Easy & Delicious Recipe Ideas to Use Up Leftover Bolognese
If there’s one family dinner that we could put on our meal plan every week, it’d be a good old Spag Bol. When pasta and bolognese are on your plate, you know it’s a good day! You might not expect this reliable recipe to be so versatile, but there are so many things you can do with leftover bolognese.
From using it as the starting point for a cheesy, loaded lasagne, through to turning it into a baked lunchtime treat, it’s easy to make it feel like a totally different meal. One thing’s for sure – once you’ve scrolled through the recipe ideas on this list, you’ll never wonder what to do with leftover bolognese again!
Classic Bolognese Recipes
Before you can get started on using up your leftovers, you first need to make a big batch of bolognese! This Spaghetti Bolognese is our slimming-friendly version of the classic, and it works out at just 409 calories per serving (plenty of twirly spaghetti included).
To stretch the bolognese further – and keep it budget-friendly – we’ve packed loads of veggies alongside the lean beef mince. Tinned tomatoes, passata and tomato puree make sure the sauce is every bit as rich and flavourful as you could hope for.
This recipe will make 8 portions, and it’s easy to scale up if you want to make an even bigger batch to serve the leftover bolognese in different ways.
If you’re looking for ways to make your bolognese even thriftier, a tin of baked beans can work wonders! Low-fat mince can be more expensive than the full-fat version, so we’ve made sure our Baked Bean Bolognese is full of…beans!
It may sound unconventional, but the beans blend beautifully into the tomatoey sauce, bulking out the meat and adding extra protein. This turns into a hearty, flavourful pasta bolognese…and the leftovers can be turned into even more delicious dinners.
No one said bolognese couldn’t be vegetarian! While you could swap beef mince for your favourite meat-free mince in any of our dishes, we’re obsessed with our Mushroom Bolognese recipe.
The finely chopped mushrooms add bags of flavour, and they save a whole load of calories too! Not including any pasta, you can dish up a portion of this veggie-friendly bolognese for just 119 calories.
That means when you’re thinking about what to do with your leftover Mushroom Bolognese, you can feel free to add plenty of pasta, cheese or whatever else your heart desires.
Use Leftover Bolognese in a Lasagne
One of the best ways to put your leftovers to good use is to bundle them up inside the layers of an easy, cheesy lasagne. Our recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese Lasagne includes steps for making the bolognese layer from scratch, but if you’ve already got some left over, rustling up this dish will be even faster!
You don’t need any lasagne sheets for this one – we’ve used spare spaghetti in-between the layers of meat and white sauce, before topping the whole thing off with finely-grated Cheddar cheese.
It wouldn’t be a Pinch of Nom recipe without a few calorie-saving swaps so, instead of a traditional white sauce, our yoghurt-based sauce is far lighter, easy to make, and just as tasty.
For those nights when you fancy the bolognese, but not the spaghetti (or any other kind of pasta!), we’ve got the perfect recipe for you. Give your leftover bolognese a new lease of life by spooning it into this Butternut Squash Lasagne.
By saying goodbye to pasta sheets and hello to thinly sliced layers of fresh butternut squash, this dish is a nice change, that’s pleasantly low in calories. Don’t worry if you don’t have any leftovers to use up, our recipe includes a beautifully rich bolognese with extra veggies thrown in to help you towards your 5-a-day.
When you’re in the mood to push the boat out, this Enchilada Lasagne always tastes like such a treat! The original recipe is a mash-up of Mexican and Italian-inspired flavours, with a spicy filling made from lean beef mince and plenty of nutritious vegetables.
The beauty of this dish is that it’s easy to adapt – from using different veggies, through to using leftovers for the filling, anything goes!
Why not try adding kidney beans and chilli powder to leftover bolognese as a way to spice it up and use it in a different way? Stacked with low-calorie tortilla wraps instead of pasta and topped with gooey cheese, you can turn it into a dish fit for a fakeaway feast.
Simple Ways to Serve Leftover Bolognese
If you have most of the ingredients for spag bol, and want to switch things up, odds are you’ll enjoy this delicious Bolognese Risotto. Slimming friendly and satisfying all at once, you might not think to pair bolognese with rice, but once you try it, this will be a regular addition to your meal plan.
The arborio rice simmers in the pan along with all the other ingredients, meaning this recipe is all about low effort and big flavours – that’s a winning combination in our books!
Imagine tucking into a portion with some Cheesy Garlic Bread on the side…
The last time we were wondering what to do with leftover bolognese, we ended up creating this unmissable recipe for a Bolognese Quesadilla. Perfect for a quick lunchtime meal that’ll fill you up and never let you down on flavour, it’s faster to make if you already have leftovers in the fridge.
Simply pop a tortilla wrap in a pan, load it up with cheese and your meat filling, then sandwich it with another wrap on the top. Once both sides are brown, and the cheese is nice and melted, it’s time to slice it up and serve!
Whether you make it from scratch or reach for a frozen portion of bolognese you made a few weeks ago, these Bolognese Cheese Fries are what comfort food is all about (which is exactly why you’ll find the full recipe on pages 88-89 of our Comfort Food cookbook!).
A plate of golden chips is always a good idea, and these ones taste even better piled on top of the rich, tomatoey beef mince and smothered in melted cheese. You wouldn’t think this recipe could be slimming friendly – and yet it’s just 379 calories per serving!
Comforting Recipes to Make with Leftovers
Just because you’re eating leftovers for dinner doesn’t mean it can’t feel fancy! Feast your eyes on this Stuffed Pasta Bolognese and think about how easy it’ll be to make when you’ve already got a container of bolognese waiting in the fridge.
Filling the pasta shells with the creamy cheese mixture can be a little bit fiddly, but it’s well worth the effort when you bring the finished dish to the table. Perfect for a dinner party, you could easily prepare the meat mixture in advance and assemble the rest of the recipe right before cooking.
Psst…you’ll need a copy of Pinch of Nom: Comfort Food to make this one! Flick to pages 122-125 to get started.
Ditch the spaghetti and grab any old pasta shape that you have sitting around in your cupboards. This Pasta Bolognese Bake is the easiest thing you can make with your leftover bolognese (and one of the tastiest too!).
Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, then mix it into the bolognese, sprinkle on some cheese and get it straight into the oven.
After 10-15 minutes it should look so gorgeous, gooey and golden that you’ll want to tuck in immediately!
The recipe for these Lasagne Courgette Boats includes a meaty filling made from low-calorie turkey mince and the scooped-out insides of the courgette. While this is totally delicious and especially slimming-friendly, you can absolutely substitute this for leftover beef bolognese that you’re not sure how to use up.
We love to serve these on days where we’re in the mood for a lighter lunch or dinner. As well as being packed full of veggie goodness, they’re lovely and cheesy, so you won’t miss the pasta one little bit!
What do you do with leftover bolognese?
We’d love it if you tagged us in the next dinner that you make from your leftovers! Pop across to our Facebook group to have a good old chat with our lovely community, and share photos of what you’ve been cooking recently.
Don’t forget you can also post your photos in the Pinch of Nom Gallery! There’s always SWAG up for grabs, especially when you share hints and tips with us. To take part, sign up to a free website account to upload and share your photos (it’s easy-peasy, and we’ve got a step-by-step guide you can follow to do it).
If you liked this article, you’ll love exploring our blog. Browse for inspiration on recipe ideas, kitchen equipment, money-saving tips and LOADS more.