Bacon/ Beef/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese (Family Approved)

April 7, 2018 (Last Updated: June 30, 2019)

There’s a few secrets to creating the Best Spaghetti Bolognese recipe and here I’ll show you exactly what they are! A delicious and easy bolognese that your family are going to fall in love with.

Spaghetti Bolognese – the ultimate comfort food. The comfiest of comfort food if you will, and literally my favourite home cooked meal of all time. With so many different recipes out there it’s difficult to know what’s truly good advice. The beauty of this dish is there really isn’t a right or wrong way to make it. Having said that, I’m here today to present my argument for the BEST way to make it! So strap yourselves in and unbuckle those eating pants, cause things are about to get tasty..

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe - overhead shot with garlic bread and forks

So, the best spaghetti bolognese you say?

*drunk stranger heckles from back row*

Yeah, I kinda guess so.. For me and my family anyway. A recipe I’ve been making for too long I care to remember and one I hold close to my dear bacon wrapped heart. One I’m now super duper excited to be sharing with ya’ll!

Now, time for the important stuff. What makes this spaghetti bolognese recipe different from the rest?

*stranger heckles considerably louder*

Okay let’s grab that bottle and put it to good use.

 The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe - Wine Pouring in

Tips for the Best Spaghetti Bolognese

  1. Red Wine – Yep, you guessed it. My first absolute must ingredient is red wine in a bolognese. Adding a good glug of red wine to a bolognese gives a gorgeous depth of flavour. That and beef & red wine are a match made in heaven.
  2. Bacon – A guy with a blog called ‘Don’t Go Bacon My Heart’ adding bacon to a bolognese, who’d have thought!? But all jokes aside bacon in a bolognese is an absolute must. It adds a smoky twang to the bolognese and also plays off the beef nicely. Pork and beef is often a combo of meats that go neatly together, just like making meatballs. The bacon also adds a second layer of texture which compliments the ground beef.
  3. Time – If you ignore the wine and bacon, for heavens sake please don’t ignore this tip. Ever been rushing around trying to cook a quick bolognese, serving it on the spaghetti and BAM. It’s sat in a pool of watery tomato juice. Oh and the meat is pretty rough too. Yep, we’ve all been there. The key to a delicious bolognese is allowing the mince to simmer for up to an hour. This not only allows the beef to soak up all those gorgeous flavours, but keeps it mouthwateringly tender. As there is a fair load of tomato in this recipe it’s crucial to allow the bolognese to naturally thicken.

And those my friends, are 3 tips that will totally change up your bolognese game!

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe - with steam floating off

Alongside red wine, bacon and time, there’s a couple of other goodies that fit perfectly.

I love throwing in some sun dried tomatoes. Apart from the fact I’m mildly addicted to these things in pretty much every context, I feel they really champion the tomato flavour shining through this dish and add another dynamic to the texture.

A big handful of fresh basil and a couple dashes of worcestershire sauce don’t go amiss.

And finally a big hello to our good friend Parmesan as well.

Because is a spaghetti bolognese a spaghetti bolognese without a bucket of parmesan plonked on top?

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe - Parmesan sprinkling on top

As a whole this recipe couldn’t be easier to make. Because in my eyes the best bolognese is an easy bolognese.

It’s far too often you see recipes tarting about with this recipe when it’s really not needed. Like has anybody really got the time to hunt down Veal or roast some tomatoes? Nope. A spaghetti bolognese is renowned for being a no fuss simple dinner and that’s how I like it to remain.

The only hard part is trying not to nibble away at the entire bowl before it’s served.

All in all there’s just a few tips and tricks to creating the perfect spaghetti bolognese. Is this a traditional spaghetti bolognese recipe? Potentially not. However it is a delicious and easy spaghetti bolognese recipe that your family are absolutely going to fall in love with!

Okay let’s wrap this up, I’m hungry.

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe - Twisting Spaghetti with Fork

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How to make the Best Spaghetti Bolognese (Full Recipe & Video)

Perfect Spaghetti Bolognese

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese (Family Approved)

'There's a few secrets to creating the Best Spaghetti Bolognese recipe and here I'll show you exactly what they are! A delicious and easy bolognese that you're family are going to fall in love with.'
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 6 people
Calories: 579kcal

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1.1lbs / 500g Dried Spaghetti
  • 2.2lbs / 1kg Beef Mince
  • 4 Rashers of Streaky Bacon, chopped
  • 1 can (14oz/400g) Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 cups / 750ml Tomato Passata
  • 1 cup / 250ml Red Wine
  • 1 Large White Onion finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup / 75g Sundried Tomatoes finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of Garlic minced
  • 1 Handful of Fresh Basil torn, plus extra for garnish (whole)
  • 1 heaped tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar, or more as necassary
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan to top
  • Olive Oil for frying


  • Heat up some oil in a large saucepan and fry up your Bacon until it begins to brown. Add the Onion and Sundried Tomatoes and fry for a few more minutes until softened, then add your Garlic and cook for a further minute or so. Add in your Mince and break up with a wooden spoon whilst cooking, stir until crumbled and brown all the way through. Season with a pinch of Salt & Pepper.
  • It's time to add your Red Wine, stir it in and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the mince to soak up some of that goodness. After, stir in your Tomato Passata and Chopped Tomatoes. Add in your Basil, Rosemary, Worcestershire Sauce, Sugar, Salt & Pepper (to taste) and give it a good stir. Keep it on low-medium heat and allow to simmer for good 45-60mins or until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
  • Whilst this is on the go, stick your Spaghetti in some salted water and cook accordingly.
  • Drain and serve Spaghetti, topped with Bolognese, topped with sprinkled Parmesan & Basil. Oh and a train of Garlic Bread...

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Just double check you're using Tomato Passata and not Tomato Paste/puree. Tomato paste/puree is a heck of a lot more concentrated.
b) These gorgeous photos were taken by the incredibly talented Dani Knox Photography!
c) Calories based on a division of 6 using 1 tbsp olive oil, 90% lean beef and 1/2 cup of parmesan.


Nutrition Facts
The Best Spaghetti Bolognese (Family Approved)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 579 Calories from Fat 240
% Daily Value*
Fat 26.7g41%
Saturated Fat 7.2g36%
Trans Fat 0.9g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.8g
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 627mg26%
Potassium 1180mg34%
Carbohydrates 38.3g13%
Fiber 6.8g27%
Sugar 8.2g9%
Protein 44.6g89%
Vitamin A 2600IU52%
Vitamin C 47mg57%
Calcium 140mg14%
Iron 6.1mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

Looking for leftover ideas? Check out my Leftover Bolognese Sliders!

Leftover Bolognese Sliders

If you loved this Easy Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe then be sure to pin it for later! Already made it or got a question? Let me know in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook on the way!


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  • Reply
    Lowell Cassity
    December 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    I’m from the States, and have never heard of tomato passata. What is it, and can a substitute be used?

    • Reply
      December 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Tomato Passata is pureed strained tomatoes, like crushed tomatoes but a lot smoother. It’s like a thinner, less intense version of tomato paste. I believe in the US it might be called tomato puree 🙂

  • Reply
    Diane Gentile
    November 24, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Hi Chris. This sounds DELISH. I have been making g Bolognese sauce (old family recipe) that cooks for 3-4 hours. But I am going to make this so we don’t have to wait so long to eat it!!!! One question what is the exact amount of Passata. I usually buy it in a glass jar. How many ounces needed in your recipe. Can’t wait to make this. TY for sharing your recipe.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Diane! It’s 3 cups/750ml which works out to be around 26 fl oz. Apologies, I had a typo there so thanks for pointing it out! Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Diane Gentile
    November 24, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Hi Chris, this sounds fantastic. I am used to making a Bolognese sauce (old family recipe) that cooks for hours, but I am going to give this a try. One question, what is the exact amount of Passata to use. I usually buy it in a glass jar how many ounces? Ty for sharing this recipe. Can’t wait to make it.

  • Reply
    Stephen Hedrei
    November 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Chris. Just love your receipes, especially the Bolognese. One question that I have regarding the use of Red Wine. The grocery stores here in the U.S. do sell red cooking wine. However, I do have some nice red wine which has been aging well. A 2007 California MERLOT and a 2010 CABERNET SAUVIGNON. Both were purchased before I knew I was Diabetic. Being Diabetic I cannot drink much and would not hesitate to use some of my wine. What kind/type of red wine would you recommend, or can I use any of the two that I have? Thank you in responding.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Stephen! Either of those would work great! I tend to stay away from cooking wine and just use what I’ve got on hand, doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Coy
    April 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

    5 stars
    Hello from Boston MA USA – this looks great, found it on Pinterest – 4/11/18 4AM our time, looks good 8 lbs of CSA burger in the freezer says dinner tonight. I’m guessing Tomato passata is Tomato Purée or Sauce, you specifically said not paste, I will risk Purée, I’m on low sodium diet, no sugar either but I can use 2 carrots, finely grated instead, they disappear into the sauce, but leave behind their sweetness. My American habits mean adding 11/2 cups onions, celery, green bell peppers & mushrooms. Your bacon Idea is fabulous here a rasher is a double serving (4 slices) I will have to pull a pound from the freezer, might just fry it all up maybe use a half in the sauce(it’s CSA, lower sodium, grass fed, no sodium nitrates, nitrites or sodium erythrobates, & not cured, just plain Smoked like good bacon should be) hide the rest for salads. I have a flat-bottom wok, a workhouse in my kitchen, nice high sides, nice 15” flat bottom. You add the wine to the meat after browning? I assume. No red on hand, just this once I’ll Sub some Balsamic, a bit different flavor, but can’t get out for the wine. Have Rigatoni on hand in the US it’s often served with Bolognese sauce. Fresh basil & parsley on hand. I will have to Sub A Good Italian Seasoning or Bell’s for rosemary I don’t have any.. Sorry if it seems like a big bunch of changes, but my next shopping is in May. Like your idea to use leftover sauce as sandwiches. They sound so much better than American Sloppy Joes.

    • Reply
      April 13, 2018 at 10:33 am

      Thanks so much for your detailed message, Mary Ann! The definition of tomato puree differs from country to country. Here it means a super concentrated tomato paste, which is not what you want. You want more of a tomato sauce, which is what passata. Also yep, just chuck in the red wine after browning the meat. Hope it comes out good with all the changes 🙂

  • Reply
    Helen of Fuss Free Flavours
    October 11, 2017 at 12:08 am

    5 stars
    There is something very comforting about spaghetti bolognese, and it is one of those dishes you can fall back on, knowing you’ll enjoy it. Your recipe looks and sounds delicious, and I love the added extras to add that specialness about it. Perfect supper food.

    • Reply
      October 11, 2017 at 2:09 am

      You’re so right, Helen! Spaghetti Bolognese is THE perfect comfort food.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    5 stars
    Ok that sauce sounds amazing and your pictures are GORGEOUS! I want to take a bite right off the plate!

    • Reply
      October 11, 2017 at 2:08 am

      Thanks, Liz! You and me both!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! Best Bolognese sauce I have ever seen, wonderfully plated too!

    • Reply
      October 11, 2017 at 2:07 am

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  • Reply
    Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs
    October 10, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Why have I never thought of putting sun dried tomatoes in my bolognase before?! Will definitely give that a go. Also, LOVE how much cheese you put on top hahaha!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      I have a strange a addiction to sun dried tomatoes so it just happened naturally. But totally works! Haha yeah, about the cheese…

  • Reply
    Amy | The Cook Report
    October 10, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    5 stars
    This looks gorgeous, you really cannot beat a spaghetti bolognese!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      You’re so right, Amy! Always a staple on the weekly dinners in this house 🙂

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