Crock-Pot Skinny Meat Sauce (Gluten-free)

image_print

pasta

This homemade sauce is fantastic…I know you’re going to LOVE it!!! The sauce is slow simmered to create a luxuriously rich flavor. It makes 8 servings and freezes great. I like this sauce over zucchini noodles, as shown in the photo. It’s so versatile, you can serve it over gluten free noodles, steamed spaghetti squash, broccoli slaw, a medley of steamed vegetables or stuffed in a baked potato. And if you’re not gluten free, it’s perfect over whole grain spaghetti. Each ¾ cup serving has only 145 calories, 3 grams of fat and 4 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.

Prep Time: 20 minutes (including browning beef)

Cook Time: 4 hours on HIGH heat or 8 hours on LOW heat


Ingredients

2 cups chopped onion

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 pound extra lean ground beef or ground turkey, see shopping tip

¼ cup tomato paste

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ + ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, in tomato puree

1 cup tomato sauce (from a can), for gluten-free use one such as Del Monte or Contadina

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Zucchini pasta, optional

Parmesan cheese, grated for topping, optional


Instructions

1. Add ground beef to a large nonstick pan. Cook beef until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan and pour into a colander in the sink to drain the fat. Blot beef with paper towels. Place beef in crock-pot and add all the remaining sauce ingredients up to oregano. Mix well.  Cover and cook on HIGH heat 4 hours or on LOW heat 8 hours.

2. My skinny facts and Weight Watchers points are just for the meat sauce. This sauce is gluten free. To keep gluten free, serve over steamed zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, broccoli slaw, steamed veggies, gluten free pasta or stuffed into a baked potato. If you’re not on a gluten free diet, this sauce taste terrific over whole grain pasta.

3. To make zucchini noodles: Use a  julienne peeler, mandoline or vegetable spiral, see shopping tips below. Place zucchini noodles in a large bowl and cook in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Drain liquid. To serve: Add 1-1½ cups cooked zucchini noodles to each plate. Top with ¾ cup sauce. Top each with 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

Makes 8 servings of meat sauce total. Each serving ¾ cup sauce


Shopping Tips

Happily most supermarkets sell lean ground beef. I used the 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s.

You’ll find many brands of spiral slicers to create zucchini noodles on both on Target.com and Amazon.com. Here are two I like. Both are really easy to use.

Target.com sells the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer.
Amazon sells both the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer and
Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

 


Weight Watchers
(old points) 2
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 4

SKINNY FACTS: for ¾ cup serving of meat sauce
145 cal, 3g fat, 0mg chol, 15g prot, 16g carbs, 4g fiber, 468mg sod, 4g sugar
FAT FACTS: the skinny and fat facts are the same for this recipe