Hearty Mushroom Bolognese (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
This is my family’s favorite hearty mushroom bolognese sauce, loaded with tender beef, savory mushrooms, and a luscious, robust sauce that perfectly marries everything together. As with most things that get better with age, this simple and rich bolognese just needs a little patience and time to develop its beautiful, succulent flavor, and it is worth every second, I promise!
Why Grass-Fed Beef vs. Conventional
Let’s first talk about why I prefer grass-fed beef over grass-finished and conventional beef. In their natural habitat, cows eat grass and small amounts of grain when the grass is seeding . This provides the cow all the nutrients it needs to healthy, and we want to eat healthy animals. When cow are fed a lot of grain, like in conventional beef, the food source is not the natural source of food for the cows and it lacks the nutrients the cow needs to stay healthy, thus creating a less nutritious beef.
Additionally, because grass-fed cows are eating what they are supposed to be eating, the beef they produce is the most nutrient dense and has the omega-3’s that are supposed to naturally be in the beef. Due to the lack of nutrients in industrial beef, it does not contain the omega-3’s thus creating a nutrient deficient beef.
Grass-fed beef is not necessarily the same as grass-finished beef, so make sure you ask your butcher or the farm you source your beef from to clarify. Ideally you want beef sourced from an animal that grazed on grass its entire life, however there are farms that grain-feed most of the life and then “finish” on grass, or even grass feed most of the life and “grain-finish” to fatten the animal up in the last few months. As mentioned before, 100% grass-fed beef is the most nutrient dense beef and is my preferred choice when eating ground beef, steak, or using bones for broth.
Why Mushrooms are So Good For You!
Mushrooms are these tasty and versatile little nuggets that just seem to make everything better! They belong to the fungi family and technically are not a vegetable, however, they are nutritious and have several health benefits !
- Vitamin B2: (riboflavin): Converts carbohydrates to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which supports energy production .
- Vitamin B3: (niacin): Supports healthy blood fat levels and blood sugars.
- Vitamin B5: Supports metabolic pathways and plays a role in making red blood cells.
- Vitamin B9 (folate):
- Vitamin D: Fat soluble vitamin that is necessary in the absorption of calcium, supports healthy bones and teeth, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties .
- Copper: Essential mineral in the formation of red blood cells and in supporting cardiovascular health and immune function .
- Phosphorus: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.
- Potassium: Plays a role in your body’s hydration and cellular fluid balance, with sodium being the counter balance.
- Selenium: Supports thyroid health  and supports your immune system.
- Mushrooms contain a fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber has been found to support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and is a super food that supports overall health and wellbeing 
- Glutathione is a powerhouse antioxidant that is created in the liver and supports the creation of DNA, reducing oxidative stress, detoxification, and so much more .
So grab some savory mushrooms and let’s get cooking!
Hearty Mushroom Bolognese
1 Tbsp EVOO or Avocado Oil
1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 lbs Grass-fed Ground Beef
8 oz Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
1 Carrot, large dice
2 Stalks of Celery, large dice
3-4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1.5 cup filtered water or Bone Broth
1 cup Good Red Wine*
3 cups Unsalted Chicken Bone Broth
28oz can Unsalted Organic Crushed Tomatoes
⅓ cup Unsalted Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Dry Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup Fresh Basil, finely minced OR 1 tsp dried
1Tbsp Coarse Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
*Substitute Bone Broth for Whole30
How to Make Hearty Mushroom Bolognese
1. To a large pot or Dutch oven, add the EVOO or Avocado oil and onion and sauté for 5-7 min over medium heat.
2. While the onion is cooking, add the carrot, celery and garlic with 1.5 cups of water or bone broth and blend on high until smooth.
3. Once the onion has softened, add beef, turn heat to high and brown.
4. Add the veggie purée, wine and salt, and bring to a simmer, uncovered, over low-medium heat for 45-minutes to 1-hour stirring every 5-10 minutes or so.
5. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bone broth and spices, simmer, uncovered, 60-90 mins stirring every 15-20 minutes.
6. Add the mushroom and simmer, uncovered, another 60-90 minutes until the sauce has thickened and rich.
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Q: Can you substitute the ground beef for turkey in this recipe?
A: Yes, you can substitute any of your favorite ground meat for the beef, and I will often do a 70/30 of ground beef and ground pork.
Q: Can you make this in a slow cooker?
A: Yes, add all the ingredients and simmer over low heat for 8-10 hours, with the lid ajar to allow for the steam to release.
Q: Does mushroom bolognese sauce freeze well?
A: Yes! I will often make a double batch to freeze some for a quick and easy weeknight meal down the road. Just enjoy within 30-days!
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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.
Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.