Discover a healthier twist on classic pasta with mushroom spaghetti sauce with ground beef. Perfect for mushroom skeptics, it's a tasty strategy to sneak in more veggies!
Your pasta night just got better with this mushroom spaghetti sauce with ground beef.
This recipe caters to both Bolognese lovers and those looking to eat more plants. It's even a fan among mushroom skeptics! Packed with the savory goodness of ground beef and a dose of vegetables, this mushroom spaghetti sauce introduces a delicious strategy to incorporate more veggies into your diet without sacrificing flavor.
Pair with a light arugula side salad and serve with your favourite pasta for an umami-rich meal the whole family will love!
Why This Recipe Is Dietitian Approved
- Sneak in more veggies. Adding veggies to pasta sauces is one of my favourite strategies to eat more plants without making them too obvious. Once the mushrooms are cooked down with the beef and spices, you'll barely notice them.
- Embrace the nutrition in mushrooms. Mushrooms need more love. Not only are they delicious, but filled with goodness like antioxidants, vitamin C, choline and potassium.
- Weeknight dinner. Pasta with red sauce is a classic, but with a few simple tweaks we can level it up into a really hearty weeknight meal.
Mushrooms. I recommend using white mushrooms for the most subtle flavour, though any type of cooking mushrooms will work fine in this recipe.
Ground beef. For a lower fat content, opt for extra lean ground beef. Alternatively, use a different type of ground meat like ground turkey, veal or chicken.
Onion. I use yellow cooking onions in this recipe.
Garlic. I always go for freshly pressed garlic for the most flavour, though if you are in a pinch the jarred garlic will work just fine.
Spices. Salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning are all you are going to need! If you like some spice, add red pepper flakes.
Marinara sauce. To make this recipe even easier we use a store bought tomato sauce. I always try to look for an option that has less than 5g of sugar, like this one from Costco.
Balsamic vinegar. Don't skip it! It's a subtle way to add a touch of sweetness and acidity to your spaghetti sauce.
Reserved pasta water. Don’t forget to reserve 1 cup of water after you drain your pasta! The starches in pasta water help emulsify the sauce so it comes together perfectly.
The complete ingredient list with measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and onion. Allow to cook until fragrant and onions are becoming translucent.
Once fragrant, add ground beef. Cook until no longer pink in colour (about 7 minutes). Drain excess fat from the pot.
Add diced mushrooms, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper and sautee until mushrooms are soft (about 5 minutes).
Add marinara sauce, and reserved pasta water. Bring to a low boil, uncovered and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve over your favourite spaghetti and garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: Use a gluten-free pasta.
To make dairy-free: Use a vegan parmesan.
To make vegan: Skip the ground beef and replace with lentils, crumbled tempeh or meat-less ground “beef”.
To make nut-free: This recipe is naturally nut-free.
- Pot (I love the Perfect Pot from Our Place)
This mushroom spaghetti sauce will store in the fridge for about 3-4 days in an airtight container.
To freeze, divide between air tight containers and freezing for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before heating in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
Looking to add even more vegetables? Dice up any vegetables of choice (zucchini and bell peppers are great options) and add them in along with the mushrooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it helps thicken the sauce. But if you forgot, no worries. Add ¾ cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of additional salt.
Yes! If you choose too you can easily make your own marinara sauce.
More Healthy Dinner Recipes
Homemade pasta sauce is the best!
- Healthy Green Pasta Sauce
- Cottage Cheese Alfredo Pasta
- Super Creamy Beet Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Vegan Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (no nuts)
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this mushroom spaghetti sauce with ground beef, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion about 1 cup
- 4 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 cups mushrooms diced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups marinara sauce of choice
- 1 cup of reserved pasta water
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Fresh basil to serve
- Shredded parmesan cheese to serve
- In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and onion. Allow to cook until fragrant and onions are becoming translucent.
- Once fragrant, add ground beef. Cook until no longer pink in colour (about 7 minutes). Drain excess fat from the pot.
- Add diced mushrooms, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper and saute until mushrooms are soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add marinara sauce, and reserved pasta water. Bring to a low boil, uncovered and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve over your favourite spaghetti and garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.