With lean bison and fresh tomatoes, this healthy homemade meat sauce is my go-to recipe. It’s perfect for lasagna, zoodles, and veggie pasta bakes.
This healthy homemade meat sauce is what Italian food dreams are made of.
Until I met Bry I was perfectly happy with canned sauce. Sure, I’d add a little extra basil depending on the brand, but otherwise I had no issue unscrewing the lid, heating it up and pouring it over my pasta dish.
But then he introduced me to true, homemade Italian sauces and suddenly those jarred sauces just couldn’t cut it anymore.
While I do have a go-to vegetarian marinara recipe on the blog, if you’re a meat eater then this healthy homemade meat sauce is by far one of my favorite recipes, and I promise you it’ll become your family’s favorite as well!
Growing up in Colorado, eating bison was perfectly normal. However, when I was living in Boston I quickly realized that not everyone is as familiar with it.
Besides liking the flavor better, bison is also a healthier option with 4-ounces of ground bison providing 203 calories, 9.7 grams of fat, 4 grams saturated fat, and 29 grams of protein.
In comparison, 4-ounces of 80% lean ground beef provides 280 calories, 22 grams of fat, 9 grams saturated fat, and 20 grams of protein.
So, not only is bison lower in calories, total fat, and saturated fat, but it’s also higher in protein!
Plus, due to federal regulations, all bison have to be raised without any hormones or antibiotics, so you don’t have to worry about reading your labels quite as closely.
Absolutely! This sauce is unique in that it already uses some canned tomato products. While I like to use roma tomatoes, especially when they’re in season, you can still get a delicious sauce using canned diced tomatoes.
To substitute in canned, use 1 14.5-ounce can of regular diced tomatoes in place of 1 pound of roma tomatoes.
If there’s one “rule” with this pasta sauce, it’s using really good canned tomato sauce. As tempting as it can be to buy generic or whatever’s on sale, the quality varies greatly.
My go-to is Muir Glen tomatoes; however, I know others swear by Cento San Marzano.
Step 1: Prep all your ingredients
Start by dicing you shallot and tomatoes and mincing the garlic. Measure out remaining ingredients.
Step 2: Sautee the shallot
Place a heavy-bottom pot or large saucepan over medium heat and add oil. I like to use a large saucepan as I find the sauce reduces and thickens better.
Once oil is hot, add diced shallots and saute until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Step 3: Brown the bison
Add ground bison and minced garlic. Cook until bison is browned, breaking it up into crumbles, about 4-5 minutes. It’s okay if the bison is sitll a little pink – it has hours left to finish cooking.
Step 4: Add remaining ingredients and cook long and slow
Add remaining ingredients to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for at least 1 hour, but ideally 2-3 hours, until thickened.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Use sauce immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Just like how lasagna usually tastes even better the second day, this sauce only gets better with a night spent in the fridge.
Here are some healthier recipes to use it in:
Let me know how you end up using this sauce by tagging @TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram, and don’t forget to share this recipe on Pinterest!
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