Basic Meat Sauce Recipe

By Bianca Chiara, MD, Functional Medicine

Basic Meat Sauce Recipe

Cook Time: 45 mins

Servings: 4-6 people


  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee or half/half
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb. organic/grass-fed lean ground beef, 85% fat or less
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (powder or fresh minced root)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Half bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 12 or 16 oz can of low-sodium organic tomato sauce, depending on how thick you prefer the sauce


  1. In a large saucepan, on medium heat add oil/ghee until melted. Add minced garlic until lightly browned, then add diced onion, stirring until soft.
  2. Raise the heat to medium-high, add beef and stir until browning begins and it is well mixed with the garlic and onion. Then add the turmeric and pepper(s).
  3. Once browned and well-combined, lower the heat and stir in a half a bunch of chopped parsley and sauce.
    Tip: Use 12 oz bottle for a thicker sauce, 16 oz bottle for a thinner consistency.
  4. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.
  5. Let sit in the warm pot for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Serve over arugula, spinach, or spaghetti squash.

Nutritional Facts (per serving):

  • 239 kcal calories
  • 16 g fat
  • 7 g carbohydrates
  • 3 g sugar
  • 17 g protein
  • 249 mg sodium

Add-On Options:

Add a fresh sliced avocado on top with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over the top .

Finish with a grating of fresh parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.

Healthy Alternative:

Ground beef can be substituted with ground turkey, ground chicken or cooked lentils.

For better digestion, try gluten-free pasta options, spaghetti squash or chickpea pasta.

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