Lamb Bolognese is a quick and easy hearty meat sauce that pairs well with pasta. Fuss free and effortless this is a quick cooking easy dinner recipe that is perfect any night of the week. Smothered in a rich sauce fragrant with tomato this irresistibly delicious lamb mince bolognese will tick all of your boxes!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Family friendly: everyone loves a spaghetti bolognese recipe and this lamb spaghetti bolognese is no exception, it will be thoroughly devoured and enjoyed by all!
- Freezer friendly: whether you want to purchase the lamb mince (ground lamb) and freeze it for a special occassion or make the bolognese, freeze and have on hand for later when you need it you can.
- Versatile: you can stick to the recipe as is or add some vegetables to either bulk it up, make it stretch further or add some diversity. The lamb bolognese recipe is a somewhat lighter sauce than using ground beef so you might want to add a little more to it. Check out my substitutions and variations for ideas.
- Taste and texture: an Italian style recipe with a thick and delicious bolognese sauce that provides both maximum flavour and a variety of textures will have you coming back for more.
- Diverse serving options: you have a wide variety of choices when it comes to serving the bolognese. Be it with your favourite pasta, spooned onto freshly toasted bread or as the filling for a grilled cheese, this bolognese will lend it self to all of these options and more!
- Dinner done in less than 30 mins: some night's you need dinner stat. A recipe up your sleeve that will get the hungry mouths fed and on the table without ordering in. This lamb bolognese recipe has a fast cooking time and will be done in 30 mins (with simple grocery store ingredients) You can cook some pasta to serve with it as the sauce is simmering! 👍😉.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Lamb mince: also known as ground lamb, this is a great ingredient to use in pasta and stir fry's. Known for being quick to cook and freezer friendly, it gives a great alternative to beef or pork bolognese recipes. Or if you have lamb leftovers you can use those, simply add in after making the sauce (they are already cooked, so only need reheating).
- Garlic: crushed or finely chopped garlic cloves, whichever you have on hand will be perfect to use 😉👍.
- Olive oil: we use this in the pan to start with, helping to cook the garlic and brown the lamb mince.
- Salt and pepper: a little of each to season the ground lamb as it cooks.
🍜 Lamb Bolognese Sauce
- Tomato passata: also known as tomato puree in some countries, this is a smooth sauce that provides the bases for the bolognese sauce.
- Diced tomatoes: I recommend the plain style of these so there is no additional herbs or flavours, allowing you to know exactly what is in your bolognese recipe.
- Tomato paste: this pasta has a thick texture and delivers a lovely richness to the sauce. We only use a small amount of this which is enough to deliver maximum yum 😉😁.
- Red wine: added for a depth of flavour, I use a pinot noir as I find this a great cooking wine with less grit/sediment than some red wines.
- Dried Italian herbs: a common dried herb combination that you will find in every supermarket from Walmart to Tesco, Aldi, Safeway, Woolies and Coles. This will be found in the herbs and spices section of the supermarket.
- Dried onion: saving time and tears, this ingredient allows us to use the onion flavour but not cry our eyes out in the preparation. Plus is is super easy as you simply open the jar and spoon it in as opposed to using a knife and chopping board to peel and finely dice an onion, win, win, I say!!
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here at the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by browning off the lamb mince with some oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Add oil, garlic, lamb, salt and pepper to large pan (Photo 1)
- Cook the lamb till browned (Photo 2)
- Add the sauce ingredients (Photo 3)
- Stir to combine then simmer for 15 minutes (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Lamb Bolognese
To make the lamb bolognese, have all of the ingredients ready to go. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a sauté pan (or large Dutch oven), then add the garlic, lamb mince, salt and pepper. Cook this on high to medium heat using a wooden spoon or slotted spoon to break up any clumps of meat as you go.
Ensure that the ground lamb doesn't sit on the bottom of the pan for too long without keeping things moving as a means to cook the mince faster.
Once the meat has cooked through (no pink bits visible), add the passata (tomato puree), diced tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, diced onion and dried herbs. Stir these together to combine, then place a lid on the sauce pan and turn the stove down to low heat. Allow the bolognese to bubble away on a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally 😁.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
To serve the bolognese, pasta is a great, easy and budget friendly option. Be it al dente spaghetti, fettuccini, macaroni or your favourite pasta. the sauce will pair well for a serving option.
If serving the dish with pasta, I recommend liberally garnishing with freshly cracked black pepper, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and finely chopped fresh parsley. This suggestion is shown in the photo below so you can visually taste and anticipate the yum! 🥰👍😉.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the bolognese in a sealed air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat prior to serving. Leftover sauce can be frozen seperately with the option to cook fresh pasta for an easy weeknight semi prepped dinner.
How to Freeze
Let the bolognese fully cool before portioning into zip lock bags or sealed air tight containers. It can then be laid flat in the freezer and frozen for up to 2 months.
How to Reheat
Allow the bolognese to thaw in the fridge before reheating in the microwave or in a sauce pan on the stove. If using the stove to reheat, add a spray of olive oil to the pan to ensure that it doesn't stick. Thawed bolognese sauce will only take 2 - 3 mins to reheat in the microwave or 4 to 5 mins on the stove.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the sauce if you want extra flavor or to make a spicy lamb bolognese.
- You can use oregano as an alternative to the combined Italian seasoning.
- Crushed tomatoes can be used in place of diced tomatoes.
- If you want to use leftover roast lamb in place of the ground lamb, you can do that to the equivalent amount. In this case as the meat has been cooked, I would make the bolognese sauce, then add the leftover cooked meat to the dish at the simmer stage as you don't need to cook it, rather simply ensure that it is heated through.
- You can use half lamb mince, half ground beef if you want a diversity across the main protein.
- Add a bay leaf or 2 to the sauce and allow them to impart flavour to the bolognese sauce if you wish, remove prior to serving and discard.
- Add a splash of dry white wine when simmering the sauce for an extra zing of flavor.
- If you want to make the sauce stretch further a great way to do this is to add some vegetables. Be it grated carrot, shredded zucchini or sliced mushrooms, these will each add bulk to the recipe and allow the sauce to serve more or simply be loaded with nutritious healthy veggies.
- Spinach is another great vegetable that can be added to the sauce if you wish, add this towards the end of the simmer time as to wilt and combine but not over cook.
- Crumbed feta or a dollop of ricotta are Italian flavours that also work well with the recipe.
- You can use the lamb bolognese in lasagna or on a pizza if you want alternative options to spaghetti bolognese.
- Or serve it with your favorite pasta for an easy dinner.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Have everything prepped and ready to go. The mince will cook quickly and if you have all of the other ingredients ready, you can easily add them in as the recipe calls for them.
- When cooking the lamb, use high heat and stir to break up any lumps. A silicon slotted turner used vertically or a wooden spoon are handy utensils to assist with this process.
- The simmering of the sauce, allows it to thicken and reduce the amount of liquid. Skipping this step would result in a more watery sauce so simmer the cooked dish for 15 mins to achieve a hearty thick and delicious bolognese.
- You will find that you want to make this recipe again and again as it is so easy and straight forward. For diversity, you can serve it with a different pasta each time if you like and establish which pairing is your favourite combination! (Parpadelle perhaps? 😊).
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best meat for bolognese?
The best meat for bolognese is ground or minced meat. You can use a variety of different proteins be it beef, pork, chicken, veal or turkey meat.
How do you add richness to bolognese sauce?
Tomato paste has a thick texture and is a great way to add richness to bolognese sauce. Other alternatives are a dose of red or white wine and dried herbs or bay leaves.
Is lamb mince the same as ground lamb?
Yes, lamb mince and ground lamb are the same thing. Different parts of the world use different names for this style of meat product.
Is bolognese better the longer you cook it?
Yes, bolognese tastes better the longer you cook it. Simmering it for at least 15 minutes ensures tender juicy meat and a thick sauce to match which has seen some of the liquid be reduced out.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you are looking for ways to make dinner the easiest meal of the day, then I have some more ideas that you might like to try. How about making one of these recipes 😉👍:
- Pork Bolognese
- Fusilli Bolognese
- Linguine Bolognese
- BBQ Lamb Ribs
- Bolognese Pizza
- Garlic Prawn Spaghetti
- Baked Pasta Bolognese
- Honey Glazed Pork Chops
- Chicken Yaki Udon
- Turkey Mince Bolognese
It's time to get our bolognese on my friend, lamb spagh bol that is 🥰👍😁.You can also find all of my pasta recipes in the one spot! xx
Easy Lamb Bolognese
- 1 Large flat sauce pan with lid
- 1 Wooden spoon or silicon flexible turner
- 2 tablespoon olive oil Note 1
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced or roughly chopped, Note 2
- 500 grams/ 16 oz lamb mince Note 3
- ¼ teaspoon salt Note 4
- ¼ teaspoon pepper also Note 4
- 700 grams/24.6 oz passata Note 5
- 400 grams/14 oz diced tomatoes Note 6
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste Note 7
- ⅓ cup red wine Note 8
- 1 tablespoon dried onion Note 9
- 2 teaspoon Italian herbs dried, Note 10
- Cook the lamb: heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a large heavy based pan at high heat. Add the garlic, lamb, salt and pepper. Cook till browned (5 to 8 mins) and use a wooden spoon to stir and break up any clumps of meat as you go.
- Add the sauce: pour in the passata (tomato puree), diced tomatoes, dried Italian herbs, dried onion and red wine. Stir to combine.
- Simmer: turn the heat to low, place a lid over the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve and enjoy: portion the bolognese onto plates with freshly cooked pasta, garnish with cracked pepper, parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley.
- Note 1 - Olive oil: we use this in the pan to start with, only using a little of each is enough to season the recipe.
- Note 2 - Garlic: minced or finely chopped cloves. I use 203 for cloves or 1 tbs of minced garlic.
- Note 3 - Lamb mince: also known as ground lamb, this is a great ingredient to use in pasta and stir fry's. Known for being quick to cook and freezer friendly, it gives a great alternative to beef or pork bolognese recipes.
- Note 4 - Salt and pepper: we use a small amount of each of these for seasoning the meat as it cooks.
- Note 5 - Tomato passata: also known as tomato puree in some countries, this is a smooth sauce that provides the bases for the bolognese sauce.
- Note 6 - Diced tomatoes: I recommend the plain style of these so there is no additional herbs or flavours, allowing you to know exactly what is in your bolognese recipe. You can use crushed tomatoes as an alternative.
- Note 7 - Tomato paste: this pasta has a thick texture and delivers a lovely richness to the sauce. We only use a small amount of this which is enough to deliver maximum yum 😉😁.
- Note 8 - Red wine: added for a depth of flavour, I use a pinot noir as I find this a great cooking wine with less grit/sediment than some red wines.
- Note 9 - Dried onion: saving time and tears, this ingredients allows us to use the onion flavour but not cry our eyes out in the preparation. Plus is is super easy as you simply open the jar and spoon it in as opposed to using a knife and chopping board to peel and finely dice an onion, win, win, I say!!
- Note 10 - Dried Italian herbs: a common spice that you will find in every supermarket from Walmart to Tesco, Aldi, Safeway, Woolies and Coles. This will be found in the herbs and spices section of the supermarket.