This is one of our family favourites, and is typically a meal I make every second week or so when I’m short on time or original dinner ideas.

I make my sauce from scratch, but I buy the meatballs frozen. I really like the Free From PC Angus Beef meatballs, which have fewer additives and my kids really like them.

The great thing about the sauce, is you can pack in all sorts of veggies, and if you have a skeptical audience, you can blend it up, so they won’t even know they are in there.


  • Marinara Sauce (no added sugar), I like the Costco brand marinara
  • 1 onion diced
  • 6-10 cloves of garlic diced
  • 3 stalks celery – finely diced
  • 2 large carrots – finely diced
  • Mushrooms – diced (optional)
  • Fresh or dried basil
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • Can of crushed tomatoes (optional) and can use only this if you don’t have marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup Green olives – finely chopped and 2-3 tbsp of the olive juice
  • Meatballs frozen or homemade


  1. Finely chop all of your ingredients
  2. Start by sautéing your onions and garlic in olive oil
  3. Then add the rest of your veggies and sautee until soft
  4. Add your spices; basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
  5. Add can of crushed tomatoes and/or marinara sauce
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
  7. Cook for 5-10 minutes. If sauce is very watery, take the lid off and continue the simmer, the sauce will thicken up.
  8. This is the point where you would use a hand-blender to create a puree if you prefer a less-chunky sauce, or leave it chunky if you are ok with it.
  9. Add frozen meatballs and cover, let cook on low for about 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
  10. Remove from heat and drizzle 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and olive juice into sauce.
  11. Serve over your pasta of choice. Personally I love gluten-free pastas, and am currently obsessed with this Edamame pasta. But use whatever pasta you and your family prefer.

This sauce also freezes well, so if you have too much, freeze the rest and next time you need an even quicker dinner idea, you can defrost sauce and add it to a pasta or noodle! I am a BIG fan of making extra so I can freeze some. Trust me, your future self will seriously thank your past self.

Enjoy! 😋