This recipe for bolognese with chunky vegetables is really versatile in that you can use ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey or even soy mince to make it a vegetarian dish. The combination of chunky vegetables and tomato sauce – no matter what your base – creates a wonderfully hearty sauce that is flavourful and the ultimate in comfort food.
When making this sauce I always start with the vegetables first in a large pot and brown the meat in a separate fry pan where you can drain the fat separately, season, and then fold into the vegetable mixture.
This veggie packed sauce is great on any kind of pasta, and also a fabulous base for lasagna. I make this recipe the day before my recipe prep and then let it sit in the fridge overnight. This allows the flavours to blend into your meat base and it just tastes a lot better.
This sauce freezes really well so if you make a little extra pack away in the freezer to revisit for a quick weekday meal solution.
Bolognese Sauce with Chunky Veg
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sized chopped white onion
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 green pepper finely chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms finely sliced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or ground chicken, turkey or soy mince)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup tomato passata or marinara sauce
- In a large pot heat olive oil on medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook on medium heat softened and transparent. Add garlic and oregano and stir in to blend.
- Add in red wine and let simmer for a couple minutes.
- Fold in green peppers and mushrooms and cook until softened.
- Add in diced tomatoes and stir. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper and mix well.
- Using a separate fry pan, add ground beef and break up evenly to spread across the pan. Brown the meat on medium heat until cooked through but not overcooked.
- Once the meat is browned drain any fat so the sauce is not greasy. I use a colander to drain and then return to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to blend.
- Fold the cooked meat into the vegetable mixture and stir until well blended.
- Add in passata (or sauce), tomato paste, and honey.
- Cover and simmer on low for an hour or two.