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4.85 from 20 votes

Spaghetti with Vegetable and Meat Sauce

Basic meat sauce gets an upgrade with a medley of shredded vegetables and extra herbs and spices for more flavor AND nutrition. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Total Cost: $7.61 recipe / $1.90 serving
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef $3.46
  • 1 yellow onion $0.14
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 zucchini (about 1/2 lb.) $0.71
  • 2 carrots $0.17
  • 1/2 tsp basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional) $0.02
  • 24 oz. jar pasta sauce* $1.65
  • 12 oz. spaghetti $0.97


  • Add the olive oil and ground beef to a large, deep skillet. Brown the ground beef over medium heat until cooked through.
  • While the beef is browning, finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Once the beef has cooked through, add the onion and garlic to the skillet and continue to sauté until the onion is soft and transparent.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, shred the zucchini and carrots using a large-holed cheese grater. You should have about 1 to 1.5 cups of each once shredded.
  • Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the skillet along with the basil, oregano, some freshly cracked pepper, salt, and a pinch of red pepper. Continue to sauté until the vegetables are tender (about 7-10 minutes).
  • Add the pasta sauce and heat through. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain in a colander. Return the drained spaghetti to the pot with the heat turned off. Add one cup of the prepared sauce to the pasta and stir to coat. Divide the pasta into serving bowls and top with additional sauce.


*I used "three cheese" flavored pasta sauce so that I wouldn't need to add additional Parmesan to each serving.