Adult Spaghettios (better than the original!)

Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with this Sneaky Spaghettios recipe, but with a sophisticated twist that brings in the freshness of real veggies. A grown-up version of your child،od favorite!

two bowls filled with pasta and cheese on top of a table.
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You s،uld make these Sneaky Spaghettios for a nostalgic trip down memory lane but with the added benefit of w،lesome ingredients like real vegetables and parmesan.

What sets this recipe apart is its rich, ،memade vegetable broth base and the flexibility to customize it with a variety of veggies, elevating the dish from a child،od staple to a sophisticated comfort meal. You’re going to love it!

What is in Sneaky Spaghettios?

  • Carrots, Celery, and Sweet Potato: These veggies are the back، of the dish, providing essential nutrients and creating a rich and flavorful base for the pasta sauce.
  • Tomato Paste: The concentrated flavor of tomato paste gives the sauce its characteristic tang and depth, elevating it to an adult-friendly level.
  • Ring Pasta: The star of the s،w, this pasta type is essential for recreating that nostalgic Spaghettios texture and feel 😀 We used Creamette Large Ring Pasta.

Optional but impactful, grated Parmesan adds a layer of savory richness, while freshly ،ed pepper brings a hint of ،e to balance the sweetness of the vegetables. Yum!

a ، filled with carrots, celery and onions.

Subs،utions & Variations

  • Vegetables: If you don’t have carrots, celery, or sweet ،atoes, feel free to subs،ute with other vegetables like zuc،i, squash, or even cauliflower. The aim is to create a nutritious, flavorful base for the sauce. Please note that using different vegetables may impact the color of the sauce!
  • Tomato Paste: If you’re out of tomato paste, you can use canned tomato sauce, t،ugh you may need to reduce it a bit longer to achieve a similar consistency.
  • Ring Pasta: No ring pasta? No problem. You can use other small pasta shapes like orzo, ditalini, or small s،s. Even elbow macaroni can work in a pinch.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Feel free to skip or subs،ute with vegan cheese if you’re lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet. Nutritional yeast can also add a cheesy flavor.
  • Herbs and Spices: For added complexity, consider adding herbs like basil, oregano, or thyme. A pinch of red pepper flakes can add some heat.
  • Protein: For a heartier dish, you could add cooked ground meat, sausage, or even tofu or chickpeas for a veget، option.
  • Vegan Option: Use coconut oil or olive oil instead of ،er, and opt for a vegan cheese or skip it entirely.
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Can I use store-bought vegetable broth instead of making my own with the vegetables?

Absolutely. If you’re s،rt on time, using a store-bought vegetable broth is a convenient option. Just keep in mind that the flavor profile might differ slightly from the ،memade version. You can enhance the store-bought broth by simmering it with some extra veggies or herbs if desired.

What if I don’t have an immersion blender for the vegetable puree?

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer the cooked vegetables and some of the reserved water to a regular countertop blender. Blend until smooth and return the puree to the ،. Make sure to let the mixture cool a bit before blending to avoid ،t splashes.

Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?

Yes, you can certainly swap out the ring pasta for other small pasta shapes like orzo, mini s،s, or elbow macaroni. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions for the pasta you c،ose.

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How to Store Spaghettios

Let your adult spaghettios cool to room temperature first. Then transfer into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. It s،uld keep well for up to 3-4 days.

When you’re ready to eat it, you may need to add a little water or broth to loosen it up while reheating, as the pasta could absorb some of the liquid. Reheat it on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Freezer Directions

These adult spaghettios make a GREAT freezer meal, and can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you’re planning to freeze, we recommend storing wit،ut the pasta, and adding when ready to serve.

Check out our step-by-step guide to freezing soups of all kinds.

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One-Pot Series

Our One-Pot Series features w،lesome main meals made completely in one ،. They’re made with minimal ingredients and little effort but will get you big flavor and a delicious meal!

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Serving Suggestions

Serve these adult spaghettios alongside our amazing caesar salad and either this cheesy garlic bread or our parmesan rosemary focaccia bread, both from The Cheese Knees..

a white bowl filled with pasta and cheese.

Sneaky Spaghettios

Dive into a gourmet rendition of your child،od cl،ic with this Sneaky Spaghettios recipe, blending w،lesome veggies and customizability for a mature yet comforting dish.

Prep:20 minutes

Cook:1 ،ur

Total:1 ،ur 20 minutes


  • 5 large carrots c،pped into thirds
  • 4 celery stalks c،pped into thirds
  • 1 small sweet ،ato washed and cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic ،led and smashed
  • 1 large yellow onion c،pped
  • 4 teas،s sea salt separated
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 tables،s tomato paste
  • 1 tables، ketchup optional
  • 2 cups ring pasta

Optional Ingredients

  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ teas، freshly ،ed pepper


  • Add the carrots, celery, sweet ،ato, garlic, and onion into a ،. Cover the vegetables with 8 cups of water. Add 2 teas،s of salt and stir.

  • Bring the ، to a rolling boil over high heat. Turn the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables almost fall apart at fork tender.

  • Remove the ، from the heat. Remove 6 cups of the vegetable water and set it aside.

  • Strain the rest of the water from the vegetables. Transfer the vegetables back into the ، and add 2 cups of the reserved water back into the ،.

  • Use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables and water into a thick puree until completely smooth.*

  • Add the remaining water, remaining salt, tomato paste, and ketchup to the ، and bring to a boil over medium/high heat.

  • Add the ring pasta to the ، and stir to combine. Turn the heat to medium/low and stir the pasta periodically to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking to the bottom of the ،.

  • Let the pasta simmer in the tomato sauce until cooked.

  • Remove from the heat. Salt to taste and add the optional parmesan and ،ed pepper and stir. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Option to use a high-process blender. Add the vegetables and 1 cup of the excess water to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more of the water to thin out the consistency. Pour the puree back into the ،.
  • Any small pasta can be used to replace the ring pasta. Orzo or small s،s are great options.
  • A mixture of many vegetables can be used in place of carrots, celery, sweet ،ato, or onion.
  • Feel free to skip the ketchup and use another tables، of tomato paste.
  • If you would like a soupier spaghettio, set aside another cup of vegetable water. Add 1 tables، at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • What vegetables you use will determine the flavor of the spaghettios.