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Homemade Bolognese Sauce (Meat Sauce)

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Bolognese Sauce is an easy-to-make meat sauce perfect with any type of pasta!

A rich, zesty sauce of beef, pork, onion, garlic, and seasonings is simmered on the stove until thick and rich. Toss this with pappardelle or your favorite pasta for a delicious weeknight meal.

This recipe freezes and reheats well, making it the perfect weeknight meal!

Who doesn’t love pasta with homemade meat sauce? It’s got a special taste of home that you just can’t get from a jar. From a typical marinara to this Bolognese sauce, homemade is always best!

What is Bolognese?

So, what makes Bolognese different than a typical spaghetti sauce? While both are tomato-based meat sauces made with garlic and onion, bolognese also includes the addition of celery and carrot plus a little bit of milk. It may sound unusual, but these ingredients add a distinct flavor, a bit of richness, and some sweetness.

This sauce is great over pasta, and it’s also a delicious addition to homemade lasagna or even a favorite when added to baked casseroles like ziti!

Ingredients & Variations

Vegetables: A mirepoix is a mixture of onions, carrots, and celery and is traditional in a bolognese. If you’d like other veggies, chop them finely and add them in.

Meat: A combination of ground pork and beef adds great flavor, but this recipe works with just beef or the addition of ground veal.

Tomatoes: Canned whole tomatoes have a bit of a thicker consistency than diced tomatoes so I prefer them in this recipe. San Marzano tomatoes are the best choice for flavor. If you only have canned diced tomatoes, those will work too (as will crushed tomatoes) but they may change the consistency slightly.

Wine: A dry red is great (but any red will do). I usually use a cabernet or merlot. Wine adds a lot of depth to this sauce (and the alcohol evaporates). If you cannot use wine, you can use a bit of beef broth but it will alter the flavor slightly.

Milk: An unusual but traditional ingredient in an authentic bolognese sauce.

How To Make Bolognese Sauce

This bolognese sauce takes time to make but it really is easy! Once the prep work is done this recipe just simmers away until thickened.

Cook Veggies & Meat: Brown the chopped veggies and the meat, then drain off any fat.Add Wine/Milk: Add the wine and let it simmer away. Next, add the milk and allow that to simmer away too.Simmer: Add remaining ingredients (per recipe below) and allow it to simmer until thick.

While the sauce simmers, cook pasta according to the directions. Add salt and pepper and parmesan, serve and enjoy!

What To Serve With It

I like to serve this bolognese over pappardelle or tagliatelle, but any type of long pasta is great. If you want to offer gluten-free pasta, this sauce would work well with it. (Just be sure to check your spices and other ingredients.)

Serve this dish with the same sides you’d add to spaghetti and meatballs.

Storing Leftover Bolognese Sauce

This is a great pasta sauce to make ahead, dishes with tomatoes and spices “meld and marry.” as they sit and have even better flavor (like a chili recipe).

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.Freeze for up to 3 months in a sealed container, leaving about an inch for expansion. A tightly sealed zippered freezer bag works as well. Thaw in the fridge overnight.Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally until hot.

More Italian Inspiration

Did you enjoy this Homemade Bolognese Sauce? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

4.93 from 253 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!Or to leave a comment, click here!

Homemade Bolognese Sauce (Pappardelle)

Rich tomato-based meat sauce with beef and pork is combined with all the traditional ingredients of pasta bolognese for a flavorful weeknight meal that can be whipped up in no time!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour

Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil4 garlic cloves crushed1 onion finely diced1 carrot finely diced1 rib celery finely diced1 pound lean ground beef½ pound ground pork1 ¼ cups red wine or beef broth1 cup whole milk28 ounces whole tomatoes with juice4 tablespoons tomato paste1 teaspoon Italian seasoning1 bay leaf½ teaspoon salt more to taste¼ teaspoon black pepperpappardelle or tagliatelle or another long pasta for serving

In a large dutch oven, cook onion in oil over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

Add garlic, carrot, and celery, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add beef and pork, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no pink remains. Drain fat.

Add the wine and simmer uncovered until evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add milk and simmer uncovered until evaporated, about 8 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, Italian seasoning, tomatoes with juice, and bay leaf. Break tomatoes up with a spoon. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 ½ cups of pasta water.

Toss pasta with sauce, adding pasta water to thin it out if needed.

Serve hot with parmesan cheese.

Tomatoes: Whole tomatoes provide a bit of a thicker consistency, break them up with a spoon or with your hands before simmering. If possible, San Marzano tomatoesSan Marzano tomatoeshave the best flavor.Wine: When using wine in cooking, use a wine you would drink (not cooking wine). 
Reserve some pasta water when draining the pasta. Not only can it be used to adjust the consistency of the sauce, adding a little to the sauce also helps it adhere to the pasta better. Be sure not to rinse the pasta after cooking.
For a thicker sauce, simmer a bit longer. For a thinner sauce, add pasta water.Fridge – store in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap for up to 4 days. 
Freezer – store in an airtight container, leaving about an inch for expansion, or in a zippered freezer bag for 2 – 3 months. 
To Reheat –  Defrost in the fridge. Heat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring every 15 to 20 seconds, until heated through. 

4.93 from 253 votes

Calories: 359 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 929mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2112IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Pasta, Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian

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Home & Kitchen

Easy Layered Salad – Perfect to Make Ahead

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This overnight 7-layer salad recipe is everyday easy in addition to being party perfect!

Layers of fresh lettuce, veggies, cheese, and bacon are topped with a creamy dressing to make this seven layer salad!

What’s in Seven Layer Salad? 

Mix and match the ingredients, I add 7 layers but you can add as many as you’d like to this overnight salad.

Lettuce – Iceberg lettuce will stay extra crunchy due to its high water content, so it’s great in an overnight salad. Wash it first and then dry it very well (I use a salad spinner).

Vegetables – Tomatoes, peas, and sliced green onions add visual interest to a 7 layer salad, but so can chopped celery, sliced radishes, diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, shredded zucchini, corn, sundried tomatoes, and even shredded brussels sprouts. This is a great recipe for using up leftover bits of veggies in the fridge.

Bacon & Eggs – Bacon and hard-boiled eggs add texture, color, and a boost of healthy protein. I keep the bacon on the side and sprinkle it on just before serving.

Cheese – Cheddar cheese has a sharp flavor that tastes great with sweet peas and salty bacon. Blue cheese crumbles or parmesan cheese are other excellent options.

Dressing for Overnight Salad

This mayo-based sour cream dressing is traditional and it is super easy to make. It’s thicker than a traditional dressing, so it holds up well.

Add in your favorite herbs or ranch-style seasonings to change it up.

Keep leftover 7-layer salad covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The flavors will blend and taste even better the next day!

Did you make this 7 Layer Salad for a crowd? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

5 from 24 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!Or to leave a comment, click here!

7 Layer Salad

A delicious medley of layers topped with a creamy homemade dressing and bacon crumbles makes for a colorful and hearty salad!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 0 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Servings 12 servings

1 Trifle Bowl to show layers

1 head iceberg lettuce chopped2 cups tomatoes diced, or sliced cherry tomatoes2 cups frozen peas defrosted (uncooked)½ cup green onions or red onions, sliced8 hard boiled eggs cooled, peeled and chopped2 cups cheddar cheese shredded8 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled

DRESSING

In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, and seasoned salt for the dressing. Set aside.

Wash and dry the lettuce very well. Place lettuce in the bottom of a large trifle bowl (or 9×13 pan).

In order, top with tomatoes, peas, green onions, and boiled eggs. Spread the dressing on top right to the edges.

Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Top with cheese and bacon before serving.

Feel free to substitute other vegetables for the layers. Options include bell peppers, corn, sliced celery, mushrooms, or radishes, sundried tomatoes or shredded carrots, cabbage, zucchini, or brussels sprouts!
To make ahead, assemble all the layers except cheese and bacon, cover, and chill. Just before serving, layer cheese and bacon on top.
Optional Ranch Style Dressing1 cup mayonnaise¾ cup sour cream½ teaspoon garlic powder½ teaspoon onion powder1 tablespoon fresh dill1 tablespoon fresh parsleysalt & pepper to taste

5 from 24 votes

Calories: 348 | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1124IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Home & Kitchen

Turkey Noodle Casserole

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Turn leftovers into a cozy turkey noodle casserole that the whole family will love!

This noodle casserole has packed with tender veggies, turkey, and pasta baked in a simple homey sauce. It’s all baked under buttery bread crumbs.

Ingredients for Turkey Noodle Casserole

This basic casserole is simply turkey, veggies, and pasta cooked in a simple homemade sauce.

Turkey: Use leftover turkey or use rotisserie chicken. Leftover ham is another great variation in this recipe.

Vegetables: This turkey noodle casserole is so versatile. Use either frozen mixed vegetables or veggies from your crisper drawer (see recipe notes for fresh vegetables).

Pasta: Any medium shape can be used in this recipe. Try penne or rotini, and be sure to cook it al dente (firm) so it doesn’t overcook in the oven.

Sauce: The sauce below is a very simple cream sauce, almost reminiscent of chicken pot pie sauce. You can swap it out for cream of mushroom, chicken, or celery soup or a jar of Alfredo sauce. Be sure to add the poultry seasoning; it adds great flavor.

Swap in Your Leftovers

Sauce

If you’ve got leftover gravy or cheese sauce, they can be used in this recipe (you’ll need about 4 cups of sauce) instead of making a from-scratch sauce.

If you don’t have 4 cups of sauce, use what you have and add either a jar of alfredo sauce or a can of condensed mushroom or chicken soup.

Vegetables

Add leftover vegetables from last night’s dinner or even leftover green bean casserole (sauce and all)!

Assemble turkey noodle casserole up to 1 day ahead, but leave off the topping and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the casserole from the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking and sprinkle with the topping. Add an extra 5-7 minutes of baking time.

Did your family love this Turkey Noodle Casserole? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

5 from 8 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!Or to leave a comment, click here!

Turkey Noodle Casserole

The best way to use up leftover turkey and veggies from the holidays is with this Turkey Noodle Casserole!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

Servings 6

Creamy Sauce (see notes for shortcut)

⅓ cup butter1 small onion diced2 cloves garlic minced⅓ cup flour¾ teaspoon poultry seasoning½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves3 cups chicken broth1 ½ cups light cream or half and half1 ½ teaspoons dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh½ teaspoon Kosher salt or more to taste¼ teaspoon black pepper

Casserole

3 cup frozen mixed vegetables thawed, see notes for fresh vegetables2 cups cooked turkey cubed, or chicken12 ounces medium pasta such as rotini or penne

Topping

¼ cup melted butter½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 or 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add diced onion, minced garlic, and seasonings and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.

Add flour and cook for 1 minute.

Slowly stir in chicken broth and evaporated milk, until the mixture is smooth. The mixture will be very thick at first.

Bring the sauce to a boil while stirring over medium heat. Let boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and parsley.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta 1 minute less than directed on the package. Drain well.

Combine cooked pasta, thawed vegetables, cubed turkey or chicken, and sauce in the prepared casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, mix together melted butter and seasoned breadcrumbs, then sprinkle over the casserole.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and the topping is browned.

Sauce: To make a shortcut sauce, replace the sauce with a jar of alfredo sauce and add in the seasonings. Cream can be substituted for evaporated milk. 
Cheese: 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese like cheddar can be added to the sauce.
To use fresh vegetables: Fresh vegetables can be used in place of frozen mixed vegetables. I would suggest 3 chopped carrots, 2 ribs of celery, and 1 cup of corn (although any combination will work). Add the fresh vegetables to the boiling pasta water for the last 4 minutes in step 7 or steam the vegetables until tender.
Store leftover casserole covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave until heated through. 

5 from 8 votes

Calories: 519 | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 925mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4018IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Casserole, Dinner, Turkey
Cuisine American

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Home & Kitchen

Easy Lemon Chicken

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Tender chunks of chicken are pan-fried and tossed in a simple tangy-sweet lemon sauce. You can’t beat the flavor of fresh lemon. Serve this over rice for the perfect weeknight dinner.

Have you ever had a stir-fry and wondered how the get the meat so darn tender? Most often it’s due to a technique called velveting.

Meat (beef or chicken) is marinated in a combination of egg white, cornstarch, oil, and often other additives like vinegar. Cornstarch is a natural tenderizer (and used in this recipe as well as many other stir fry favorites and even Mongolian Beef)!

Pour the sauce right over if you are in a hurry, but I like to remove the chicken from the pan, deglaze the pan using the sauce, then add the chicken back in.

Garnish with lemon slices, green onion or chives and sesame seeds.

Lemon Chicken is a great dish to make ahead or make a double batch so that you’ll have lots of leftovers. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days for easy lunches!

4.95 from 17 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!Or to leave a comment, click here!

This easy lemon recipe is a sweet zesty favorite, made in under an hour!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Marinate Time 15 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Servings 4 servings

1 pound boneless chicken breast diced1 large egg3 tablespoons cornstarch2 tablespoons soy sauce2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Sauce

¾ cup chicken broth1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch¼ cup sugar3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Optional Garnish

sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onion

In a bowl, combine chicken with egg, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Allow it to marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Discard the marinade.

Add chicken to the pan in batches and stir-fry until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Stir the sauce well to ensure the cornstarch is fully incorporated. Pour it into the pan with the chicken. Let it simmer on low heat until it thickened, about 3-4 minutes

Garnish with sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onion, and lemon wedges if desired.

This recipe comes together quickly; prepare all of the ingredients before beginning to cook.
Chicken: For easy handling, place chicken in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting (optional). Chicken thighs work well in this recipe.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is best for this recipe. If using fresh lemon, ½ teaspoon of lemon zest can be added to the sauce for an extra boost of lemon flavor. 
Vegetables: Vegetables can be added to this chicken, asparagus, or green beans are great options. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. Trim the vegetables and add them to the pan. Stir-fry them for a few minutes until they are tender crisp. Add the chicken and the sauce and continue to cook as directed.
For a crispy chicken, marinated chicken can be dusted in corn starch and deep fried in small batches at 350°F for 4-5 minutes. Thicken sauce and toss with chicken.
 

4.95 from 17 votes

Calories: 258 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian Fusion

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