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Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles

4.8 stars, average of 173 ratings

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I know it can be challenging to follow a healthy keto diet 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.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 1 cup ragu + 1 zucchini

Allergy information for Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free

Nutritional values (per serving, about 1 cup ragu + 1 zucchini)

Net carbs5.7 grams
Protein37.8 grams
Fat51.1 grams
Calories645 kcal
Calories from carbs 4%, protein 24%, fat 72%
Total carbs8.3 gramsFiber2.6 gramsSugars5.3 gramsSaturated fat18.7 gramsSodium506 mg(22% RDA)Magnesium83 mg(21% RDA)Potassium1,191 mg(60% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 800 g ground beef (1.76 lb)
  • 1/4 cup pesto (65 g/ 2.2 oz) - you can make your own pesto
  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2-4 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 4 medium zucchini (one per serving), sliced using a julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer (800 g/ 1.76 lb)


  1. If you're using frozen meat, keep it outside the fridge to slowly defrost. Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles
  2. Place the meat in a hot pan greased with ghee (keep some ghee for cooking zoodles) and cook for 5-8 minutes or until browned from all sides. Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles
  3. Add red pesto, freshly chopped parsley, salt and cook on medium heat for 3-5 more minutes. When done take off the heat and transfer into a bowl. Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles
  4. Meanwhile, using a spiralizer, create zucchini "noodles". Chop the soft core of the zucchini and add it to the zoodles. Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles
  5. 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. Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles
  6. Transfer the zoodles into the saucepan greased with the remaining ghee. Cook briefly for 2-5 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. Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles
  7. Serve immediately or store the ragu in the fridge for up to a 4 days. The zoodles are best prepared fresh as they tend to get soft. Quick Keto Beef Ragu with Zoodles

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 1 cup ragu + 1 zucchini)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Beef, minced (ground), raw, grass-fed
0 g34.3 g40 g508 kcal
0 g0 g3.8 g34 kcal
Macadamia Cashew Red Pesto, homemade (KetoDiet blog)
1.4 g1 g6.7 g69 kcal
Parsley, fresh (spices)
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Zucchini (summer squash, courgette)
4.2 g2.4 g0.6 g34 kcal
Total per serving, about 1 cup ragu + 1 zucchini
5.7 g37.8 g51.1 g645 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (33)

Just finished cooking this for my lunches! It was delicious! My zoodles were super watery and had to drain them after cooking before adding the meat. I forgot to pat them dry lol 😂! And holly molly that pesto is delicious I have none of those nuts so I just used a little bit of walnuts! Happy cooking everything!

Thank you for your lovely feedback! It goes well with cauli-rice too! 😊

How do you make/where do you find the red pesto? Thanks!

Hi Karen, I use this pesto recipe: Macadamia Cashew Red Pesto

Have you tried this recipe with spaghetti squash? My husband prefers spaghetti squash over zucchini noodles. Thanks for posting this I can't wait to try it out.

Hi Erin, I live in the UK and can't get any here but I decided to grow them in my garden and now impatiently waiting - 2 more months! I can't wait to try this with spaghetti squash! 😊

Great recipe thanks for sharing!! zucchini noodles are becoming more popular in dishes. But I like what you call them "Zoodles" that's new! I have read in recipes before that placing grated or peeled zucchini in a bowl with salt helps to remove the water in zucchini, is this ideal for this dish?

Thank you Adam! Yes, that technique helps - place in a bowl, add salt and leave for 30 minutes. Then pat dry with a paper towel. It will help with the texture 😊

Great thanks for the reply. I will stick to my usual way of doing that. Adding them to a bowl with some salt.

I'm repeating this tonight  but with chicken

Cool! I made it with turkey a few days ago 😊

Just made & eaten this, it was very yummy.
I was worried that I might want to eat it all as it was my first day of dropping  a meal. But I didn't & I survived

I'm really happy to hear you liked it so much! 😊 I often make this with all sorts of ground meat and pesto sauces - goes great with "cauli-rice" too 😊

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

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

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!

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

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

Sure, you can try this one: Avocado Pistachio Pesto

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!!!

Thanks for trying my recipe, hope you liked it!

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

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

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

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! 😊

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

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

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! 😊

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

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

You're welcome 😊

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! 😊

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