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This mouthwatering chicken Bolognese recipe is made with ground chicken instead of the ground beef usually used in such a recipe. It’s cooked to succulent perfection with a soffritto of onions, carrots, and celery, and then simmered with tomatoes and red wine. It’s a rich-tasting chicken and tomato sauce which is wonderful served over any kind of cooked pasta.

A plate of spaghetti topped with chicken Bolognese sauce, garnished with parsley, is placed on a table set for a meal with tomatoes in the background.

Ground chicken pairs with vegetables, garlic, wine, seasonings, and tomatoes to make this tasty ground chicken Bolognese sauce which is ready in under an hour.

If you love Italian flavors, then you might also like to try fettuccine with beef Bolognese sauce, baked cream cheese spaghetti, or this easy shrimp linguine.

A wooden spoon holding a scoop of chunky chicken Bolognese sauce above a pot filled with the same savory mix. Fresh herbs are partially visible in the background.

Why You’ll Love This

Fresh-flavored: The fresh trio of vegetables and garlic gives this chicken Bolognese recipe a wonderfully fresh flavor. You will love every mouthful of this homemade Bolognese sauce.
Makes a change: If beef Bolognese often appears on your home dinner menu, you might want to change things up and make chicken Bolognese instead.
Quick to prepare: Traditional beef Bolognese sauce simmers for hours, but this chicken version is ready in just 45 minutes and the flavor is every bit as good!

Two plates of spaghetti with rich meat sauce, topped with grated cheese and parsley, alongside a glass of red wine, a block of Parmesan, and a cheese grater. One dish features classic beef, while the other showcases savory chicken Bolognese.

Chicken Bolognese Recipe Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

Ground chicken: A main ingredient. Substitute ground turkey if you like, or even ground pork.
Vegetables: Fresh onion, carrot and celery add color as well as fresh flavors to the Bolognese sauce.
Red wine: Wine adds depth of flavor to the dish. You can use any red wine, although perhaps an Italian red would be more authentic. You only need 1/2 cup for the recipe, so you can serve the rest alongside.
Tomatoes: Both canned crushed tomatoes and tomato paste feature in this ground chicken Bolognese. If you want to try using fresh tomatoes in place of the crushed tomatoes, you can.
Seasonings: Garlic, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning add subtle flavors to the dish.

Ingredients for a chicken Bolognese recipe laid out on a white surface include minced meat, red wine, garlic, onion, celery, carrot, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, olive oil, dried herbs, and salt with pepper.

How to Make Ground Chicken Bolognese

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Prepare the vegetables: Peel and chop the vegetables and pulse in a food processor for a minute or until finely minced.
Cook the minced vegetables: Heat the olive oil in a large pot and then add the minced veggies and cook for about 6 minutes or until tender.
Add the chicken: Add the chicken to the pot and cook fully.
Add more ingredients: Stir in the wine and tomato paste and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium.
The finishing touches: Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes, and then season to taste if needed, and serve over hot cooked pasta.

Close-up of a wooden spoon lifting a portion of chunky chicken Bolognese sauce with ground meat from a pot. Red sauce is visible with background elements blurred.

Substitutions and Variations

Gluten-free option: The chicken Bolognese sauce is already gluten-free, but make sure your pasta is gluten-free too.
Chicken alternative: Ground turkey tastes very similar to ground chicken and can be used instead.
Pasta-free meal: Although Bolognese sauce is traditionally served over pasta, you can swap the pasta for rice, couscous or quinoa, or roasted potatoes.

Close-up of a pot filled with rich chicken Bolognese sauce being stirred with a wooden spoon. The sauce contains chunks of tomato and ground meat.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizers:  You might want to start the meal with something contrasting, such as chips and homemade mango salsa or crab legs.
Side dishes:  
Crispy stacked potatoes pair nicely with ground chicken Bolognese.
Desserts: Perhaps finish the meal with lemon stuffed cupcakes or strawberry mousse tartlets.

Two plates of spaghetti topped with chicken Bolognese sauce, garnished with chopped herbs. A fork and fresh tomatoes are also visible.

How to Store Chicken Bolognese

Store: Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.
Freeze: You can freeze this chicken Bolognese recipe in portions if you like.
Thaw: Defrost overnight in the fridge.
Reheat: Warm it back up in a pan on the stove, stirring occasionally.

Two plates of spaghetti topped with hearty chicken Bolognese and grated cheese, garnished with parsley, are served on a table with a glass of red wine and fresh tomatoes in the background.

Top Tips

The tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are especially delicious and I find those the best to use in any Bolognese recipe if you can find them.
The wine: You can use white wine if you prefer or even use chicken stock instead (if you do that you might need to add more seasonings at the end).
A creamy texture: As traditional Bolognese sauce has milk in it, you also like to add a splash of milk to this sauce, about half a cup. This is optional, of course.
Serving ideas: Offer freshly shredded parmesan cheese at the table so people can take their own. A sprig of fresh basil on each plate looks good, adding a pop of color. Also, remember the napkins since the rich red sauce can be hard to get out of clothes if it splatters.

A plate of spaghetti topped with rich tomato and chicken Bolognese sauce, garnished with parsley, and a fork resting on the side. Another plate of spaghetti is partially visible in the background.

Ground Chicken Bolognese FAQs

What exactly is soffritto?

Not to be confused with sofrito (a sweet tomato sauce from Spain), soffritto is the name given to a carrot, onion and celery mixture that’s finely chopped and then cooked in olive oil. Soffritto is an important step in this chicken Bolognese and is also used in other dishes such as minestrone soup.

And what does Bolognese mean?

Literally it means from the Italian city of Bologna. But in recipes it refers to a meat sauce with carrot, onion, celery, and tomatoes. It’s usually made using ground beef along with pancetta or bacon, and then a splash of cream is added at the end. You can see this recipe is slightly different but also very similar.

Can you use chicken breasts or chicken thighs instead of the ground chicken?

You could but bear in mind chicken breast can dry out. You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you wish. You’ll find they shred really well when cooked in this way.

A wooden spoon scooping some homemade bolognese from a pot.

Chicken Bolognese Recipe

5 from 3 votes

Chicken Bolognese

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Ground chicken is paired with fresh vegetables, garlic, wine, seasonings, and tomatoes to make this delicious ground chicken Bolognese sauce recipe – and it'll be ready in under an hour!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 yellow onion, small
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 Stalk celery
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Pound ground chicken
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ Cup red wine
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 Ounces crushed tomatoes, canned
  • spaghetti, cooked, to serve

Instructions 

  • Prepare the soffritto. Wash and peel the vegetables. Chop the onion, carrot, and celery into large chunks and add them to a food processor. Pulse the food processor for about a minute, until the vegetables are finely minced.
  • Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium to high heat. Add the soffritto and cook until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the ground chicken to the saucepan and cook until the chicken is fully cooked through, stirring frequently and breaking up the chicken into small pieces with a spatula.
  • Season the chicken and vegetables with garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Add the red wine and tomato paste, and stir well to combine. Bring the sauce to a low simmer.
  • Once the wine starts to simmer, add the crushed tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium, and allow the sauce to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper if needed, then serve over hot spaghetti.

Notes

The tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are especially delicious and I find those the best to use in chicken Bolognese if you can find them.
The wine: You can use white wine if you prefer or even use chicken stock instead (if you do that you might need to add more seasonings at the end).
A creamy texture: As traditional Bolognese sauce has milk in it, you also like to add a splash of milk to this sauce, about half a cup. This is optional, of course.
Serving ideas: Offer freshly shredded parmesan cheese at the table so people can take their own. A sprig of fresh basil on each plate looks good, adding a pop of color. Also, remember the napkins since the rich red sauce can be hard to get out of clothes if it splatters.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 973mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2139IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

This mouthwatering and authentic Italian recipe for ground chicken Bolognese sauce is easy to make and using ground chicken gives it a different flavor. It’s every bit as delicious as a beef Bolognese sauce but a little lighter in flavor. So if you want to make something delicious using lean ground chicken, consider this charming chicken Bolognese recipe. The whole family is sure to love it.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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Recipe Rating




1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I’m still in awe of how good it was; I’m already thinking about making it again this weekend.