Spaghetti Bolognese

  • 10MINS
  • 40MINS
  • Serves 8
  • 409KCAL

When it comes to pasta, there is nothing that beats this classic slimming friendly Spaghetti Bolognese – whether you're following Weight Watchers, calorie counting or other diets!

  • Batch Cook
  • Dairy Free
  • Freezable
Easy Peasy Spaghetti Bolognese

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories409
  • Carbs61g
  • Protein26g
  • Fat4.8g
  • Saturates1.6g
  • Sugars11g

Spaghetti Bolognese - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!

Everyone has their own version, but this is ours. We’ve adapted it over the years, and more recently to include some extra veg.

Not only does it bulk it out, making the meat go further (gotta love a thrifty meal!) but it’s also an excellent way of sneaking some extra veggies into your meal, and into your kids!

If you love a pasta dish, why not try some of our other classic pasta recipes?

What diets is this Spaghetti Bolognese suitable for?

This recipe is suitable if you’re gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions;

  • Stock cubes
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Spaghetti

You could also enjoy this Spaghetti Bolognese if you’re dairy free.

Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

Do you need any special ingredients to make Spaghetti Bolognese?

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You don’t need any special ingredients to make this recipe. In fact, you can pack it full of loads of spare veggies you’ve got lurking around!

When making anything with spaghetti, a proper pasta pan is really useful. The pasta needs loads of space to move and cook properly rather than being crammed in a small pan!

Hints & Tips

Below we added some of our communities most common hints and tips. We hope you find them useful.

I like to batch cook the tomato/veg base and purée it. That way I can have a go to sauce in the freezer and the fussiest of eaters don’t spot the hidden veg.
Added a little fire
Added chillis for extra heat! Delicious!
Spaghetti bolognese
I used Quorn mince and made it vegetarian with less cals, also everything in the instant pot raw and it was all cooked in 10mins on high.
Perfect with any pasta not only spaghetti

We love hearing from you, submit any tips or tricks you have for this dish and we’ll review them and add some of them here. Just click here.

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‘Home comfort cooking. Can't beat a classic’

Emma Whitehouse

This post contains affiliate links: what this means

You can get a suitable saucepan from most large supermarkets, or over on Amazon!

How many calories are in this Spaghetti Bolognese?

You might think Italian food is high in calories, but not our Spaghetti Bolognese!

It has 409 calories per portion, and is packed full of flavour! This means it falls into our Weekly Indulgence recipe category.

This recipe is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 1

Spray a large saucepan with Low Calorie Cooking Spray and brown the meat for 5 minutes. Add all of the veg and herbs and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.

Step 1

Step 2

Stir in the tomato purée and cook out for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and rich, and the meat tender.

Step 2

Step 3

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the cooking instructions.

Step 4

Serve immediately with spaghetti, or pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan!

Spaghetti Bolognese - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesWhat should you should serve with Spaghetti Bolognese?

This dish really doesn’t need an accompaniment, but there are a few classics to serve with this tasty meal:

Cheesy Garlic Bread
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Potato Salad
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Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad
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Winter Berry Ice Cream
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Whatever accompaniment you choose, don’t forget to account for the extra calories and/or other nutritional values.

Can you cook Spaghetti Bolognese another way?

Yes…well, you can cook the bolognese part a different way. The spaghetti is best cooked using the traditional hob method.

Pressure Cooker: Brown off the mince using the sauté function, add the other ingredients and mix. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, then quick release the pressure. You may need to use the sauté function to bring the bolognese to the boil and reduce to thicken.

Slow Cooker: Brown off the mince in a frying pan. Add to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours. Leave the lid off (but temperature still on!) to reduce and thicken the sauce at the end of the fours hours

How do you know when the Spaghetti Bolognese is cooked?

When the sauce has reduced and is thick and rich, and the mince is tender then your bolognese is ready! Your pasta should be slightly al dente (just a little bite).

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.

How long can you keep Spaghetti Bolognese in the fridge?

Once you’ve cooked this, you should ideally eat it immediately.

If you allow any left overs to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of Spaghetti Bolognese in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.

Why not top the left over bolognese with mashed potato and carrot, top with some  cheese or mozzarella and have an Italian Cottage Pie? It’s one of our favourite leftover meals!

Can I freeze Spaghetti Bolognese?

Yes you can – but we’d recommend to just freeze the bolognese and cook the pasta fresh! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat Spaghetti Bolognese?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.

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Spaghetti Bolognese

When it comes to pasta, there is nothing that beats this classic slimming friendly Spaghetti Bolognese – whether you’re following Weight Watchers, calorie counting or other diets!
  • Prep Time
    10 MINS
  • Cook Time
    40 MINS
  • KCals 409
  • Carbs 61G


  • 500 g 5% lean beef mince
  • 400 g passata
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or Henderson's relish
  • 2 beef stock cubes crumbled
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and grated
  • 150 g mushrooms sliced
  • 1 courgette grated
  • 1 large onion peeled and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 leek finely diced
  • low calorie cooking spray
  • 600 g dried spaghetti

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

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  1. Spray a large saucepan with low calorie cooking spray and brown the meat for 5 minutes. Add all of the veg and herbs and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato purée and cook out for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and rich, and the meat tender.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the cooking instructions.
  4. Serve immediately with spaghetti, or pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan!

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Spaghetti Bolognese - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

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See what others have to say

HayleyWednesday 12th May 2021

Hi, can I put the ingredients in a blender to make a smooth sauce?


    HollyFriday 14th May 2021

    Hey Hayley, yes once the sauce is cooked you could blitz it to make it smooth. Hope that helps!


Kate FisherSunday 7th February 2021

Hello. Just made this, and loved it! Made 4 servings. Can you tell mw how many calories is the dish without the spaghetti please?


    HollyMonday 8th February 2021

    Hi Kate, if you have. a look HERE we have an article that will help with working out nutritional information, hope that helps!


Sharon BishopTuesday 27th October 2020

I’ve just made this spag bol in the SC and the smell in the house is just delicious 😋, I can’t wait to try it along with the cheesy garlic bread too 👌 perfect!


    HollyWednesday 28th October 2020

    Hi Sharon, so glad you enjoyed the Spaghetti Bolognese!


Janice gibbMonday 13th July 2020

Hi how many servings is there in this recipe tia


    SharonTuesday 14th July 2020

    Hi Janice, the Spaghetti Bolognese serves 8. You can find this information on the recipe card at the bottom of the page. Hope this helps.


JonnyTuesday 30th June 2020

Hi can this go into the slow cooker once cooked


    HollyWednesday 1st July 2020

    Hey Jonny, it’s not something we’ve tried in the slow cooker but you could brown the meat first in a frying pan then add to a slow cooker along with all the other ingredients and cook on low until the vegetables are tender. Have a look at our Beef Ragu Fettuccine which is very similar and has a slow cooker method:


      MargaretMonday 13th July 2020

      It works brilliantly in slow cooker.

Donna ClayThursday 25th June 2020

Hi, is the calorie amount on the recipes for the whole thing or per serving? Thanks


    Steve CowderoyFriday 26th June 2020

    Hi Donna, the calories are per serving. Thanks for getting in touch with us and I hope this help.


JodieTuesday 2nd June 2020

Hi I think I have been overthinking and got myself confused. Do I make the beef stock or just add the stock cubes to the recipe. Arrrr please help haha


    SharonWednesday 3rd June 2020

    Hi Jodie, just add the stock cubes as they are, there’s no need to add any water as there will be plenty of liquid from the tinned tomatoes, passata and vegetables.Thanks for your question.


TaraThursday 30th April 2020

Do you not need to fry the onion first?


    HollyTuesday 5th May 2020

    Hi Tara, There’s no need to brown the onion first for this recipe. As the onion is diced finely and the bolognese cooks for 40 minutes, all the vegetables will be soft when you are ready to serve!


Emma ClarkeSunday 1st March 2020

Hi, can you use any beef stock for example oxo? And just add them in


    HollyTuesday 5th May 2020

    Hi Emma, any beef stock cubes will work great for this recipe!


MichelleMonday 27th January 2020

Hi, I can’t see how many servings this spaghetti Bolognese recipe serves, is it 6?

Many thanks



    HollyTuesday 5th May 2020

    Hi Michelle, this Spaghetti Bolognese recipe serves 8 but you can change the serving size with the handy serving size tool to a size of your choosing!


Princy FarrerWednesday 8th January 2020

I don’t have courgette so is it ok to cook spaghetti Bolognese without it ?


    Holly LevellTuesday 12th May 2020

    Hello, you could leave it out or substitute the courgette for some finely diced pepper


Adelle HossackMonday 6th January 2020

How many people should this serve?


    HollyTuesday 5th May 2020

    Hi Adelle, this recipe serves 8 but you can use the serving size tool to alter it up or down


LucyTuesday 3rd September 2019

I usually make spaghetti bolognese from jar or a sachet, I have always been scared to attempt it, however this recipe is simple to follow and doesn’t require much cooking time, the recipe was absolutely delicious, I added extra salt at the end to suit my taste buds, also found a little bit dried mint is a nice little extra, I will not be using jars or sachets again, thank you very much for sharing this recipe.


    Emma TThursday 19th September 2019

    Hi Lucy,

    So glad you enjoyed it!


GeorginaTuesday 9th July 2019

On your calorie advice. Is that including the portion of spaghetti or just for the mince.
Many thanks


    HollyTuesday 5th May 2020

    Hi Georgina, the calories are for a whole portion of Spaghetti Bolognese this includes the pasta and mince


      StaceyThursday 25th February 2021

      Hi sorry. So would I weigh all the spaghetti and divide by 8 and then all the bolognase and divide by 8 to calculate 1 portion?

      HollyThursday 25th February 2021

      Hi Stacey, yes the recipe equally divides into 8 portions we work out our recipes on the serving size not by weight. To work out your own weight of a serving you would need to make the finished dish and divide servings, as the weight will vary due to variation of ingredients and water content it’s not something we can do as an exact measure. If you scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page on the website there is a little arrow by servings and you can alter up or down to serve more or less people. Hope that helps!

AmandaMonday 28th January 2019

This is the first recipe I’ve made by yourselves, it definitely wont be the last! It was so tasty even my 8yr old son demolished his plate full. And better still he didn’t even realise it had carrots, leek or courgettes in! Winner winner. Thank you so much for sharing.


LornaFriday 11th January 2019

Loved it but added some chilli ????


SamanthaMonday 5th November 2018

After using Bolognese jar of sauce for all my food, I bit the bullet and made this version and I am so so glad I did. It was the tastiest Bolognese I have ever made.
Thank you so much for making this recipe.


MaryTuesday 18th September 2018

Hi Guys.

Love this recipe! Does the calorie count you have provided include the spaghetti, or is that just for the bolognese?

Many thanks xx


Finbarr O ConnellSaturday 8th September 2018

Hi, just made this and is by far the nicest I’ve done. Absolutely delish!!!!!!! Love your stuff.


SallyWednesday 5th September 2018

Cant see at what stage to add the passata?


Linda ReillySaturday 18th August 2018

Made this using your recipe today. Well impressed, turned out perfectly ,a great consistency. I added a little bit of sugar to the tomatoes for my own preference. Another success using your website, have now tried quite a few and each one has been great. My husband not on SW always eats these recipes when I cook them. Thank you and well done on such good successful recipes.


LisaMonday 6th August 2018

Hi does the calories include the spaghetti?


KellyMonday 6th August 2018

I’ve made this lots of times for my family of 5 and we all love it. I’m going to make it this weekend for my mum and my 6 year old nephew. Is there a way of making this so that all of the veg is blended and hidden in the sauce?


LaurenMonday 6th August 2018

Going to try this today. Might be a silly question but when it says 2 oxo cubes does that mean made in to stock? Or crumbled in? Thanks!


Sarah-JayneSaturday 24th March 2018

This is the best bolognese recipe I’ve ever tried. Absolutely yummy ???? Thank you.


Tracey nicholsonSaturday 24th March 2018

The best bolognaise I have ever tasted


Claire riderWednesday 14th March 2018

Trying this out today ….smells yummy


Linda BrannanWednesday 14th March 2018

Absolutely yummy. So rich!! Thank you.


Sam KnoxMonday 5th March 2018

I made a batch of this recipe as part of my weekly food prep. It is one of the nicest Spag Bol recipes that I’ve ever tasted! So much flavour…gorgeous!


ClaireFriday 2nd February 2018

Could I cook this in the slow cooker?!?


    LissMonday 12th March 2018

    Hi, I cook this in the slow cooker for 6 hours on low.


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