Vegetable Laden Bolognaise

vegetable laden bolognaise

Vegetable Laden Bolognaise

What family doesn't love a big bowl of spag bol? Our Vegetable-Laden Bolognese sauce is tailor-made for the little Miss or Master fuss pot in your home. Whether you're a seasoned chef or just starting out, this easy recipe guarantees a nutritious, delicious, kid-friendly dinner that's sure to be a hit with the whole family. Batch cook and freeze for those nights when time and energy are in short supply.


Course Dinner, Lunch
Diet Child Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Servings 8 - 10
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours


  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 50 g butter
  • 600 g minced beef 92% beef
  • 200 g minced pork
  • 50 g garlic finely chopped (2 large cloves)
  • 250 g onion finely chopped (1 large onion)
  • 120 g leek finely diced (1 large leek)
  • 250 g carrot finely diced or grated (2 large carrots)
  • 10 g dried ceps porcini: soak in 200 ml boiling water for 30 mins then finely chop (keep the liquid)
  • 160 g chestnut mushrooms finely sliced or diced
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300 ml red wine *opt
  • 300 ml beef stock 1 Kallo stock cube + boiling water
  • 500 g tomato passata
  • Seasoning
  • Pasta of choice and Parmesan cheese to serve


  • Combine the two minced meats together (you can get your butcher to do this). Mix in 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Place a large oven-proof pan or pot over medium high-heat; add the meat in 2-3 batches and fry for five minutes, breaking and stirring occasionally until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Lower heat and return the pot to hob. Add rest of oil and garlic to the pan/pot, gently fry for 30 sec-1 minute. Add onions, leek and carrots, cook for another 15 minutes until onion mixture is soft and translucent.
  • In a separate wok/pan toss the chopped mushrooms with a little oil or butter, season and gently fry for approx 4-5 min to enhance the flavours. Cook in 2 batches if necessary. Add to onion mixture.
  • Stir in herbs, cook for 1 minute then return the browned mince to the main pan/ pot. Add the tomato puree, stirring and cooking for 30 seconds.
  • Add red wine if using, cook for 3-5 minutes to let alcohol burn off, then add stock, reserved cep liquid and tomato passata, stir well and bring to simmer. Cover with lid and place in oven at 150 C for 1 ½ hours until sauce has thickened. Remove from oven and season to taste.
  • Serve with your choice of pasta or courgetti noodles and sprinkle with lots of Parmesan.

Maggie's Tips

  • This bolognaise can also be made by gently simmering in a pot over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours.
  • If you have kids who are fussy about vegetables, grate or puree them very finely so they disappear into the sauce with cooking.
  • If omitting wine add an extra 300 ml extra stock or passata
  • If you prefer not to use pork just omit and replace with 200g beef mince.
Serving Ideas
  • Bulk up and save money by adding any of the following: Aduki beans, kidney beans or black beans or Beluga or Puy lentils (dried or canned beans are ok, best to cook your own lentils). A mix of a few is good too.
  • Cottage pie: The bolognaise sauce may need to be reduced slightly to thicken it. Place the sauce in a deep casserole dish and top with creamy mashed potatoes (regular or sweet). Cook in oven for 40 - 50 minutes at 160 - 180C until heated through and lightly golden on top.
  • Lasagne: The bolognaise sauce may need to be reduced slightly. Layer the sauce in deep dish, alternating with lasagne sheets, and top with a homemade cheese sauce. Cook in oven for 40-50 minutes at 160 -180C until heated through and lightly golden on top.
  • Moussaka: The bolognaise sauce may need to be reduced slightly to thicken it. Layer bolognaise sauce between cooked slices of aubergine and potato. Top with a homemade cheese sauce. Cook in oven for 40 - 50 minutes at 160 - 180C until heated through and lightly golden on top.
  • Chilli Con Carne: Add 2 tsp chilli flakes and 2 tsp ground cumin at end of stage 1 and continue with instructions. Add 1-2 tins of aduki or kidney beans at end of stage 4, continue with instructions. Replace basil leaves with chopped coriander leaves and some chopped dill. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal cous cous, or over baked potato. Alternatively add a quick hit of your favourite chilli sauce e.g.: sriracha.
  • Baked Potato: Bake unpeeled potatoes in oven as normal (roosters or marris pipers are best, or use sweet potato). Cut a cross on baked potato and squeeze some of contents out. Spoon the bolognaise sauce or chilli sauce over baked potato and top with freshly grated parmesan. Serve with green salad or veggies.
  • Savoury Mince & Mash: Remember those childhood dinners your mum served up!. Serve bolognaise sauce over a creamy mashed potatoes with with a side of green cabbage. 
  • Vol au Vents: Follow baking instructions on vol au vents pack. Top with warmed bolognaise sauce and vegan parmesan and serve with a green salad or green veggies. 
  • Use as a filling for: Tacos, tortilla wraps, collard/cabbage wraps, savoury pancakes/crepes, pitta filling, pizza topping etc.
  • Top Tip: Freeze bolognaise in realistically sized portions. Clearly label with the product name and date of freezing.

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