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Beef bolognese sauce on a plate with courgette spaghetti with a basil garnish and cherry tomatoes

Bolognese Sauce with Hidden Vegetables

A healthy Bolognese Sauce with EIGHT 'hidden' veggies. Pour over a pile of courgetti or wholewheat spaghetti for a supercharged, guilt-free meal.
4.56 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 226kcal
Author: Cheryl Whyte



  • 6 Tomatoes Chopped in half
  • 300 g Mushrooms Chopped in half
  • 3 Peppers (Preferably mixed colours)
  • 1 Courgette Chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil Divided
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt Divided
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper Divided
  • 3 Carrots Diced
  • 6 Celery Stalks Diced
  • 1 Red Onion Diced
  • 1 Brown Onion Diced
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 30 g Fresh Basil
  • 400 g 5% Fat Minced Beef (Ground Beef)
  • 100 g Chorizo Diced
  • 3 Anchovies
  • 4 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 Red Chilli Finely chopped
  • 142 g Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste)
  • 800 g Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Raw Honey


  • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 350°F/ 180°C/ Fan 160°C
  • Prepare your ingredients (weigh, wash, peel, chop) and get your equipment ready.
  • Spread the tomatoes and mushrooms on one baking tray and the peppers and courgette on another. Toss both trays of veg with ½ tablespoon of oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place the trays into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, put a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Then, add the carrots, celery, onions (red and brown), oregano, rosemary and bay leaves, stirring frequently for 25 minutes. This is your mirepoix. In the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in the fresh basil.
  • Remove the vegetables from the oven and transfer them to a blender. Now, remove the bay leaves from the mirepoix, and add to the blender. Blend the vegetables and mirepoix until smooth (about 2 minutes). Then place to one side.
  • Using the same saucepan that you cooked the mirepoix add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, turn onto medium-high heat and add the minced beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Keep going until the beef is brown and a little crispy - usually about 6-8 minutes.
  • Once the beef is lovely and brown, add the chorizo, anchovies, garlic and chilli and stir frequently for 3 minutes.
  • Now, stir in the tomato puree and cook down for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and honey to the saucepan and pour in the blended vegetables. Give everything a really good stir and cook for a minimum of 40 minutes (preferably an hour) so that the flavours combine and develop. The sauce should thicken and become a deep, rich, red colour.
  • Serve and enjoy!


LEFTOVERS: Bolognese Sauce will last in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days and will maintain quality in the freezer for up to 4 months.
FOOD SAFETY: Once the Bolognese Sauce has cooled completely, divide leftovers into individual portions and transfer to airtight heavy-duty freezer bags or glass containers. Refrigerate or freeze within 2 hours of being left at room temperature to avoid bacteria growth. 
FRIENDLY ADVICE: Avoid putting leftovers in plastic containers. The tomato in the sauce will stain them orange and ain’t no detergent in this world getting that out! 
Microwave from Chilled: place the Bolognese Sauce in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 3-5 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  Ensure the sauce is piping hot before serving. 


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 756mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g
Course | Main Course
Cuisine | Italian
Keyword | Beef Bolognese, Bolognese, Meat Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce
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