Spaghetti Bolognese with Broccoli and Mushrooms

This is a recipe that has never failed me. I cook this when I don’t know what else to make and my family loves it every time! Even my wife who doesn’t like to eat leftovers, will eat this the day after for lunch.

Now, quick disclaimer: this is not a traditional Bolognese. I have heard many Italians say they don’t like a lot of stuff in their pasta so, the broccoli and mushrooms will be a major turnoff to any die-hard bolognese fan. I like it. It gives an added texture to the dish as well as the added nutrients that’s naturally in broccoli. It’s delicious and my son will eat it. (I have found broccoli is a favorite for children). Another difference is in the fact that I don’t cook the ground beef with a combination of onions, celery, and carrots. This is the traditional way of making it. It is a great way, but I skip this step because I use a high quality marinara that already has those things in them.

The Marinara

Speaking of the marinara, no, you don’t have to make your own. Just because you buy premade marinara doesn’t mean it’s not fresh. You just have to know which one to get. Aim for the higher shelves as you visit your local grocery stores. If you can find an organic sauce, even better. Leave the ragu and prego for people who don’t know any better.

The Pasta

The pasta is no different. Opt for the best quality pasta you can get your hands on. Don’t try to save money on a pasta dish by buying a cheap pasta. You don’t have to use spaghetti if you don’t want to. I recommend using a pasta that will absorb the sauce. Penne, ziti rigatoni, or even shells will work well for this dish. Just don’t get a flat pasta like farfalle (bow-tie).

Spaghetti Bolognese with Broccoli and Mushrooms

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • large saute pan
  • stock pot
  • colander
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • rubber spatula


  • 1 whole Yellow onion
  • 1 Lb 80/20 Ground Beef
  • 1 Lb Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Lb Mushrooms
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 qt Marinara sauce


  • Dice onion, chop broccoli, slice mushrooms, slice mushrooms, and chop garlic. Be sure to wash all produce under cold running water before prepping 
  • Saute onions in a large saute pan with a bit of oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add beef to onions and saute for an additional 5 minutes or until beef is completely brown. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to breakup beef as much as possible and move around in the pan. 
  • Drain fat from the meat using a colander and a heavy duty bowl underneath since contents will be hot. Once cooled down, discard fat. leave cooked meat on the side. Do not rinse or wash the pan. 
  • In the same large pan, saute broccoli and mushrooms for 8 minutes or until  mushrooms have browned and broccoli has softened up a bit. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds and add cooked beef, veggie stock, and marinara sauce immediately after. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  • While sauce is simmering, heat up water in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Add salt to boiling water and spaghetti soon after. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Drain the spaghetti in a colander. It should be "al dente" meaning it should still have some bit to it. Be sure to save at least 1 cup of pasta water. Toss in oil and italian seasoning. 
  • To plate, use tongs to pick up spaghetti and place in pan with simmering sauce.  Move pasta around to coat with sauce and then place in plate using pasta fork or tongs. Spoon over a good amount of sauce. 
  • Enjoy with parmesan cheese and rolls! 
Keyword bolognese, easy dinner, pasta, spaghetti
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