This easy Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is always a winner. A quick midweek meal, this beef mince dish includes hidden vegetables and is perfect for freezing.
Is there a more loved midweek dinner than Spaghetti Bolognese?!
Yes, yes, food snobs might frown on the less than authentic versions rolled out here in the UK, but you know, it is a saviour of a dish.
In this post, I’ll explain how I make Spaghetti Bolognese so it’s really rich and meaty comfort food.
Batch cook it and it’s the ultimate pull from the freezer fast food. Pack it with hidden veggies too and, boom! It’s a complete meal.
You’ll love this Spaghetti Bolognese recipe because:
✅ So many ways to serve the sauce.
✅ Perfect freezer filler for batch cooking.
✅ Easy comfort food 😍
How do you make Spaghetti Bolognese?
The beef bolognese sauce we are making here is minced beef, with veggies and tomatoes.
Traditional Italian recipe? No, not really, but oh it’s so good.
Some steps not to miss when making the bolognese sauce are browning the meat (heaps of flavour), adding some smokey bacon (again, adds a depth of flavour) and finally, cooking for as long as possible.
The minimum cooking time is about 45 minutes, but honestly? The longer the better.
What can you serve the beef Bolognese Sauce with?
You can see in my photos I’ve gone off piste and served with tagliatelle (how had I ran out of spaghetti?! 😱) But there’s heaps of other ways to serve it:
- On any type of pasta
- As the meat in lasagne
- In baked potatoes
- To stuff cannelloni
How do you freeze Spaghetti Bolognese?
I always make a double batch of this Bolognese sauce recipe. If you’re preparing once, why not do twice and have dinner from the freezer another night?
Just make double the recipe (minus the pasta) and freeze the sauce in freezer safe containers (like these reusable containers on Amazon which I LOVE for this purpose).
Then just allow to thaw and reheat fully before serving over freshly cooked pasta.
Tips for how to make the Best Spaghetti Bolognese
- A mini electrical chopper is SO helpful in making this. I like this one available on Amazon.
- If your children will spot even the green of the courgettes, you could peel them first.
- My favourite way to cook bolognese is actually in the oven as I think it gives a slightly more rich flavour. So, if you have time, do everything up until point 5 of the recipe below, then pop in the oven at 150C for about 2 hours, checking occasionally to add some more wine/stock if it’s drying out. I’ve cooked it on the hob here though for the sake of midweek speed.
Fancy some more pasta recipes?
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this recipe. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ by the recipe.
Also, if you’d like to show me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.
How to make Spaghetti Bolognese (with Hidden Vegetables!)
- 250 g Carrots
- 200 g Chestnut mushrooms
- 1 Large courgette
- 1 Large onion See Note 1.
- 2 Celery stalks
- 95 g Pancetta slices Finely chopped (See Note 2.)
- 500 g Lean beef mince See Note 3.
- 3 Garlic cloves Peeled and crushed
- 2 x 400g tins Chopped tomatoes
- 350 ml Red wine See Note 4.
- Whole nutmeg
- 2 tsp Italian dried herbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- Spaghetti or your choice of pasta See Note 5.
- Parmesan Cheese
- Use your chopper or food processor to finely chop the carrots, mushrooms, courgettes, onions and celery. (See Note 6.)
- Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, fry off your small pieces of pancetta. Remove from the pan to a large dish.
- In the fat left in the bottom of the pan, brown your mince over a medium high heat. Allow it all to turn brown and start to crisp slightly. Remove from the pan and add to the dish with the pancetta.
- Now add the garlic to the pan and fry for 2 - 3 minutes, before adding the finely chopped vegetables. Fry them for about 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the pancetta and mince back to the pan. Add the tinned tomatoes, red wine, a good grating of the fresh nutmeg (about a quarter of a nutmeg), the dried herbs and salt and pepper.
- Leave the heat on medium, with the lid on and allow to bubble away for at least 30 minutes (an hour on a very low temperature if you have time). (See Note 7.)
- Remove from the heat and add in chopped or ripped basil leaves.
- Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan.
I like to buy a pre chopped Sofritto mix which is onions, celery and carrots. Most supermarkets stock these now and it can save so much time. Note 2 - Pancetta
If you can't get hold of pancetta, any smoky bacon will work.
Note 3 - Mince
You don't have to use lean mince but 5% or 10% fat does works fine. Note 4 - Red Wine
If you don't have any red wine open, beef stock is absolutely fine. Note 5 - The Pasta
About 300g of dried pasta is right for 4 people. I haven't included it in the recipe as a specific as I know people like to cook different amounts to their own taste and appetite! Note 6
You can omit the courgettes and mushrooms if you prefer, but they are so well hidden and add a good dose of veggies. Note 7 - Cooking time
This gets better and better the longer you cook it for on a low heat. If I have time I love to cook it very very low and slow for say 2 hours.
This recipe was originally published on September 15, 2017.
It was updated with new photographs and tips on November 10, 2020.