Easy Beef Bolognese (Best Bolognese Sauce Recipe)

Beef Bolognese is a super flavorful pasta dish with an delicious meat sauce. Bolognese Sauce is traditionally made with beef and served with flat pasta, and I think that’s the best way to do it. The beef is cooked to perfection, the pasta is amazing, and it’s topped with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. This is the best bolognese sauce recipe and I can’t get enough if it!

Beef Bolognese served in a white bowl with bread

Beef Bolognese Recipe

Beef Bolognese is a delicious Italian dish with an emphasis on the incredible bolognese sauce. Serve with pasta, top with basil and cheese, and you’ve got one perfect dish!

This beef bolognese recipe is just too good. I love an Italian dish, and this one feels so authentic. The bolognese sauce cooks slowly, but it’s well worth it in the end. It comes out so flavorful and savory!

Making this recipe is super easy too, so you can make it any night of the week. You can even make it ahead of time and store it for a couple of days. That makes weeknight dinners run smoothly! This is the best bolognese sauce recipe and it’s absolutely delicious.

Make this easy Beef Bolognese Sauce recipe for a delicious Italian dinner!

The best bolognese sauce recipe served on a bed of pasta with basil and cheese

A bowl of pasta bolognese served with bread

Best Bolognese Sauce Recipe

What makes this the BEST bolognese sauce recipe? It may not be straight from Italy, but I think it tastes pretty darn good! There’s lots of meat in it, so it’s not like those runny tomato sauces that I’ve seen one too many times. It’s made with fresh Roma tomatoes for the perfect flavor. And the overall texture and consistency of the sauce is nice and chunky, full of good stuff! That’s how beef bolognese sauce SHOULD be, and that’s exactly how I made it.

Recommended Products to make Beef Bolognese

Bolognese sauce mixed with pasta, fresh grated cheese, and basil

Pasta with the best bolognese sauce

What is in a Bolognese Sauce?

Bolognese is a traditional Italian meat-based sauce that generally consists of beef, and sometimes pork. This recipe is made up of beef, tomatoes, carrots, onions, white wine, whole milk, basil, and a few other ingredients.

What kind of pasta do you eat with Bolognese sauce?

Traditionally, Bolognese sauce is served with tagliatelle, lasagna, or other flat, broad noodles. Spaghetti Bolognese is probably the most popular way to serve it here in America. I’d recommend going with a flat pasta as mentioned.

Pasta bolognese in a white bowl

A bowl of beef bolognese

How long does it take to cook Bolognese sauce?

It’s a slow-cooking sauce, so it will take a few hours to fully cook. Total cook time is about 3 hours.

How long can you keep Bolognese sauce in the fridge?

This bolognese sauce recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Fork stuck into a bowl of beef bolognese

I just love this beef bolognese recipe! It’s so tasty, perfect for a simple dinner that feels really special. Quite possible the best bolognese sauce recipe outside of Italy. I know you’re going to love it.

See the recipe card below for details on how to make the best Bolognese Sauce recipe. Enjoy!

If you like this beef bolognese, try these other Italian recipes too:

4.13 from 8 votes
Beef Bolognese is a delicious meat-based sauce served with pasta, and topped with basil and freshly grated cheese. This is the best bolognese sauce recipe outside of Italy!
Beef Bolognese Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 30 mins
Beef Bolognese is a delicious meat-based sauce served with pasta, and topped with basil and freshly grated cheese. This is the best bolognese sauce recipe outside of Italy!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: beef bolognese, bolognese sauce
Servings: 4
Calories: 987 kcal
Author: Becky Hardin
  • 12 fresh basil leaves medium-large
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter unsalted, divided
  • ½ small yellow onion peeled & minced
  • ¼ cup minced carrot
  • ¼ cup minced celery optional
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine a good drinking wine
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 gratings of whole nutmeg
  • 1 28 ounce can imported Italian roma tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • For serving:
  • 1 pound pasta cooked according to package instructions
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Set a heavy bottomed saucepan, or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the olive oil and when the oil shimmers, place the basil leaves in the oil. Fry the leaves just until crispy but not browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leaves to a paper towel-lined saucer; set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the oil. Add the minced onion, carrot and celery and sauté until the vegetables have lightly browned.
  3. Add the ground chuck (break up the meat as it cooks) and continue to cook until the meat is slightly pink.
  4. Season with salt and continue cooking & stirring until the ground chuck is completely cooked through.
  5. Add the wine and cook until it has almost evaporated, stir occasionally.
  6. Pour in the milk and add 2 gratings of nutmeg (scrape fresh nutmeg over a grater/zester two times). Cook, stirring often, until the milk has almost evaporated.
  7. In a medium bowl, coarsely chop the tomatoes and add them to the pot. Once again, season with salt.
  8. Bring the tomatoes just to a soft boil and turn the heat to the lowest temperature. The sauce should be barely simmering.
  9. Cook uncovered for 3 hours, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
  10. If the liquid completely evaporates before 3 hours is up, add ½ cup water as needed.
  11. When 3 hours have passed, make sure all the liquid has evaporated before removing the sauce from the heat.
  12. For Serving:
  13. Serve the Bolognese over a bed of pasta and garnish with 2-3 fried basil leaves on top. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  14. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Yield: Makes enough for 1 pound dried pasta Note: The sauce can be prepared up to 3 days ahead if refrigerated and kept in an airtight container (without the fried basil). Or, it will keep frozen up to 2 months.

Nutrition Facts
Beef Bolognese Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 987 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 63%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 447mg 19%
Potassium 1285mg 37%
Total Carbohydrates 104g 35%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 14g
Protein 38g 76%
Vitamin A 43.3%
Vitamin C 24.2%
Calcium 16.2%
Iron 35.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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