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What Vegetables Go Well with Marinara Sauce? (10 Veggies)

Have you ever wondered what vegetables go well with marinara sauce?

There are so many options, yet certain vegetables work especially well when paired with marinara sauce.

What Vegetables Go Well with Marinara Sauce

The combination provides a delicious meal that leaves the taste buds singing.

I spent hours researching the best vegetables to use in marinara sauce and came up with 10 options.

What Vegetables Go Well with Marinara Sauce?

Marinara sauce pairs well with a wide variety of vegetables. When you’re looking to pair with pasta, choose something like asparagus, peas or broccoli. The sweetness of the vegetables and the acidity of the tomato sauce really complement each other.

Marinara Sauce

If you’re looking to pair with chicken, you may want to try cauliflower, green beans (See Also: what can you do with can green beans) or even eggplant.

These vegetables all have a mild flavor that will blend well with the marinara sauce.

Looking for more ideas? Keep scrolling!

1. Mushrooms


Nothing goes better with a hot plate of marinara sauce than mushrooms.

That might sound like a bold claim, but it’s true—I’ve been cooking for my family for years, and I swear by this combination.

Not only are mushrooms loaded with nutrients like vitamin D and iron, but they also absorb the flavors and aromas of the foods they’re cooked with.

That means that every time you cook mushrooms in marinara sauce, you’re making sure you get all the flavor you can out of your dish.

If you’re pairing these two ingredients together in a sauce, keep in mind that mushrooms tend to soak up some of their surrounding liquid while they cook.

If you want to avoid a soupy mess, try sautéing them separately before adding them to your marinara sauce.

One great way to pair these two ingredients is with pasta—like spaghetti or linguine (see also these linguine pasta recipes)—or on top of pizza crust. The possibilities are endless!

2. Bell peppers

Bell Peppers

This is a match made in heaven.

These two ingredients have been paired together for many years, and they just belong together.

When you cook these up, you’ve got something delicious AND healthy.

When pairing these ingredients together, there are a couple things to keep in mind:

First, always pick the freshest peppers you can find.

You’ll be able to tell by their color (bell peppers are red, green and yellow) and how firm they are.

Also, don’t overdo it on the marinara sauce.

The beauty of this pairing is that the two ingredients work well on their own, but also complement each other perfectly when cooked together.

So it’s better to err on the side of too little sauce rather than too much—you want your peppers to speak for themselves.

You can use this combo in so many different recipes and dishes! If you’re making a pasta dish, put them both in there for an Italian twist on classic spaghetti.

Or if you want an easy way to serve this pairing up at home, roast some bell peppers in the oven and serve them with some fresh marinara sauce for dipping!

3. Eggplant


You have your main dish, but what should you serve it with? We’ve got the perfect vegetable for your marinara sauce.

Eggplant is great with marinara sauce because it complements the sweetness of the tomatoes and balances out the acidity.

It’s also a pretty neutral flavor, so pairing it with a strong-flavored main dish like marinara sauce is ideal.

If you’re just getting started cooking eggplant, keep these tips in mind:

  • Eggplant can soak up a lot of oil while cooking, so don’t be afraid to add a little extra oil if needed.
  • If you’re baking or roasting eggplant, keep an eye on it as it cooks. Even though it has a tough skin, it can easily get overcooked and mushy.
  • If you’re working with larger eggplants, trim off the ends before you start cooking them.

Lastly, if you’re ready to try this pairing out for yourself, we’ve got some recipes for you:

  1. Homemade Mushroom Marinara
  2. Pasta with Marinara Sauce & Sautéed Mushrooms

So go ahead and try this pairing out—you won’t be disappointed!

4. Zucchini


Zucchini is a pretty easy vegetable to pair up with marinara sauce.

Since it’s so mild, you can get away with a lot of different flavors without overwhelming its delicate flavor.

When pairing zucchini and marinara sauce, keep in mind that the zucchini adds a bit of heft to your dish.

This can help balance out the acidity and saltiness of many types of marinara sauce.

Here are some recipes that you might like:

  1. Zucchini Marinara
  2. Baked Zucchini with Marinara and Cheese

5. Spinach


As you know, marinara sauce is a classic Italian sauce made with tomatoes, olive oil, onions, garlic, basil, and oregano.

It’s often served over spaghetti noodles or meatballs on top of pasta, or used as a dipping sauce for breadsticks.

Spinach is an extremely versatile leafy green vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s often used in salads and sandwiches.

Pairing spinach with marinara sauce makes sense because both of these foods:

  • Are easy to prepare
  • Go well with other Italian foods like garlic bread and meatballs
  • Are really nutritious (just look at how many vitamins are in the sauce).

When pairing these two foods, keep in mind that if you’re frying your spinach, it will absorb a lot of the oil used to cook it—so you may want to skip the olive oil when making your marinara sauce.

Also keep in mind that you can use marinara sauce as a dip for fried spinach!

And now for some recipes…

  1. Classic Homemade Marinara with Spinach
  2. Shrimp & Spaghetti Marinara with Spinach

6. Broccoli


This might sound weird to you, but I’m telling you: if you haven’t tried broccoli with marinara sauce, your world is about to change.

If you have some cooked broccoli lying around, just pour a little of your favorite marinara over it and heat it up in a pan.

You’ll never look at broccoli the same way again!

7. Carrots


Carrots and marinara sauce are a match made in heaven.

The carrots add a fresh, crunchy twist to any marinara-based recipe, and marinara sauce adds just the right amount of sweetness to carrots.

Here are some tips for pairing these two foods:

  1. Carrots and marinara sauce can be prepared together or separately and then combined before serving. However, if you prepare them together, make sure your carrots are cut into small pieces so they cook evenly!
  2. Make sure your marinara sauce is not too spicy so it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the carrots.
  3. If you’re preparing a dish that includes both ingredients, try cooking your carrots first before adding them to your sauce so they’re soft enough to eat but still have their crunchy texture when served with marinara sauce on top!

If you’re looking for recipes that include these two foods together, check out these:

  1. Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce
  2. Tomato and Carrot Marinara Sauce

8. Green beans

green beans

With its rich, earthy flavors and unique texture, green beans are a great vegetable to pair with marinara sauce.

Green beans can easily be flavored to match any main dish, whether you want to cook them plain or add some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.

Because they’re low in carbohydrates and high in protein, they’re perfect for Paleo diets.

When you’re pairing green beans with your marinara sauce dish, keep in mind that it’s best to cook the green beans until they’re tender-crisp (about 5 minutes).

This helps make sure that the texture of the green beans won’t overwhelm the texture of your sauce.

It’s also important to add your sauce to the green bean dish last—this will help make sure you don’t overcook the beans.

If you want some inspiration for recipes that feature these two ingredients together, try adding your green beans to this recipe for Tuscan chicken pasta or this one for baked spaghetti squash with tomato cream sauce.

9. Artichoke hearts


Marinara sauce goes great with artichoke hearts, and here’s why:

  1. Both of them are Mediterranean foods, which means that they share the same cultural roots and tend to work well together.
  2. The sharpness of artichoke hearts makes the sweet tomato flavor of the marinara really pop.
  3. Artichoke hearts go well with robust flavors, and the boldness of marinara really gives a dish a savory kick.

To use these two foods together, start by adding chopped artichokes to your marinara sauce when it’s almost finished cooking.

This will allow you to develop the flavor without having them get too soft or dry out as they cook.

You can also try using this combination in any recipe that calls for both of these ingredients—just make sure to add more liquid than usual if you’re making pasta or another dish that requires boiling water!

10. Asparagus


I love marinara sauce, and I really love asparagus.

Get them together, and there’s a little bit of magic that happens.

There are three reasons I especially love this combination:

  1. Asparagus is one of the few vegetables that can seamlessly add a meaty flavor to almost any dish it’s added to. Mariana sauce already has that amazing meaty flavor—but when you add asparagus to it, the earthy flavors both balance each other out and bring out something new and delicious in each other.
  2. The bright green color is so pleasing. When you have a pasta dish with marinara sauce, it’s usually pretty red, brown, or orange. Adding some of that delicious green on top turns a regular old pasta into something that looks like a professional chef cooked it up!
  3. Asparagus is super high in vitamin K and vitamin C, so by adding it to your meal you’re ensuring that you’re getting all kinds of nutrients you might not be able to get from the rest of your meal.
what vegetables go well with marinara sauce

10 Vegetables That Go Well with Marinara Sauce

If you're trying to get more veggies into your diet, one thing that can help is pairing them with marinara sauce.
Why? Because marinara sauce is so delicious!
The same holds true for just about any condiment or dip—it's a lot easier to eat vegetables that are dipped in ranch dressing or hummus than it is to just eat the vegetables plain.
That's because our brains are wired to seek out and enjoy sweet flavors, so the sweeter the veggie-topping combo, the more likely we are to actually eat our vegetables without feeling like we have to choke them down.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 115 kcal


  • Mushrooms
  • Bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus


  • Pick any of these veggies to pair with your sauce.
  • Prepare the rest of your meal.
  • Enjoy this lovely combination in no time!
Keyword what vegetables go well with marinara sauce
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.