I love when I have a recipe that tastes naughty but is completely healthy. My beef bolognese recipe is not only delicious, but it is good for you, warming, and freezes well.
I have decided I will be accountable for my eating in the new year, so have decided to give weight watchers a try along with upping my fitness. I won’t bore you with my weight loss and fitness journey, but will provide ww points for those that are interested. For those not on a diet, then go nuts on the olive oil if you wish. This recipe adds in vegetables in a way that isn’t in your face, and is a great way to sneak in vegetables for the veggie dodger in your life.
If you are following weight watchers, this sauce is 5 points per serving (4 points if you use the olive oil out of your allowance, and completely free if you are following the Filling and Healthy plan on ww).
I have a confession, until I attempted this recipe back in December, I had never made homemade bolognese. To me, bolognese was a jar of sauce with mince beef and veggies chucked in. I decided I didn’t want sugar in my sauce, and that I wanted to make it fresh. I looked at loads of recipes and thought they all looked relatively easy, so I just decided to do my own thing. To be authentic Italian it would seem it should have bacon in it, 1-2 wine glasses of red wine, and celery. I wanted to keep my recipe lighter, less salty and celery free. If my husband is to eat something it must remain sans celery. I was skeptical this such a simple list of ingredients would taste good, but wow does fresh beef bolognese taste so fresh and rich.
My first attempt was a direct result of overindulgence at Christmas, so I had mine over spaghetti squash with a side of brussels sprouts as we were swimming in sprouts. The husband just ate a large bowl of sauce with a large serving of homemade garlic tiger bread.
I froze the rest and then for a quick meal after work I decided to use the rest to make stuffed peppers. The result was brilliant and better than my normal stuffed peppers.
Stuffed pepper recipe
Ok, I know it’s cheeky to call this a recipe, perhaps instruction is a better word. The only advice I will give is to avoid the green peppers here, they just don’t have the taste I am looking for, however if they are your thing, then knock yourself out.
- 4 mixed sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, orange) cut in half
- Leftover spaghetti bolognese (roughly 2 cups)
- 1 sautéed onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1-2 cups Rice, quinoa or starch of your choice, cooked
- Tomato passata (tomato sauce in the US)
Put the peppers on a baking tray and drizzle very lightly with olive oil (optional). Pop the peppers into a preheated oven (180 c, 350 F) for about 30 minutes until they are tender.
While the peppers are cooking, put your rice on to cook. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent then add in the bolognese to warm it up. When the rice is done, stir it into the bolognese and season to taste.
Once the peppers are ready, stuff with the bolognese and rice mixture. Pour the passata over the peppers and sprinkle with cheddar (or parmesan) and pop under the grill/broiler for about 5 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve with some crusty bread and salad.
What a great way to use up left overs and not taste like last night’s supper, and the addition of the vegetables, with a bit of a bite to them, a slightly sweet flavour to the sauce, and an utterly rich taste is now a firm favourite in my household.
Beef bolognese recipe
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||1 hour|
|Total time||1 hour, 15 minutes|
|Meal type||Main Dish|
|Misc||Freezable, Serve Hot|
- 400g Minced beef (hamburger)
- 1 medium Onion (finely chopped)
- 1 medium Orange, red or yellow pepper (finely chopped)
- 1 medium Carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 small Courgette/zucchini (grated)
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 cans Plum tomatoes (400g cans)
- 3 tablespoons Tomato puree/paste
- 1 Bayleaf
- 2 Sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 cube Beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 1 splash Red Wine
This is a lovely hearty recipe that tastes even better the next day. I usually make this recipe up the day before I need it. The wine in the recipe is optional.
|Cook all onion, pepper and carrot in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until the onion is translucent.|
|Add the mince, crumbling it into the vegetable mixture and cooking for about 2-3 minutes.|
|Add remaining ingredients (leaving salt, pepper and parmesan out) and cook in a covered pan for approximately and hour until the mixture has thickened. If the mixture appears too liquidy after and hour, remove the lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes to reduce.|
|Season as needed with salt and pepper and serve with a light dusting of parmesan cheese.|
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did. Have a good one.