Bolognese on a Budget: £1.10 per Portion

bolognese on a budget

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

When I first started bulk cooking, the very first dish I made was bolognese. It’s incredibly versatile, once you look beyond the classic (but best way to serve, in my opinion) spaghetti bolognese. It can top a jacket potato, fill a calzone pizza, or transform a humble burger bun into a Sloppy Joe. My bolognese on a budget is an easy take on a meal that everyone will love.

This recipe will prep ten portions in two and a half hours (with one hour of prep and an hour and a half to leave to simmer while you put your feet up!). The ingredients I have used are supermarket own branded items, to make this a budget-friendly bolognese. The total cost to make this recipe is £11.07, therefore each portion comes in at £1.10. Bolognese on a budget, here we come!

The recipe is coming up, and you can also scroll down to download the recipe card.

Ingredients-Makes 10 Portions

1 kilo of carrots, grated

2 large onions, chopped

1 kilo of 5% fat beef mince

100g smoked bacon, finely sliced

200g fresh chopped tomatoes

100g mushrooms

50g minced garlic

2 chicken stock cubes, made up with 600mls boiling water

5 tins of chopped tomatoes (I can highly recommend Asda value brand, which are about 30p per tin!)

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tbsp dried oregano

Half a teaspoon of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste, plus a few sprays of spray oil

budget bolognese ingredients


Spray a heated pot with some oil, and add the beef mince. Cook the mince until brown, then transfer it to a colander to drain any excess liquid from the mince.

Using the pot that the mince was cooked in, start building up the base for your bolognese on a medium heat. Fry the onions until they are soft, then add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add in the bacon and cook until the bacon is heated through. Then add the mushrooms and cook the mixture for a few minutes more.

Add the carrots and fresh tomatoes and cook for around 5 minutes, until the carrots are starting to wilt down. Then add the beef mince and stir while the mixture is cooking to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.

budget bolognese prep 2

After a few minutes, add the tinned tomatoes, chicken stock and dried basil and oregano. Simmer uncovered on a medium heat for between an hour and an hour and a half, until the excess liquid in the sauce evaporates and you are left with a chunky, thick sauce. Stir through the sugar, and salt and pepper. Remember to taste the sauce as you do, adding a little seasoning at a time until you are happy with it 🙂

budget bolognese prep 3

Ladle the sauce into storage containers when cooked. The ones I use are linked here, which are freezer, microwave and dishwasher friendly. I love the handy plastic lids that allow me to stack them in the freezer without making a dent in the stack (learned this one the hard way!).

budget bolognese storage

And your have just prepped a budget bolognese! How you serve it is up to you. My favourite way to serve is on top of a bowl of spaghetti. To get an extra veg hit, add some frozen spinach to the pasta while it cooks.

bolognese on a budget

Let me know in the comments below if you have any weird and wonderful serving suggestions for a bolognese 🙂

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