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

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 (I love Bionaturea strained tomatoes!)

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 sauted or steamed veggies of your choice like zucchini, broccolini, julienned carrots, kale, etc.



  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

  3. Liane says

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ethan says

    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.

    • Sarah says

      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.

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!!!!!

  12. JAK says

    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!

  13. 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!

  14. Mike says

    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.

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