This low-carb spaghetti sauce recipe makes a flavorful keto meat sauce that is ready in under 30 minutes or can simmer for a few hours. Serve it on top of your favorite low-carb noodles or with these keto Italian meatballs for extra meatiness. Infused with garlic, onions, and a delicious, Italian-inspired blend of herbs and seasonings, this keto spaghetti sauce recipe will be a family fave.
I recently shared a low-carb tomato sauce recipe- an easy, meatless sauce that will serve all your marinara needs. It's delicious and simple, plus it can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes. However, I personally am more of a meaty tomato sauce fan and from a recent poll on Instagram, many of you are too! This recipe makes exactly that. With ground beef, Italian sausage, and the quintessential mix of spaghetti sauce aromatics, it's meaty and flavor-packed.
This low carb spaghetti sauce recipe results in a keto meat sauce that is:
- a classic, hearty, homestyle spaghetti sauce
- nutritious and high in protein
- keto-friendly, paleo, gluten-free and dairy free
- kid approved!
Why make your own keto spaghetti meat sauce? Store-bought sauces almost always contain added sugars, preservatives, high-inflammatory oils and who knows what else. Fortunately, this keto spaghetti sauce recipe is so simple to follow and is doable on even the busiest of weeknights. A delicious, homemade sauce recipe that's easy to modify and is free of refined sugar? Your zoodles will never be the same.
You will need:
- avocado oil or olive oil
- yellow onion, diced
- garlic, minced
- ground beef (preferably grass-fed meat when possible)
- ground Italian sausage (choose a high-quality sausage and watch for added sugars; spicy Italian sausage works well too)
- tomato paste
- canned tomato sauce
- canned diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- Worcestershire sauce (I use this one) or coconut aminos
- salt and pepper
- Italian seasoning
- liquid monk fruit sweetener or allulose
If you like mushrooms or fresh basil or crushed red pepper flakes in your spaghetti sauce, no worries. This low carb spaghetti sauce recipe can easily be modified to your own taste preference. See recipe notes for instructions on how to add those extras.
Just like most spaghetti sauces, keto spaghetti sauce is really easy to make! It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and you can enjoy it immediately or let it simmer for a few hours for maximum flavor.
The low carb spaghetti sauce recipe:
- Cook the onions, garlic and meat. In a large skillet, sauté the onions in the oil over medium-high heat to soften them. Add the garlic, then crumble in the ground beef and the Italian sausage. Cook, stirring often, using a spoon to break up the meat into small pieces.
- Add the tomato things. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add the coconut aminos (or Worcestershire sauce), salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and the sweetener. Stir to combine.
- Simmer. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer the sauce for at least 20 minutes and up to 6 hours for the best flavor. Stir the sauce often.
- Serve. Pile the sauce onto your favorite low-carb noodles. Zucchini noodles, shiritaki noodles, miracle noodles or edamame noodles are all great options for a low-carb "spaghetti."
low carb spaghetti sauce recipe tips
- If you'd like to add mushrooms to the sauce, cook about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms with the onion, before adding the garlic and meat.
- When adding the sweetener, adjust to taste. Almost all spaghetti sauce recipes include sugar which helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes. My sweetener of choice for this recipe is liquid monk fruit or allulose because it stirs in easily and is simple to add at the very end. These two sweeteners are very different: start with about ½ teaspoon of liquid monk fruit and about 1 tablespoon of allulose. If you feel that it needs to be a little sweeter, add a bit more to taste.
- For a little spice, use a spicy Italian sausage and/or add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- While I prefer this low carb spaghetti sauce with a mix of ground beef and ground Italian sausage, you can certainly use all ground beef too. Adjust the seasoning amounts as needed.
- To freeze this keto spaghetti sauce, place portions in freezer-safe bags and store for up to three months.
frequently asked questions
- Can I eat spaghetti sauce on keto? If you're wondering "is tomato sauce okay on a low carb diet?," the short answer is this really depends on your personal macronutrient goals and the type of sauce you choose. There are many store-bought sauces (and spaghetti sauce recipes) that don't exactly fit within a clean-eating, low carb diet, but a low carb spaghetti sauce recipe like this one is definitely suited for modified keto and low carb eating. It uses keto-friendly sweeteners instead of sugar in the sauce, and the natural sugar/carb count is kept to a minimum.
- Carbs in spaghetti sauce with meat: Curious about the carb count? This sauce has about 6 grams of net carbs per serving and 4 grams of sugar.
- What can I substitute for sugar in spaghetti sauce? Sugar helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes in spaghetti sauce, but you can still do this by using other sweeteners that won't spike your blood sugar. Liquid monk fruit sweetener is a wonderful, all-natural choice. I also like liquid allulose or granulated allulose because it dissolves well in the sauce.
- How do you get the acid out of spaghetti sauce? If you don't have a keto-friendly sweetener, you can double the amount of coconut aminos or Worcestershire sauce. And an easy trick to mellowing out the acidic taste is to stir in ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of baking soda into the sauce.
- How do you make spaghetti sauce more flavorful? This keto meat sauce calls for a mix of Italian sausage and ground beef, which is one way to get an extra flavorful sauce. Also, simmer, simmer, simmer. The longer the sauce cooks, the more time you're giving all those flavors to meld.
Enjoy this keto spaghetti sauce recipe, friends. It's a delicious keto meat sauce for zoodles, edamame noodles, lasagna, etc.! I've even made a "ragu-inspired" version with leftover pot roast. If you give it a try, let me know what you think. Drop a comment below or tag me on Instagram @stemandspoon.
you might also love...
- Easy keto chicken parmesan, a quick and flavor-packed meal that's ready in 30 minutes!
- This simple, low-carb tomato sauce recipe which can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes.
- Tuscan-style beef and vegetable soup, a rich and hearty soup recipe that features Italian spices and vegetables.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ pound ground beef (grass-fed when possible)
- ½ pound ground Italian sausage*
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1, 14-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1, 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon liquid monk fruit sweetener or 1 tablespoon allulose
- In a large (deep) skillet, saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the diced onions and cook for 4-5 minutes to soften. Stir in the minced garlic, then crumble the ground beef and Italian sausage into the pan.
- Cook the meat until it is done and cooked through, stirring it often and using a spoon to break the ground meat into small pieces.
- Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add the coconut aminos (or Worcestershire sauce), salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and the sweetener. Stir to combine.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer the sauce for at least 20 minutes if serving immediately. For the best flavor, continue simmering the sauce on low for up to 6 hours, stirring often.
Italian sausage is recommended but not necessary. You can make the sauce with all ground beef. When choosing Italian sausage, go for a high-quality sausage and watch for any extra added sugars.
If you'd like to add mushrooms to the sauce, cook about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms with the onion before adding the garlic and meat.
For a little spice, use a spicy Italian sausage and/or add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce.
My sweetener of choice for this recipe is liquid monk fruit or allulose because they both stir in easily and are simple to add and adjust at the very end. Adjust the sweetness to taste.
To freeze the sauce, transfer portions into freezer-safe bags and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 542mgCarbohydrates: 9gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.