Meat Sauce That Goes With Anything (1 Year+)

21 January 2021
Final Meat Sauce dish for feature image Home Page Square

Meat sauce is one of those popular dishes that I’m sure each household have their own way of making.
For me, just like my ‘Japanese Curry’, I put emphasis on the onions. It’s all about making them super soft and sweet, which then translates through the whole dish.

For The Whole Family

There’s no need cook a separate batch for your little one because it’s totally customisable for the whole family. When Jin was around 9 months, I would make a big batch, spoon out enough for his portions, then add the seasoning for the adults.
When serving, those who want to spice it up can do so. Check out the notes section of the recipe for variations.

Packed With Vegetables

Jin can sometimes be fussy with vegetables so I dice them up small and he just gobbles it all up without noticing!
I like to use peas, carrots and mushrooms but you can put anything you want.

If you’re ok with the vegetables being chunky, I recommend keeping a bag of mixed vegetables in the freezer and piling those in when you cook this dish.

Batch Cook & Freeze

This dish is great for making a big batch for freezing in individual portions and because it’s so versatile, you can pair it with anything.
I always have little pots of Japanese or Hom Mali rice and Fusilli pasta in the freezer so when I’m in a hurry, I grab pot of this Meat Sauce and a rice/pasta and there’s a home cooked super fast meal for Jin!

Ingredients for Meat Sauce Recipe

Final Meat Sauce dish for feature image Home Page Square

Tomato Meat Sauce That Goes With Anything (1 Year+)

Being Naomi
A versatile tomato meat sauce packed with vegetables that can be served in so many ways.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine European
Servings 3 Adults & 4 Toddlers or 10 Toddlers


  • 250 g Beef Mince (your choice of fat %)
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 60 g Frozen Peas
  • Handful Of Mushrooms I use Chestnut Mushrooms
  • 500 g Passata
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed Italian Herbs
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Oil I use Rapeseed/Sunflower oil


  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup I use Stokes because it has less sugar & salt
  • Salt & Pepper to taste



  • Finely mince the garlic
  • Finely slice the onions
  • Dice the carrot and mushrooms into little cubes, as fine as you like so it's easy for baby/toddler to eat
  • Your vegetables should look something like this
    Showing chopped carrot, onion, garlic, mushrooms
  • Microwave the onion and carrot in separate bowls for 2min30

Lets Get Cooking!

  • Take a large pan or wok. On medium heat, add the oil and garlic and fry for a few seconds until it gets some colour
  • Turn the heat down to low, add the onion and gently fry for 5 mins until they’re really soft. Keep moving them around so they don’t burn.
    I like to put the lid on the pan because the steam helps to soften the onions as much as possible
    Step1 fry onions in a pan
  • Turn the heat up to medium, add the carrot and continue frying for 2mins
    Step2 add carrots to the onions and fry
  • Add the mushroom and fry for about 3 mins or until the mushrooms start to soften
    Step3 add mushrooms to the pan and fry
  • Push the vegetables to the edges of the pan, leaving a space in the middle, add half the beef mince and fry until it starts to brown. Push the meat to the edge and add the remaining mince.
    (If you add all the mince at once, the temp of the pan goes down suddenly and your mince won't be as juicy).
    Step4 add beef to vegetables and fry
  • Once the meat has almost completely browned, add the frozen peas and mix everything together
    Step5 add peas to beef and vegetables and fry
  • Turn the heat to low, add the passata, mixed herbs and smoked paprika. Mix well, breaking up any clumps of beef
    Step6 add passata, herbs, paprika to meat and vegetables and stir
  • Simmer for 5-10mins with the lid on (ensure there's a gap for steam to escape) and you're done!
    Final meat sauce in the pan


  • Add the optional honey, ketchup and salt+pepper
  • After it's done, take the whole pan with the lid on and place in an unheated oven for up to 1 hour. This will deepen the flavour and make the onions lovely and melty.

Serve Up!

  • Serve with rice, pasta, couscous, baked potato, boiled potato, mashed potato, anything you want!
    Final Meat Sauce Dish close up


Storage: This can be frozen as soon as it has cooled down. Consume within 3 months.
Tailor the dish for your baby or for adults:
Keeping it really clean for younger babies – leave out the oil, garlic, herbs, paprika, honey, ketchup and salt+pepper and use a non stick pan to fry the beef. Make it like this first, take out baby’s portions then add seasoning for adults
Less tomatoey version – put less passata

For Adults – add the optional honey, ketchup, salt+pepper

Spice it up – swap out smoked paprika for hot smoked paprika
Make it Vegetarian – replace the beef with lots of diced/minced mushrooms
Keyword beef, comfort food, dinner, easy, healthy, meat sauce, quick, toddler, tomato sauce, versatile

Give It A Try

You can pair this meat sauce with so many things like pasta, couscous, baked potato, anything!
I often use it to make a super quick Tortilla Pizza, which my 1 year old loves!

If you give this Meat Sauce recipe a try, let me know how it went in the comments below!

Here’s Jin stuffing his face with this dish!

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  • How To Make Curry With Just 3 Spices (1 Year+) | Being Naomi 6 May 2021 at 3:54 am

    […] stews and meat sauces are a perfect way to disguise vegetables, and lots of them! Just like my ‘Meat Sauce That Goes With Anything’, dice the vegetables up as small as you like and it blends nicely with the minced meat. Jin always […]

  • Catherine Zhang 27 January 2021 at 1:32 am

    5 stars
    Love a good meat sauce!

    • BeingNaomi 27 January 2021 at 11:04 am

      Thank you for the comment! You’re the first for my website and it’s made my day 🙂
      Love your website too. The crepe cake looks divine!