This easy pork bolognese is a lighter alternative to traditional beef bolognese. Serve with spaghetti and grated Parmesan for a tasty family meal, everyone will love.
We all love bolognese in this house, but sometimes I want to make something a bit lighter than my traditional rich beef bolognese. This pork mince bolognese is super easy to make and lends itself to weeknights when time is short but you want something comforting to eat.
✔️ Why should you try it?
- Lighter than beef bolognese
- Easy and on the table in under 40 minutes
- Filling and comforting
Pork Mince – You will need 500g of lean pork mince for the recipe.
Streaky Bacon – The streaky bacon gives the dish a wonderful flavour when combined with the pork mince.
Onion, Garlic, Celery & Carrot – These form the base of the bolognese sauce and give it lots of flavour.
Passata & Tomato Puree – Alternatively use a can of chopped tomatoes.
Stock pot – 1 Chicken stockpot or stock cube (no need to mix with water as there is plenty of liquid from the milk and passata).
Herbs – I’ve flavoured this bolognese with Bay Leaves and fresh Thyme.
Milk – Italians often simmer their bolognese sauce in milk, which helps to tenderise the meat.
Parmesan – A bolognese isn’t a bolognese without a good grating of Parmesan
Seasoning – A good grinding of black pepper but hold the salt as the pork mince and bacon provide that salty undertone.
Spaghetti – To serve.
You will need a knife and chopping board for finely dicing the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, as well as a heavy based casserole or pan to make the pork bolognese.
One: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large casserole and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrots and celery on a low heat for 5 minutes until soft.
Two: Turn the heat up and add the pork mince and bacon and fry for 2-3 minutes until the pork has changed colour.
Three: Add the passata, tomato puree, stock pot (or cube), milk and herbs. Season with pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes on a medium heat.
Four: Serve the bolognese with grated Parmesan and pasta.
💭 Top tips
Adding milk to your bolognese sauce helps to make the mince nice and tender and gives the bolognese a lovely richness and depth of flavour.
Sneak more vegetables into the bolognese, without the kids knowing! Finely chopped courgettes, mushrooms, and peppers blend in well if you have fussy eaters in the house. Fresh spinach could also be added at the end of cooking. It will quickly wilt into the sauce.
If you have a bottle of wine open, then 200ml of white wine, added before the passata and milk, really helps to boost the flavour.
Make it veggie by replacing the pork mince and bacon with lentils. It will also be lower in calories too.
🍴 Serving suggestions
I like to serve bolognese with spaghetti and freshly grated Parmesan. Garlic bread always goes down well too and helps fill the kids up. The pork bolognese is also really tasty with pesto pasta – it’s a real flavour explosion!
Leftovers are good on jacket potatoes the next day for lunch. I sometimes stir leftover bolognese into macaroni cheese too, to add a bit of interest.
The recipe can be made in your slow cooker if you prefer. You will need to reduce the liquid (passata and milk) by about a third and cook for 6 hours on low. If the sauce is still a bit too runny, use a cornflour and water paste to thicken it up.
🧊 Suitable for freezing?
Bolognese freezes really well, so why not make a double batch and freeze half for another day? You can freeze it in individual portions or in one large freezer safe container.
Some more bolognese recipes you might like to try;
- Slow Cooker Bolognese
- Quick Bolognese
- Easy Lentil Bolognese
- Healthy Chicken Bolognese
- Mushroom Bolognese
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Easy Pork Bolognese
- chopping board
- Shallow casserole
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves chopped
- 1 Carrot chopped
- 1 Celery Stick chopped
- 500g Pork Mince
- 3 Streaky Bacon Rashers chopped
- 400 ml Passata
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 200 ml Milk
- 1 Chicken Stock Pot or stock cube
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Thyme leaves chopped
- 300 g Spaghetti
- 4 tbsp Parmesan grated
- Heat the oil in the pan and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrot and celery for 5 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions in a pan of boiling water.
- Turn up the heat and add the pork mince and bacon. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the pork has changed colour.
- Add in the passata, tomato puree, milk, stock pot or cube (remember you don't need to dilute it in water as there is enough liquid from the passata and milk), herbs and season with black pepper.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes before serving with the spaghetti and grated Parmesan.
I’ve linked this recipe up to #CookBlogShare which this week is hosted by Cooking with my Kids