Make this sausage bolognese sauce for your next weeknight meal. It’s easy, simple, and delicious tossed with your favorite pasta.

Love easy Italian sausage meals? Try our Sausage Cacciatore!

The classic bolognese recipe is incredibly rich, delicious, and truly a labor of love. It requires patience and time (as much as 3 hours sometimes) for the sauce to achieve the ideal authentic taste.

Now you can enjoy a bowl of this deep, meaty sauce in a fraction of the time. It’s not your traditional bolognese sauce but a quick version that does not require a lot of ingredients or a lot of time. In fact, you can whip up this sauce even on the busiest of days. 

With the perfect combination of ground chicken, bacon, and Italian sausage. This sausage bolognese sauce is lighter than traditional sauce. It’s perfectly seasoned and simmered to rich savory perfection.

Milk is the Secret

Why add milk to bolognese sauce? Milk adds a richer depth of flavor to the sauce and makes the meat more tender. It also produces a silky sauce that is more orange than red. For best results, use whole milk or 2% milk. 

You can even add a splash of cream for a richer sauce.

easy bolognese sauce recipe

What is Bolognese Sauce?

Bolognese sauce, also known as ragù is an Italian meat sauce consisting of meat, a trio of veggies (onions, carrots, celery) wine, milk, and some type of tomato product. It’s traditionally simmered at low heat until a thick consistency and served with tagliatelle pasta.

Bolognese sauce is very similar to spaghetti sauce, except bolognese sauce usually has meat and vegetables in it. Whereas spaghetti sauce would normally be a sauce on its own but often flavored with herbs.

Best Pasta for Bolognese Sauce

Usually, the larger shape pasta works better with thick, robust sauces. But you can really use whatever pasta you have on hand. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Spaghetti
  • Bucatini
  • Fettuccine
  • Linguine
  • Penne
  • Rigatoni
  • Cavatappi

What’s in Sausage Bolognese?

For our simple bolognese sauce recipe you will need the following ingredients: 

  • Bacon
  • Ground chicken
  • Italian sausage
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Tomato paste
  • Milk
  • Bay leaf
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley
  • Red chili flakes, optional
  • Salt and black pepper
ingredients for sausage bolognese sauce

How to Make Sausage Bolognese

Step 1: Cook the meat – In a large sauté pan or dutch-oven cook the bacon until crisp. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan and drain the rest.

Add in the ground chicken and sausage. Cook until no longer pink while breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

cooked sausage meat in saute pan

Step 2: Add the onions – Stir in the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.

ground meat and onions in saute pan

Step 3: Deglaze the pan – Add the chicken broth and tomato paste. Stir to combine and release the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

tomato paste with italian sausage in saute pan

Step 4: Stir in the milk – Add milk, salt, and bay leaf. Season the mixture with black pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, covered. The sauce will reduce and thicken.

cooked bolognese sauce in saute pan

Step 5: Finish with Parmesan – Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve with cooked spaghetti.

Ways to Use Leftover Bolognese Sauce

Get the most out of your sausage bolognese by turning leftover sauce into another meal. We rounded up a few of our favorite ways to use the last bit of those leftovers:

close up sausage bolognese sauce recipe

Craving More Pasta?

Try these easy pasta recipes:

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
easy homemade bolognese sauce recipe

Sausage Bolognese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian


This sausage bolognese sauce is so versatile and simple to make. See the post on how to make the most out of leftovers.


Units Scale
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 8 oz. Italian mild sausage, about 2 links, removed from casing
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. spaghetti, cooked, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water


  1. In a large heavy-duty sauté pan or dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain all but 3 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add chicken and sausage. Cook until no longer pink while breaking up the meat with a spoon.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add chicken broth and tomato paste. The chicken broth will come to a quick simmer. With a wooden spoon scrape and stir the bottom of the pan to loosen browned bits.
  4. Add milk, salt, and bay leaf. Optional, stir in red chili flakes. Season with black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, for 30 minutes, covered. The sauce will reduce and thicken.
  5. Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley. Taste the sauce for salt before tossing with spaghetti.
  6. Toss the sauce with cooked spaghetti. Add reserved pasta water to thin out if needed.


  • Leftovers: Leftover bolognese sauce will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 644
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 831.7 mg
  • Fat: 25.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 68.9 g
  • Protein: 34.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 103.6 mg