Spaghetti Sauce Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is the spaghetti sauce I have been cooking for nearly 50 years and my mother for probably that long before me. 🙂 Haven’t found one I like better.  I usually double or triple the recipe and freeze some for convenience.  This recipe is acceptable for the Atkins Induction Phase, Keto diets, Primal-Paleo as well.

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1 ½ lb. lean ground beef

½ c. green pepper chopped

½ c. parsley chopped

1 c. celery chopped

6 garlic cloves minced

6 oz. yellow onion chopped

2   14-oz. cans crushed or diced tomatoes (kind with no added sugars)

1   small (8oz) can tomato paste

½ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like it very spicy)

1 T. dried crushed oregano

1 bay leaf

1 T. fresh rosemary (or ½ tsp. dried)

1 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped (or ½ tsp. dried)

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

VARIATIONS:  add diced eggplant, mushrooms, or chopped, browned Italian sausage

DIRECTIONS:  Brown meat in large stew pot.  You may need a little oil if your meat is real lean.  Chop all veggies and add to meat and stir well.  Now add garlic, seasonings, tomatoes and tomato paste.  Simmer covered for 1½-2 hours on lowest heat possible.  Will yield about 8-9 cups of sauce, or 8-10 servings, depending on how saucy you like things and how you plan to use the sauce.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 10, each serving has:

295.3 calories

20.75 g  fat

13.18 g  carbs, 4.48  g  fiber, 8.7 NET CARBS

18.3 g  protein

116 mg. sodium

16 comments on “Spaghetti Sauce Bolognese

  1. This will be my first time making this, but it looks like it will be dry and not too saucy.. Did you forget to list water in the ingredients? Everybody is complimenting you on it, so it must be right, but the only source of liquid I see are the juice from the tomato cans.


    • Welcome, Richard! Actually there’s quite a bit of liquid on those canned crushed/diced tomatoes, at least most brands I’ve ever used. Plus, as you cook the sauce down, even more exudes from the chunks of tomatoes. Sometimes I have to thicken this sauce with a bit more tomato paste to remedy it being TOO watery. 🙂 I think you’ll find it “saucy” enough. But if for some reason your brand of tomatoes have less water, you can add at bit if need be. I’d definitely add it slowly, however, else you will end up with a plate of spaghetti with water oozing all around the outside of the plate. Been there; done that. Hope you like this. It’s truly delicious.


      • Thank you Peggy. I’ve made the sauce since posting my question. And…. you’re right!! I didn’t add any additional liquid and the sauce came out ‘saucy’ enough! AND it’s delicious.. Thank you for sharing your family recipe.


  2. I have this simmering on the stove right now and it smells amazing. I even doubled the recipe to store some in the freezer. I couldn’t resist sneaking a taste and it is wonderful. Coming from an Italian girl, that’s compliment!!! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes!


    • Oh, you just made my day, Lorie. Love it when folks of Italian heritage like my Italian dishes. Many of my basic Italian recipes are actually my Mom and Dad’s creations. And both to be from farming backgrounds in the deep south, It amazes me how they hit the flavor nail on the head so often. 🙂 so glad you like it. I’ve just never found a recipe I liked better.🙂


  3. whoohoo!!!! so if I can MY tomatoes, it should be ok…I don’t even put salt in them. I have home dehydrated onions, mushrooms, bell pepper to use. I bought meat yesterday! I’m making this tonight. THANKS!!!!!


      • Tripled the recipe and home canned (in a pressure canner) what was left after dinner. 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce ready when I need it. (I put the Bay leaves in a cheesecloth bag in the pot, so I could easily remove them before serving.) Now when I want spaghetti, it’s all ready in the amount of time it takes to cook the noodles.🙂


        • Oh, that’s just marvelous. That’s what I do, make a HUGE batch so there’s lots leftover to freeze. Ya just don’t want to make it from scratch every time.🙂


    • So glad you guys liked this sauce, Sharon. If you look at the ingredients list, you’ll note that ALL the carbs in this are veggie carbs. Herbs are veggies, they just happen to be dried veggies. 🙂 Beef doesn’t have carbs.


  4. I went to two stores looking at the nutritional information then I realized that I should be looking at the ingrediants! But let me just say this recipe is amazing! I had bought a 3.5 pound package of hamburger meat so i just guestimated to 1.5 pounds, i also didnt have celery and was too eager to make so i didnt run back to the store. I made it for the eggplant sandwich parmigiana, but i have put this into a portabella mushrooms i had bought and it was pretty good, and i think i may have added a little more meat made it kind of a sloppy joe mixture, my fiance has been making it for this the past few days with a hamburger bun since hes not doing the low carb thing. I will definately be keeping this in my recipe book, thank you so much!


    • I only have two recipes for spaghetti sauce really. This one and my eggplant sauce. I just haven’t found any I liked better than these two. 🙂


  5. I am really wanting to try out this sauce! I want to cook it with your eggplant parmigiana recipe, but am having the hardest time finding the no sugar added crushed tomatoes. Do they all have sugar in the nurtritional info? What store do you get it from? or would there be something i could subsitute instead of?


    • Welcome, Rebecca! Be sure you’re looking at the list of INGREDIENTS on the can and not the sugars number up in the nutritional label. All tomatoes have natural sugar and will show a numerical sugar entry the natural sugar represents. But if sugar isn’t listed in the INGREDIENTS list, there is no ADDED sugar. Hunts makes one without added sugars, they also make no sugar added tomato paste and tomato sauce. I buy my canned tomatoes at Walmart and their Great Value brand of diced/crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste has no added sugar. 🙂


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