TomatoLess Meat Sauce

Everyday, I face the awful decision of Blog vs Book. I let my husband taste something and after finding out if it is good, I ask “Save?” or “Post?” It is so frustrating having to chose! This Tomatoless Meat Sauce is one of those recipes that is so special that it probably should be saved for the book, but you, my lovely readers, have taken precedence with this one.

I learned early on that too many tomatoes can really affect my stomach. It leaves me hanging out near the bathroom for the better part of the day. I have been in denial for the past few years about this and continue to eat them. There's been so much hype lately about the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant) being detrimental for those of us with autoimmune diseases; so I just can't possibly keep this sauce to myself for the next 9 months. You can serve it over Zucchini Noodles or use it in my Lasagna Recipe. This recipe will probably end up on the book as well. But still purchase it, as it will contain many more recipes!

My Italian Grandmother taught me two things – pork and red wine belong with a meat sauce! Although, there's quite the debate amongst my family members whether wine belongs in a glass for the chef or in the sauce. I personally do a little of both!  I will be including my Great-Grandmother's original meat sauce recipe in my book, so stay tuned for that one. It's the best sauce you'll ever taste and has been perfected over many generations.

I chose to make a bolognese style sauce for this tomatoless meat sauce. I am partial to it because of the complicated flavor profiles that come out with the use of chopped vegetables, salty pork, and a touch of red wine. A traditional bolognese sauce uses a little cream at the end to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes, but since this sauce is sans tomato, we don't need it. I actually throw in a little apple cider vinegar to add a little zing that you would miss otherwise.

tomatoless  meat sauce in a white bowl with cilantro as a garnish on a wooden table

*I can't remember where I first saw the notion of using beets to make a sauce instead of tomatoes, but I've been wanting to make one for the past couple of years. Whoever the original creator was is a genius, but this sauce is like no other that I saw when searching the internet for recipes. I think you're going to love it!  Oh and I hate beets. FYI.

tomatoless  meat sauce on a white plate over pasta with cilantro as a garnish on a wooden table

Shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays

TomatoLess Meat Sauce



Cuisine: Italian

Category: Sauces and Condiments

PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 60 mins TOTAL TIME: 75 mins


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (bacon fat will work too, just reduce the salt slightly)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups beets, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 2½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pound ground beef or pork (I used grassfed 85/15 beef)


  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a sauce pan set over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the bacon and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the carrots, beets, and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened slightly, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour the sauce into a blender and blend on low for 15 seconds, then increase the speed to high and continue to blend until you have a smooth sauce. *Be careful when blending hot liquids as they have the tendancy to splatter. You can also use an immersion blender in the pot.
  5. Return the sauce to the pan. Add the bay leaves, basil, oregano, thyme, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer then crumble the ground meat with your hands and add it to the sauce. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, until the meat is fully cooked.
  6. *The thickness of the sauce will depend on what the fat content of your meat is. If it is too thick, add a little more stock towards the end of the cooking process until it has reached your desired thickness.

Keywords: spaghetti sauce, italian cuisine, against all grain, paleo diet, whole30, healthy recipes, gluten free, grain free, clean eating, meat sauce, pasta night