Go Back
+ servings
White plate with yellow spare and red sauced on top.

Traditional Bolognese Recipe

Looking for the perfect addition to your pasta? My Traditional Bolognese Recipe will make a perfect pair for any pasta lover. This meat sauce recipe is made in about an hours time, and makes plenty, perfect for a big Sunday dinner.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 285kcal
Author Katie


  • 1 Stove Top
  • 1 Sauce Pot


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ onion minced
  • 1 carrot peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 12 pepperoni
  • 2-28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

For Garnish:

  • fresh parsley
  • basil
  • Parmesan cheese


  • In a large pot, heat olive oil and butter. Once melted, add in the ground beef, ground pork, and diced pepperoni to the pot. Cook on medium heat, breaking up the meat for 10 minutes or until the ground beef and pork are almost no longer pink.
  • Then add onion, carrot, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Once the meat is cooked add in the crushed tomatoes, can of tomato paste, dried parsley, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste (I like to add ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper at a time).
  • Once mixed, then add in the whole milk. Once the milk is poured in the pot, mix well, reduce heat to medium-low, place a lid on top but slightly vented and let the sauce simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Remove the lid off during the last 10-15 minutes to help thicken).
  • Once the sauce has thickened pour it over pasta and garnish with fresh parsley, basil, and Parmesan cheese.


  • Dairy-Free - To make this recipe dairy-free simply remove the butter and milk from the recipe.
  • Milk I like to add the milk into the tomato sauce can to capture any additional crushed tomatoes that are in the can.
  • Lid Slightly Vented - You will need a lid to cook the sauce. Make sure the lid isn't fully closed and secured to the pot. Instead, place the lid a little off to the side to make the pot slightly vented, so the sauce can breathe.
  • Leftover Bolognese - If you aren't serving a crowd you will have a lot of meat sauce leftover. I always freeze 1-2 bags full to enjoy for future easy dinners.
  • Cheese - You can top the meat sauce with a hard grated cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese.
*Nutritional calculations are estimated and may vary depending on serving size and ingredients.


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1655IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg