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Clean Eating Alphagetti

If your kids like all this canned pasta in tomato sauce nonsense, they will love this clean eating alphagetti recipe. I never bought a single can of Heinz Alphagetti but I bought organic Trader Joe’s O’s and my kids love it! Not sure why and I’m not even sure is it a soup or a pasta dish?! I have no idea. The whole idea of my lunch or dinner coming from a can sounds disgusting to me. I remember first seeing Alphagetti in kids’ lunch bags at my son’s daycare years ago and really felt sorry for the kids. Let’s be honest – would you love this lunch?! Do they even know what real food tastes like?! All these pretty cans, packages and boxes. Even fruit is in a plastic cup. Stop supporting marketing inventions of big corporations and go buy fruit in season and cut them up if you wish.

Clean Eating Alphagetti

A few weeks ago, I got a new thermos for my son’s lunches and right away thought of making my own clean eating alphabet (or whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods). Lately he has been bringing many hot lunches back uneaten and it’s not like him. Then I figured out the thermos he had didn’t keep food warm long enough. Tadaah, issue solved. If your kid is not eating their lunch, this might be why. Also the trick is to pour boiling water in a jar for 5 minutes before adding hot food. BIG difference!

Clean Eating Alphagetti

Alphagetti thickens with time as pasta keeps cooking in a hot sauce. So, don’t worry if it’s too thin first thing off the stove. Photo above shows you before and after an hour or two sitting on a counter. It can be refrigerated for days and even frozen. My son had it for lunch 3 days straight and I had nothing to freeze. In fact, both kids had it some days twice, for lunch and dinner. You can easily freeze the leftovers as soon as your kids get tired of it. In fact, I have made this pot mainly for freezing.

Clean Eating Alphagetti

I went to the store a few days ago and couldn’t find Alphagetti. Instead I found Moshi Monsters. True, there are monsters – ingredients inside the can. Heinz played smart and removed preservatives but kept all GMO ingredients. Thank you very much, I’m not feeding that to my kids.

Clean Eating Alphagetti

Last week I received, let’s call it rude, comment calling me irresponsible claiming GMOs cause autism in one of my posts. Reader also said that I’m not a scientist, just a food blogger, so everyone is safe to eat chicken nuggets. Yes, I’m not a scientist, neither is she, but all I can tell you is that where I grew up, in Ukraine, we didn’t have mass peanut allergies, autism, ADHD and a ton of special needs kids along with their assistants at schools. What is more important than ANY science degree is COMMON SENSE! GMOs are just not natural for a human body! I run this blog to help people be healthy and no way I will tolerate rude comments. It is OK to disagree but don’t be rude. More importantly know where your food comes from. Hopefully not from a can.

Make this clean eating alphagetti for your kids, they will love it!

Clean Eating Alphagetti

Clean Eating Alphagetti


  • 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce (low sodium)*
  • 8 cups water, divided (I used boiled kettle water)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 cups any small pasta (I used brown rice for GF version)
  • 1 cup any cheese, shredded


  1. In a large pot, add tomato sauce, 7 cups water, honey, garlic powder, salt, oregano and coriander; bring to a boil. Add 1 cup water and cornstarch into a small bowl and whisk until dissolved. Pour into a boiling pot.
  2. Add pasta and cook uncovered on low - medium heat for about 7 - 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Do not over cook pasta as it will continue cooking off the heat. Add cheese and stir until melted; remove from heat. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes to thicken and flavours merry each other although it's OK to eat right away. After an hour or two it will be even thicker. Serve hot.
  3. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Great to send in a thermos for school lunches for a few days.


*Feel free to use not low sodium tomato sauce (that's what I had) and adjust salt to taste.


Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving = 1 3/4 cups:
Calories: 356.6
Total Fat: 7.8 g
Cholesterol: 16.7 mg
Sodium: 945.3 mg
Total Carbs: 61.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 9.8 g
WW Points+: 9

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.


  1. Shannon

    This sounds so good and so easy. My kiddos will love this. I’ll add to my menu an for next week. Thanks for all the healthy and wonderful recipes.

  2. yeni

    Would you mind sharing the brand and name of the Thermos you purchased, which you found kept the food warmer than others? Thanks!

    • Olena

      I now have Klean Kanteen. The trick is to pour boiling water in it before adding hot food. The food is very warm after 4 hours. I love that it is 100% stainless steel, even the lid.

  3. Anne

    Sorry you received nasty comments, I think that’s terrible! You work very hard to do the best for your family and you take the time to share it with us which I appreciate so much! I get great ideas from you and I’m making this tomorrow, I can’t wait! Good job sticking up for yourself so eloquently and thank you for inspiring me!!

    I send my husband to work with the brand name Thermos and the trick to keeping food hot is to make the food too hot to begin with and I always let boiling water sit in the Thermos for 30 minutes prior to filling it with food. It makes all the difference. Good luck!

    • Olena

      Thank you and you are welcome. As bigger ifoodreal gets, the more mean comments I receive. Seems like people that disagree with me do it in a mean way. Say it but don’t be mean. Start your own blog and say what you want. I received another comment asking me to stop saying what I said here. Why would I stop?! It’s my opinion. I had no desire to reply because I’m on vacation lol. Usually I speak up because I think that’s how it should be. Often we are quiet being afraid to hurt feelings. It’s a culture. Dont be rude and say it. Nothing wrong with it. Anyways. I want to try Thermos. Does it keep food warm without 30 minutes of hot water in it? That’s too much work for me lol.

      • Anne

        It does but not as well. The water does the trick! I do it first thing when I wake up and let it sit while I make breakfast. Switching the water to the food is the last thing I do before my husband walks out the door. He doesn’t leave until after I’m up for a while so it’s easy for me. It you are more time crunched it could be a pain. There are all different rated Thermoses. Make sure you get the expensive one and you should be good. Good luck!

        • Olena

          Thank you. I will try that trick with Klean Kanteen and maybe go buy a Thermos to try to. We have Target going out of business in Canada so maybe I get a deal lol. I have time in the morning, I shouldn’t complain. Especially since I boil water for my green tea anyways.

    • Olena

      It worked!!! I poured boiling water into my Klean Kanteen food jar for 5 minutes and the food was warm, almost hot, after 4 hours sitting in a lunch bag! Yay! Thank you for this tip!

      • Anne

        Gaah! I just remembered to check this now! So sorry for the delayed follow up. I live in New York and the Spaghetti-O’s here have tiny meatballs sometimes. Before we went clean my son loved them. I would love to make a replacement, I haven’t figured out a good one yet. So glad the thermos trick worked for you. My husband heard it from a friend, I’m glad to pass it along!

        • Olena

          You can use your favourite meatballs recipe and roll into tiny meatballs. Have never seen those Spaghetti-O’s in the West but I honestly have never looked either LOL. Although I know West and East food selection differs.

  4. Julie

    I have been searching for a recipe like this for a long time for my 4 year old boy, who is the pickiest eater of my 4 children. I am so excited to try it. Thank you for sharing such practical family recipes!

  5. Louise Sanford

    I have heard that tomatoes especially leach out the can lining due to their acidity. How would you modify this recipe to avoid that issue?

    • Olena

      You can buy strained or crushed tomatoes in a glass jar or bottle. Apparently there are a few organic brands, especially in Whole Foods, which I don’t have nearby. I currently use BPA free Kirkland tomato sauce, the can inside is golden colour, made out of steel. I just tried to find if that is OK without BPA and couldn’t find anything. I know tomatoes are acidic…My head is spinning these days as I’m reading about plastics, cookware, natural cleaners. These toxins and harmful chemicals are everywhere! I wonder what is better: organic tomato sauce in a can or not organic in a glass jar?! Go figure…

  6. Kimberley

    Wondering if it’s the same measurement if you are actually using the alphaghetti noodles (the ABC pasta)? Still 3 1/2 cups? Worried about it skewing the recipe.

  7. Fran

    So I’m slightly confused on how many pots are used. I read to combine tomatoes and a few other ingredients into a pot, and then pour the whisked ingredients into a different boiling pot, pot of what; the tomato water or just another pot and then boil the rue in that second pot? Please advise. Thank you.

    • Olena

      Hi Fran. Everything is cooked in one pot. You add whisked ingredients to the same pot with tomato brew. Then pasta.

  8. baiele

    As an autistic girl who grew up with home cooked, lots of organic foods… I can tell you this is not the case. The reason the woman was rude is her own problem, but she was right in that you don’t seem informed on the subject and should perhaps be careful giving out medical (yes, that’s what that is) advice. Stick with food/recipes, you do it well. 🙂 No one likes to be told they were wrong or hurtful, but saying things like you are… it is. It’s placing blame on parents where it is undue. There is no FOUNDED proof nor even strong links between autism and GMOS or even diet, unless perhaps you want to examine the effects in utero.

    HOWEVER. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Olena

      Hi there. I get your feedback comes from your experience. I lived a different life so I have my own. My advice is not medical but rather common sense. Can’t argue that advising not eating GMOs will hurt anybody, right?! So please do not throw legal sh!# at me. We have enough of that on weight loss and cholesterol pills.
      Kids are born with autism, allergies etc. It goes far beyond what you were fed but rather what your parents ate and how their health has been altered. Since when telling parents that feeding their children junk food is wrong?! What is right in that?! You don’t understand that American society is the sickest in the whole entire world. That autistic kids, ADHD, learning disabilities, peanut allergies, gluten intolerances etc. rarely exist in other countries. You guys have to travel and understand how other world is different and healthier just because of what they don’t eat. They breathe the same air, drink same water and get same vaccines. Sitting here, talking about hurt feelings, donating money for admin costs of various societies and leaving comments in caps won’t help our children to be healthier. You have no idea how very few kids with autism exist in Europe!!! That woman that was rude to me makes a good salary in a lab working with GMOs and that is all she cares about. Let’s be honest. She doesn’t give a damn how GMOs alter the whole entire environment and how GMOs mixed with all preservatives, colours, artificial flavours etc. react in our bodies together. Because nobody freaking knows. Not you, not her, not me. So, why put that in our bodies if there is a chance it will make us sick????!!!! How responsible is that as a parent and how rude I am, shame on me!
      You are welcome for the recipe and I am truly sorry you have this health issue.


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