Pork Bolognese is a deliciously different dinner to your typical beef spag bowl recipe. Super quick and easy to make with everyday ingredients this is a large family and freezer friendly recipe, the whole family will love! Easily turn it into a pork spaghetti bolognese with hearty tomato sauce for a dinner any night of the week.
Recipes like my Lamb Bolognese and Turkey Mince Bolognese give us non beef bolognese options. The Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese (using a crock pot) and Fettuccine Bolognese give us ground beef mince versions.
Each of these are great to use up the leftovers by making a homemade Bolognese Pizza.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Budget friendly: there is nothing in this recipe that will blow the budget. Minced pork (ground pork) is cheaper than other cuts of pork meat and the remaining ingredients are all ones that come with a range of prices with the cheapest often being enough to do the trick.
- Meal prep: this is the perfect recipe to whip up on the weekend, let cool then transfer to the freezer. Grab it out one morning when you know you have a busy day and delight in the knowledge that dinner is 'almost done' when you come home 😁!
- Family friendly: everyone of all ages loves a spaghetti bolognese recipe and this pork spaghetti bolognese is no exception, it will be thoroughly devoured and enjoyed by all! A large pot of this bolognese and a little pepper on top will ensure well fed, satisfied eaters!
- Dinner done in less than 30 mins: some night's you need dinner stat. An plan up your sleeve that will get the hungry mouths fed and on the table without ordering in. This pork bolognese recipe is the perfect recipe to get dinner sorted ASAP and a great way to cook some spaghetti or your favourite pasta to serve with it as the sauce is simmering! 👍😉.
- 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. Check out my substitutions and variations for ideas to make a huge difference to sticking straight to the recipe as is every time you make it.
- Taste and texture: the sauce is meaty, thick and rich with great tomato flavours. You will love twirling your fork in the pasta and delight in the juicy flavour that hasn't set you back hours in the kitchen.
- Diverse serving options: you have a wide variety of choices when it comes to serving the bolognese. Be it with your favourite cooked pasta, spooned onto toasted bread or as the filling for a grilled cheese, the bolognese sauce will lend it self to all of these options and more!
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:
- Pork mince (ground pork): this will be in the meat section of the supermarket or grab from your local butcher. It is an excellent ingredient as it cooks quickly, is freezer friendly before and after cooking and is a great alternative to other proteins.
- Garlic: crushed or finely chopped cloves, whichever you have on hand will be perfect to use 😉👍.
- Extra virgin olive oil: we use this in the pan to start with, helping to cook the garlic and brown the ground pork mince. (You can use regular olive oil if you prefer/have it on hand).
- Salt and pepper: a little of each to season the minced pork as it cooks.
🍜 Pork 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 😉😁.
- Worcestershire sauce: a great alternative to using wine or stock in recipes. This is a condiment that will be easy to get your hands on in the sauces section of the supermarket.
- 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: often in the afternoons many supermarkets will mark down the cost of some meat products. You can take advantage of this by grabbing it, freezing it and whipping up the bolognese when you have time 👍. Win, cha-ching win! 😂.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by browning the pork mince in a large sauté pan. We need to add the oil, garlic, salt and pepper for this step also.
- Add oil, garlic, pork, salt and pepper to pan (Photo 1)
- Brown the pork mince (Photo 2)
- Add sauce ingredients (Photo 3)
- Stir to combine, then simmer (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Pork Bolognese
To make the pork bolognese, start by heating olive oil in a large fry pan. Add the garlic, minced pork, salt and pepper. Using high heat, cook till the meat is browned, breaking up any clumps as you go.
Once the pork is cooked, start to create the Italian sauce. Do this by adding the tomato passata, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried onion and Italian herbs to the pan. Give these a stir to consistently combine, then reduce the heat from high to low. Allow the dish to simmer (gently bubble away) for 15 minutes. The simmering process allows the sauce to thicken and reduces liquid from the pan.
It is not essential to stir it during this time, but if you are nearby in the kitchen, you can give it a stir or 2 using a wooden spoon. This is also a good time to cook pasta if you want to pair the bolognese meat sauce with spaghetti, fettuccini or your favourite cooked pasta.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
You can't have Italian food without garlic bread, right? So try pairing this easy pork bolognese with the Garlic Pizza Bread, Turkish Garlic Bread or Ciabatta Garlic Bread. Each are great choices and full of flavour.
For a lighter side you might like to try the Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad. It is bright, colourful and stays on track with the Italian theme.
If you are using pasta, the usual garnishes of cracked black pepper, parmesan cheese and parsley can be used as liberally as you wish 😉.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed, air tight container for 2 days. Reheat prior to consuming.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool. Once cooled, transfer to a large zip lock bag (or smaller bags for individual portions), squeeze the air out, then seal. These can be laid flat in the freezer and frozen for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
Reheat leftovers in the microwave either on a plate or in a bowl with cling wrap over the top. For frozen bolognese, remove from the freezer, allow to thaw completely (in the fridge overnight or during the day), then reheat by adding back to a pan on the stove. Stir till heated through. You will need a small amount of oil (1 teaspoon) if you are not using a non stick pan.
😉 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:
- Bacon is a popular addition to bolognese recipes and sometimes you will see pancetta in the mix also.
- Add some sliced mushrooms, chopped peeled large carrots or capsicum to the sauce.
- You can add some chopped celery stalks and freshly diced onion if you wish. Simply sauté these after browning the meat before adding the sauce ingredients.
- You can use crushed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes, the texture of the sauce will be slightly less chunky if you do.
- Place 2 bay leaves into the dish when adding the sauce ingredients and allow them to impart flavour as the dish simmers, discard bay leaf prior to serving.
- You can add a splash of red wine if you want to, a Pinot Noir is my recommendation (doesn't have to be an expensive one either 👍😉).
- One of the best ways to serve bolognese is with spaghetti. That is not however, a hard and fast rule, you can serve it with pappardelle, linguine or your favourite pasta!
- Make it once with parsley and the next time add some fresh basil leaves for serving if you want an alternative to parsley.
💡 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. Once you start cooking, the dish comes together quickly, so it is handy to have everything needed close by.
- Add some red pepper flakes if you want to make it a spicy pork bolognese.
- Some people loving adding a little diced bacon to their bolognese and if that's you, I won't stop you. In this case, you can omit or reduce the olive oil, use the bacon fat to brown the ground pork and sauté it with the garlic, salt and pepper.
- If you have heard of adding milk to bolognese, it is a done as a means to achieve more tenderized meat for the sauce. My preference however, is to have a succinct shopping list that will still deliver maximum flavour to the dish. I think you will love the juicy thick tomato sauce with chunky pork and appreciate achieving this with a less is more approach 😉.
- Using a pressure cooker is a fast way to cook pasta, if you are short on time, this is a great option to get things done quickly!
- Individual portions of the recipe can be frozen for quick meals on night's when life gets hectic and convenience is key.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Does bolognese have to be beef?
Bolognese does not have to be beef. In fact, you can make this meaty thick tomato sauce with a diverse number of proteins such as pork, lamb, chicken or even Quorn mince (for a vegetarian option).
Should you Stir bolognese while simmering?
It is a good idea to stir the bolognese sauce whilst it is simmering. Whilst not essential, it helps to ensure that the sauce is consistently combined and doesn't stick to the pan as it simmers.
Do you simmer bolognese with lid on or off?
The key to simmering bolognese is to ensure the heat is low. You can do this with the lid on or off, as it won't make a huge difference to the process. It does help you stir it more regularly if you don't have to remove the lid each time you want to give it a stir though.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Getting dinner on the table can be fuss free and effortless if you have some tried and true recipes to help. Here are some more to bring this convenience to your dinner table: 😉
- Fusilli Bolognese
- Macaroni Bolognese
- Carbonara Macaroni
- Beef Udon Noodles (Ginger Beef Noodles)
- Baked Pasta Bolognese
- Carbonara with Mushrooms and Bacon
- Teriyaki Glazed Salmon
- Honey Glazed Pork Chops
- Marinated Lamb Ribs
- Cumin Lamb Noodles
Easy Pork Bolognese with Spaghetti
- 1 Large sauté pan (or Large Dutch oven)
- 1 Wooden spoon or flexible silicon turner
- 1 Medium sized sauce pan
- 1 Colander
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 ½ tbs olive oil Note 1
- 2 tbs minced garlic Note 2
- 500 grams/16 oz pork mince (ground pork) Note 3
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 700 grams/24. 5 oz passata (tomato puree) Note 4
- 400 grams / 14 oz diced tomatoes Note 5
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste Note 6
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Note 7
- 1 tablespoon dried onion Note 8
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs Note 9
Optional - to serve with spaghetti
- ¼ teaspoon salt to cook the spaghetti
- 500 grams/16oz dried spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon parsely finely chopped
- Cook the pork mince: heat 1 and ½ tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy based pan at high heat. Add the garlic, pork mince, 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. The mince will turn a light brown colour as it cooks.
- Add the sauce: pour in the passata (tomato puree), diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried onion and dried Italian herbs. Stir to combine.
- Simmer: turn the heat to low heat, place a lid over the pan (optional, not essential) and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve and enjoy: portion the pork bolognese onto plates with freshly cooked al dente spaghetti, garnish with cracked pepper, parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley.
- Note 1 - Olive oil: we use this in the pan to start with, helping to cook the garlic and brown the pork mince.
- Note 2 - Garlic: crushed or finely chopped cloves, whichever you have on hand will be perfect to use 😉👍.
- Note 3 - Pork mince (ground pork): this will be in the meat section of the supermarket or grab from your local butcher. It is an excellent ingredient as it cooks quickly, is freezer friendly before and after cooking and is a great alternative to other proteins.
- Note 4 - Tomato passata: also known as tomato puree in some countries, this is a smooth sauce that provides the bases for the bolognese sauce.
- Note 5 - 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.
- Note 6 - 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 7 - Worcestershire sauce: a great alternative to using wine or stock in recipes. This is a condiment that will be easy to get your hands on in the sauces section of the supermarket.
- Note 8 - 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!!
- Note 9 - 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.