Bolognese Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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

More pasta recipes:

Skinnytaste Simple promo banner

Bolognese Sauce

4.52 from 27 votes
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.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
A spoonful of bolognese sauce held over a pot of sauce.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Yield: 16 servings
Serving Size: 1 /2 cup


  • 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


  • 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.

Last Step:

Please leave a rating and comment letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business to thrive and continue providing free, high-quality recipes for you.


Serving: 1 /2 cup, Calories: 120 kcal, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Protein: 7.5 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 77.5 mg, Sodium: 335 mg, Fiber: 0.3 g, Sugar: 4 g


Rate and review this recipe!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe:

236 comments on “Bolognese Sauce”

  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. Avatar photo
    Marie Ricciardelli

    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. Avatar photo
    Chris Payton

    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.

      1. Avatar photo
        Shelley Barichello

        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.

  15. Avatar photo
    Cheryl A Erlandson

    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!

  16. 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.

  17. Avatar photo
    nancy mcneill

    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

    1. Avatar photo
      Janet Hillyer

      I use zucchini pulsed in the food processor to bulk up bolognese and add extra veg.
      I’d imagine it would work good in place of carrots and celery.

  18. This is the best bolognese sauce I’ve ever had and it has become a staple in my house!  I’ve also turned my best friend and mom on to it as well and they both agree that it is easy and phenomenal.  I’ve put it over regular pasta, spaghetti squash, and zoodles and each one was delicious! 

  19. 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.

  20. I love this recipe!! My significant other loves bolognese sauce and I tried this recipe and it was a hit! I made it with veal and it was delicious. Easy recipe and delicious. I am making it for dinner tonight.

  21. Thank you for yet another amazing recipe. This is simpler than many I’ve seen, and has a lot more tomatoes (some only have a few tablespoons of tomato paste). I added a little nutmeg and cooked it all afternoon. It was magically delicious!

  22. This dish is quite yummy. I halved the recipe because I only had one can of tomatoes on hand and also used ground turky instead of beef. Turned out great! Thanks Gina .

  23. Amazing recipe! Never knew how to make a true Bolognese sauce. Just 1 strong suggestion. On the instant pot and slow cooker ratio is 2 lbs meat to 2 cans tomato. On regular recipe its 1 lb meat to 2 cans ..which even before making seemed like too much sauce to meat. After i put 1st can of sauce in with 1 lb meat i realized it was perfect amount. If i would have followed recipe definitely would have been too saucy and not enough meat. So i think 1 lb to meat to one 28oz can sauce ratio perfect. I also added a pinch of nutmeg. Besides that this recipe is outstanding! I kept wanting to add basil and other spices like a regular sauce but i resisted and it tasted excatly as you want a Bolognese sauce to taste. Thanks!!

  24. Avatar photo
    Stephania Manios

    Hi Gina, long time fan. My partner and his kids are super picky about meat sauce and really didn’t like mine. This was such a problem for me because they would rave all the time about their moms sauce (who refuses to give the recipe…); And as a European woman, I’m sure you understand
    that it really hurt my ego.. When I attempted making this Bolognese it was a total hit! They absolutely loved it! I did make it with ground beef veil and pork and it was delicious!! I did want to know is this recipe safe to can? I’m worried about the half and half..if not is it possible to can it and add the half and half when ready to use? What do you recommend? Thank you so much!

  25. Delicious! My whole family loved it! I used half ground beef and half turkey breast and it was still very rich tasting. Thank you for your delicious recipes that help me keep within my WW points but also makes my family happy!

  26. I make this regularly for my family and it’s delicious! The recipe by itself is 5 stars, but I also like to make some modifications to suit my family’s tastes. I add a ton of minced garlic. Like, a TON of garlic. Easily between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of minced garlic. Yeah. I also like to add parmesan rinds to the sauce as it’s cooking to give it a bit of depth. The last change I make to this is I add a dash of cinnamon to the sauce after I add the tomatoes. It sounds weird, but it adds a nice complexity to the taste that my family loves.

    Thank you for removing the veil from my eyes on how easy (and how much BETTER) homemade pasta sauce can be!

    1. I will usually use whatever wine I have open at the time – white or red. It changes the flavor, but I enjoy it both ways! 🙂

  27. Pingback: This Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Healthy Weeknight Dinners - Map Fitness

  28. Pingback: This Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Healthy Weeknight Dinners – Debora Mary – Blog

  29. This might be a dumb question but if I wanted to use the Instant Pot for this how long would you set it once you get to the simmer stage? 

  30. Made this tonight, but used 93% lean ground turkey instead of beef. And fat-free 1/2 and 1/2. Didn’t matter. It was amazing! Good enough for company. Used my Cuisinart to chop the veggies, so prep was easy, too. I can always trust a skinny taste recipe.

  31. Avatar photo
    Deirdre Cornelius

    I just made this today and loved it! I have never been a fan of bolognese sauces but this has won me over. I made some substitutions as I didn’t have pancetta and used prosciutto in its place and I added a few cloves of minced garlic and oregano. Love your recipes and this is now another favourite!

  32. Hi Gina!! Love love love all your recipes!!!! Thinking about making this in the crock pot…would you recommend anything to add liquid wise and about how long I should cook it for! Thanks!!

  33. Why do you use 2 lbs beef for the crock pot method and only one for the stovetop but yet the same amount of tomatoes for both? 

  34. Avatar photo
    Amanda Maldonado

    Made this tonight and it turned out great. Only change I made was rather than diced my vegetables I threw them in the food processor and made a pestata. Husband realized it was different from my original recipe which is usually twice the meat for us. However, he said it was just a good and to put it in the rotation 🙂

  35. This recipe is very misleading due to the “nutritional info” being for SIXTEEN servings. That is INSANE. This recipe has a MAX of about 6-8 servings, and probably closer to only 4-5 true servings. This puts the calories per serving in the 400-600 range, which is a perfectly fine meal packed with protein, however this is in no way a “120 calorie” meat sauce.

    1. Avatar photo
      Amanda Maldonado

      I literally just finished making mine and measured them out in 1/2 cup portions and got 15 servings. I did let mine reduce a bit longer than time suggested on the site as I like a dryer sauce. I would say mine actually cooked 2 1/2 hours. Be sure if you haven’t yet that you saw her portions are 1/2 cups of sauce.

      1. I think Nicole is trying to say that 1/2 cup isn’t enough to be satisfied on. I would tend to agree, and I have served as 3/4 – 1 cup. Even so the calories become 240 which is reasonable I think. 1 cup of this rich sauce is enough.

  36. Gina, I see one recipe calls for 2 lbs. beef and on another page, 1 lb.  Which is correct?  Thank you 

    1. I made this in the instant pot last night, it was better than when I make it on the stovetop. I did 30 min on high pressure, manual, then quick pressure release and added in the half and half. The only other substitution was that I used 1 can crushed tomatoes and 1 can tomato puree. The best bolognese I’ve made by far.

  37. My daughter is 13 months old and due to some medical conditions can’t have dairy or soy. I’ve made this once before using half and half and it was amazing. Made it again tonight using soy free dairy free butter spread and almond milk instead of half and half. Still amazing. We had it over spaghetti squash and my daughter ate a man sized portion!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  38. This is probably a silly question but do I drain the fat from the pancetta/bacon and the ground beef?

  39. Hi Gina! 

    1. What kind of wine do you recommend using?


    2. Is it okay to make without the pancetta? We don’t eat pork. 

    Wanted to check with you before I made it! Thanks so much!

  40. I made this dish last night. I enjoyed it! I made it exactly as instructed.  It does taste better with the half and half . Great recipe I will make this dish again!

  41. Hi gonna hair wondering about the cans of tomatoes seems like a lot?? Is that 2 cans of 793 grams?? Thanks in advance! 

  42. Made this last night and the entire family loved it! It made a huge batch that I can freeze in meal size for the week.

  43. Oh my this is an amazing sauce!!! My boyfriend is picky and he went back for more and went on and on about how amazing the sauce was. He didn't even notice I used a GF whole wheat pasta!

  44. Gina, I made this yesterday for dinner and it was absolutely delicious!!! My family LOVED it! The only change I made was the half & half — I actually forgot to buy it. But I did have fat free ricotta in the fridge, so I stirred in 1/2 cup of that. The sauce was so creamy and rich tasting — and NO ADDED FAT!!!! Best Bolognese recipe EVER! Thank you!

  45. Ridiculously good! I won't even consider another sauce when we have pasta these days. Kind of addicted to it. 🙂

  46. Made this last night. My husband is the cook, so I was trying to knock his socks off & it worked! Thank you, Gina (AGAIN!)

  47. I came home late from work and was planning on a quick jar sauce and spaghetti dinner but when I went to the pantry I found out I had no sauce. I had previous tried your Marinara sauce which was excelent,So I browsed your website for a quick meat sauce and stumbled upon this recipe….OMG!!!…the taste is unbelievable!, I used Turkey bacon since I was fresh out of pancetta too. I will never buy jar sauce again.

  48. I'm late to the party, this seems like a little known web secret! Have is on the stove now for my family and it does smell wonderful. I snuck a little taste and it was very good. I threw in a minced bell pepper since I had one on hand and fresh garlic since that never hurt anyone. Will be serving it with whole wheat pasta and whatever bag of veggies we grab out of the freezer. Will be checking out this site quite a bit more I'm sure! Thank you. KMM

  49. Gina- On my way to the grocery store – this will be on the stove tomorrow. Seriously, your recipes and accompanying narratives are as good or better than most of the magazines or cookbooks out there. I certainly don't know anything about publishing but if there was a way to put together a digital version of your collected recipes and stories on your blog, I would CERTAINLY buy it to have it in my kitchen and to support your efforts!.. Thanks so much for your continued dedication! Linda O'Shaughnessy

  50. I have this sauce simmering away on the stove right now. It smells delicious. My hubby keeps coming in and asking when it will be ready to eat 🙂

  51. I made this a few weeks ago but forgot to post on it. I had to use bacon instead of pancetta. I thought it tasted very carrot-y.

  52. Made this today and my GOD it was delicious!!!! The cream really makes this dish. I have company coming this weekend… gonna take the left overs and freeze it for when they come over. Thank you Gina! I have tried several of your recipes and this one is one of the best so far!

  53. Looking at the reviews, I'm sure this sauce is fantastic. I mixed this up last night and plugged in the crock pot today while at work. I tasted it last night after everything was combined and it didn't have much flavor. Do the flavors come alive after it cooks in the crock pot all day?

  54. What kind of white wine should I use? I am not very experimental in the kitchen, I like ot follow recipes exactly.

  55. Best bolognese I've ever had. I did forget to put in the half and half. But it was pretty good still. I love this website, I don't know if I've ever mentioned that before.

  56. Avatar photo
    Teresa Donner

    I'm going to try to make this, but the pancetta is a little pricey for our budget and I don't really care for the turkey bacon couldn't you use extra lean ham (sandwich meat) from the deli counter? I have one other question? We are just using your site for low calorie meals we aren't doing WW when you do your calorie counts do you include the pasta or rice if the recipe is enhanced by the flavor of either one. This one I might use a spaghetti squash on……

    1. I used a thick slice of domestic prosciutto from the deli counter at my local PathMark! Tasted great

    1. Well bacon is the obvious answer for pancetta alternative, but as you do not eat pork, turkey bacon?

      It will not be the same, but it will work for a protein source.

  57. I made this and froze the leftovers. I just reheated the portion I froze and it was just as delicious the second time. My boyfriend is on the dash diet and he tried it and was amazed that it tasted so good with such a low calorie count. Thanks for the site! I think I'm going to be hitting it up hard with the bf on a diet.

  58. So I have made this and was ammazing! Thankyou for creating this website.
    Next I was thinking of doing the same but subbing meat for canned tuna, added at a later stage and also adding leeks and mushrooms in with the onions and carrots.
    Does anyone think this will work or will it be awful!? I realise its not a bolognese but think it could be good! (And its what I have in my cupboard and want to use up!)
    Thanks again, great website and recipe 🙂

  59. I have this on the stove right now… and if I keep going back for more "taste tests" I will be out before dinner time. DELICIOUS even before the half & half and parsley have been added. Fantastic recipe, thanks!

  60. Made this recipe tonight and it was pretty good. I just added a little more half and half which made all the difference. So, for my family, I will add 3/4 cup half and half. Otherwise it was really great.

  61. I am new to the WW points counting, so I'll have to try this recipe. I currently live in Italy and LOVE the made from scratch, seasonal, fresh food (nothing is better than fresh pasta!). Traditionally, Bolognese is served with a mix of ground meats: beef, pork, and/or veal. A lean beef/veal combination would be very good and still lower in WW points. I don't remember how accessible veal is in the U.S., but it is used a lot in Italy and is really good! Also, I know it adds points, but a splash of good olive oil before serving is always delicious and, actually, healthy. Thanks! I'm looking forward to trying this. 🙂

  62. Love this meal! Hubby loves it too. Put half and the freezer and it was great for another meal later in the month.

  63. I followed this recipe exactly and it was a HUGE hit. We've been eating it for a few nights and I am still not sick of it. Definitely will be making it again.

  64. This recipe was amazing!

    If I can add one thing, I added 1 tbsp. of dried oregano right at the end, it adds a nice finish!


  65. Making this for Valentine's dinner tonight along with the dark chocolate chunk bread pudding. I was worried Valentine's dinner wouldn't be anything special since I am on Weight Watchers, but this is a first class meal! The sauce smells delicious! Can't wait till hubby gets home and smells it! Thanks!

  66. What about letting it cook on low in the crock pot? I need to run errands this afternoon and don't necessarily want to leave my burner on while I'm gone. I found adorable red and white heart shaped pasta at Cost Plus so this is Valentine's dinner tonight!

  67. GIna, I would love to make this tonight, but don't have the half and a half. Can I use evaporated milk? Maybe a silly question but I don't want to sacrifice flavor but not adding it.

  68. I made this for dinner and used spaghetti squash instead of real spaghetti so we wouldn't have the extra points. It was wonderful. My husband and I both loved it.And I will definitely make this dish again. And it is very filling.

  69. One of my favorites so far! I made this a few weeks ago and was blown away by how good it was. I did use 90/10 beef (not on WW – just trying to eat more healthy). I ended up letting it simmer for about 3 hours and it kept getting better. My one experiment was with the cream – I thought if I could save calories why not try. So at the end I split the sauce into 2 pots and added the half and half to one and left the other plain. The plain was good but the one with cream was awesome. It didn't change the flavor much, but it was so much smoother. Can't wait to have this again.

  70. We don't cook with alcohol. I know to substitute chicken or vegetable broth for wine. In a a beef based recipe like this could I use beef broth?

  71. I did this on the stove on Sunday and it came out great! I lightened it even further by doing half ground beef and half ground chicken. You'd really never know the difference. The richness of the pancetta and beef still came through and the chicken filled it out. I was able to freeze enough for 3 more dinners.

    As usual, the listed portion size on this recipe is very generous. I found 1/2 a cup with about 2 oz (uncooked) pasta plus salad to be plenty. Of course I had a couple more bites of the pasta and sauce, but only cause it tasted so good.

  72. Thanks so much for the recipe…it was delicious. I love to cook and your site has been extremely helpful. Who knew eating healthy could be so much fun? I didn't have any pancetta so I left it out…next time I will make it the correct way. I'm not sure it can be any better:)

  73. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    So sorry I see I didn't respond to some comments. Yes, you can make this in the crock pot, I have a separate recipe for that. Yes, I have used prosciutto instead of pancetta in a pinch.

  74. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Donna, sorry that was the old point system. I'm going to delete that line to prevent confusion with points plus.

  75. i just made this (with homemade butter and ground turkey) and its AMAZING!!! this is defiantly a keeper recipe

  76. Question: I get 3 points for the sauce alone. 2oz of pasta, even whole wheat is 5 points for 1 cup. How can this meal be 5.25 points? Please help. It's simmering now and tastes great… By the way, made my first ST recipe last night! Chicken, Provolone and Arugula Panini! It was a hit!! Even my teenager enjoyed it! Next time I'll have to use a softer bread though 😉

  77. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I used fat free half and half and it tasted great to me. We will be having it for lunch tomorrow (and Im sure the next day too!) This blog is awesome. I loved trying the recipes and not feeling guilty about great food.

  78. Thank you for this recipe. I made this last week for me and my husband. We both thought it was delicious! We had leftover sauce that I saved and put in the freezer. We thawed it out 5 days later and ate it with spaghetti again!

  79. Could you make this in the crock pot instead of on the stove?? If so, how would you recommend doing it?



  80. Made this and loved it! Used 90/10 ground sirloin, fresh basil instead of parsley (it's all I had), and fat free 1/2 and 1/2. It simmered on the stove all day and tasted so amazing! Very hard to eat only one serving over my one cup of Ronzoni Penne Pasta. Thank you so much for this recipe and this site – it's been a life saver for me on WW!!! – angie

  81. Ummmmm…this is frickin delicious! I just ate it for lunch and I am super excited that I have so many portions to freeze and enjoy later #swoon

  82. Hi Gina,
    I accidently bought Procuitto instead of Pancetta – do you think it would work ok or should I just wait to have the right ingredients? Love your site – I am cooking exclusively from it – so yummy! I didn't see any other comments about anyone else making my silly mistake and I was really looking forward to trying this tonight for my kids 1st day back at school.

  83. Hi 🙂

    I really want to try this recipe, but living in Australia I have no idea what half & half is. What is it exactly ? Can I make my own ? Any substitute ?

    TIA 🙂

  84. This is my favorite bolognese sauce recipe ever. So decadent tasting but low in points. Thanks Gina! Made a double batch and froze half and now I can have it again next week! Also, Walmart sells a fat free half and half that is just milk and cream. No additives like the other brands. It is all I use. It is their Smart Value brand. Compare it side by side to Land O Lakes and you will see what I mean ingredient wise. Only 1 Point per 1/3 cup!

  85. I made this for dinner tonight and it is amazingly good!! I have already bookmarked several of your recipes. Tomorrow night is the tilapia with coconut curry sauce and Thursday is chicken enchiladas! I cannot wait to try them.

  86. Just cooked up a pot of the sauce. My kitchen smells so good. I added some fresh basil at the end since I just bought a bunch. I can't wait to eat it for dinner tonight with my shiritaki noodles. Thanks for all the recipes!

  87. I have 21 month old boy/girl twins. My dear daughter is rather finicky. I now have this frozen and pour it over whole wheat rotini and she practically licks the bowl! It's one of her favorites!

  88. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I always use real wine and since I always have Pinot Grigio in my house, that is what I use. If you're not a wine drinker, buy a small bottle just for cooking.

  89. I too have the same question as Julie is that real white wine or cooking white wine? Kind of a silly/simple question. Thank you!

  90. Gina – I'm very new to your site and I'm in love. I actually feel like I can cook again where food is healthy yet still tasty and everyone loves it. I've already made a bunch of your recipes in the past week and it's been so fun!! I love that my first question to you is a silly one but on the white wine – is that real white wine or a cooking wine? Thank you!!

  91. Avatar photo
    Michelle Bradley

    This is SO good! You would have no idea its good for you 🙂 My husband loved it! I couldnt find as lean of meat but mine was pretty lean will for sure make again! I made this with the chedder bisquits which were so good too!

  92. SO YUMMY!! SO AMAZING! My four year old, who wants nothing but pizza, kd and hotdogs ate EVERY SINGLE BITE! Thanks so very much! I raved about it on my blog as well! I think everyone should make this recipe. 🙂

  93. I made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! I couldn't find pancetta, so I substituted prosciutto.

  94. This bolognese sounds good. I have a great recipe for easy bolognese but the cream or half&half is added as soon as you brown the meat which makes it incredibly tender. It's interesting that your version adds the half & half at the end. I've never heard of doing it that way.

  95. Hi – can you use thick bacon instead of pancetta? My grocery store doesn't sell it and I can't seem to find an italian deli around me either. Thanks!!

  96. This recipe is delicious. I often double it to freeze, or when I have guests over. It has become a healthy staple in my household!

  97. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    There's no great substitute for half and half, you can leave it out altogether.

    Absolutely you can let this simmer in the crockpot!!

  98. Once everything is sauteed and combined, can you put it in the crock pot to simmer? (Before you add the parsley and half & half)

  99. I made this for dinner tonight however I did not include the wine since I did not have any on hand. I also did not include the celery or carrots. One thing I was rather confused on was when to add the 1/2 and 1/2. I added it to the meat sauce right after I added the crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. We loved the dish it came out just right in my opinion. This is something I will make again. Thanks for sharing.

  100. I made your sauce and pureed the carrots as you suggested and it was wonderful! I will definitely make it again.

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes!

  101. Hi Gina,

    Can the carrots be omitted as my family cringes at them in spaghetti sauce?

    P.S. your recipes are fantastic!

  102. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I put it in a plastic container and freeze it, then thaw it in the fridge the day before. I freezer bag would work as well.

  103. Whats the best way to freeze these types of sauces? this might sound like a stupid question, but i have never frozen sauces or much of anything else before. Thanks!

  104. Avatar photo
    Sara with an H

    Bolognese sauce has always been my favorite, but I steer clear because of all the heavy cream. This was SO GOOD! I used ground turkey instead of beef. I only had one can of tomatoes so I added a can of Hunts traditional spaghetti sauce instead and I omitted the parsley (since the sauce was already spiced). We served it over a pasta mishmash. My husband had 2 HUGE servings! 🙂

  105. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I love it over pasta, but you could have it over spaghetti squash for a lighter dish.

    Christina, you could omit the wine, it would only slightly change the flavor.

  106. Hello,

    Great recipe ( nice and light )
    I omitted the pancetta and the Half and Half and it was still fantastic.

    Just curious, what other recipes could I use the leftover sauce for???? Need new ideas.

  107. As always your recipes are awesome… Do you think it will make a difference if I omit the wine? If not, is there something else I can use? Thanks!

  108. Avatar photo
    Jen Lepley-Callan

    Making this now…my house smells awesome. I was on WW and lost 45lbs and now my boyfriend is watching his waistline. Thanks for making this lighter. I used "chili" cut beef, its a thicker cut, and I drained the fat…it the same kind of cut they used in Sicily when I lived there and my daughter's Nonna continues to use…I did add a pinch of nutmeg…simply because that's how I watched it done for so many years. I abosolutely love your site!!! Making the tortillini con brodo tomorrow…I used to love that on cold Sicilian nights 🙂

  109. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    No, I use really half and half because fat free bothers my stomach, not sure what's in it that does, but You could try it. I've cooked with fat free half and half in the past, but didn't like the results.

  110. Gina, do you use fat free half and half? I always buy this for my coffee and will end up using it on the sauce. Would it change the points value if I use fat free half and half?


  111. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Me to Emily, I have a feeling carbs and sugars will suffer, not protein, so this will probably still be ok, but we shall see.

    1. This is the only recipe from Gina that I haven’t liked. Way too much sauce for this amount of meat and not enough flavor for it to be called bolognese. Next time I’ll use half the tomatoes and add more seasonings, including some nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon. 

  112. I made this for dinner tonight – so delicious!! I literally ended up licking my bowl after. I'm freezing a bunch of it for nights when I don't have a lot of time. Thanks again Gina, this is such a great recipe!

    Hopefully it's still low in points once the plan changes!

  113. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Better than Batali, thanks! I never tried his version, when I order this at restaurants, mine is always better 🙂

    Hopefully a cookbook will happen one of these days!! Would love to have my very own, I'm a cookbook addict!

  114. Fantastic! I lived in Italy while I was growing up and this was my favorite dish. I usually make Mario Batali's version (WW points off the charts!) and have to say…yours beats it, reminds me of the sauce I had when I was little. Thank you soooo much for all of the great recipes on this site. I always jump back onto WW when I've gained a few pounds, that's how I lost a whole bunch a few years ago, and your site is the first place I come for menu ideas…I've actually made many of your recipes on nights that I'm allowed to indulge (they taste indulgent!).
    Thanks again. You HAVE to do a cookbook!
    P.S. Petite turkey meatloaves are my go to, portion control, lunch and dinner recipe & are to die for! I make them into meatloaf sandwiches sometimes…. a bit of cranberry sauce, light mayo, and cruncy lettuce, heavenly.

  115. Faboulous! I loved it and will def make again. I forgot half/half at the store and made my own! Just awesome, cannot wait to try your other recipes!

  116. Made this last night! Used zucchini and yellow squash instead of carrots and celery. SOOOO GOOD 🙂

  117. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    This is always a winner in my house!!! Happy you all agree! I buy my pancetta at Trader Joes too. Easy!

  118. The entire fam loved this one, and I froze the sauce. Every Sunday is pasta night in our house…Spinach Lasagna Rolls this Sunday. Thanks for taking the time to create this wonderful site.

  119. Made this tonight for tomorrow's dinner. The pot is cooling in an ice bath in the sink. Tasted it and it is FABULOUS! I swear Gina your site has the best recipes! I don't feel like I'm eating "diet" food at all. Really is making the WW more tolerable. Thank you SO much! Karen

  120. Awesome sauce Gina. I bought the pancetta at Trader Joes, 4 oz container, already chopped. So easy to make, yet so delicious. Michele

  121. I've made this several times and everyone loves it..a true winner..thanks Gina for all you effort and delicious recipes!

  122. wonderful sauce!!! i was skeptical at first making it with a ragu & cream, but it was great! pancetta is definitely worth buying as well-adds a great flavor!

  123. this website is awesome—keep up the good work—think about a cookbook—softback–and in volumes—main courses–desserts–snacks,appetizers and drinks—-the possiblitlies r endless—and this would make compiling easier, and more affordable for your customers—Just a thot—-great great job done here!!!

  124. @Sarah- That makes sense… it's 16 1/2 cup servings. If you make it 8 1 cup servings its 4.5 and since ww rounds it off they made it 5.

  125. Thanks for this recipe, Gina. I made it last night and it is absolutely delicious – I can't wait for leftovers tonight!

    I put it into my WW Online Recipe Builder, and the sauce alone, as made above, came to 5 points per serving with 8 servings. I'm confused about how there could be such a difference between that and your calculation! Any ideas?

  126. Avatar photo
    Michelle Irinyi

    This is sooooooooooooo good! I made it Sunday afternoon and let it simmer for several hours. I served it today (Tuesday) with Barilla Plus pasta. Both my husband and I were glad I didn't warm up the whole dish or we'd surely have eaten a lot more than one serving. It's certainly going to be added to the "make again" list.

  127. Hi Gina,and Gina followers. I did make this recipe,according to the directions-exactly.(I think that's the fairest way to do/try a recipe the first time.) And it was delicous,delicous..super yummy. I look forward to having any left overs. I guess I did make a slight devation, I did add some FRESH sliced basil at the end. I love it when Gina's supporters actually try,and then report what they think about a recipe. Tellin me it's 'yum' doesn't work for me, as the ingrendents cost more than I can afford to waste.
    Therefore,this is why I've come forth to give a actual testimonial. This is a GREAT recipe!! Thanks Gina. rj

  128. I've used fat free half & half in some recipes and didn't like the results so I'm not sure. If you try it let me know how it comes out.

  129. I made this tonight, and it was so good! I only had red wine so I used that, and omitted the celery. I also added crushed red pepper, because my husband likes a little heat. It's just the two of us, so I'm freezeing the leftovers and will get 4 dinners out of making one pot! Thanks for another great recipe!

  130. You're funny Raquel! I agree, this Bolognese is out of this world!! This is one of those meals you can make for a dinner party, simply double or triple the recipe and make a big green salad on the side.

  131. Wow this is unbelievable!!!! Brought this to work for myself and my co-worker (who is an avid bolognese cook) and she was so impressed!!!! My kitchen smelled so good I had to check to see if I was in the right house!!!!!

  132. Pancetta was tough? hmm, did you cut it in small (1/4") pieces and saute it on low? You don't want it to get crispy, it's just until the fat melts. If you eliminate the ground beef, it will no longer be a bolognese sauce.

  133. I made the Bolognese sauce and the flavor was excellent. My fiancé loved it. But I thought the Pancetta was tough. Can you please tell me what I did wrong? Do you know what the point value would be if I used the Pancetta and left out the ground beef.

  134. Oh my goodness!!! This is the BEST sauce ever!!! Reminds me of my honeymoon in Italy!! Thanks for the "better for me" version Gina!! I LOVE this website!

  135. Yes, you can freeze this!

    So happy you and your wife liked this, this is my husbands favorite sauce!

  136. My wife and I started WW on the 1st and stumbled upon your site. We made this tonight and I have to say I was amazed! It is restaurant quality Bolognese sauce…but with about 1/10 the calories! I have a feeling we will be frequenting your site often!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  137. @Lillian – I think i wrote it in the recipe, 1/2 cup sauce with 1 cup high fiber, low carb or whole wheat cooked pasta is 5.25 points. If you use regular pasta, add 1 point.

  138. so does the 2.25 points count for the pasta AND the sauce, or just one? what is the total count if I made both and had one serving?

  139. @Scott – When I thought about making this lighter, I thought about using turkey, but I really didn't want to change the flavor or texture of my sauce in any way. Using the lean ground beef was perfect.

    @Amy – You're welcome!

    @Lillian – Yes, each serving is a half cup. Which is plenty over 1 cup of cooked pasta as you can see pictures above.

  140. Gina, or anyone who can help– I'm new to your site, and new to WW pts. These recipes look INCREDIBLE, but how does your listing work? meaing, for exacmple, for this recipe, this makes 16 servings, but for the 106 calories and 2.25 ww pts, this only applies to 1/2 cup? Is this implying that each serving is 1/2 cup? Sorry for being such a newbie..

  141. Can't wait to try!! I just love your blog~thank's for all your hard work putting it together; I always look forward to your recipes!!

  142. Yes! Gives it a unique flavor, slightly different than just a meat sauce. It's a great sauce. Freeze any leftovers.

  143. Avatar photo
    The Duo Dishes

    Didn't know pancetta or cream were in a bolognese sauce. That's what adds such great flavor!