This is hands down the BEST Spaghetti Bolognese recipe you will ever make! Forget about any other recipes out there... this is the ONLY one you will ever need!
A rich flavour-packed sauce combined with comforting and filling pasta.
This is the ULTIMATE family dinner!
Don't rush this baby.....the longer you let the sauce simmer, the more the flavours develop into the best 'spag bol' you've ever eaten!
In our house, we eat a pasta dish for dinner at least once a week. Whether it's a yummy lasagne, a simple ragu and pasta or meatballs and sauce, these Italian-inspired dinners are some of our very favourites!
But this spaghetti bolognese is the BEST OF THE BEST! It's my son's number 1 favourite meal and I always make sure I've got lots of batches in the freezer ready to be reheated for a quick and easy meal during the week.
And while this recipe makes a BIG batch that tastes just as delicious when reheated, the initial process of cooking it cannot be rushed! Make sure you have a few spare hours at home when you plan on cooking my spaghetti bolognese. The longer the sauce simmers, the more AMAZING it will be!
Promise me that you won't rush it!? I'm talking an absolute minimum of 1 hour, but 2-3 hours is the best. Once you try it, I promise you'll agree!
Why You're Going To Love This Recipe
I've tried every spaghetti bolognese recipe under the sun... and this is the best of the best.
Try this and you'll never make spaghetti bolognese any other way!
- Long and slow - there are a few secrets to my recipe but one of the biggest ones is letting the sauce simmer over a few hours! This is when ALL of the amazing stuff happens and the sauce turns from your average bolognese sauce into something EPIC!
- Milk - my spaghetti bolognese recipe is based on Nat's What I Reckon's original recipe. I'd seen everyone raving about it on social media and decided to try it for myself. I admit that I was a little unsure about adding milk to my bolognese sauce, but OH MY GOODNESS! Trust me, once you try it, you'll never go back!
- Beef & pork mince - the combination of the two types of mince is key! This gives you a traditional, delicious and mouthwatering sauce. Just one type of mince will never do your spaghetti bolognese justice.
- Comfort food - this is my ultimate comfort food recipe. A rich and luscious tomato and meat sauce that's simmered for hours and then poured over al dente pasta to coat.
- Family dinner - whether you're feeding fussy toddlers (hello... been there!) or hungry teens, you absolutely cannot beat spaghetti bolognese. In my son's words 'this is the best bolognese ever'.
- Freezer-friendly - this makes a BIG batch, so if you only have a small family, you'll have plenty of leftovers! For our family of 3, one batch gives us 3-4 dinners.
What You Need
This classic, rich and flavoursome spaghetti bolognese is an all-time family favourite!
Note: Please scroll to the recipe card below for the ingredient quantities and the full detailed method.
- butter and olive oil - for sautéing
- celery, carrot and onion - finely diced
- pancetta - ask the deli to cut you a large chunk (one piece) of pancetta and then chop it into smaller chunks yourself. I find that the supermarkets tend to like to slice pancetta into ultra thin slices, but that't not what we want in this recipe. We want big, fat chunks of tasty pancetta. If you can't get pancetta, you can use bacon instead (but pancetta is a million times better for this recipe!!)
- beef and pork mince - the combination of pork mince and beef mince is essential to the classic deliciousness of this recipe. Don't skimp and only buy one type of mince - you NEED both!!
- rosemary and thyme - these herbs add a tasty flavour punch to your bolognese sauce. You can use fresh or dried herbs.
- wine - choose from either white wine or red. I generally use white wine as I find it a bit lighter, but either works perfectly. Technically you 'can' omit the wine and use extra stock instead, but I highly recommend using wine. The alcohol completely cooks out making it a great option for the entire family.
- tomato paste - choose a good quality tomato paste - I like Leggos brand.
- milk - full cream milk or whole milk. I know it sounds strange to add milk to your spaghetti bolognese, but please just trust me on this! Once you've tried it, you'll never make 'spag bol' any other way.
- liquid chicken stock - use a store-bought liquid chicken stock or make your own by adding 1 tsp of chicken stock powder to every 1 cup of water.
- bay leaves - these simmer away with the sauce and add a huge amount of flavour. Discard the bay leaves before serving.
- pasta - any type of pasta partners beautifully with my bolognese sauce! I generally use spaghetti or fettuccine, but choose any variety you like.
- parmesan cheese - add LOTS of grated parmesan to the top when serving. The more the better!
Step By Step Instructions
The longer you allow this sauce to cook, the better your spaghetti bolognese will be!
Set aside a lazy day on the weekend to cook this to perfection...
Note: Please scroll to the recipe card below for the ingredient quantities and the full detailed method.
Step 1 - Sauté
In a large pot, sauté the celery, carrot, onion and pancetta until the vegetables have softened.
Note: this will take approximately 5 minutes.
Step 2 - Brown The Mince
Turn the heat up to high and cook both the beef and pork minces until browned.
TIP: It's important to continue cooking the mince until ALL of the liquid has evaporated.
Step 3 - Add The Herbs
Add the rosemary sprigs and thyme to the pot.
Step 4 - Add The Liquids
First, add the wine (you can use white or red wine) and stir until evaporated.
Next, stir through the tomato paste followed by the milk.
Finally, add the chicken stock liquid and stir through.
Step 5 - Season
Season with salt and pepper and add the bay leaves to the pot.
Step 6 - Cook
Cover the pot with a lid and allow to simmer very gently for a minimum of 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
TIP: If time allows, cook the sauce gently for 2-3 hours to allow the flavours to fully develop.
Remove the bay leaves and remaining rosemary sprigs before serving with pasta.
Expert Tips & FAQ
Spaghetti bolognese is so simple to make... it just involves a little patience!
Enjoy the delicious smells wafting from your kitchen as this classic Italian dish simmers away.
Thick chunks of pancetta are going to give you the very best result. However, if you can't buy pancetta, you can use diced bacon instead.
Technically... yes. But I most definitely DO NOT recommend omitting the wine. The alcohol in the wine cooks out as the sauce cooks, making it perfectly fine for the whole family to eat (including young kids). You can use either white or red wine (personally I prefer white) in this recipe. If you choose to omit it, you can substitute it with extra chicken stock liquid, however, the flavour of the sauce will most definitely not be as delicious.
If you only have 1 hour, then that will be absolutely fine. But if time allows, cooking the sauce for 2-3 hours allows the flavours to more fully develop, giving you the most robust, full-flavoured bolognese sauce.
You can choose to use any type of pasta you like - such as spaghetti, fettuccine, spirals, penne, rigatoni etc. When serving, ensure you stir a large scoop of bolognese through the pasta so that all of the pasta has been completely coated in the sauce. Then add as much extra bolognese sauce on top as you like.
Store any leftover bolognese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before consuming.
Bolognese sauce freezes, defrosts and reheats perfectly, making it a great option for a quick, midweek freezer dinner. Freeze bolognese sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat before consuming.
Italian-inspired dinners are some of my all-time favourites to make (and eat!)
Here are a few of my most popular family dinners with an Italian twist:
- Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni - this vegetarian dish is packed full of flavour with a creamy spinach filling encased in soft fresh pasta and topped with a rich tomato sauce.
- Creamy (no cream!) Carbonara - a four ingredient recipe that the entire family will love. An absolute classic and simple Italian pasta dish.
- Easy Beef Lasagne - a simple, quick and easy lasagne that is super cheesy without the need for a bechamel sauce.
- Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta - it doesn't get much tastier than this one-pot pasta, made with cream, pesto, spinach, tomatoes, chicken and lots of parmesan cheese.
- The Famous TikTok Pasta (feta, basil and tomato pasta) - this wildly popular pasta took the entire world by storm thanks to TikTok! It couldn't be easier to make and tastes absolutely delicious.
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- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 sticks celery diced
- 2 carrots large, diced
- 1 brown onion or yellow, diced
- 200 g pancetta chopped into small chunks (see notes)
- 500 g beef mince
- 500 g pork mince
- rosemary and thyme fresh or dried (see notes)
- 500 ml (2 cups) wine white or red
- 300 g tomato paste
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk full cream or whole milk
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock liquid
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- 500 g pasta spaghetti, fettuccine etc
- grated parmesan to serve
- Heat the butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Add the diced celery, carrot, onion and pancetta and sauté until the vegetables have softened (approximately 5 minutes).
- Turn the heat up to high and add the pork mince and beef mince. Stir occasionally (avoid stirring too much or you'll end up with a lot of liquid). Cook until the mince has browned and all of the liquid has evaporated. Note: To check if all of the liquid has evaporated, use a wooden spoon to make a gap in the base of the pot and see if there is any liquid there after a few seconds.
- Add the rosemary sprigs and thyme.
- Add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
- Stir through the tomato paste.
- Add the milk and stir through.
- Pour in the chicken stock liquid, add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Turn the heat down to low.
- Cover with a lid and allow to cook slowly for a minimum of 1 hour (preferably 2-3 hours... the longer the better as the flavour develops beautifully as it cooks). Stir occasionally during the cooking time.
- Remove the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves.
- Cook pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain and return to the pasta pot. Add a large scoop of bolognese sauce and stir through.
- Serve the pasta with extra bolognese sauce and grated parmesan cheese.