Spaghetti Bolognese

Slimming Eats Spaghetti Bolognese - gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly

Spaghetti Bolognese was one of the first dishes I ever cooked for myself and it is one I never get bored of. Whenever I make it, I often make double the amount and then turn it into a Chilli the next day just for variation. I hate a watery sauce on my bolognese, it has to be a rich tomato sauce. If I have plenty of fresh tomatoes I like to do a mix of passata and fresh chopped tomatoes, but if I haven’t got those, passata on it’s own works just fine. The red wine just gives that little more flavour, but if you want to keep this syn free it is also delicious without.

This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, paleo, vegetarian, Slimming World (SP) and Weight Watchers friendly

Slimming Eats Recipe

Extra Easy – 1.5 syns per serving

Green/Vegetarian – 1.5 syns per serving (substitute beef with quorn or lentils)

Original/SP/Paleo– 1.5 syns per serving (serve with zucchini noodles or similar spiralled vegetables)

NOTE: Omit the wine to keep this syn free

Slimming Eats Spaghetti Bolognese - gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly

Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 4
  • 400g/14oz extra lean minced beef
  • 3 slices of lean back bacon/Canadian bacon
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped finely
  • 1 carrot, chopped finely
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped finely
  • 6 large button mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 480ml (2 cups) of passata (I sometimes use 1 cup of passata and 1 cup of fresh chopped tomatoes)
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) of red wine(4.5 syns) (or replace this with more passata to keep syn free)
  • 240ml (1 cup) of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (puree)
  • fresh thyme, oregano and rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • spray oil
  • 320g of spaghetti (or other pasta or choice, can use gluten free)
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil or parsley, to serve
  • optional: parmesan cheese from your HEa daily choices)
  1. Spray a frying pan over a medium high heat with spray oil.
  2. Add the bacon cook for approx 5 mins until golden.
  3. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, carrot, celery and some of the fresh herbs, and cook until browned breaking up any large lumps of meat with the back of the spoon.
  4. Add the stock, wine, passata, tomato paste and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer on a low heat covered for approx 1 hour, if liquid reduces down too much (you can add a little more stock/passata)
  6. When the meat mixture is almost ready, add the pasta to a large saucepan of boiling hot water and cook to al dente.
  7. Drain the water and add meat mixture to the spaghetti and mix thoroughly.
  8. Divide among 4 plates and top with some fresh chopped basil or parsley.
  9. If you have a HEa spare you can top with some parmesan cheese.
  10. TIP:Want to turn this into chilli con carne for the next day? If you are only using half the recipe for spaghetti bolognese, then the next day add some red and green pepper with 2 jalapeno peppers to the mixture, along with some cumin, paprika and 1 tin of kidney beans and a little more passata or chopped tomatoes and you have a quick chilli con carne.

Slimming Eats Spaghetti Bolognese - gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly

The recipe above has been calculated for Slimming World, however for those of you following the Weight Watchers plan or another calorie controlled type diet. Below is the approx nutritional information:



per serving





Saturated Fat


Total Carbohydrate


Dietary Fibre






Slimming Eats Spaghetti Bolognese - gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly

Slimming Eats Spaghetti Bolognese - gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly

  • if you are feeling v SynStingy I make spag bol without any wine, and it works fine. I would not leave out the tomato paste, though you can, and just simmer it down a bit more.

    So you can easily get to a smidgeon of a syn or none at all if you prefer

  • admin

    yeah I normally cook my bolognese without, but had some leftover red wine from the weekend to use up (we had visitors over). It definately gave it a nice flavour.

  • My nan is italian and I have always used her ecipe for making bolognese and must admit it tastes yummier when you use wine, but obviously for SW I never use it.

    Pre SW I used to use panchetta bacon, but lean bacon is just as nice IMO

    The herbs I use are oregano, basil and marjoram with a bay leaf (obviously salt and pepper and garlic). She would shout at me for using Worcestershire sauce but I have to say I ALWAYS use it lol

    I agree about the puree it just doesn’t taste ‘right’ without it 🙂

  • admin

    oh yes, I used to cook it pre slimming world days, with a bit of pancetta cooked in a little cinnamon, before add the onions, garlic, mince and herbs etc. I also used to leave it simmer on the hob for hours for the flavours to really come out, but I didnt have hours when I made this one, as I started it a bit later in the day lol.

    I love thyme in it, mind you I love thyme in a lot of beef and chicken dishes, I think it has a lovely flavouring.

  • I have to say, doesn’t fresh thyme taste devine??!! I have been using it a lot recently and I LOVE it. I have a pot growing on the windowsill lol

  • Janette Birch

    this is lovely – you can use passata instead of puree -syn free – and just simmer it a bit longer.

  • hi, do you have to use the wine?? is there an alternative

  • Anonymous

    you can omit the wine if you would prefer 🙂

  • used meatballs omitted the bacon and used tinned chopped toms instead of passata oh and no wine  everyone cleared their plates and declared it delicious x

  • Helena

    Just made this, always made my own which was awful. low and behold, ive found a recipe to follow and even used wine in it! I NEVER use wine in cooking.. im converted! THANK YOU!