Chicken Bolognese Recipe

Rich and meaty without the fat. Yvonne Ruperti

Notes: If you can't find ground chicken, grind your own: Cut skinless, boneless, chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks. Freeze until firm but not frozen, about 30 minutes. Working in two batches, pulse briefly in food processor until the chicken is the size of small peas. Avoid over processing or the chicken will turn mushy.

Recipe Facts



Active: 45 mins
Total: 105 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 2 small stalks celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces ground chicken (see note)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups full-bodied dry red wine
  • 2 anchovy fillets, mashed (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti, pappardelle, tagliatelle, or penne
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Add 1 tablespoon water to small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over. Let gelatin soften at least 5 minutes.

  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, carrot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in chicken and cook, mashing with wooden spoon to break up into small pieces, until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in milk and simmer until most of the milk has cooked off and the mixture is almost dry, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off but mixture is moist, about 15 minutes. Stir in anchovies, soy sauce, tomato paste, and softened gelatin. Stir in tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Heat 4 quarts of salted water in large pot over high heat to boil. Stir in pasta. Cook pasta to al dente and drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.

  6. Toss bolognese sauce with hot pasta, adding pasta water if necessary to loosen sauce. Serve with chopped basil and grated parmesan cheese.

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