Hearty Tomato Basil Meat Sauce | Paleo, Whole30

Updating another old favorite with fresh new photos & a couple of recipe notes.  It's the same old meat sauce that we love and go back to again & again... it just looks prettier this time around!

Confession: I'm the weird girl who eats an entire bowl of sauce. No pasta... just straight up sauce. It can't be any old sauce, though-- it has to be meat sauce. It's got to be filling & hearty with tons of ground meat & veggies. When it's made like that, who needs pasta? 

Okay, you're thinking I'm crazy... but try it!  It's that good.  No need for a mound of pasta sitting at the bottom of your bowl, robbing your yummy sauce of all its flavor & goodness.  
And the best part?  This dish uses one pot only, and is Whole30 compliant!  (just double check your sauce -- see notes below)

This recipe is one that I picked up years ago from my boyfriend's mom.  She made this once when I was over, & I fell in love!  She's a great cook, so I assumed it must have taken her awhile to prepare... but I was pleasantly surprised when she let me in on her simple recipe. 

I love making a big batch of this for dinner on a Sunday, or a weeknight when I have a little extra time, then saving the rest to take for lunches & quick dinners throughout the week.  It freezes well, too!

So, here I am to share it with all of you-- with her permission of course! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

  • 28 oz marinara sauce*
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste 

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the ground beef, cooking until it's almost completely browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic, & continue to cook until the veggies are tender-crisp (about 3 minutes).
  3. Pour the marinara sauce over top & stir to combine.  Add the basil, red pepper flakes, salt, & pepper.  Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes while the flavors combine.
  4. Serve hot alone scooped into bowls, or over spaghetti squash or zoodles.  Enjoy!


  • I use whatever Whole30 compliant marinara sauce I can find- always looking for added sugar, milk, or soybean oil.  You can also make your own!

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Mackenzy Bailey said...

I love "just sauce" too!!

Michelle Bahr said...

Another knockout dish. I just polished off a bowl of this with some zucchini noodles I made using my fantastic Veggetti. So simple, so filling, and so yummy.

Jessie B said...

SO happy you like this! The pictures are kind of old & not-so-great, but this recipe is one of my favorites! so easy!!!

Anonymous said...

Delicious! Simple and easy!!