This homemade gluten-free pasta sauce is a delicious topping for your favorite pasta. Your whole family will love this simple pasta with meat sauce recipe. Serve it over spaghetti, ziti, or any fun pasta shape! I share my best tips to cook gluten-free pasta so you don’t end up with mushy pasta.

A big bowl filled with ziti with gluten free pasta sauce.

This family-favorite sauce has lean ground beef, medium-spice chicken sausage, and bacon. The optional bacon gives this sauce a slightly smokey flavor, making it hard to resist. I love how easy it is to cook spaghetti with ground beef! We used gluten free ziti noodles in this post, but this sauce works beautifully with spaghetti or macaroni!

Full of flavor and three different types of meat, the flavor depth of this sauce will please even your pickiest eater! It gets even better the next day!! This gluten free spaghetti sauce is sure to please!

If you want dinner ideas, you will want to check out all of my gluten free dinner recipes. Dip these crusty gluten free breadsticks in! They are perfect for dipping!

I just tried gluten-free pasta for the first time, and it was chickpea pasta! It tasted very similar to whole wheat pasta and was well-received by my family. Texture was a touch different – love you suggestion of the ice bath. Will give that a try.”

erica, blog comment

Allergen Information:

This homemade pasta sauce is gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, and soy-free. Use dairy-free parmesan cheese to make the sauce dairy-free as well.

What is the best gluten-free pasta brand?

Oh gosh, this is a tough question. There are so many good gluten free pasta brands out there. Some of our favorites are:

  • Jovial – This is the brand I prefer to use. It holds up well in both hot and cold pasta dishes.
  • Tinkyada – This pasta also holds up very well in one pot meals.
  • Trader Joe’s fresh gluten free pasta
  • Barilla
  • Ronzoni
  • BioNatura – This is a blend of corn and rice, which is more Italian-style.

How to season spaghetti sauce?

Ground beef seasoning for spaghetti sauce is easy. I like to use fresh herbs, and I even have a basil plant growing in my kitchen window, so I can snip off leaves anytime. I use:

  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Crushed red peppers
  • Salt and pepper

This meat sauce recipe with ground beef will be a big hit in your house!

How to make gluten-free pasta sauce:

Pasta sauce photos 1 and 3.

Step 1: Add the minced garlic, brown ground beef, oil, and sausage in a pot. If you use optional ingredients, add bacon and red peppers. Cook on medium heat until browned.

Step 2: Add the tomato sauce, paste, basil, oregano, and salt. Add ground black pepper to taste. I prefer to use fresh herbs, but you can use dried herbs.

Step 3: Cover the sauce and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Cooking pasta photos steps 4 and 5.

Step 4: Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Cook according to package directions. Every brand of gluten-free pasta has a different cooking time, so use the cooking time listed on the package of your pasta.

Step 5: Drain the pasta into a colander. Follow the steps below to give an ice bath to stop cooking. Top with the pasta sauce!

Make these Gluten-Free Garlic Knots dip into the sauce!

Cook gluten-free pasta the right way:

The biggest challenge with gluten-free pasta is cooking gluten-free pasta without turning it to mush. I had the good fortune to interview a chef at an Italian restaurant here, and she gave me the secret. An ice bath. The ice bath halts the cooking so that it doesn’t continue to cook in the colander.

Read these easy directions on how to do a pasta ice bath. This method of cooking your pasta is a GAME CHANGER for cooking gluten-free pasta. (There is also a delicious marinara sauce recipe to check out!)

Serve the sauce over the pasta. You can use gluten free spaghetti, ziti, rigatoni, bow tie, or any shape of gluten free pasta!

A pot full of pasta meat sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there gluten in tomato paste?

I have never seen any gluten in tomato paste, but checking ingredient labels is always good. Brands sometimes change their recipes, so it’s good to double-check!

What is the best ground meat for spaghetti sauce?

I love to use organic grass-fed ground beef in this spaghetti sauce recipe. Ground turkey works well, as does bison or ground pork. Some ground meats are fattier than others, changing this gluten-free pasta sauce’s consistency and flavor. You may add olive oil to add mouthfeel if you use lean ground meat like ground turkey or chicken.

How long will the leftover pasta sauce keep fresh?

This sauce will keep fresh for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer.

Can you freeze gluten-free pasta sauce?

Yes, you can easily freeze pasta sauce! I like to freeze it in an ice cube tray, then put the frozen sauce cubes into a freezer-safe zipper bag.

You will want to make a batch of my Gluten Free Breadsticks to dip in!

More Delicious Gluten-Free Pasta Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

A big bowl filled with ziti with gluten free pasta sauce.

The Best Gluten Free Pasta Sauce Recipe

Sandi Gaertner
A kid-friendly, high protein gluten free pasta sauce. This homemade pasta sauce with meat recipe is a popular dinner recipe in our house.
4.95 from 19 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Gluten Free Dinner Recipes, Gluten Free Pizza and Pasta Recipes, Gluten Free Sauces and Marinades, Meal Recipes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 319 kcal


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 3-4 medium spice chicken sausage chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 30 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounces unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Optional Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon cooked and patted with paper towel to remove extra grease. Chop
  • cup red bell pepper chopped


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the diced onion and chopped bell pepper.
  • Drain the fat into the trash or a jar so it doesn't clog kitchen pipes. (Or, if you have a dog, I am sure they would love it if you put this in their food:-).
  • When the ground beef is browned, add the sausage, cooked bacon, and minced garlic.
  • Cook these meats with the ground beef for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  • Mix well.
  • Add spices.
  • Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.


  1. Don’t forget to check out my tips to cook the perfect gluten free al dente pasta
  2. This pasta sauce will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  3. I like to freeze some of the sauce so I always have it on-hand. Freeze in an ice cube tray and then store in freezer zip bags. They will keep in the freezer for 4 months.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 26gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1535mgPotassium: 568mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1685IUVitamin C: 67mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

(*this post was updated from a 2/2015 recipe.)


4.95 from 19 votes (9 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


      1. What size cans of tomato sauce? 8 oz.? The ice water bath is something I always used even before I was diagnosed with Celiac. It works like a charm! I also use that method for hard boiled eggs and boiled potatoes that I’m using for potato salad. Thank you for your blog, Sandi! It’s been invaluable to me as I navigate this new lifestyle!

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the tips on gluten free pasta. The ice bath is genius. This looks like the perfect meal that everyone in the family will fall in love with!

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try out these gluten-free pasta recipes. I also didn’t know there were so many different brands.

  3. 5 stars
    I just tried gluten-free pasta for the first time, and it was chickpea pasta! It tasted very similar to whole wheat pasta and was well-received by my family. Texture was a touch different – love you suggestion of the ice bath. Will give that a try.