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Bowl of meaty weeknight bolognese, ready to eat.

Best Weeknight Bolognese with Vegetables

Here’s the quick Aussie style Weeknight Bolognese you’ve been looking for. Ready in 30 minutes and complete with hidden vegetables and bacon to crank it up a notch.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 812kcal
Cost $20


Optional: Make it smoky


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
    1 onion, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tsp garlic
  • Add the beef mince and diced bacon and continue to fry for 5 minutes until browned.
    750 g beef mince, 4 slices bacon
  • Pour in red wine and cook until liquid evaporates, around 5-10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer.
    60 ml red wine
  • Add the grated carrot, grated zucchini, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce / ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and optional BBQ sauce, liquid smoke and smoked paprika. Stir through until well combined, continuing to simmer on low.
    800 g diced tomatoes, 1 carrot, 1 zucchini, 3 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp BBQ sauce, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 10 drops liquid smoke, 4 tbsp tomato sauce / ketchup
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet directions. Drain and either add to the sauce and stir through or place into serving dishes and top with the Bolognese sauce.
    500 g pasta


  • Beef Mince - We use 100% beef mince for this recipe. If you want to add pork, use 500g / 1lb beef mince and 250g / 0.5lb pork mince.
  • Bacon - Middle bacon works well, or sub with pancetta.
  • Pasta - Spaghetti and fettuccine work well, but use whichever pasta you prefer. We usually use just over 80g / 2.8oz of dried pasta per person. This recipe is for 6 serves.
  • Red Wine - Dry red wine is great - grab a cheap shiraz or cabernet. Sub with beef stock. 
  • Diced Tomatoes - If you can find them, use San Marzano variety.
  • Storage - Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days, or portion out and pop into the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Leftover Bolognese - Use the sauce to make a moussaka, pasta al forno or even turn it into toasties for lunch!
  • Add Herbs - Add your favourite fresh herbs for an extra depth of flavour. Basil, oregano or rosemary would work really well, but they’re not essential.


Calories: 812kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 1151mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2445IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 6mg