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Nightshade-Free Bolognese Sauce

  • Author: Alaena Haber
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x



4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound carrots, peeled and diced

1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)

8 ounces celery, diced

¼ cup finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

3 teaspoons sea salt, divided

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 cup pre-cooked and chopped beets

1 teaspoon cracked pepper, divided

3 cups beef bone broth, divided

1 13.5-ounce can pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 pounds ground beef (85 to 90% lean)

½ cup red or white wine

for serving: zoodles, spaghetti squash or gluten-free pasta, fresh basil, parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add carrots, onion and celery to the pot and cook, stirring every few minutes, until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, parsley, marjoram, and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot.
  4. In a high-speed blender, combine the beets with 1 cup beef broth, pumpkin, balsamic vinegar and 1 cup of the cooked vegetables. Blend until smooth and pureed.
  5. Add the blended sauce to the pot with the remaining veggies and bring to a simmer.
  6. As the veggies simmer in the sauce, brown the ground beef. In a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and season with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, fresh thyme and rosemary and remaining ½ teaspoon cracked pepper.
  7. Brown the beef until cooked through, breaking up with a wooden spoon into small crumbles. Add the wine to the skillet and let simmer for 5 minutes to allow alcohol to evaporate. 
  8. Transfer the beef and any liquid from the skillet to the pot with the remaining 2 cups broth and bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 45 to 60 minutes. Keep a close eye on the sauce, stirring to prevent sticking and burning. 
  10. Serve with your choice of zoodles, spaghetti squash or gluten-free pasta topped with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.