Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese Sauce Recipe Video (scroll down for printable recipe)

An ex-boyfriend taught me about Bolognese. Until then, I guess I’d always just made “spaghetti sauce” like a regular person who is from Texas and whose only experience with Italian food is from Olive Garden.

When I saw him mincing carrots and celery for our sauce, I was like, “Whoa, dude. What is happening here?” and he was like, “Bolognese, dummy.” Except he didn’t call me a dummy because he was actually a really nice guy. He told me the carrots sweeten the sauce and the celery is there, just because celery is a “joiner”. Celery likes to be part of the party, no matter what kind of party it is.

So this is my version of Bolognese sauce. Some recipes include milk or cream, but I don’t add any. If you want a richer sauce, add a quarter cup whole milk or cream at the end.

bolognese sauce

Bolognese Sauce Recipe – Printable!


Bolognese Sauce

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1 ounce bacon or pancetta, minced (or omit and increase to 2 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 stalks celery minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef (or half beef, half pork)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook the bacon and oil in a deep skillet over medium heat until well-cooked and the fat is rendered.
  2. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook 10-15 minutes until soft and browned.
  3. Add garlic and cook a few seconds then crumble in the meat.
  4. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or so until browned.
  5. Deglaze with wine and cook until it’s reduced by half.
  6. Add the tomato puree and seasonings.
  7. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
  8. Serve over pasta or use for lasagne. Freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.


Nutrition information is an estimate and does not include pasta


  • Calories: 304
  • Sugar: 10
  • Fat: 9.5
  • Carbohydrates: 21
  • Protein: 28

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You know what this would be good with? Vegan Caesar Salad. Except with anchovies added.
bolognese sauce


  1. Ken on October 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    You had my mouth watering as you tasted it. Definitely going to try it out shopping day. 🙂

    • Hilah on November 1, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Great! Enjoy, Ken!

  2. Bill on November 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I used to make something like this for a long time ago. You helped me rememberthat face as well as given a name to it.

    thanks !!

    Hope all is well with you Chris and the baby boy!
    All the best


    • Hilah on November 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you, Bill! We are certainly enjoying this sweet time with our baby. 🙂 Hope you try the bolognese sauce soon. It’s perfect weather for it.

  3. Bill on November 5, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Last night my fiance’ (sous chef) and I decided it was a good night to make this Bolognese sauce.
    I did add a 1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms.

    It was fantastic! One comment. I did have a fair amount of fat rise up after browning the beef, I drained the whole deal then added some more wine and 2 Tbls of butter reduced that and on to some linguini. All good !!

    Thanks again !

  4. John Snell on November 12, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Your video says if we don’t like pork we can substitute prosciutto for bacon. As the politicians say, I think you misspoke.

    • Hilah on November 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Ay ay ay. Maybe I meant to say olive oil? I have no idea 😉

  5. larry murphy on November 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Looks good . I know the alcohol is cooked off but is the wine tast strong . Sorry may be dumb question but I have never cooked with it

    • Hilah on November 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Hey Larry!
      Not a dumb question 🙂 The flavor of the wine changes as it cooks down, so some of the fruitiness gets concentrated but the “wine-ness” is reduced in flavor. Kind of hard to explain, but to me when cooking with wine, the end result doesn’t really taste like wine.

      • Jesse on March 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        Can we exchange the wine with something else? I’ve never cook with wine, so im searching for another alternative. thank you

        • Hilah on March 9, 2015 at 12:20 pm

          Hi Jesse,
          In most recipes that call for wine, the wine can be substituted with an equal part water or whatever broth makes sense (beef broth in this case).

  6. luz on December 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Second time im making this sauce for the family. . They love it!! Thanks!

    • Hilah on December 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Awesome! Thanks, Luz!

  7. Rick on April 7, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    I made this tonight and it was awesome! Since puree is not something that can be purchased at my local grocer I used canned tomatoes, a couple with jalapeno and it gave it a little kick. This is a definite keeper for sure!

    Thank you Hilah for another great recipe.

  8. Karl on June 13, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Hey Hilah,

    I love your videos! They help me a lot. I made this bolognese sauce and everything turned out great except the sauce was a little watery. I followed all of the instructions. The only thing I can think of that could have caused that is that I had frozen and de-thawed the beef twice before cooking this. Do you think that could have caused it to turn out “watery?” Thanks

    Karl W.

    • Hilah on June 13, 2015 at 7:38 am

      Hi Karl! That would be my first guess. When meat is frozen and thawed and re-frozen, it kind of separates the proteins from the water and the other “stuff” that make up meat. That’s also when you get freezer burn because the water that’s released freezes on the outside of the meat, making little crystals all over it. If it’s real watery, just simmer it a little longer uncovered to let some of the water simmer off.
      Thanks for watching and writing! 🙂

  9. Rick on June 14, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I entered a cooking contest which required me to use shirataki noodles in place of standard pasta noodles. Since I love this recipe so much that I made this sauce as my entry. This sauce is so good that I won the contest.

    This recipe is a “must have” in one’s cook book. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hilah on June 15, 2015 at 9:13 am

      That makes me so glad, Rick!

  10. Meghan on October 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I’m enjoying your videos and recipes from Spain! I’m making this recipe tonight, but using chorizo with Spanish ‘matoes and vino tinto. I’ll let you know how it goes, but this is smelling better than everything I’ve ever made myself… ever.. ha!

    Thank you for the lesson!

    • Hilah on October 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Yay! Do follow up 🙂

  11. Heena Rangwani on March 12, 2016 at 2:04 am

    I followed your recipe leaving out the bacon, and it was so delicious!! Best bolognese recipe out there. Thank you!

    • Hilah on March 12, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Thank you, Heena! So happy to hear that 🙂

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