Steaming hot pasta noodles topped with an herb-infused, tomato-based meat sauce is a favorite meal in many households. Meat sauce can be quite light and healthy if you use lean ground turkey. Beef and sausage sauces, on the other hand, can have a sky-high calorie count.
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If you were to play gourmet and make your meat sauce with rich ingredients such as beef or sausage, the sauce alone would contain 311 calories per 270-gram serving, which is just over 1 cup. A few revisions to the recipe will give you a considerably lighter meal. Swap ground turkey in for beef and use a light hand with the olive oil to make a sauce with under 200 calories per 270-gram serving. Use plenty of herbs and seasonings for a flavorful meal.
Meat sauce in jars and cans typically contains very little actual meat and is relatively low-calorie. Meat is an energy-dense, or high-calorie, food, while vegetables and fruits, such as the tomatoes in marinara sauce, contain a lot of water. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database estimates that a 270-gram serving of meat-flavored sauce has around 167 calories.