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Mushroom Marinara

Meaty Mushroom Marinara Sauce

This flavorful sauce gets it's meatiness, in part, from ground beef, but also from an equal amount of fresh mushrooms. To save time, chop the mushrooms in a food processor or buy pre-sliced ones. Whatever sauce you don't use, pack into a freezer-friendly container where it will keep for several months.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Katie Morford


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound white or cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 pound ground beef or turkey
  • Two 28-ounce cans (or 26-ounce boxes) diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you want a kick)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • Cooked pasta or vegetables (or a combination) for serving


  1. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion and saute until transluscent and tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, and mushrooms, turn the heat to medium-high, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften and shrink a bit.
  3. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up in the pan, until it is no longer pink.
  4. Add the tomatoes, wine, and red pepper flakes, stir, and adjust the heat so that the sauce is at a lively simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes until the sauce thickens and the tomatoes are cooked.
  5. Add the salt, several cracks of black pepper, and the basil. Stir well, taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.
  6. Serve over pasta or vegetables.