Question: Do you add carrots to your tomato sauce and if so, why?

May 29, 2011
some folks add carrots to their tomato sauce, and i never have. Would like to know the various opinions on the addition of carrots to an Italian tomato sauce, please.


Chris Paulk's picture

No. Never. But, that being said they're a good substitute for sugar -which some people add. They would add a sweetness to the sauce and give it some flavor depth. I prefer a saltier sauce and don't add carrots to mine. I prefer to add lots of sage and a pecorino romano - which has a salty profile.

Jessika (Chefs at Home)'s picture

Hi Roz!

I only add 2 carrots to my Spaghetti Bolognaise sauce but always in combination with 1 pepper (paprika) too.

For a regular tomato sauce I never add carrots nor sugar.

miansari66's picture

When tomatoes are costly, people subsitute carrot to lower cost.

Amy Jeanroy's picture

I saute every veggie that I have on hand until soft, and then process until smooth. Add this to my tomato sauce and season up. Makes thick, rich sauce that clings to the pasta. No one knows what's in there, as its blended smooth. I add the meat after the sauce/veggies are blended.

If I choose my veggies, I use garlic, onion, carrot, green pepper no matter what. The carrot adds sweetness.

Amy's picture

Carrots, when added to tomato sauces, add a hint of sweetness and cut acidity levels.

Mary's picture

Yes I do add carrots often, mostly just to up the healthy factor and because my littlest one refuses to eat carrots so this is a great way to get some in her. I saute onions, carrots, and sometimes celery until soft and puree mixture and add to the sauce. It works wonders to thicken the sauce, and it does add some sweetness ( I never add sugar to sauce!)

Sarah Reid's picture

Yes, I grate them (and beets) into my sauces for sweet, earthy flavour, nutrition and colour. I find they take the "edge" off of canned tomatoes. I also add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar at the very end, SO good!

The grated carrots also "melt" in better than chunks and help thicken it a bit.

Sharon Benedetti Warkala's picture

I grate them and one or two carrots to my tomato based sauces including marinara in lieu of using sugar. In combination with onions and, sometimes, celery it takes the edge off of the tomatoes and "mellows out" the sauce. They are essential in a bolognese sauce and for that I would do a chopped rather than a grated carrot -- you want to see the veggies with the meats in a bolognese!!

Krista Marshall's picture

My bolognese sauce has carrots in it, but not a regular marinara sauce. I would think the carrot would add a sweetness and a depth of flavor, kind of earthy though. I imagine a lot of moms do it just to get extra veggies into their kids:)