Paleo Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

zucchini spaghetti bolognaise

Going paleo doesn’t mean you need to abandon the traditional spaghetti Bolognese! Here’s a quick and easy recipe for using zucchini as a spaghetti replacement.



  • 4 zucchini, sliced very thin
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1 red onion, sliced very thin
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped,
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of whole-peeled tomatoes
  • 1 jar of tomato paste
  • dried herbs (I used oregano, basil, thyme & parsley, about 1/2 tsp each)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • fat of choice for cooking (ghee, coconut oil, etc)



Start by slicing the zucchini really thin. You can use a mandolin, or a vegetable spiralizer. Personally, I prefer to use a Betty Bossi Vegetable Twister.

Once zucchini is sliced, place it in a colander and toss very generously with salt. Leave zucchini sweating excess water in the sink for 20 minutes while you cook the sauce.

In a large pan, sauté the onions until they become transparent. Add in garlic and once fragrant, begin adding in the mince. Spice (paprika, black pepper, salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper) mince while cooking. Please note that the spice amounts are an estimate and match my personal taste. Use them as a guideline and spice your sauce little by little until you reach the desired flavour. Go easy on the salt, as the zucchini & olives will add saltiness to the end result. 

Once meat is almost cooked, add in tomatoes (in all three formats) and herbs. A few minutes later, add in olives as well. Let the sauce simmer on low heat until the zucchini has finished sweating in the sink.

Rinse and drain the zucchini carefully. You want to remove as much of the salt as possible. You’ll notice that it has entirely changed consistency and has miraculously transformed into a very pasta-like consistency.

In a separate pan, heat up ghee and sauté the zucchini on low to medium heat for a few minutes, until it has heated through. Be careful not to overcook it!

Once zucchini has heated through divide into two bowls and cover with the delicious sauce. Enjoy!


Tip: If you want to make the zucchini noodles look more like pasta, you can peel the zucchinis before spiralizing.


  1. Oh wow, this looks great! I always put kalamata olives in my spag bol sauce- I <3 salt 😉
    I'm so glad to find a good Australian paleo site- reading all those yummy recipes containing things like spaghetti squash, goose berries and acorn squash and many other items not easily available over here has made the idea of changing over to a full paleo lifestyle a little daunting.
    I've just bookmarked your site, so please keep the recipes coming and I will gladly share any that I come up with as I get better at cooking, sans SAD ingredients.
    And if you have any ideas on paleo pantry staples or good supermarket buys for Australian consumers please share :)

  2. Quick question what size jar is the tomato paste that you use?

    • I think the jar is about 15-200g? Exact amount isn’t really that crucial – just keep adding till it tastes right to you!

  3. Are you meant to ring out the zucchini after you have rinsed the salt off?

    • I just rinse *really* thoroughly and then let the zucchini drain in the colander for a while and just gently press it against the colander edges.

      I cook it on the pan in small batches (pretty much portion size, or if I want to make two portions at once, I use a bigger pan) so the little extra moisture that is still present evaporates during the cooking.

  4. Another awesome paleo idea for Bolognaise is to serve it spooned over a baked sweet potato (skin on) sliced in half lengthways.. Delish!

  5. Great finding an Aussie site

  6. I like it hot, but this is totally too hot! Can’t taste anything but pepper?! Next time I’ll halve the cayenne pepper for sure!

    • Oh, I’m surprised to hear that. We didn’t think that this recipe was hot at all… thanks for the feedback – maybe we’ll need to do a bit of a check on the heat in our recipes as we might be getting too used to chillies and spices! xTanja

      • We LOVE this recipe! I too have friends who have said that they reduce the cayenne, another omits it all together, but we love it as is. Thank you so so much!

  7. Another great idea for bolognaise is to put the sauce over lightly sautéed spinach, we prefer baby spinach but English would work to.

    • Oh yum! We’re definitely going to give that a go!



  1. Paleo Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe | Paleo Digest - [...] Australia / Posted on: July 14, 2013Paleo Australia –   Ingredients: 4 zucchini, sliced very thin 500g beef mince …
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