Treat yourself to rich, savory flavor with this Red Bolognese Sauce Recipe. By using ground beef, balsamic vinegar, and red wine, we achieve a taste perfect for pairing with your favorite noodles, stuffed peppers, lentils, and more!
The best beef bolognese you’ll ever try
There is nothing better than a big bowl of red bolognese sauce paired with your favorite noodles. Nothing! Something about it just tastes so nostalgic. It’s an automatic comfort food regardless of whether it’s homemade or from a restaurant.
Today’s recipe is a rich and thick bolognese that’s flavored with a lot of garlic alongside oregano, basil, and a bit of balsamic vinegar! The magic ingredient to achieve a rich flavor is red wine. You can use your favorite type, and a dry is usually best!
The taste of this ingredient combo is to die for, and the flavors will have you chowing down and running back for seconds. I love that it’s a simple, one-pot dish. It’s great for weeknights when you don’t feel like completely destroying your kitchen!
Ingredients in this red bolognese sauce recipe
This bolognese sauce recipe begins with a veggie base of onion and carrots. The true magic happens when we get into the flavorings with the tomato paste, balsamic, and wine. As for the parmesan, feel free to use grated or shaved. Your choice!
- Olive oil: Kick off your ingredient list with 2 tbsp of olive oil. This will be plenty for cooking up the onion and carrots.
- Yellow onion: Use 1 small diced onion, either yellow or white.
- Carrots: Thicken up the sauce (and add some vegetable benefits) with 2 finely chopped carrots.
- Ground beef: For the meat, you will need 1 lb of ground beef. This will create ____ servings.
- Garlic: When I said this recipe uses a lot of garlic, I meant it! You will need 7 cloves of minced garlic to achieve the right flavor. That amounts to 1 3/4 tsp if you’re going the garlic powder route.
- Seasonings: Add flavor to your dish by including the following seasonings: 1 tsp of dried oregano, 1 tsp of dried basil, 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
- Tomatoes: Add the tomato taste to the bolognese by using 2 28oz cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes.
- Tomato paste: Compliment the tomato flavor with 1/4 cup of tomato paste.
- Balsamic vinegar: 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar will give the sauce a slight bite without being overpowering.
- Red wine: To get an even richer flavor, 1/2 cup of red wine will do the trick.
- Water: Include 1/4 cup of water to get the right sauce consistency.
- Parmesan cheese: Last but not least, finish off the sauce by including 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
Tools used to make this recipe
To make bolognese with ground beef and red wine, you will first need a cutting board and chopping knife to dice the onion and carrots and mince the garlic. From there, you will only need one large pan and a stirring utensil or spatula to cook the recipe!
For measuring, you will need 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/4 cup, and 1/2 cup.
How to make bolognese with red wine
Bolognese is one of those dishes whose flavor grows in intensity over a bit of time. For this reason, it tastes the best when it can sit on the stove for 2-3 hours! However, don’t let that scare you away. 60 minutes of simmer time will be plenty for achieving a delightful, flavor-rich bolgonese sauce.
Begin by heating a large pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and carrots and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
Next, add the ground beef and break it up into small pieces. Cook until it’s slightly pink, and then add the garlic. Let cook for another minute.
Add the oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Next, add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir.
Stir in the balsamic vinegar, red wine, water, and parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Let simmer for at least 60 minutes, or 2-3 hours if you have the time. Enjoy!
How is bolgonese different from regular pasta sauce?
Though it may look like a meat sauce at first glance, bolognese is much more than that! You’ll likely find bolognese to be much thicker, and the flavors are typically a lot more intense and powerful. Pasta sauce tends to be runnier with more of a tomato flavor, whereas bolognese is simply complemented by using tomatoes! A bulk of the flavor comes from the meat and wine and the vinegar adds an edge absent in pasta sauce.
Interested in changing up your sauce? Here are some ingredients to consider!
- Onion: Add a more potent flavor to the dish by using a red onion instead of yellow or white.
- Water: For a thicker sauce, you can use milk in place of the water.
- Red wine: I recommend using a red wine, but you can use a dry white too!
- Veggies: This is more an ingredient addition than a substitute, but feel free to create a heavier base of vegetables by adding celery, zucchini, or bell peppers!
How to enjoy this bolognese sauce recipe
Bolognese can be enjoyed over a bed of your favorite pasta noodles! You can also use it in other noodle dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna, and it makes a great addition to stuffed peppers, lentils, or even gnocchi!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
In the mood for some more saucy dishes? Here are some favorites you may want to try!
- Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Veggie Skillet Lasagna
- Healthy One Pot Pasta Recipe
- Easy Tortellini Spinach Soup
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced finely
- 1lb ground beef
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 28oz cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup water (or more depending on how thin you want your sauce)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Heat a large pan with olive oil over medium high heat. Add in diced onion and carrots, and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
- Add in ground beef and break up/cook until slightly pink, add in garlic and let cook another minute.
- Add in oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Then add in the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar, red wine, water and parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Let simmer for at least 60 minutes, or 2-3 hours if you have the time. Enjoy!
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