I recently decided to adapt my original bolognese spaghetti sauce recipe to a lower fat carb-up recipe, while still using meat. The secret? Ground venison. I know a lot of people fear that venison would taste game-y, but it all depends on its age. When you get the right age animal, it doesn't taste game-y at all. The venison I was given by my neighbour tasted like a more flavourful, less rich version of beef, making it a far superior low-fat substitute for ground beef over ground chicken. If you manage to get your hands on some quality ground venison, give this recipe a try!

Instant Pot Carb-Up Venison Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce Recipe



  1. Whisk together baking soda, kosher sea salt and water in a large mixing bowl. Add the beef and work the mixture into it. Allow to rest for 20 minutes while you get started on the other ingredients.

  2. Heat avocado oil or pork fat in the Instant Pot insert on the hottest sauté setting. Add onions, green pepper, and celery, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and mushrooms and all the dried herbs and spices and stir-fry until fragrant, keeping it moving constantly.

  4. Add ground beef to the Instant Pot. Sauté, breaking up meats with a spoon, until browned and most of the juices have evaporated.

  5. Deglaze with red wine vinegar, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Place lid on Instant pot, seal, and set the unit to HIGH pressure for 15 minutes (or 3 hours on the 'Slow Cooker') setting.

  6. Quick release pressure and carefully lift lid when the float drops. If you prefer your sauce thicker, switch the Instant Pot to the lowest heat sauté setting and bring to a bubble. Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened to your desired consistency.

  7. Stir in remaining chopped parsley. Season to taste. Serve over your choice of pasta (*I used red lentil pasta for a carb-up). If sharing with someone sticking to keto, stir in a tablespoon or so of olive oil and serve over zucchini noodles or other low-carb pasta substitute. Top with your choice of garnishes.

Did you make this carb-up venison bolognese spaghetti sauce recipe? If so, how did it go? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Or if you share pics of your creations on Instagram, please tag me so I can see them. Enjoy! :)