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Easy One-Pot Pasta Bolognese

Weeknight dinner has never been easier or more delicious with this rich in flavor Easy One-Pot Pasta Bolognese recipe! It’s on heavy rotation in our house because it’s ready in 30 minutes, toddlers and adults love it, it’s saucy, filling and really tasty.

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - spaghetti in pot shot from the side with basil on top

Let Me Address The Purists!

Consider this: there’s less cleaning up (huge bonus) and who cares if the pasta is cooked separately when you’re eating it?

Frankly, the focus should be on how tasty the meal is. And in this case, because the pasta is cooked in the sauce, it soaks in every flavor in the sauce, making it even tastier than it being cooked in just water!

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - feature 02

Looking for more recipes?

If you’re looking for more pasta recipes that are big on flavor, try my Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Greek Beef Orzo Pasta (Giouvetsi) or my delicious Easy Spaghetti And Meatballs Recipe!

This is an outrage! (Purists right now)

Here’s Why You Should Stop Clutching Your Pearls.

Yes yes, I know. And I’ve spoken to family members who are skeptical about this recipe but it works! I can hear the purists saying, “no no Nick, they need to be cooked separately and the pasta needs to be under the sauce when served!!”.

I’m here to tell you: ya wrong! Here’s why:

  • Rich flavored pasta that cooks in the sauce? Yes! It’s tastier than cooking the pasta in just salted water. The pasta soaked in every single flavor in the sauce.
  • Ready in just one pot! Less pots and pans to clean! It’s all cooked in one pan. First the sauce, the finish by cooking the pasta.

Let’s talk pasta!

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - spaghetti image

For this recipe you can use any type of pasta you like!

This recipe is designed for the pasta to be cooked in the sauce. All that extra liquid is soaked up by the pasta and the result is a thick and rich sauce with pasta that is flavored with the sauce!

My favorite pastas to use are spaghetti (angel hair pasta) and spiral pasta. The brand I use says the pasta is cooked and ready in 8 minutes when cooked in boiling water, but it usually takes a couple minutes longer because the sauce the pasta is being cooked in is thicker than plain water so allow a couple extra minutes of cooking time on top of what the package instructions say.

Some pastas may even need a little extra liquid. If your sauce starts looking a little too thick or dry, add 1/2 – 1 cup of boiling water to your sauce and continue cooking your pasta until cooked.

Ingredients You Need To Make One-Pot Pasta Bolognese

Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - ingredients image

  • Olive oil – I used extra virgin olive oil.
  • Brown onion – use a medium brown onion. The finer you chop it up, the smoother your sauce will be. I’m ok with medium chunks, so I just finely dice.
  • Garlic – use locally grown garlic. Local meaning the country or state you live in, not imported which takes forever to arrive to your supermarket shelves. And don’t buy garlic from supermarkets, buy it from your local fresh green grocer or food market.
  • Beef Mince – I used beef mince with 10% fat. Anything lower than that is ok, but the fat adds a lot of flavor to your sauce. Anything between 10-15% fat is great.
  • Tomato Paste – The tomato paste helps add a boost of tomato flavor, but because it’s so concentrated, it helps add a little sweetness to your sauce too.
  • Italian herbs – We buy Italian herbs in bulk! I use it in everything! Helps add so much flavor to your sauce.
  • Salt – I used fine salt.
  • Black pepper – I used freshly ground black pepper.
  • Passata – I used the Mutti brand. I don’t buy it unless it’s on special because it’s incredibly expensive even though it tastes great.
  • Stock – Spoiler alert, I use stock cubes also known as bullion cubes. You can use the ready-made one in the carton but it’s literally the same thing and I’m not a millionaire, so I don’t buy expensive stock.
  • Soy Sauce – yes, you read right. Light soy sauce adds umami. You can’t taste the soy sauce; it just adds a boost of saltiness.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Helps add a boost of umami and flavor.
  • Basil – I use fresh basil that I clean, dry and then chop up. Half goes into the sauce and then half as a garnish.
  • Pasta – You can use any type of pasta you like! Just make sure you add a couple minutes on top of the cooking time that’s on the packaging.

How to make One-Pot Pasta Bolognese!

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - steps 01

  1. Sauté onion and garlic for 30 seconds.
  2. Add beef mince and cook until not pink anymore.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook until it begins to bubble.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except the pasta) bring to a boil and then cover with lid and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - steps 02

  1. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (add more water if needed).
  2. Pasta is ready to serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil!

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - spaghetti lifted up by tongs

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - close up of spaghetti twirled around a fork

Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - feature 01

  • Add a kick of heat by adding 1/4 tsp of chili. More if you’re nasty (office reference).
  • Use pork, chick or turkey mince if you like!
  • Add your favorite veggies in there. Mushrooms, grated carrot, anything you like! Sauté with the onion.
  • Some pastas will soak up more liquid than others. Added up to a cup of extra boiling water to thin out the sauce. Keep in mind, it thickens as it cools.

Frequently Asked Questions about One-Pot Pasta Bolognese

How do I store this?

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and heat on the stove with about 1/4 cup of boiling water. To freeze, place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. That in the fridge and then reheat on the stove with a little extra boiling water.

Can I cook the pasta and sauce separately?

Yes, you can, just reduce the amount of stock by half in the sauce and cook until the sauce is thickened to your liking. It could take up to 30 minutes. The less liquid, the thicker it will be.

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One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese - thumbnail image

Easy One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese

Weeknight dinner has never been easier or more delicious with this rich in flavor Easy One-Pot Spaghetti Bolognese recipe! Ready in 30 minutes!

Serves 9

5 from 3 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 38 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 4195kcal

Ingredients

Spaghetti Bolognese

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced (see notes)
  • 500 g (500 g) beef mince (see notes)
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste best quality you can get!
  • 1 tsp Italian herb mix
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups (750 ml) passata sauce (tomato puree)
  • 4 cups (1 liter) beef mince chicken or vegetable stock (good quality!)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce adds flavor!
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce flavor!
  • 2 tbsp basil chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 (500 g) packet 500g spaghetti or pasta of your choice! (see notes)


Instructions

Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Note: this recipe is really forgiving. The soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce are optional but add a good boost of umami (savory flavor). No, you can’t taste the soy sauce, it’s only a small amount but enhances the overall tomato flavor.
  • Heat a large, deep pot to high heat. Add the olive oil in a large saucepan (you’ll need one with a lid) and add your chopped onion and garlic. Mix using a wooden spoon for 60 seconds on medium heat.
  • Next, add the beef mince and cook until it’s not red anymore, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, Italian herbs, salt and pepper and stir until the tomato paste starts bubbling or caramelizing.
  • Add the passata, stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and basil and stir until mixture bubbles. Turn heat down to low, cover pot with lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pasta and cook 2 minutes longer than the package instructions. Once the pasta is al-dente, the sauce will be thick, glossy, intense in flavor, and ready to gobble down! Don’t forget to garnish with extra basil before serving!

Notes

Beef Mince - if you can, buy your beef mince from a good butcher. It’s always fresher than what they sell at supermarkets. You can buy lower fat beef mince, but regular beef mince with 10 - 15% fat content adds flavor to the sauce!
Passata - yes, brand matters but it doesn’t have to be expensive! More importantly than that, buying from an Italian deli is always going to be better than buying the cr-p they sell at supermarkets. Ask your friendly deli attendant which one they use at home for an authentico flavor!
Garlic - If you’re in Australia, buy from a good fruit shop, not the supermarket. And make sure you buy Aussie grown garlic, it tastes way better and is better for the environment. Supermarkets sell really old garlic that’s mass produced and takes months to arrive here.
Spaghetti / pasta - again, buy from an Italian grocer not from a supermarket. The quality will always be better. You can also use any type of pasta you like too. Add an extra 2 minutes of cooking time on top of package cooking times or cook until al dente! Pastas that need longer than 8-minutes to cook will need an extra splash of water to cool.
Chili - add a pinch of chili flakes for an extra kick of heat in your pasta! I leave it out to make this recipe toddler friendly.
Storage - Spaghetti Bolognese can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Nutrition - is based on per serving. This recipe serves 4 adults and a hungry toddler!
A note on measurements - all ingredients in this recipe are offered in Australian cup measurements and weight measurements. Australian cups are different to other cup measurements in different places in the world which means that no cup measurements anywhere are a reliable way to measure! Weight measurements are created by me, in my kitchen here in Melbourne Australia. The best way to get recipe success is to measure ingredients by weight, using kitchen scales.

Nutrition

Calories : 4195kcal
Carbonhydrates: 92g
Protein: 257g
Fat: 310g
Saturated Fat: 112g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g
Monounsaturated Fat : 143g
Trans Fat : 17g
Cholesterol: 994mg
Sodium: 4147mg
Potassium : 7723mg
Fiber: 19g
Sugar : 46g
Vitamin A: 4586IU
Vitamin C: 100mg
Calcium: 512mg
Iron: 44mg
Nutrition Disclosure
Gave this recipe a go?Mention @thescranline or tag #thescranline!

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1 comment

Nick Makrides October 21, 2023 - 12:10 am

5 stars
Even if you’re skeptical, give this recipe a go! The sauce is thick and its so easy to put together! N x

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