Bolognese Sauce

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This is the BEST Bolognese Sauce Recipe, and it’s so easy to make. It’s a staple in my home, I make a big batch and have meals for several nights.

This is the BEST Bolognese Sauce Recipe, and it's easy to make. It's a staple in my home, I make a big batch and have meals for several nights.Bolognese Sauce

This is always on rotation in my house for making spaghetti bolognese, or topping over spaghetti squash or zoodles. I also have this recipe using other method such as Slow Cooker Bolognese Recipe and an Instant Pot Bolognese.

What is Bolognese Sauce?

Bolognese sauce is a ground beef ragú made with pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, wine, and cream. My easy version has been lightened up. It’s perfect to make for guests when you need an easy dish to impress simply served over pasta, and also great to make once and reheat for another night. It also freezes well, so I usually make a batch and freeze the rest.

How Long Can You Keep it in the Refrigerator?

Once cooked, you can store it in the fridge 3 to 4 days, or you can freeze it in an airtight container or heavy duty freezer safe bag for up to 6 months. To reheat, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pot.

How To Make The Best Bolognese Sauce

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This is the BEST Bolognese Sauce Recipe, and it's easy to make. It's a staple in my home, I make a big batch and have meals for several nights.
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4.52 from 27 votes
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Bolognese Sauce

120 Cals 7.5 Protein 8 Carbs 5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Yield: 16 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
This is the BEST Bolognese Sauce Recipe, and it's easy to make. It's a staple in my home, I make a big batch and have meals for several nights.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz pancetta, chopped (or center cut bacon)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, minced
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes, I love Tuttorosso
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup half & half

Instructions

  • In a deep heavy saute pan, sauté pancetta until fat melts.
  • Add butter, onions, celery and carrots and cook on medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Increase flame to medium-high, add meat, season with salt and pepper and sauté until browned.
  • Add wine, cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and bay leaf. Simmer covered on low, at least 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Add half & half and parsley, cook 2 minutes longer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup, Calories: 120kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 7.5g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 77.5mg, Sodium: 335mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 4g
WW Points Plus: 3
Keywords: best bolognese sauce, best bolognese sauce recipe, bolognese sauce, meat sauce, what is bolognese sauce

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231 comments

  1. Made this tonight! WOW, Wow, Wow! Used a pound of ground Turkey, didn’t have pancetta. Added a 10 oz bag of Beyond Beef Crumbles, and that seemed to add a Smokey flavor to the sauce! Definitely a five star dish. Served with spaghetti and also made spaghetti squash (for the ones that prefer to skip the carbs) 
    Restaurant quality meal. Thank you Gina for making me look like a good cook 🍝

  2. Made this for dinner tonight with large Rigatoni, it was delicious 😋 I added 3  cloves of minced garlic to ground beef while browning. cut the carrots and celery to a 1/3 cup. 

  3. I do not eat red meat or pork, I figure I would substitute in turkey for the beef but what is a good alternative for the pancetta?

  4. This is absolutely the best bolognese recipe I have tried. It is also simple and well written, thus easy to follow. This is now a staple in my personal collection of recipes to make for company. 5 STARS!!

  5. Never made or ate a bolognese sauce before.  My husband has at restaurants and it always looked oily to me.  Tried this recipe and wow.  It is so good, lots of flavour, and no oily residue, I couldn’t stop taste testing it and my husband loves it.   Followed the recipe to the letter and there is so much flavour not bland at all.

  6. Phenomenal! This is by far the best meat sauce I’ve ever made. It tastes like a warm hug!

  7. This was INSANELY good. Wouldn’t change a single thing. I only had 80/20 fat ground beef so the calorie count was a bit higher but gladly worth it. Will have this on rotation for years to come. Thanks, Gina! 

  8. Important!  There is a typo in the ingredient list. You need to either double the beef or halve all the other ingredients. If you do this it makes a delicious meat sauce. I’ve used this recipe multiple times. Delicious! 

  9. I make this amazing and freeze it in batches .. It defrosts quick for an easy meal. I serve it over whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash, So good!

  10. I pretty much live on skinnytaste meals and love them. Except this bolognese sauce. Was too bland and not saucy. We had to use a lot of Parmesan cheese and other seasonings to give it a bit of flavor.

  11. Why does this recipe call for 1 lb ground beef, but the slow cooker and instapot recipe call for 2lbs?

  12. Excellent. At the suggestion of another cook, I added garlic (what Italian recipe would be complete without it?) substituted chicken sausage for the pancetta and also added a 12 oz. can of tomato sauce so it wasn’t quite as thick. Definite yum.

  13. Can anyone tell me why the stove top version of this sauce has one pound of ground beef, and the slow cooker and instant pot recipes use two pounds? The other ingredients are almost exactly the same amounts, so not sure why this has half the meat.

  14. I love Skinnytaste. The recipes are always a big hit with my family. I can’t say the same for this Bolognese sauce. This was a bland tomato sauce with a bit of meat. I added some fresh basil which helped a little. I definitely won’t make this again.

  15. Any alternative to the pancetta that’s not pork? My husband doesn’t eat pork. Thank you!

    • I saw a recipe once that called for turkey bacon.

      • I made this sauce tonight and it was a hit. The only changes I made was 1 tsp of nutmeg, Italian spice , fresh oregano and used 1/2 cup of wine instead of 1/2. It was so good. Thanks Gina.

  16. I made this as written and it was excellent. I was a bit reluctant to put in the 1/2 & 1/2 because of the added fat calories. I noticed that WW has a similar sauce called a ragu that adds 0% Greek Yogurt. Has anyone tried this? Thanks!

  17. Can you use milk (2% or skim) instead of the 1/2 & 1/2?

  18. This is a go to recipe for me. Ive made it several times. I substitute organic sweet Italian chicken sausage (Publix Greenwise brand) and its delicious. If I have bacon or pancetta I use it. If not it’s still delicious. Same with the half and half. I know its traditional but i skip the extra calories though I tend to add a bit more wine. I add some fresh basil that I chiffonade on top when I serve. It’s a great recipe.

  19. this is my husbands and fathers favorite.  any suggestions on making it without the celery and carrotts.  my son is allergic to both.  how could i modify it