Simple Bolognese Sauce
Updated: Aug 18
Living in Minnesota, we have an entire season focused on warm, hearty, and comforting dishes. On cold winter nights, my daughter Katie loves coming in from the cold to a piping hot plate of spaghetti with this bolognese sauce. I agree with her, there is nothing better than the smell a simmering succulent sauce like this one after you've been out in the Minnesota winter. Your family will love this delicious dish as it warms the soul and includes simple ingredients that come together in a rich, meaty and earthy bolognese sauce.
This sauce is everything you are looking for in a slow simmered and hearty sauce, and it is full of nutrients from lots of veggies and bone broth. My family loves this sauce made with local grass-fed ground beef, however, feel free to substitute it for ground turkey, chicken, or even pork! It is so good over a plate of perfectly cooked al dente pasta or fresh garlic zoodles! Serve with a crisp green salad and homemade garlic bread for a comforting meal your whole family will love.
Why Tomatoes are So Good For You!
There are so many reasons to love tomatoes other than their tart and tangy delicious flavor and how versatile they are, they contain loads of nutrients such as lycopene, insoluble fiber, vitamins C, K1, B9(folate), potassium, and antioxidants like beta carotene .
Let's dive a little into what lycopene is an how it supports your health.
Lycopene is an antioxidant known as a carteniod, and is found in red, pink and orange fruits and vegetables, it's what gives these plants their reddish hues. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and combats oxidative stress protecting your cells and your health.
Lycopene has been shown to support a healthy heart and blood pressure  as well as the balance of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL).
Grab your ingredients and let's get cooking!
Simple Bolognese Sauce Ingredients
1 Tbsp EVOO or Avocado Oil
1 large Yellow Onion, diced
2 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
1 large Carrot, large dice
2 stalks Celery, large dice
4 cloves Garlic, peeled
2.5 cups Unsalted Chicken Bone Broth or Stock
28oz can Unsalted Crushed Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Dry Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup Fresh Basil, finely minced OR 1 tsp dried
1 tsp- 1 Tbsp Fine Sea Salt*
1/2 tsp Black pepper
* Season your bolognese towards the end of the cooking time, before serving as the salt necessity may differ depending on if your canned tomatoes and broth are already salted.
How to Make Simple Bolognese Sauce
1. Prep the onion and other vegetables and set aside.
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the EVOO or avocado oil over medium heat, add the onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes until softened, turn the heat down if they start to brown too quickly.
3. Turn heat up to medium-high and add the beef, breaking up any large chunks to cook through stirring every few minutes until the beef is fully cooked. If your beef is very fatty, using a large spoon, remove some of the excess fat that has accumulated at the top and discard. Leaving some fat is good for the flavor and richness of the sauce, but we don't want it overwhelming it.
4. While the beef is cooking, add the carrots, celery, garlic and chicken broth to your blender pitcher. Blend on high, for about 60-seconds, until finely puréed and liquified.
5. Once the beef has fully cooked through, add the carrot/celery/garlic/broth mixture, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, sea salt*, black pepper, and basil, stir.
*Add the sea salt only if your canned tomatoes and broth are unsalted.
6. Once the sauce starts to simmer, turn the heat to low and continue to cook uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning.
7. Taste your sauce and season with salt if needed.
8. Serve your bolognese sauce over pasta, use in a baked pasta dish, or enjoy it over a bowl of garlic zoodles!
Q: How do I get my pasta and bolognese to not be watery?
A: About an hour before dinner, I like to cook the pasta to al dente, drain it completely and set aside to dry it out and get as much water out of it as possible. Once the sauce is ready, heat a skillet (I like to use my ceramic coated skillet to keep from sticking) over medium heat and add the portion of pasta you want with some of the sauce. Cook the pasta and sauce for 1-2 minutes, tossing with tongs to incorporate all the sauce with the pasta. Transfer to a plate and top with a little more sauce.
Q: Can I freeze this sauce?
A: Yes! I love to make this sauce when I am batch cooking! Just be sure to cool completely before freezing and use a freezer safe container. Use within 4-weeks.
Q: Can I use ground turkey with this instead?
A: Absolutely! I will often vary things up and use a combination of beef and pork, ground turkey, or even just some ground no-sugar added sausage!
What to Serve with Simple Bolognese Sauce
This delicious sauce is Paleo and Whole30 friendly so to keep in line with my way of eating, I love to serve this savory sauce over a generous plate of Garlic Zoodles. Not only does this keep my gluten free, but it is a great source of vitamins and minerals from the zucchini and it is absolutely mouthwatering!
My family's favorite side salads to this rich dish are my Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette! Tender spinach and fresh tomatoes perfectly compliment this hearty dish.
If you're looking for a tasty and crusty bread, this Simple Garlic Bread is quick and easy and your family will love it! I love to showcase my local bakery's Italian bread for this buttery bread!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy