Quick Spaghetti Bolognese

Learn how to make this rich and hearty Quick Spaghetti Bolognese recipe that tastes like it's been simmering for hours, but is ready in under 30 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknight evenings, this simplified version of the Italian classic delivers those bold flavors without the wait.

by Ioana

Published :

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A true crowdpleaser, this recipe is a lifesaver for days when you want your meal to taste gourmet without spending hours in the kitchen. 

Plus, it’s freezer-friendly, ensuring a delicious backup for any night. Bring a touch of Italy to your table in a flash with this family-favorite dish!

This bolognese sauce recipe is the answer to your hearty and comforting meal cravings. Rich, thick, and loaded with Italian flavors, it combines juicy ground beef, tomatoes, herbs, and spices, all with just 10 minutes of prep.

Who can resist a classic plate of spaghetti bolognese, especially when it’s crowned with freshly shredded parmesan? Our recipe marries the ease of quick cooking with the authenticity of Italian flavors, ensuring an irresistible dish that captivates from the first bite.

In just 30 minutes, you can serve a delightful spaghetti bolognese that’s perfect for those busy days when inspiration and time are short.

So, set aside mundane dinner routines. This flavor-packed dish, made from simple ingredients, will have you coming back for more.

thefoodieblogger easy bolognese Spaghetti recipe

Why You’ll Love This Quick Spaghetti Bolognese 

  1. Time-saving: Ready in just 30 minutes, this recipe ensures you savor a delicious meal without a long time in the kitchen.
  2. Budget-friendly recipe:  Made from simple, cheap ingredients like ground meat, canned tomatoes, and kitchen staples such as onions and garlic, it’s deliciousness on a dime. 
  3. Customizable recipe: Feel free to customize this recipe according to your preferences using your favorite meat, vegetable, or spices.
  4. Crowdpleaser: Perfect for get-togethers or potlucks, spaghetti bolognese is not just versatile but a guaranteed crowdpleaser.
  5. Loaded with delicious flavors: Just imagine some juicy ground beef smothered in a delicious tomato sauce loaded with aromatic herbs and topped with plenty of shredded parmesan cheese.
  6. Perfect for meal prep: This bolognese recipe is great for meal planning and batch cooking since you can prepare it in large batches and store it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to enjoy on a busy day.

What Is Spaghetti Bolognese? 

Spaghetti Bolognese is a beloved Italian classic, pairing spaghetti noodles with a rich Bolognese sauce. This meat-centric sauce is a flavorful fusion of ground meat, onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, and aromatic herbs and seasonings. 

Often crowned with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, this dish is cherished for its heartwarming and comforting essence.

Ingredients Needed

Before making this Speedy Spaghetti Bolognese recipe, gathering and preparing all the necessary ingredients is important. So, grab your shopping list and prepare, and let’s start making this bolognese spaghetti:

  • Olive Oil – Olive oil adds depth of flavor and is used to sauté the aromatics. Quality matters, so choose a good extra virgin olive oil for the best flavors. 
  • Onion – Onions, when sautéed, release their sugars, leading to caramelization. This process creates a sweet and savory foundation for the sauce. Whether you prefer white, yellow, or red onions, they all work wonders in adding layers of flavor.
  • Garlic –  Garlic adds that special kick. It makes everything smell and taste so good!
  • Ground Beef –  This is the star of our quick Bolognese sauce. Go for the less fatty kind, so it’s okay, but remember, a little fat means a lot of flavor. Browning it well is crucial, as the caramelized meat bits (“fond”) boost the sauce’s depth.
  • Crushed Tomatoes- Offering both tanginess and sweetness, crushed tomatoes also contribute a velvety texture. Opt for quality brands or even fire-roasted versions for a smoky nuance.
  • Tomato Paste – This concentrated form of tomatoes lends a robust tomato flavor, richness, and color to the sauce. Its umami properties amplify the meatiness of the beef.
  • Dried Oregano and Thyme – When these two team up in your sauce, they bring a rich blend of flavors, making your dish taste like a warm Italian hug in a bowl.
  • Fresh Parsley – It’s fresh and green. Sprinkle on top for color and a fresh taste. Or, use basil if you like!
  • Salt and Pepper – It’s fresh and green. Sprinkle on top for color and a fresh taste. Or, use basil if you like!
  • Spaghetti – Those long, twisty noodles that grab all the yummy sauce. Perfect match!
  • Parmesan Cheese – Aged, crumbly, and packed with umami, Parmesan cheese is the finishing touch. When sprinkled on top or mixed into the sauce, it melds into the dish, introducing a nutty, salty depth that rounds off the Bolognese beautifully.
30 Minute Quick Spaghetti Bolognese

How To Make Spaghetti Bolognese

Follow the next step and discover how easy it is to bring this classic dish’s Italian flavors into your kitchen.

Sautéing the Aromatics

  • In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.
  • Toss in the finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until they soften and become fragrant, usually about 3 minutes.

Browning the Meat

  • Add the ground beef to the aromatic mix in the skillet. Cook until the beef loses its pink hue, which should take roughly 10 minutes.
  • Once done, blend in the tomato paste with the dried oregano, and thyme ensuring the meat is well-coated.

Make The Bolognese Sauce

Add the crushed tomatoes and beef stock. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for 15 minutes(or longer for a deeper flavor).

30 Minute Quick Spaghetti Bolognese 1

Preparing the Spaghetti

While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.

Once the spaghetti is done, drain and plate it. Pour your hearty Bolognese sauce over the top. 

Finish with a generous dusting of Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley or basil, and voila – a comforting and flavorful meal is ready to be relished!

Cooking Spaghetti Tips

  • Use a large pot while cooking the spaghetti to allow it to cook evenly and prevent it from sticking together.
  • Make sure to salt the water. While the water is simmering, add salt to enhance the pasta’s flavor.
  • Cook them al dente. This is the right way to cook pasta to give them a pleasant texture and prevent them from becoming mushy.
  • Stir occasionally while the spaghetti cooks to prevent sticking. 

Essential Tips For Success 

  • Opt for Lean Meat: Always choose lean ground meat. This not only reduces the fat content in your sauce but also means there’s less grease to drain off once it’s cooked.
  • Let It Simmer: If you’re not pressed for time, allow the sauce to simmer a little longer. This deepens the flavors and melds the ingredients together better.
  • Hold Onto Pasta Water: Set aside some of the water before draining your pasta. If your bolognese sauce thickens too much, a splash of this starchy water can smooth it out to the perfect consistency.
  • Space is Key: When browning your beef, spread it out. Overcrowding the pan can lead to uneven cooking and prevent the meat from achieving that desired browned exterior.
  • Stir It Up: As your sauce simmers, give it a gentle stir now and then. This prevents the meat from sticking to the bottom and ensures even cooking without any lumps.
quick and easy 30 minute bolognese sauce for spagetti

Quick Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Variations 

Tired of the classic flavor of this bolognese sauce? Feel free to get creative and tweak the ingredients based on your preferences. Here are some fun variations to consider:

  • Vegetarian Bolognese: For those who prefer vegetarian options, replace the ground meat with plant-based alternatives like lentils or mushrooms. They offer a meaty texture and enrich the sauce’s flavor.
  • Spicy Bolognese: If you love some heat, give your sauce a kick by adding pepper flakes or diced jalapeños.
  • Creamy Bolognese: For a rich and velvety touch, mix in 2 tbsp of cream or half-and-half towards the end of the cooking process.
  • Smoky Flavor: For a hint of smokiness and added crunch, incorporate 1/4 cup of crumbled bacon into the sauce.


Even though this spaghetti bolognese dish is quite simple to make, some troubleshooting may appear while preparing it. So, here are some tips that you’ll help you overcome some common issues when making this recipe:

  1. The Sauce Is Too Watery: If your Bolognese sauce is too watery, it might not have simmered long enough. To solve this issue, continue simmering the sauce uncovered until it reaches the desired consistency. Alternatively, you can add a small amount of tomato paste to thicken it quickly.
  2. The Sauce Is Too Thick: On the other hand, if your Bolognese sauce is too thick, you can gradually thin it out by adding small amounts of pasta water, vegetable or chicken broth, or even a splash of red wine.
  3. The Meat Is Not Browning Evenly: To ensure even browning of the ground meat, make sure your pan is adequately heated before adding the meat, and avoid overcrowding the pan.
  4. My Pasta Noodles Are Sticking Together: To prevent pasta noodles from sticking together, cook them in a large pot filled with plenty of boiling water. If sticking still occurs, or if you’re working with a smaller pot, consider adding a tablespoon of oil to the boiling water.
  5. The Sauce Is Too Acidic: If your sauce turns out too acidic, it might be due to the type of tomato sauce used. To balance the acidity, you can add a pinch of sugar to the sauce.”
the best quick bolognese sauce

Recipe Substitutions

  • Ground Meat: While this recipe typically calls for ground beef, you can substitute it with other ground meats like turkey, chicken, pork, or even a combination of these meats.
  • Tomato Products: You can experiment with homemade tomato sauce or flavored alternatives instead of canned crushed tomatoes. I love using crushed tomatoes with basil for an extra flavor kick.
  • Vegetables: While onions and garlic are essential for their delicious flavor, don’t hesitate to add other vegetables like finely chopped carrots, celery, or bell peppers to enhance the dish’s overall taste.
  • Pasta Options: While spaghetti is the classic choice, feel free to get creative with your pasta selection. Linguine, fettuccine, or rigatoni are great alternatives that pair wonderfully with Bolognese sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Although Parmesan cheese is a traditional topping, you can swap it with other hard cheeses like Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano for a delightful twist.

How To Store

 Here are some tips that will help you store these spaghetti bolognese leftovers.

  • Fridge: To preserve the freshness of any remaining spaghetti Bolognese from this delectable recipe, follow these storage tips. Store the pasta and sauce separately in airtight containers in the fridge, and they’ll stay delicious for up to 3 days. Keeping them apart prevents the spaghetti from becoming overly soft.
  • Freezer: For longer-term storage, place the Bolognese sauce leftovers in freezer bags. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw, simply transfer them to the fridge overnight.

Pro Tip: Before freezing, make sure the Bolognese sauce leftovers cool completely at room temperature. This step helps maintain their quality during freezing.

spagetti bolognese recipe thefoodieblogger

Reheating Bolognese Sauce

  • You can reheat the leftovers in the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring in between until it’s heated through.
  • Or you can use the stovetop and reheat the bolognese sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Sure, this spaghetti bolognese recipe is great for meal prep. Prepare the sauce in advance and store it in the fridge. When ready to enjoy it, simply cook your pasta and savor the flavors.

Can I Make Spaghetti Bolognese Vegetarian Or Vegan?

You can create a vegetarian or vegan version of this spaghetti Bolognese recipe. Substitute the ground meat with ingredients like lentils or mushrooms and opt for plant-based alternatives instead of Parmesan cheese. 

What’s the Ideal Meat for Bolognese Sauce?

While the traditional Bolognese sauce features ground beef, you have flexibility here. Feel free to combine meats such as beef and pork, or lean ground chicken for a healthier twist.

Can I Make A Bolognese Sauce Without Onions Or Garlic?

Certainly! While onions and garlic enhance the sauce’s flavor, you can omit them if you have dietary restrictions or personal preferences. The sauce will still be delicious.

Can I Use Fresh Tomatoes Instead of Canned Tomato Products?

You can use fresh tomatoes, but you’ll need to peel and dice them. You may also want to adjust the cooking time slightly to allow fresh tomatoes to break down and create a rich sauce.

 How Can I Make Bolognese Sauce Creamy?

To make your Bolognese sauce creamy, add a touch of heavy cream or milk while simmering. This will impart a velvety texture to the sauce. Stir it gently and adjust the quantity to your desired creaminess.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

Quick Spaghetti Bolognese

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Learn how to make this rich and hearty Quick Spaghetti Bolognese recipe that tastes like it's been simmering for hours, but is ready in under 30 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknight evenings, this simplified version of the Italian classic delivers those bold flavors without the wait.
Author: Ioana
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
4 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp white sugar optional
  • ½ pound spaghetti
  • Freshly chopped parsley and Grated Parmesan cheese for serving


Preparation of the Meat Sauce:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the finely chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.
  2. Crumble in the ground beef over the sautéed aromatics. Cook until the beef is browned and no longer pink.
  3. Mix in the tomato paste, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and beef stock and stir.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then season with salt and pepper (and white sugar if using).
  6. Once seasoned, reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors.

Cooking the Spaghetti:

  1. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions or until al dente. Once cooked, drain the spaghetti in a colander.


  1. Plate the cooked spaghetti. Generously spoon the meat sauce over the spaghetti.
  2. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 660 kcal, Carbohydrates: 64 g, Protein: 32 g, Fat: 31 g, Saturated Fat: 10 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 81 mg, Sodium: 525 mg, Potassium: 1270 mg, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 14 g, Vitamin A: 572 IU, Vitamin C: 23 mg, Calcium: 136 mg, Iron: 7 mg

The nutritional information provided on this website is intended to be a helpful reference and convenience for our users. It is offered as a courtesy and is based on data primarily sourced from the USDA Food Composition Database.

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