Wow your family with an easy weeknight meal [and get your kids to eat their veggies] with this simple beef Bolognese sauce.
When it comes to getting kids to eat more veggies, one easy trick I’ve implemented in my kitchen is to add a veggie or two to a dish that a. the boys already love eating and that b. can be incorporated into a recipe without making it taste too different or “scary.” Because my little Italian bambinos will gobble up beef Bolognese without veggies, I took a risk and added a few finely diced veggies to the sauce. The verdict? I saw a few carrots and celery pieces sneak their way into Joey’s mouth and Anthony’s bib… [his quality control isn’t the best]. And Ted didn’t even speak a word. As long as he saw the ground beef and Parmesan cheese, he was a happy camper!
When you read my recipe for beef Bolognese, you’ll notice the vegetables are chopped. In lieu of masking or disguising the veggies by pureeing them, I like keeping them intact so when the boys see them in other dishes, they aren’t surprised or shocked! Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for pureeing veggies and adding to bread mixes and smoothies, but there’s something about a sauce, specifically a pasta sauce, that makes me keep the vegetable true to form.The secret to getting your kids to eat more veggies? Add them to their favorite pasta sauce! Click To Tweet
Hearty beef Bolognese is really the perfect kid food because the sauce isn’t too runny, and all of the components are easy to pickup with little fingers. And you can be assured that this sauce is one of the most nutritious things you or your family could be eating because of the variety of nutrients in it. Call me crazy, but I could even eat it without noodles. The boys would protest though— since any beef + tomato sauce combination requires the noodle partnership in their mind.
- 1 pound lean Ground Beef [93% lean or leaner]
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup carrot, diced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking the meat into crumbles with a wooden spoon until the meat has started to brown.
- Stir in the carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Sauté for another 5 minutes until the veggies become translucent and the meat is cooked through [you could drain the fat from the skillet at this step, but if you use lean Ground Beef there won’t be much to drain!].
- Pour wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any brown bits.
- Add remaining ingredients, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese on the side.
Disclaimer: I am proud to partner with the Michigan Beef Industry Commission to bring you healthy recipes made with beef. Because of these great partnerships I am able to share delicious and nutritious family-friendly recipes. As always all opinion and ideas are 100% my own.