My go-to for a rich and satisfying weeknight Spaghetti Bolognese. It only takes 30 minutes from start to finish. Simple ingredients, without skimping on taste.
spaghetti bolognese on a white plate, on a light background

It’s funny, I experiment with lots of recipes for Kitchen Sanctuary, but sometimes it’s takes me ages to publish a recipe for something we eat all the time!
Five years I’ve been at this blogging thing – and I’ve never posted a recipe for spag bol? Shame on me!

We eat it so much, I can make this one with my eyes shut. Gracey makes it too (love it when she announces that she’s going to cook dinner ❤️️❤️️).

So let’s start off by saying this isn’t a 100% authentic Italian spaghetti bolognese. I don’t use two different kinds of minced meat, or pancetta or milk, and I don’t cook it for 3 hours. This is a quick dinner that totally hits the spot taste-wise and is ready quickly.

You can either make the bolognese and then spoon it on top of the pasta (like the image at the top of the page), or add the pasta to the pan with bolognese and mix it together like this:
Close up shot of a pan of spaghetti bolognese all mixed togetherHow do you prefer to serve yours? Personally I like mine with the bolognese on top of the pasta.

To make the bolognese

(full instructions and quantities in the recipe card below)

  • First off we fry the onions until softened, then add in the garlic and fry for a minute.
  • Add finely chopped carrots and mushrooms and fry again.
  • Add the minced beef and fry, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, until browned.
  • Pour in half a glass of red wine, and allow it to bubble away until it’s reduced by three-quarters, then add tomato puree, oregano, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, a crumbled stock cube, a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes, a pinch of sugar and a little salt and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, while you cook your spaghetti. You could also swap out the dried spaghetti for my homemade pasta, which goes PERFECTLY with bolognese.

8 image collage showing how to make spaghetti bolonese

Once the spaghetti has cooked, drain it and divided it between your bowls, then top with bolognese and a sprinkling of spring onions and grated Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti bolognese on a white plate - further plate in the background

How does it compare to a traditional Italian Spaghetti Bolognese?

Traditional spaghetti bolognese often uses beef and pork mince and pancetta. You might also find it with finely chopped celery (that go in with the carrots) and milk in it too. A traditional version is often also cooked for a lot longer (2-3 hours). These are all great additions, and cooking for a long time will always ensure a rich and tasty sauce. I do it this way occasionally, but I do my fast, easy version most of the time.

My version:

……also has some additional ingredients that you may not see in a truly authentic version. I add Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and a crumbled stock cube for extra flavour and richness (remember, we’re only simmering for 15 minutes or so, so these additions make up for the reduced cooking time), and I also add a little sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. I also add mushrooms, because I love them.

More Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals:

(these are all ready in 20 minutes!)

If you have a little extra time on your hands, why not try this Cheese and Tomato Garlic Pizza Bread to go on the side.

The Spaghetti Bolognese Video

YouTube video

The Recipe

4.76 from 25 votes

Spaghetti Bolognese

My go-to rich and satisfying weeknight bolognese. Ready in 30 minutes! Simple ingredients, without skimping on taste.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 3 chestnut mushrooms finely diced
  • 450 g (1 lb) minced beef I often use 400g instead of 450g, as shops seem to sell them in 400g packs these days. So if you can only get a 400g pack, that's fine.
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) red wine
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube crumbled
  • 2 x 400 g (2 x 14 oz) canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 300 g (10.5 oz) dried spaghetti or fresh pasta

To serve:

  • small bunch spring onions (scallions) chopped
  • grated parmesan
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens.
    1 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion
  • Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
    2 cloves garlic
  • Add the carrot and mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
    1 carrot, 3 chestnut mushrooms
  • Add the minced beef and cook for 5-6 minutes, until browned. Stir often, breaking up any large chunks of meat with a spatula.
    450 g (1 lb) minced beef
  • Add the wine. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes until reduced by three-quarters.
    120 ml (1/2 cup) red wine
  • Add the tomato puree, oregano, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cube, tinned tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 -20 minutes until thickened.
    3 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 beef stock cube, 2 x 400 g (2 x 14 oz) canned chopped tomatoes, ½ tbsp light brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Meanwhile, boiled a large pan of salted water. Add the spaghetti and cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente.
    300 g (10.5 oz) dried spaghetti or fresh pasta
  • Drain the spaghetti and divide between 4 bowls.
  • Spoon the bolognese on top of the spaghetti and sprinkle on the spring onions and parmesan before serving.
    grated parmesan, small bunch spring onions (scallions)


YouTube video


Can I make it gluten free?

Yes - ensure you use a gluten-free stock cube, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and of course gluten-free spaghetti and you're all set.

Can I leave out the wine?

The wine adds a little extra richness to the dish. You can leave it out if you prefer, or you could replace with 1/2 cup (120ml) beef stock and an extra splash of Worcestershire sauce.

Can I add in extra veg?

Yes, bolognese is a great way to get extra veg into your meal, and it can also bulk it out more if you want to reduce the amount of meat in it. I prefer to keep the veg fairly finely chopped - as great big lumps of vegetable just don't work with a ragu like this.
Try adding finely chopped celery, peppers (bell peppers), courgette (zucchini) or aubergine (eggplant).

Best beef mince:

Go for a good quality beef mince that's higher in fat. Remember fat equals flavour! I use Angus steak mince with 12%-15% fat. You can get away with the really lean mince (5% fat or lower), but it won't be as rich and juicy.

Nutritional Information is per serving including spaghetti, but not including parmesan (I've no idea how much you're going to add :-D)


Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 1212mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2841IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate the recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. June Lewis says:

    5 stars
    Very tasty, in fact one of the best I’ve tried..I used celery because I didn’t have any mushrooms

  2. Bruce Grant says:

    4 stars
    Hi Nikki, it was good to hear you and see you on your video, but I’ve got a couple of points that I think I will improve upon your recipe. When I was 11 years old, my family (which is British) but we lived in Germany between 1954 and 58 – took a holiday to Italy in 1956. One night we camped on the farmer’s land but were not allowed to eat WITHOUT having evening meal with them! That was our introduction to Spaghetti Bologna (not Spaghetti Bolognese, which is American!) One of the key ingredients omitted (possibly because your family doesn’t like it) is celery and its volume should be the same as the carrot and finally diced. I also add four main herbs; oregano, marjoram, thyme and rosemary. I also add a teaspoon of Marmite and a teaspoon of Bovril with a teaspoon full of Coleman’s mustard powder… This gives it the bite it needs, (without it being hot) as well as Worcester sauce (Lee and Perrin’s). 1 tbsp ketchup & 1 tbsp HP sauce. I do not add any canned tomatoes, but I add 4 cups of water to the same amount of mincemeat that you used and I use tomato paste but 400 g from a can, I never use any red or white wine… It doesn’t need it! I also never let my meat cook for LESS than 4 hours! It freezes beautifully anywhere up to 2 years at -18°C.

    The farmer’s wife gave us everything except the Worcester sauce, mustard powder, Bovril and Marmite… they are my personal additions flavour additions. Finally to make Spaghetti Bologna as against Spaghetti Bolognese, you need to put your cooked spaghetti into the meat and mix it BEFORE you serve it.

    Your meal does look very nice but I know from experience that you need these extra additions to take it to the “best ever!” ;)))

    NB. – I do enjoy your videos

    Bruce Grant (78 yrs old!) Been cooking for 40 years!

  3. Carine Tang says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much Nicky, and greetings from Adelaide, South Australia! I made this for dinner tonight and it was soooo delicious (despite me forgetting the garlic). The addition of wine and finely diced mushrooms is just phenomenal. The umami flavours are off the charts! I made a cheese sauce to go with it, and it was honestly the best bolognese I’ve ever tasted! Keep up the good work!

  4. Sharon Bambrough says:

    5 stars
    Omg I have just made this recipe! I was so nervous diverting from my own recipe but though give it a go! WOW BEAUTIFUL 😻

  5. Angela says:

    5 stars
    Think my absolutely go to bolognese recipe says it all!

  6. TRACEY says:

    5 stars
    The tasty bolognaise recipe ever and have tried many

  7. Richard Greb says:

    5 stars
    The Spaghetti Bolognese recipe was easy to make and the flavour good. My wife also liked it and said keep the recipe. I made no changes or substitutes. Although, I may cut the salt a bit next time since the tomatoes are already somewhat salty. Garlic bread with it of course.
    It reminded me a bit of Cincinnati Chili (which is a spaghetti sauce) which is same constituency but a spicier flavour.

  8. Carole Nelson says:

    5 stars
    I love the simplicity of your dishes – and you don’t compromise on the flavours – amazing !

  9. Alan says:

    Recipe great. Substituted red wine with port plus added in red capsicum, rich and tasty.

  10. Elizabeth Stone says:

    5 stars
    Great convenience recipe, having nearly all the items in my store cupboard already and only the mushrooms and parmesan to buy fresh. I even had the minced beef, in the freezer, all 500g of it! It was quick and easy to make and very tasty. Slight amendment needed to the amount of sugar mentioned though, as I’m sure you mean half of a teaspoon and not tablespoon. I shall be making this again so I have printed the recipe and it is now in my best recipe folder. Thank you a lot. And you have a very good website too!