Even for those who like eating veggies, it can be a challenge to eat the recommended servings each day. And when a craving for creamy mac and cheese calls, it's tough to ignore a grumbling tummy and cheese cravings and opt for a bowl full of veggies instead. We're here to tell you it's easy to have the best of both worlds! Here are our 40 favorite (sneaky) ways to fit veggies into any meal:
1. Frittata it.
We love starting the weekend with an egg-heavy brunch. Mix eggs with veggies for a healthy and hearty breakfast. Bonus points for making enough to munch on all week!
2. Add minced broccoli to scrambled eggs.
This veggie addition doesn't change the texture of eggs and fits in an entire serving of veggies (at least).
3. Mix cauliflower into scrambled eggs.
Steam and purée or finely grate cauliflower to mix with scrambled eggs. Try it with chicken or tuna salad for a full entrée.
4. Bake with 'em.
Breakfast sweets can be packed with veggies too. Try making some travel-friendly bran muffins packed with zucchini and carrots in addition to the classic raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon.
5. Veg out on savory oatmeal.
Classic oatmeal might be topped with brown sugar and fruit, but oats can be savory too! Cook plain oats with water and add your choice of steamed or sautéed veggies. Top with an egg for extra protein and season with salt, pepper, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
6. Make pudding a healthy breakfast.
If it's avocado-based, that is.
7. Try pumpkin or butternut squash pancakes or waffles.
When the skillet is heating next weekend, throw some pumpkin or squash purée into pancake or waffle mix to fit in an extra serving of veggies (and get a fun orange tinge, too).
8. Add greens to breakfast smoothies.
A handful of spinach or kale blends well with any fruit smoothie. Try the classic Green Monster by blending 1 cup milk (we love almond milk!), 1 frozen banana, 2 handfuls spinach, and 1 tablespoon almond butter.
9. Grab an avocado smoothie.
10. Slurp a carrot smoothie.
Carrot juice is pretty easy to find, but without a juicer at home, it's tough to make. Luckily, grated carrots are easy-peasy to fit into any fruit smoothie. Bonus: Because we're using all parts of the veggie, none of the fiber is lost from the juicing process.
11. Make pasta dishes go green.
When spaghetti and meatballs is on the menu, add a load of extra veggies (like spinach and mushrooms) to the dish instead of opting for a boring ’ol side salad.
12. Experiment with veggie noodles.
Use a spiralizer or julienne tool to create zucchini, squash, asparagus, or cucumber noodle and skip the pasta altogether. (Or roast spaghetti squash!) Add extra veggies to the sauce for an extra dose of nutrients.
13. Remember herbs are leafy greens too!
Add fresh herbs to any rice, pasta, or grain dish. Or whip up a quick homemade herb pesto to add to scrambled eggs or use as a sandwich spread.
14. Get fancy with mac and cheese.
15. Mix the potatoes.
Sweet and regular mashed potatoes are perennial favorites. To add some extra nutritional value, mix the two types 1-to-1 in a mash.
16. Sneak them in casseroles.
Anytime that casserole dish comes out of the cupboard, get the grater out too. Finely shredded zucchini or summer squash can be added to virtually any casserole without changing taste or texture!
17. Sub greens for wraps.
Lettuce makes a surprisingly awesome stand-in for bread and tortilla wraps. For tougher greens like collards, kale, or chard, blanch the greens and pat dry before wrapping.
18. Add veggies to grilled cheese.
Melted cheese between two slices of bread doesn’t have much green value. Every time the cheesy craving strikes, throw in a few layers of veggies. Spinach or arugula, tomato, and avocado make awesome additions.
19. Make vegetarian quesadillas.
Instead of opting for the classic chicken-and-cheese, throw in a variety of veggies and cut the cheese by half. Some favorite fillings are corn, peppers, onions, and greens.
20. Bulk up burgers.
Try adding carrot purée or chopped mushrooms to ground beef recipes. From hamburgers to meatloaf, a few steamed and puréed veggies (or a mix of carrot and sweet potato) go a long way.
21. Try pumpkin marinara sauce.
Tomato sauce is a great vehicle for any extra puréed veggies. The easiest addition (and our personal favorite)? Throwing in a can of pumpkin purée!
22. Be saucy.
Basic tomato sauce is great—definitely counts as one veggie! But the more veggies added, the better. Try adding puréed carrots or winter squash, peppers, onions, or greens.
23. Health up the hollandaise.
Few things are better than a Sunday-morning plate of eggs Benedict, but classic hollandaise sauce can be less than healthy. Try this avocado hollandaise to fit in some extra green.
24. Purée away.
Mix butternut squash purée and grated cheese to create a tasty spread for grilled cheese, quesadillas, or pizzas.
25. Spice up salad dressing.
Say bye-bye to classic oil and vinegar and hello to veggie-based dressings. Some ideas include butternut squash, tomato, beet, or zucchini.
26. Bake an egg in an avocado.
It's the perfect healthy vehicle for some serious protein!
27. Turn them into a fries.
Slice zucchini, avocado, carrot, or green beans, lightly bread, and bake until crispy.
28. Cook up kale chips.
Lightly coated in oil and sprinkled with salt, crispy kale chips are a great (and much healthier) stand-in for potato chips.
29. Serve a colorful pie.
Yes, a cheesy pizza pie is hard to pass up. But pizzas are a great vehicle for a big pile of veggies. Practically anything works, from greens and tomato to roasted squash or root vegetables.
30. Prepare a pizza salad.
If pizza is for dinner, throw a salad on top for a fun meal to eat, and an easy two-in-one dinner. A favorite? Arugula salad with tomatoes and Parmesan on top of a mixed veggie pizza.
31. Splurge on spinach.
Tomato sauce is a great way to get a serving of veggies. Even better? Spread a layer of spinach purée on the pizza dough before spreading the sauce for another dose of veg (and extra greens).
Soups and Stews
32. Add veggie purée to chicken soup.
Making classic chicken soup? Add a can of puréed tomatoes, squash, or potato. It will make for a thicker soup and also sneak in some extra veggies.
33. Spice up chili.
Add carrot, sweet potato, or butternut squash purée to any chili or stew recipe.
34. Bake veggies into bread.
Another veggie-packed delight, zucchini bread can be a great way to get in a serving of veggies while fulfilling that sweet tooth.
35. Disguise greens in chocolate!
These spinach brownies use puréed spinach leaves in the mixture to add an extra dose of greens to the dessert course too! (Bonus: they're vegan.)
36. Choose chocolate cake with carrot and squash.
37. Pair chocolate and beets.
The cocoa covers the earthy flavor well and the sweetness of the beets pair nicely with the sugary cake.
38. Stick to the sweet stuff.
39. Upgrade cookie dough.
Add carrot or sweet potato purée to chocolate chip cookies for a treat that's just as tasty, but has hidden health benefits too.
40. Add avocados to pudding.
Yes, we can even sneak extra nutrients into chocolate pudding. Plus, avocados' silky texture gives this pudding another benefit.