Healthy Italian Beef Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Italian beef recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

Rating: Unrated
15
Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.

Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs

Rating: Unrated
10
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.

Pasta Puttanesca with Beef

Rating: Unrated
1
This easy slow cooker ground beef and pasta recipe makes a great meal any night of the week.

Quick Pasta Bolognese

Rating: Unrated
5
Who doesn't love pasta with a quick meat sauce? This crowd-pleasing healthy spaghetti Bolognese recipe is a boon for busy cooks--it's ready and on the table in just 40 minutes.

Ragù alla Bolognese (Classic Bolognese Meat Sauce)

Rating: Unrated
21
This is a version of the famous meat sauce of Emilia Romagna, of which Bologna is the capital. Giuliano Hazan's family is from Emilia Romagna, and he learned to make Bolognese sauce from his mother, Marcella, who learned it from her grandmother, Mary. Its classic pairing is with homemade tagliatelle or pappardelle but it's also very good with rigatoni, shells or any substantial pasta shape, preferably one with ridges, that has nooks and cavities to trap the sauce. Adapted from How to Cook Italian by Giuliano Hazan; Scribner, 2005.

Neapolitan Meatballs

Rating: Unrated
6
A touch of cinnamon distinguishes these delicious tomato-sauced meatballs. Adding whole-grain bulgur allows you to use less meat, resulting in meatballs with less than half the total fat and saturated fat of the original. Plus a vibrant-tasting combination of fresh and canned tomatoes in the sauce helps reduce the sodium by two-thirds. Serve with pasta, polenta or even on a whole-grain roll with a bit of melted part-skim mozzarella for a meatball sub.

Old-Fashioned Spaghetti & Meatballs

Rating: Unrated
11
To stretch the ground beef, we use high-fiber bulgur and whole-wheat breadcrumbs in the meatballs, which are baked rather than fried.

Beef & Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff

Rating: Unrated
16
Our version of beef Stroganoff tops seared flank steak with a rich-tasting sauce made with a touch of cognac, reduced-fat sour cream and plenty of portobello mushrooms. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles.

Classic Marinara Meatballs

Rating: Unrated
1
You can't go wrong with these classic marinara meatballs filled with applesauce, zucchini, and green onions.

Veal Scaloppine with Lemon, Capers & Leeks

Rating: Unrated
1
This dish is elegant enough for company, yet easy enough to serve on a weeknight. Chicken or turkey cutlets could easily substitute for the veal, if you like.

Rigatoni with Beef & Eggplant Ragu

Rating: Unrated
2
Eggplant gives this pasta sauce a rich meatiness that complements the ground beef. Plus the eggplant allows us to use a little less beef but still have a generous and hearty serving.

Dario's Florentine Steak

While the cooking method for this steak recipe means standing it up on the “T,” celebrity Florentine butcher Dario Cecchini guarantees it yields truly juicy results. It's important to get a T-bone steak that's 1 1/2 inches thick or it won't stand on its end on the grill, as instructed. Ask your butcher to cut one to order for you.

Inspiration and Ideas

Beef & Pork Ragù with Fresh Whole-Wheat Taglierini

Skip the jar of tomato sauce at the supermarket. This homemade ragù is so simple and so good that you'll want to make it in batches and freeze it so you always have some around. For the homemade pasta, this healthy recipe uses whole-wheat flour instead of the 00 type often used, adding a nutty flavor and fiber. Serve with your favorite Italian red wine.

Stuffed Chard with Fresh Marinara

Rating: Unrated
13
Reminiscent of the stuffed cabbage of yore, the mild flavor of chard makes these beef-stuffed rolls perfect for the whole family. Make It a Meal: A side of whole-wheat spaghetti to soak up the sauce plus a glass of Syrah.

Veal Stew

Earthy portobello mushrooms add depth to this rich veal stew. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles or orzo.