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Super Easy Marinara Sauce with Ground Beef {paleo + whole30}

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: about 6 servings 1x


This super easy marinara sauce with ground beef is a healthy, short cut version of a classic full flavored meat sauce! Ready in 30 minutes FLAT for a healthy meal option that’s gluten free, paleo, and whole30 friendly.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • about 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 25 oz jar of clean marinara sauce* (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot add diced onion with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes – or until onions are soft and starting to brown. 
  2. Add garlic and dried spices – oregano, basil, and dried chili if using, and cook for another minute or so, until spices are fragrant. 
  3. Move onions to the side and make space in the center of the pan. Add ground beef and press into a thin layer. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. 
  4. Cook, breaking up meat and stirring in onions and garlic, until meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Add marinara sauce, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer – reducing heat if necessary. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until sauce is slightly reduced and darkened about 1 shade in color. 
  6. Add the tablespoon of red wine vinegar and stir to combine. Simmer for another minute or two, until the smell of vinegar has disappeared. 
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve over your favorite pasta, roasted sweet potatoes, or spiralized veggie noodles! 


  • Clean marinara sauce means a pasta sauce that is free from added sugar and highly processed vegetables oils LIKE soybean oil, canola oil, or rapeseed oil. Check your labels before you pick out a jar! Whole Foods carries a great organic brand, as does Thrive Market.