Zoodles with Meat Sauce


Mealtime Battles

No one likes the mealtime battles. You know the ones: toddler screaming and crying, mom and dad begging for them to take one more bite while praying for bedtime. In general, our 18-month-old, Zemirah, is a good eater, but we have mealtime battles over vegetables every now and then. However, we never have battles over zoodles! Also known as zucchini noodles, these little babies make getting Z to eat her veggies a dream! Enjoy some pictures of our messy eater unknowingly eating green vegetables.

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There are many options for vegetable spiralizers out there, but I just use the small, handheld one. It is cheap, easy, and small enough to fit in my “kitchen gadget” drawer. You can also buy pre-spiralized zucchini (and lots of other spiralized veggies!) to make this recipe even easier.

Bring this low carb version of spaghetti with meat sauce to your dinner table; I bet you won’t have any mealtime battles with this!


Zoodles with Meat Sauce

Serves six or seven, unless your toddler eats as much as an adult, like mine does.


For Zoodles:

  • Four medium/large zucchinis
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Meat Sauce:

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Eight mushrooms, sliced
  • One medium onion, diced
  • Three cloves of garlic, minced
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste (no salt added)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1.5-2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper, divided
  • 1.5 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley


  • Place ground beef or turkey in a large skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until almost cooked through
  • If using beef, drain fat, then return meat to pan
  • Add olive oil, mushrooms, onion, and garlic to pan
  • Once meat is cooked through, and mushrooms and onion are tender, add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine
  • Bring sauce to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
  • While simmering, spiralize zucchini
  • Dress zoodles with olive oil and seasonings
  • Serve a large helping of meat sauce on top of seasoned zoodles
  • Top with more fresh or dried herbs, if desired

I hope this simple, quick, and healthy meal can make its way into your weeknight rotation and end your mealtime battles. Give your toddlers disguised veggies…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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