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Quick Beef Ragù with "Zoodles"

23. January 2014|Martina|20

Since many of you are looking for recipes suitable for my 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge, I thought I should share a recipe I've had several times over the last few weeks.

I know it could be quite tricky eating food low in carbs without spending hours cooking. This recipe only requires a few common ingredients and is full of nutrients, especially magnesium and potassium, both of which are essential for our health.

For more quick and healthy ideas for my Clean Eating Challenge, don't forget to check out my 7-Day Grab & Go Keto/Paleo Diet Plan which includes a detailed 7-day meal plan, healthy tips for snacks and a print-friendly shopping list!

Preparation time:

Hands-on:     15 minutes
Overall:      20 minutes  

Nutritional values (per serving):

Total Carbs8.3grams
Net Carbs5.7grams
of which Saturated18.9grams
Magnesium83mg (20% RDA)
Potassium1191mg (60% EMR)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (3.6%), protein (23.9%), fat (72.5%) // Net carbs without "zoodles": 1.5 g per serving

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

Beef ragu:

Serve with "zoodles":

  • 4 medium zucchini (one per serving), sliced using a julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer (800g / 1.8 lb / 28.2 oz)

Note: When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).


  1. If you're using frozen meat, keep it outside the fridge to slowly defrost.
  2. Place the meat in a sauce pan greased with ghee and cook until browned from all sides while stirring frequently. This may take 5-8 minutes. Keep some ghee for later.
  3. Add red pesto and freshly chopped parsley and keep on low heat. When done take off the heat and transfer into a bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, using a spiralizer, create zucchini "noodles". Chop the soft core of the zucchini and add it to the zoodles.
    Note: If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a julienne peeler and peel the zucchini all around until you get to the soft centre.
  5. Transfer the zoodles into the sauce pan greased with the remaining ghee. Cook briefly for 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the meat and mix in well.
    The exact time depends on how tender you prefer the zoodles to be. The less you cook them, the more "al dente" and the less soggy they will be. I prefer mine cooked very briefly for just about 2 minutes.
  6. That's it - done! :-)

Comments (20) -

Theresa 1/24/2014 2:34:56 PM #

I love simple recipes like this! Please, keep posting more, I'm quite busy and really appreciate when I don't have to spend time cooking. I made this today with ground lamb and red pesto (no cheese). It was amazing and the pesto gives it so much flavor! Smile


Martina @ KetoDiet 1/26/2014 6:20:15 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Theresa! I figured out I need to post more simple recipes like this on my blog Wink


jim 1/25/2014 3:48:42 PM #

Thanks for this recipe! I have all the ingredients at home ready to be used :-D


Martina @ KetoDiet 1/26/2014 6:21:07 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

You're welcome Smile


Taylor 1/31/2014 11:11:00 PM #

This has become my staple keto meal and I love the way I can add it directly from your app - endless recipes! I cooked it for my daughter who has epilepsy and she just loves zoodles :-D

I cook the meat and use it on top of everything like lettuce, omelettes and with steamed veggies! I've tried different kinds of herbs and minced meat… beef with thyme, lamb with rosemary and tarragon with chicken - yummy. Thanks and please keep your recipes coming! Smile


Martina @ KetoDiet 2/1/2014 12:32:31 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you! We actually integrated the blog and enabled adding meals after many people asked for this feature. So, any suggestions appreciated Smile

Although the integrated blog / adding extra meals from the blog directly to the "planner" are now just an iPad feature, we are working on the iPhone version too (universal app) - it will take a couple of months but we will do it!


Pete45 2/2/2014 6:09:38 PM #

Glad I found this blog, great recipes. Where can I get a spiralizer from? thanks.


Martina @ KetoDiet 2/2/2014 6:16:53 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Hi Pete, thank you, you can find it here:


Anita 9/24/2014 6:50:57 PM #

This was BEYOND delicious. We threw in some cherry tomatoes and onions as well. Definitely my new favorite!


Martina @ KetoDiet 9/25/2014 11:34:59 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Anita! I've got some ground beef from my farmer and now I know what I'm going to cook - I've almost forgotten about this recipe! Smile


Maura 10/6/2014 8:48:48 AM #

Hi, love your blog..learning so much..I am allergic to parsley..what can I substitute for it..thanks


Martina @ KetoDiet 10/6/2014 1:20:22 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Hi Maura, thank you! Yes, basil or spring onion work great too Smile


Jen Warren 1/9/2015 10:04:22 PM #
Jen Warren

Made this for dinner last night and it was PHENOMENAL.  I didn't have macadamia nuts for the pesto so I just used an extra cut of cashews.  So tasty, so filling, so delicious!!!


Martina @ KetoDiet 2/9/2015 9:24:41 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thanks for trying my recipe, hope you liked it!


Kayla Stikeleather 2/9/2015 8:53:37 PM #
Kayla Stikeleather

Hi there! Is there any other "sauce" or pesto you can add to this mixture? Thanks!


Martina @ KetoDiet 2/9/2015 9:25:39 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Sure, you can try this one:


Chelsea 2/24/2015 2:20:52 AM #


Just wanted to let you know this is now one of our "go to" recipes!  It's easy, so tasty, and a meal the whole family loves.  The leftovers are great for lunch the next day, too.

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!


Martina @ KetoDiet 2/24/2015 11:37:29 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Chelsea, I'm glad you like it! Smile


Stephannie 3/1/2015 3:15:25 PM #

Love, love, LOVE this recipe! I have yet to make it with the red pesto as I keep forgetting to grab some while at the grocery store. I just season it with salt and pepper.  Smile

When I have no idea what I want to eat for supper this is my go-to recipe!


Martina @ KetoDiet 3/1/2015 6:29:10 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you so much Stephanie - this is my go-to recipe too! Smile


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