Spaghetti Bolognese

This Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is full of delicious, meaty flavor and is so easy to make! It’s perfect for a quick weekday dinner or an indulgent weekend meal . Plus, it’s freezer-friendly!

Be sure to serve this with my delicious Cheesy Homemade Garlic Bread and a side Caesar or Italian Salad!

A white bowl filled with spaghetti bolognese with a fork at the top twisting the spaghetti.

I have to say that this (super flavorful) Spaghetti Bolognese recipe has landed a spot on our all-time favorite recipes list. Yes, it takes an hour to simmer, but that’s exactly what gives it so much amazing flavor. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe.

(Except maybe the pasta. Rigatoni would be pretty good in this sauce.)

Bolognese Sauce Ingredients

  • Olive Oil– High quality goes a long way!
  • Yellow Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Garlic– Mince fresh cloves yourself for ultimate flavor
  • Beef- I use 80% lean
  • Italian Sausage- Sweet or Hot, (I use hot)
  • Red Wine– High quality is best. Chianti, Pinot Pior, Merlot are great in Bolognese sauce.
  • Crushed Tomatoes- Make sure you get the ground stuff, not chunky diced tomatoes.
  • Rosemary– fresh or dry
  • Sage– fresh or dry
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley– to garnish
  • Grated Parmesan– to garnish

Side by side image of pot making bolognese sauce with diced vegetables and then with meat added.Process of making bolognese sauce with crushed tomatoes being added and stirred in with a wooden spoon.

Bolognese Sauce vs. Spaghetti Sauce

Bolognese sauce is primarily comprised of meat (ground beef), with just a bit of tomato sauce. Spaghetti sauce is mostly made of tomato or marinara sauce and can be completely meat free.

Best Red Wines for This Recipe

  • Chianti
  • Pinot Pior
  • Merlot

These guys explain the perfect wine pairing in more detail!

 Red Wine Substitutes

  • Alcoholic Options include white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Orvieto.
  • Non-Alcoholic Options include Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato Juice, or 2 TBS tomato paste + 1 cup beef broth. See here for additional options.

A pot with a wooden spoon stirring bolognese sauce.


  • This spaghetti Bolognese reheats well in the microwave or on the stove top.
  • Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it’s best if eaten within three days.


  • Bolognese Sauce makes a great freezer food and is best if you can freeze it separately from the pasta.
  • To freeze, let it cool completely. Store it in a labeled airtight container. It’s best if you use is within 3 months.
  • Boil fresh pasta once ready to serve it.
  • Let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight if possible. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.

PSST: If  you do freeze it with the spaghetti mixed in, it’s totally okay. I do it all the time. 😉

A pot with a wooden spoon stirring spaghetti bolognese.

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5 from 3 votes
Spagetti Bolognese
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins

This Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is full of delicious, meaty flavor and is so easy to make! It's perfect for a quick weekday dinner or an indulgent weekend meal . Plus, it's freezer-friendly!

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ pound ground beef 80% lean
  • 6 oz. ground Italian sausage sweet or spicy
  • 1 cup red wine see note 1
  • 18 oz can ground/crushed tomatoes see note 2
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dry
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage or 1/4 tsp dry
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 12 oz. spaghetti (3/4 of a 1 lb. box.)
  • Fresh parsley to garnish
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add the meat and cook for 10 additional minutes, crumbling and stirring occasionally.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the wine.
  5. Add the tomatoes and seasonings. Let simmer for one hour, partially covered.
  6. Taste it and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain well. Use kitchen tongs to toss the spaghetti into the saucepan with the pasta sauce.

  8. Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve!
Recipe Notes

Note 1: Chianti, Pinot Pior, and Merlot are the best wines for Bolognese sauce. (I’ve also used Cabernet Sauvignon.)

Substitutes for Red Wine in Bolognese Sauce:

Note 2: I use a full 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes when I make this recipe, you can adjust this based on your preference. Authentic Bolognese has less tomato sauce than this.

A bay leaf and a pinch of red pepper flakes may also be added if desired.

Homemade cheesy garlic bread and a side salad with Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing is perfect with this meal!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 575, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 430mg, Potassium: 791mg, Carbohydrates: 63g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 24g, Vitamin A: 2258%, Vitamin C: 13%, Calcium: 81%, Iron: 4%
Author: Stephanie
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bolognese Sauce, Spaghetti Bolognese

Recipe Source: Olive Garden