Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Slow Cooker Meat Sauce

Before we discovered that our son has a dairy allergy, our go-to meat sauces were usually some type of bolognese. Ted is the master of the slow-cooked bolognese on the stove-top. When we found out about the allergy, I started making this meat sauce, and it has turned out to be a pretty delicious dairy-free replacement for the sauces we used to love. It also freezes really well, so I usually freeze whatever is left, which comes in handy for date nights when Charlie has a babysitter.

Slow Cooker Meat Sauce


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 pound organic grass-fed ground beef
1 (29oz) can organic tomato sauce
1 (6oz) can organic tomato paste
1 (14.5oz) can organic basil & oregano-seasoned diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp sugar


1. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat and saute onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes

2. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink

3. Pour meat mixture through strainer to remove excess fat

4. Place meat mixture in slower cooker, and add remaining ingredients, except for the sugar

5. Stir ingredients until evenly mixed and cook sauce on low for 8 hours

6. Stir in sugar 15 minutes before serving

Serve over organic whole wheat pasta

(Recipe adapted from

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Compared with conventional beef, grass-fed beef is lower in total fat, higher in omega-3 fatty acids and higher in vitamins, particularly vitamin E. Onions are rich in quercetin (a type of antioxidant) and vitamin C. Canned tomato products contain more bioavailable lycopene compared with fresh tomatoes, and are high in vitamin C.

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