Make this easy bolognese sauce for your next weeknight meal. It’s easy, simple, and delicious tossed with your favorite pasta.
Easy Bolognese Sauce
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 easy homemade bolognese sauce is lighter than traditional sauce. It’s perfectly seasoned and simmered to rich savory perfection.
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.
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 the best result, use whole milk or 2% milk.
You can even add a splash of cream for a richer sauce.
What’s in Bolognese Sauce?
For our easy bolognese sauce recipe you will need the following ingredients:
- Ground chicken
- Italian sausage
- Yellow onion
- Chicken broth
- Tomato paste
- Bay leaf
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley
- Red chili flakes, optional
- Salt and black pepper
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 few of our favorites:
How to Make Bolognese Sauce
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 sauce by turning leftover bolognese sauce into another meal. We rounded up a few of our favorite ways to use the last bit of those leftovers:
- Baked potato topping
- Make chili
- Nacho topping
- Stuffed peppers
- Chip Dip
- Taco salad
- Stuffed zucchini boats
Craving More Pasta?
Try these easy pasta recipes:
- Lemon Basil Pasta with Chicken
- Orecchiette with Baked Mini Meatballs
- Chicken Mushroom Spinach Pasta
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Spinach
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This bolognese sauce is so versatile and simple to make. See the post on how to make the most out of leftovers.
- 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
- 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.
- Add onions and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley. Taste the sauce for salt before tossing with spaghetti.
- 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.
Keywords: easy sauce, spaghetti sauce, meat sauce