I think people can grow to love veggies—AND—not everyone has to like each and every ingredient…in each and every form. Someone might love a butternut squash loaded sauce but just can’t get into roasted squash. And that’s ok!

Ingredients for Veggie-Loaded Homeamde Spaghetti-Os sitting together on a counter before cooking.
Ingredients: olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic cloves, baby spinach, kosher salt, tomato paste, tomato sauce, chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water), brown sugar (or honey), Anellini pasta (or other small pasta), grated Parmesan cheese, ground black pepper

How to make these homemade Spaghetti-Os:

If you are a visual person, here is a picture guide for how the recipe should look at each step. Be sure to grab the exact measurements for the ingredients by scrolling down to the recipe card below.

A Dutch oven filled with chopped onion, grated carrot, garlic, spinach, and salt. The dutch oven is sitting on a countertop.
Add the oil to a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, spinach, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
Vegetables for Homemade Spaghetti-Os mixed together in a Dutch oven and topped with a dollop of tomato paste. The Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop.
Sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds to develop the flavor.
Vegetables for Homemade Spaghetti-Os mixed together in a Dutch oven and topped tomato sauce and brown sugar. Broth is being poured into the Dutch oven from a glass container.. The Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop.
Stir in the tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
A Dutch oven filled with ingredients mixed together for Homemade Spaghetti-Os.
Simmer for 5 minutes to make sure the vegetables are completely soft. Turn off the heat.
The sauce for Homemade Spaghetti-Os blended in a blender. The blender is sitting on a countertop.
Blend the sauce until smooth, either with an immersion blender in the pot or transfer the mixture to a blender.
A Dutch oven filled with sauce for Homemade Spaghetti-Os. Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop. A bowl of o-shaped pasta is sitting slightly out of frame.
Once blended, return the sauce to the same pot.
A Dutch oven filled with sauce for Homemade Spaghetti-Os and topped with cooked o-shaped pasta. The Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop.
Stir in the pasta and cook over medium heat, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
A Dutch oven filled with round pasta and sauce. The Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop and a bowl of grated cheese is sitting slightly out of frame.
Make sure to stir the bottom every few minutes so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom.
A Dutch oven filled with Homemade Spaghetti-Os topped with grated cheese. The Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop.
Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the cheese then taste and add pepper and additional salt, as needed.
A wooden spoon taking a helping of Homemade Spaghetti-Os from a Dutch oven. The Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop.
To serve, spoon the homemade spaghetti-Os into bowls and sprinkle with extra cheese, if desired.

Suggested Adaptations 

  • If you can’t find the classic SpaghettiOs shaped pasta (Anellini), this recipe will work with other small pasta shapes, such as ditalini, orzo, or small shells.
  • To make this dairy-free, use only olive oil and omit the cheese. You will likely need to add additional salt to the dish since the cheese adds a good amount of seasoning.
  • You can add frozen riced cauliflower in addition to or instead of the spinach in the recipe.
  • If you use frozen spinach instead of fresh, only use ½ cup.
  • Make some meatballs to add in for a boost of protein. I love my chicken carrot meatballs or my oven baked turkey zucchini ones!

How to store + reheat this recipe

This homemade spaghetti-Os recipe is delicious as a leftover for up to 4 days after making + perfect to put into a thermos for those kid lunch boxes!

Allow leftovers to cool completely before transferring to an air-tight container and storing in the fridge about 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. If the pasta has absorbed too much of the liquid, you can add a splash of broth or water to help thin it out a bit.

Other veggie-loaded comfort foods to curl up with

A wooden spoon taking a helping of pasta from a Dutch oven. The spaghetti-Os are topped with sprigs of basil and some pieces of Parmesan cheese. The Dutch oven is sitting on a countertop and is surrounded by a napkin, a plate containing grated cheese, a bowl of salt, a bowl of pepper, and a few sprigs of basil, and grated cheese spilled on the countertop.
5 from 3 votes

Kid-Approved Homemade Spaghetti-Os (w/ added veggies!)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
With carrots, spinach, and onions deliciously blended into the tomato sauce base, these homemade Spaghetti-Os are as healthy as they delicious, are done cooking in just 20 minutes + made all in one pot! A healthy, homemade twist on a nostalgic meal from many of our childhoods, this recipe will likely have the big + little eaters in your home licking their bowls clean.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • cups grated carrot, about 1 large carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth or water for vegetarian option
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, or honey
  • 2 cups Anellini pasta , or other small pasta
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  •  Add the oil to a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, carrot, garlic, spinach, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds to develop the flavor. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth/water, brown sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Simmer for 5 minutes to make sure the vegetables are completely soft. Turn off the heat.
  • Blend the sauce until smooth, either with an immersion blender in the pot or transfer the mixture to a blender then return the sauce to the same pot.
  • Stir in the pasta and cook over medium heat, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Make sure to stir the bottom every few minutes so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the cheese then taste and add pepper and additional salt, as needed.
  • To serve, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with extra cheese, if desired.

Notes

Suggested Adaptations 

  • If you can’t find the classic SpaghettiOs shaped pasta (Anellini), this recipe will work with other small pasta shapes, such as ditalini, orzo, or small shells.
  • To make this dairy-free, use only olive oil and omit the cheese. You will likely need to add additional salt to the dish since the cheese adds a good amount of seasoning.
  • You can add frozen riced cauliflower in addition to or instead of the spinach in the recipe.
  • If you use frozen spinach instead of fresh, only use ½ cup.
Serving: 0.66cup, Calories: 352kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 1049mg, Potassium: 546mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 6312IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 149mg, Iron: 1mg