Beef, Food, Recipes

Easy Eggplant Bolognese

There’s a restaurant in Chico called Crush that makes a rockin’ Bolognese sauce; thick, rich, and meaty.  When we visit this restaurant they are happy to serve their scrumptious sauce over veggies rather than the standard pasta and it’s mouthwatering good.  In an attempt to recreate this yummy dish and with the abundance of eggplant that I have thanks to my awesome CSA, I decided to make a fast and easy version of this meal!

My easy Bolognese turned out way yummier than expected for the little amount of work that went into the actual preparation and my family is already requesting that I make it again – like NOW!!  I hope you all enjoy!


Easy Eggplant Bolognese

Author Sarah Fragoso


  • 4 tablespoons bacon fat or coconut oil I highly recommend using bacon fat for awesome flavor!
  • 2 medium sized Italian eggplants peeled and cubed approximately 3-4 cups
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine you can sub with balsamic vinegar if you like
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat over medium heat. Add the eggplant and saute until tender, approximately 5-8 minutes.
  2. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of bacon fat to the pot and saute the bell peppers and onions until tender, about another 5-8 minutes. Remove the peppers and onions from the pot and set aside as well.
  4. Crumble the ground pork and ground beef into the pot and brown. Add the teaspoon of salt and stir.
  5. Add the red wine and garlic and bring to a simmer. Stir the simmering meat and wine until the alcohol smell starts to subside.
  6. Add the eggplant, peppers, and onions back to the pan with the meat, pour in the tomato sauce, add the oregano, and some black pepper and bring to a simmer.
  7. Taste and season with more sea salt if desired.
  8. Serve in bowls and enjoy!
  9. Feel free to serve over sauteed or steamed veggies of your choice like zucchini, broccolini, julienned carrots, kale, etc.


Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. This was great, had to have seconds!

  2. Alana Plesner says:

    Looks really good. Will have to make it soon.

  3. Scott says:

    We cooked this tonight and it was great my picky eats very little what we eat 6 year old loved it. We seared ours over spaghetti squash and added mushrooms it was great Thanks so much this was our 3 day of the lifestyle.

  4. Kerri Kinzer says:

    OH MY GOD – AMAZING!!!! My husband says each recipe just gets better, but I can’t take the credit as I didn’t tweek it at all, so again another wonderful meal by you! Thank you for constantly delivering!!!

  5. Found the tomato paste at a Raleys near me, but forgot which one. Good to know TT has it in bulk quantities.

    Anyway, I used this sauce recipe on zucchini since eggplant and tomato together is way too much nightshade for me. It was amazingly awesome. I happened to have some Spanish manchego cheese so grated a teeny bit on top. Just for flavor. Good quality imported cheeses from Europe are one of my rare non Paleo indulgences.

  6. I made this with zucchini since my mom had a HUGE one in her garden… AMAZING!!!!

  7. Jennifer says:

    What is the serving size for this or how many people should it feed. I just made it tonight and it is so yummy but I need to break it up for the week and I don’t want to eat to much is one sitting.

  8. This was fabulous. I had some spinach and added that to it. Yummy.

  9. Jessica Flynn says:

    This sauce was absolutely delicious. I have lots of eggplant from the Farmer’s Market too and love having something to do with it. Yummy and so easy to prepare. Also, I agree. The bacon fat gave it a great depth of flavor.

  10. InReno says:

    I love Crush. I’m in Reno, family living in Chico. Sent this off to my cousin in TX and can’t wait to make it myself.

  11. Jessica says:

    where do you get bacon fat from?

  12. The eggplant is a nightshade. Also noticed tomatoes & bell pepper. All again apart of the nightshade family.

    Only say this because my goal as paleo now is to be as pain/inflammation free as possible.

    Have you guys heard of nightshade veggies? May be worth checking out.

    1. Yes, of course I am aware of nightshades and folks who are autoimmune for should avoid them, but most folks can eat them with no problem. : ) Several recipes are available and adaptable to autoimmune and paleo.

  13. Ingrid says:

    Thanks for posting this, it’s delicious!
    Just wondering, what is the benefit of cooking the eggplant separately from the pepper and onion? I’m not a very good cook and am trying to learn 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      It’s just a matter of difference in cooking time. : )

  14. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing! I just posted a 30-day Paleo challenge on my blog, so I’ll be making this meal sometime soon. 🙂

  15. Ybus says:

    Made this for the first time tonight and it was a huge hit!

  16. Beverly says:

    This was good, but I found myself exhausted by dinner. I started with cooking the bacon to get the fat which was way to much work for a weekday dinner. Next time, I’ll be sure to have the bacon fat on hand and chop stuff up ahead of time.

  17. Carrie says:

    OMG this was AMAZING!! I didn’t have bacon fat, and I didn’t really want the coconutty taste, so I just used unsalted butter instead. This is, far and away, one of my favorite Paleo recipes!

  18. Katerina Styers says:

    This was amazing. I had leftovers this morning for my post workout breakfast. Served it with a side of roasted squash and a fried egg on top. Oh….My…God….Amazing!!!!!

  19. Can you use olive oil instead of bacon fat?

  20. This was delicious! I was a bit more generous with the wine…it smelled so good when I put it in that I decided to add more! So easy and so YUMMY!

  21. susan johnson says:

    Yeah, don’t use coconut oil. You need so much, to cook the eggplant especially, it ends up tasting like suntan lotion. I would use olive oil next time. Also, the addition of chili flakes helped alot. A delicious recipe, fo sho!

  22. I bake the eggplant in oven first. if you cook it in the pot, it absorbs all the oil and the eggplant tastes gross.
    otherwise its perfect.

  23. Made this tonight over spaghetti squash, so delicious! My 2 year old even liked it.

    1. So glad you all enjoyed it! 🙂

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