Gluten Free Spaghetti with Simple Meat Sauce

Gluten-Free Spaghetti with Simple Meat Sauce from Lauren's LatestHappy New Year! I posted the things we have coming up in 2013 {like buying our 1st house, turning food into a baby, etc.} but I failed to mention that I’ll be posting 2 recipes per week from now on instead of the usual 3. I’ll still be posting on my family and travel pages, so there will be around 3 posts per week, they just won’t all be recipes. Moving + mothering + working + renovating + a new baby + a fun {secret} project on the side = one tired momma. Something had to give, and this is what I chose. Anyways, that’s all.

AND, today we officially closed on our house, so we’ll be moving in this weekend. YESSSSSSS. Oh, did I mention I hate packing? Well, I do. The only thing that is keeping me sane is the thought that we’re moving into a place that is all ours! {ie–we won’t have to move again for at least 7 years. Fist bumps all around!} So, that’s the exciting news today.

In other news, I’m taking the whole month of January to post recipes that are Gluten Free!

Don’t freak out.

All the recipes will be naturally gluten free or easily adaptable to be gluten free keeping all you wonderful {gluten and non-gluten} eaters happy! I promise everything will be delicious, 3 year old approved and perfectly NORMAL. Cross my heart.

Today I’m posting one of my go-to meals. This Simple Meat Sauce is on our bi-weekly rotation because we love spaghetti…and this sauce is so darn easy to throw together. I added in carrots to this version, but feel free to omit them OR if you’re feeling healthy, add in a few extra veggies you have on hand {like zucchini, mushrooms or yellow squash}. I find an unhealthy amount of satisfaction in sneaking vegetables into dinners I know my daughter will eat without hesitation. Mwahahahaha. Virtual high fives to all you Mom’s who do the same thing.

Pasta is always made with wheat but the gluten free versions I’ve tried taste almost exactly the same. It’s actually amazing! If you’re experimenting or trying out the gluten free thing, pasta is a good place to start. Just make sure you don’t overcook it. Or undercook it. There’s a “when to drain your pasta” sweet spot and you don’t want to miss that window. #lemmetellyou #itaintpretty 

Give this a whirl tonight for dinnah! It’s always a huge hit here. Here’s how you make it:

spaghetti 1This recipe starts out with a pound of ground beef…pretty typical of spaghetti sauce. This is 90/10, I think.

spaghetti 2Anyways, throw that meat into a hot pan and get it brown.


spaghetti 3Once it’s all brown. I like to throw it into a colander and run really hot water over it to get rid of all the extra fat. I saw this on Dr.Phil once and have been doing it since.

spaghetti 4Once your meat is done cooking, wipe out the pan to get rid of any more grease {or not….} and place it back on the heat.

spaghetti 5Pour in a little olive oil and saute onions, garlic and carrot until tender. 5 minutes or so.

spaghetti 6Place the meat back into the pan….

spaghetti 7and pour in 3 cans of tomatoes–a variety of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce is what I use, depending on what I have in the pantry. This time it was 2 cans of diced, 1 can of sauce. I also threw in a can of tomato paste too. It makes the sauce all thick and yummy. I like thick sauce. Oh, and I also rinsed every can out with a splash of water.

spaghetti 8Measure out and pour in some spices and sugar. I used brown sugar because I ran out of granulated. Use what you have. I always add a little sugar to my tomato sauces to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. The carrot helps add sweetness, but a touch of sugar always does the trick.

spaghetti 9Stir the sauce all up, cover and simmer for as long as you’d like. MINIMUM this should cook is an hour. The longer the better! Low and slow all day is ideal. I think my sauce cooked 4 hours total. If you notice your sauce is getting too thick, don’t be afraid to throw in a splash of water here and there.

spaghetti 10Once you’re ready to eat, grab some pasta {gluten free or not} and cook it up. I found this fresh gluten free version at whole foods which caught my eye.

spaghetti 11This gf version tasted amazing and only took 3 minutes to cook! Love fresh pasta. Drain once it’s done and top with your sauce.

Gluten Free Spaghetti with Simple Meat Sauce from Lauren's LatestHello gorgeous!! Sprinkle parmesan as you see fit! Love cheese on my spaghetti.

Gluten Free Spaghetti with Simple Meat SauceAll of a sudden I want spaghetti for breakfast. Funny how that works.

Whether you’re in a gluten free household or not, this is sure to be a huge hit! Enjoy, friends!


Gluten Free Spaghetti with Simple Meat Sauce

Deliciously simple. And healthier than most versions. Love me some spaghetti!

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 lb. ground beef {90/10}
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium to small sized onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrot
  • 3-15 oz. cans tomato sauce, diced tomatoes or a combo of the two
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar {or granulated}
  • 2 small bay leaves or 1 large
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. gluten free or regular spaghetti
  • grated parmesan cheese {optional}


  1. In a large skillet with high sides, brown ground beef, breaking apart as you go. Drain and run hot water over meat {optional}. Wipe out hot skillet and place back on heat. Sauté onions, garlic and carrot in olive oil until tender, 5-7 minutes. Place meat back into pan with cans of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water and spices. Stir, reduce temperature to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for 1-4 hours. If sauce seems to be getting too thick, add in more water.
  2. Once ready to serve, bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water and cook pasta according to package direction. Drain, toss with sauce and serve with parmesan cheese if desired.

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  1. Love the pasta Lauren!! Your blog is looking great. Happy New Year!

  2. I love that you are posting some gluten-free recipes this month. I just finally got my gluten-free recipe blog up and going!
    I LOVE Manini’s products. I recommend their flour mix & peasant bread mix to everyone. Their fresh pasta isn’t available in my town yet so you are so lucky that you get to have it!

  3. Yay! I’m very excited about a gluten free month of posts since I’m going gluten free in jan! Congrats on your new home! That’s on our list of to-do’s this year! So exciting!!

  4. Love this recipe, and I cannot wait to see a whole gluten free month!

  5. That sauce looks amazing! I think people underestimate how good homemade sauce really is. This looks like a perfect plate of spaghetti!!

  6. I do the same thing with my can of tomatoes-add a bit if water to get all of that tomatoe goodness out of the can! I like using half ground beef and half Italian sausage in my sauce. I just made spaghetti last week. Time for another batch. Why does the sauce taste so good the next day? And I know this is not healthy but I sautéed the opinions in a bit of butter; the taste is awesome.

    • Oh and packing and moving tip: I hate, hate it with a passion too. So I bribe the guys with all the lifting and dirty work with food and beer 🙂

    • Ooh! Never tried adding butter in! Totally doing that next time! Genius!

  7. I am totally down with this. When can I come over and stay in your new house and eat this for dinner every night? Oh and play with the new baby boy??

  8. Nothing like spaghetti that says comfort food! And gluten free is great…Looks like you’ve got a crazy year ahead of you! Good luck!

  9. Just wanted to say thanks for doing gluten free this month. Just found out my son needs to avoid it. :/ So I was encouraged to see this!

    Does that package of pasta say what type of flour to uses? Rice? Curious so I can find something similar.

    • Usually, the box will say gluten free and what grain it is made with. I’ve seen lots of varieties from brown rice pasta to quinoa pasta. Check in the health food section of your store.

  10. I made this sauce for dinner tonight………it was AMAZING!!!! Approved by my 2 yr old and 7 yr old (both who like their pasts plain with butter). Thanks for this great recipe Lauren!

  11. Please be aware that this sauce contains gluten!! The can of tomato puree contains wheat, soy, and gluten. Read the ingredients carefully on all canned tomato products.

  12. I just made the sauce and it’s amazing I’m so excited I love spaghetti I have quinoa pasta can’t wait. I wish I knew the nutritional. Value

  13. Hi Lauren,
    Is this ok to cook on low in crock pot?

    • I’ve never tried it! I’m sure it would work as long as you cook it a looooong time!

  14. This looks yummy Lauren!! Going to try it this weekend!! And … I LOVE how you explain why you are using certain ingredients i.e., the carrots and sugar!! I learn so much from you and love knowing why I’m using different ingredients !!

  15. Hello Lauren,

    I so enjoy your recipes and comments. I wish It were possible to print them out. Somedays it is too much writing for me to do. I’m an old cook but I still love to make good nourishing dishes. Some of your recipes I would love to save. Keep up the good work.



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