Veggie lovers and veggie skeptics alike will enjoy this roasted vegetable pasta sauce! Eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper are diced small then roasted in the oven until browned, giving the vegetables an irresistible sweet and caramelized flavor. The vegetables get super soft when roasted, so they meld right into your favorite marinara sauce. Ready in 45 minutes or less for an easy and healthy weeknight meal!

Use my simple homemade marinara sauce, or use your favorite store bought jar.

pan of roasted vegetable pasta sauce next to a bowl of uncooked pasta

The key to a great pasta dish is all in the sauce!

Pasta is one of my favorite foods, and as a Registered Dietitian, I love to create pasta sauce recipes that are both healthy and delicious.

Just like my reader-favorite green sauce for pasta, cottage cheese pasta sauce, and cauliflower alfredo sauce, this roasted vegetable pasta sauce packs a nutrition bang for your buck!

I’m uninterested in tricking the vegetable skeptics in your life by “hiding” vegetables in this pasta sauce; I’d much prefer you showcase them in the best way possible so they taste amazing!

Roasting vegetables in the oven allows their natural sugars to caramelize. Their flavor is sweet and not bitter at all. They take on an irresistible texture that is both soft and crispy!

The roasted vegetables get soft enough so that once they are stirred into the marinara sauce, they meld right in and compliment the tomato flavor.

And since they’re diced up so small, you’ll hardly notice the vegetables in each bite.

bowl of rigatoni with roasted vegetable pasta sauce topped with ricotta cheese

This healthy pasta sauce recipe is vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free, and dairy free.

I love to serve it with a dollop of ricotta cheese or freshly grated parmesan 🙂

This roasted vegetable pasta sauce recipe makes enough sauce for one pound of pasta, or 4-6 servings. Pair it with your favorite type of pasta, such as rigatoni, penne, or even tortellini.

roasted vegetable pasta sauce ingredients laid out

Ingredients

Everything you need to make this recipe, below:

  • Eggplant: Eggplant is a nutrient-dense vegetable that provides dietary fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium. The deep purple skin of eggplant is a potent source of antioxidants. When diced and roasted, eggplant has a melt in your mouth texture!
  • Zucchini: Zucchini is a good or excellent source of several micronutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Zucchini turns perfectly caramelized and sweet when oven roasted.
  • Bell pepper: You can use any color bell pepper – red, yellow, orange, or green. Red bell pepper is the sweetest, and green bell pepper is the least sweet.
  • Shallot: Shallots are an excellent alternative to onions, because they have a milder, sweeter flavor. Roasted shallots contribute oniony yet caramelized flavor to this pasta sauce.
  • Basil: Fresh basil helps brighten up the sauce a bit. You can also try using fresh parsley.
  • Marinara sauce: My favorite store bought marinara sauce is perfect with this recipe. Or, if you’re feeling a little fancy, you can try it with my simple homemade marinara sauce (it only adds an extra 20 minutes of cook time).
  • Olive oil: Use regular olive oil (not extra virgin) when roasting vegetables, because it holds up to high heat better.
  • Salt and pepper: A bit of salt and pepper are all the seasoning you need to enhance the caramelized flavor of roasted vegetables.

Kitchen equipment needed

Step-by-step instructions

diced vegetables on a wooden cutting board
1. Dice the vegetables into small cubes, about 1/4 inch in size. Peel and thinly slice the shallots into rounds.
diced vegetables on a wooden cutting board
2. In a mixing bowl, toss the diced veggies in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
diced vegetables on a baking sheet with parchment paper
3. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be sure not to crowd the vegetables – if needed, use two pans.
roasted diced vegetables on a baking sheet with parchment paper
4. Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until you see some crispy browned edges.
Stainless steel pan with marinara sauce
5. While the vegetables roast, heat your marinara sauce with basil on the stovetop on low heat.
hand stirring a pan of roasted vegetable pasta sauce with a wooden spoon
6. Stir the roasted vegetables right into the marinara sauce, then you can stir cooked pasta directly into the sauce!

Tips for roasting vegetables

  • Cut vegetables into roughly the same size and shape. This ensures even cooking and browning, so you’re not left with some burnt pieces while others are undercooked.
  • Don’t skimp on the oil. Using enough oil is essential to crispy texture as well as flavor development. 1-2 tablespoons is usually enough to coat the vegetables without soaking them.
  • Leave enough space on the pan. If your baking pan is too crowded, the vegetables will steam instead of roast in the oven. Leave a little bit of space between each piece to ensure the air can circulate properly.

Storage

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed through. Cover the bowl with a paper towel in the microwave to avoid splatters.

Freeze: You can freeze this pasta sauce in a freezer safe baggie or airtight container for up to three months. If using a baggie, squeeze out as much air as possible.

Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a pan on the stovetop until warmed through.

Serving suggestions

I like to pair pasta dishes with a simple side salad, such as my kale and romaine salad.

If you want to add some protein, try this dish with with lemon caper baked cod, air fryer salmon, or crispy baked tofu.

bowl of rigatoni with roasted vegetable pasta sauce topped with ricotta cheese

Eggplant nutrition benefits

Eggplant is a nutrient dense food, meaning it provides a lot of nutrients in few calories. One cup of raw eggplant provides:

  • 2.5 grams of dietary fiber (9% of your daily needs)
  • 188 mg potassium (4% of your daily needs)
  • 0.230 mg pantothenic acid (5% of your daily needs)
  • 18.04 mcg folate (5% of your daily needs)
  • 0.07 mg copper (8% of your daily needs)
  • 0.190 mg manganese (8% of your daily needs)

The deep purple skin of eggplants is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins. Antioxidants help keep our cells healthy by fighting inflammation.

Zucchini nutrition benefits

Zucchini is packed with different nutrients! One cup of zucchini provides:

  • 1.2 grams of dietary fiber (4% of your daily needs)
  • 0.202 mg Vitamin B6 (12% of your daily needs)
  • 22.2 mg Vitamin C (25% of your daily needs)
  • 0.219 mg manganese (10% of your daily needs)

Like eggplant, zucchini is rich in antioxidants.

Tip: the skin of most fruits and vegetables contains the highest concentration of antioxidants.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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hand stirring a pan of roasted vegetable pasta sauce with a wooden spoon

Healthy Roasted Vegetable & Tomato Sauce for Pasta

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: sauces and dressings
  • Method: Oven, stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Veggie lovers and veggie skeptics alike will enjoy this roasted vegetable pasta sauce! Eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper are diced small then roasted in the oven until browned, giving the vegetables an irresistible sweet and caramelized flavor. The vegetables get super soft when roasted, so they meld right into your favorite marinara sauce. Ready in 45 minutes or less for an easy and healthy weeknight meal!

Use my simple homemade marinara sauce, or use your favorite store bought jar.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups eggplant, diced small
  • 2 cups zucchini, diced small
  • 1 bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 12 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 24 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped


Instructions

  1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 410°F. Line a baking half sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Ensure your vegetables are diced into 1/4 inch pieces. Put them in a mixing bowl with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the vegetables so that they are coated in the olive oil – they should be glossy but not sopping in oil.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to the baking sheet. Spread them out in a single layer, leaving a bit of room between each piece. Use two baking sheets if they vegetables are overlapping and overcrowded.
  5. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until you notice crispy browning on the outsides.
  6. While the vegetables roast, heat up the marinara sauce in a saute pan or large saucepan over low heat. Stir in the basil. Stir occasionally.
  7. Transfer the roasted vegetables to the marinara sauce. Use a spoon to stir them in until combined.
  8. Add cooked pasta right to the pan!

Notes

Makes enough sauce for 1 lb cooked pasta.

Storage

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed through. Cover the bowl with a paper towel in the microwave to avoid splatters.

Freeze: You can freeze this pasta sauce in a freezer safe baggie or airtight container for up to three months. If using a baggie, squeeze out as much air as possible.

Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a pan on the stovetop until warmed through.

Keywords: roasted vegetable pasta sauce, healthy pasta sauce, roasted veg pasta sauce