This low carb spaghetti sauce tastes like a classic homemade pasta meat sauce. Simmered on the stove with San Marzano tomatoes and Italian seasonings, your house will smell like an Italian restaurant.
Why this recipe is just so good....
- Who misses a delicious pasta dinner while on a low carb or keto diet? I know I do!! I have tried a bunch of different types of noodles (check out the taste test results below). But to me, the sauce is the most important. This recipe is so full of flavor from all the spices and tomatoes and is super hearty because it's made with ground beef.
- Instead of reaching for jarred sauce, try this sugar free homemade spaghetti sauce. It can be ready for a family dinner in about an hour. Or you could easily make this ahead of time or the day before. It reheats beautifully and tastes delicious!
- Some other skillet beef recipes that you will love are Hot and Spicy Beef, Keto Salisbury Steak and Pepper Steak and Onions.
- This recipe is perfect for making a larger batch for meal prep or just doubling the recipe. Freeze it and you will be able to have dinner on the table super fast. Also, I believe sauces taste incredible as leftovers because the flavors deepen.
- If you can, use San Marzano tomatoes. They have a deep tomato taste and are less acidic than other tomatoes.
- 85% ground beef is my preferred type of beef. It has just enough fat in it to not be dry and has good flavor.
- When possible, I try to use fresh herbs, but dried herbs will work. Also, onion and garlic are the basis of a good tomato based marinara sauce.
How to make Low Carb Spaghetti Sauce?
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium flame. Fry the onion until golden brown. Add the minced garlic and fry for a minute or two. Remove onion and garlic to bowl.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned. You can mash it down and break up any chunks with a wooden spoon or potato masher.
- Sprinkle in dried or fresh herbs and the sugar and cook another minute or two. Pour in the tomatoes, onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Bring to a light boil. Turn down heat, cover and let simmer at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you have more time, you can let the sauce simmer longer, for up to 2 hours.
- Healthline has an article about spaghetti substitutes but although they are gluten free, they all had a high amount of carbs and would not fit in my low carb meals.
- I had never tried these brands and really hoped that I found a winner.
- Simply Nature's Edamame Spaghetti has 7 grams net carbs and 24 grams of protein per 2 oz. dry serving.
- Impastable Fettuccine has 8 grams net carbs and 4 grams of protein per 2 oz. dry serving.
- Trader Joe's Hearts of Palm pasta has 2 grams of net carb and 0 protein per 3 oz serving.
- Truthfully, if pasta substitutes don't taste good, low carb means nothing to me. So I cooked all three to taste test. I even let my husband taste and he is usually not a fan of low carb food items.
- The edamame had great texture and a neutral, almost bland taste.
- The Impastable was not my favorite due to texture preferences, but my husband liked this one. The cooking instructions said not to overcook or it would fall apart so I focused on al dente'. But it was too chewy for my taste.
- The hearts of palm was ok, it reminded me slightly of zoodles, with a squash-like texture and taste. I made sure to drain and rinse well. And I also sautéed it briefly to improve the texture.
- So, for me, my favorite was the edamame spaghetti. The taste and texture was about an 8/10 and when you add the high protein into the score, it was my winner.
- I also mixed it with the hearts of palm pasta. When served with my favorite low carb spaghetti sauce, well, it was a 10/10 and now a spaghetti dinner is back on the menu!!
- While frying the chopped onion, it's fine to fry it light brown, but don't overcook or brown the minced garlic. It tastes bitter if it burns.
- After browning the ground beef, you should drain the fat; it's not needed in the sauce.
- If you'd like, you can add chopped bell pepper or mushrooms to add more vegetables to the sauce or for a vegetarian option and leave out the beef.
- The sauce needs a minimum of 30 minutes to simmer, covered on the stove. Stir every 15 minutes. If you have more time, the spaghetti sauce will be even thicker and more flavorful if you can let it simmer an extra hour or two.
- If you have fresh basil, use that instead of dried. ¼ cup chopped = 1 tablespoon dried.
Tomato sauce has 2-3 net carbs per 3.5 oz. Tomatoes are rich in fiber and they are rich in Vitamin C and lycopene. Many store bought jarred spaghetti sauces have added sugar. There are some brands that are keto friendly, such as Raos, so it's important to read the label.
Many times the sauce gets watery due to the tomatoes used. Fresh tomatoes hold a lot of water.
Also if using diced tomatoes, make sure to drain them. If your sauce is too thin for your liking, take the cover off and simmer a bit longer and that should thicken it up.
When draining your pasta of choice, make sure to drain in a colander and shake it well so the water runs out.
According to Healthline, Edamame beans are legumes, which are generally excluded from the keto diet. However, they’re high in dietary fiber, which helps compensate for some of the carbs. Modest portions of these beans are fine on a keto diet.
Here are some other quick dinner ideas:
If you tried this recipe and enjoyed it, please leave a 5 star rating. This tells me what recipes you like and want to see more of. Thank you!Print
This low carb spaghetti sauce tastes like a classic homemade pasta meat sauce. Simmered with San Marzano tomatoes and Italian seasonings, no one will know it is healthy and low carb.
- 1 pound ground beef, 85 % lean
- (1) 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar substitute
- shaved parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
- Add oil to large skillet and fry the onion until light brown. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, but don't brown it. Remove these to bowl or plate.
- Fry the ground beef in pan until browned. Drain the fat. Stir in the seasonings and sugar substitute.
- Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Stir well, cover and bring to light boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. *
- Serve with pasta of choice, garnish with shaved parmesan cheese.
* you can use fresh basil, ¼ chopped = 1 Tablespoon
*Taste the sauce before you add more seasonings or sugar.
*Other brands of crushed tomatoes are fine. Just read the label for added sugar.
*If you have more time, simmer the sauce for up to two additional hours for a very thick sauce.
*Each serving of sauce is approximately ¾ cup.
*Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months, defrost overnight in refrigerator and reheat on stovetop.
Keywords: homemade, marinara, pasta sauce, low carb, keto pasta