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About This Recipe
This healthy spaghetti bolognese is the best meaty sauce served over spaghetti noodles, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash! It’s the BEST way to use up veggies and sneak them in so the kids (and husbands) won’t even know.
This easy pasta recipe is ready in just 30 minutes so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. You will definitely want to put this on your grocery list next time!
I’m not kidding when I say you’ll never guess this recipe is so healthy! This hearty meat sauce is packed with so much flavor, makes the best spaghetti and will truly be a family favorite. Serve with a side of garlic bread and air fryer broccoli for truly the most tasty, flavorful meal!
Plus, this is such an easy recipe because it uses my favorite store-bought pasta sauce so you can skip the mess and cleanup of traditional homemade tomato sauce.
You can absolutely use homemade sauce if you want for this weeknight spaghetti bolognese but I promise this easy shortcut is the best hack and you won’t even be able to tell a difference!
Why You’ll Love This Easy Spaghetti Bolognese With Hidden Veggies
- A super easy weeknight meal ready in just 30 minutes with great flavor that the whole family will love.
- Great for meal prep! Serve with pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash!
- Freezer-friendly! Can easily batch make this recipe and freeze for later.
- Low carb and high protein! Made with pantry staples and minimal ingredients!
- Super versatile! A favorite recipe of mine to use up all the fresh veggies.
- Vegetables: carrots, celery, yellow onion.
- Cooking essentials: olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning.
- Ground beef– I used 96/4 lean ground beef.
- Pasta sauce – I love Rao’s.
- Half and half
- For serving: cooked noodles of choice or spaghetti squash and parmesan cheese.
- Make dairy-free: use a dairy-free half and half (or milk of choice) or omit for a more tomato-based sauce.
- Switch up the veggies: add additional veggies like mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, etc.
- Use a flavored pasta sauce: use a roasted garlic, tomato basil or vodka sauce for a fun variation of the flavor of the sauce.
- Sub for ground turkey or chicken: not a fan of beef? Use ground turkey or chicken for an easy swap! Or go a more traditional route with ground sausage!
- Different type noodles: use a fun shape pasta to make this dish fun! You can use regular, whole wheat, chickpea pasta, etc.
- Lower carb option: swap the pasta noodles for spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
- Add extra herbs: for additional flavor add extra fresh herbs like basil, parsley or bay leaves.
- Extra flavor: add a 1/2 cup of red wine like cabernet sauvignon for additional flavor!
How To Make
The full printable recipe is below, but let me walk you through the process so you know what to expect when you’re making it!
1. Add the carrots, celery and onions to a food processor.
2. Pulse a few times until you have very fine pieces (be careful to stop before they turn into mush). If you don’t have a food processor, you can dice them very finely with a knife.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
4. Add the diced carrots, celery, and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes.
5. Then add in the beef; season with salt and pepper.
6. Cook and crumble until the beef is no longer pink.
7. When brown, add the pasta sauce and heavy cream.
8. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite noodles (or spaghetti squash/zucchini noodles for lower carb). Top with parmesan cheese and a few red pepper flakes and enjoy!
Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
This bolognese sauce freezes great! Just let bolognese cool completely then place in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, let thaw then reheat on stovetop until warmed through.
Make In Bulk!
Easily double or triple this recipe and freeze some for later!
To freeze, let bolognese cool completely then place in an airtight container or freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, let thaw then reheat on stovetop until warmed through.
What is the difference between spaghetti sauce and Bolognese sauce?
Bolognese and spaghetti sauce are both tomato based sauces. The main difference between bolognese sauce and traditional spaghetti sauce is that bolognese sauce is made with ground meat while spaghetti sauce is meatless. Traditional bolognese sauce is typically made with tomatoes, ground meat and vegetables.
Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of pasta sauce?
Sure! Feel free to use crushed tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce for this bolognese recipe if you wish. I chose to use Rao’s marinara sauce to keep this recipe super simple and easy and I truly love the flavor! It’s the secret ingredient that no one will guess but will make cooking so much quicker!
Can I use frozen veggies for this recipe?
Yes! Easy dinners are the best and a great time saving hack is to use a bag of mixed frozen veggies when you need to make this recipe extra fast. Of course, the fresh veggies taste delicious (and this recipe is great to use up any extra veggies before going bad) but if you’re in a pinch, feel free to throw in your favorited bagged frozen veggies for an easy weeknight meal.
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium celery stalks
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 lbs. 96/4 lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 (24-oz.) jar pasta sauce I love Rao’s
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Cooked noodles of choice or spaghetti squash for serving
- Parmesan cheese for serving
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- Add the carrots, celery, and onions to a food processor and pulse a few times until you have very fine pieces (be careful to stop before they turn into mush). If you don't have a food processor, you can dice them very finely with a knife.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant then add the diced carrots, celery, and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes.
- Then add in the beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook and crumble until the beef is no longer pink.
- When brown, add the pasta sauce and heavy cream. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with your favorite noodles (or spaghetti squash/zucchini noodles for lower carb). Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!
- Food processor optional
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.