Chicken Bolognese: This is an easy recipe, that’s FULL of flavor, using simple ingredients! Serve on top of your favorite pasta for a dinner recipe that’s ready in about 30 minutes. Then, of course if you have leftovers, you’ll want to make this fried spaghetti with it!
Whether you’re looking for recipes that use ground chicken instead of ground beef, or you have ground chicken that you’re looking for a way to use, you’re in the right place! Using different meats in spaghetti recipes is one of our favorite ways to add some versatility to the dish. (Like when we made venison spaghetti!)
Ground chicken can be used in place of a lot of dishes that usually call for ground beef, like when we used it in these Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps!
⭐️ Why This Recipe Works
- Hides Veggies: Have kiddos that you’d love to sneak in some vegetables? Dice them super fine, as we do in this recipe, and the whole family will never know!
- Easy Dinner Recipe: Since it’s ready in about 30 minutes, that means it can be a quick and easy dinner recipe or even a lunch recipe on the weekend!
- Serve it Over Your Favorite: We typically have this bolognese sauce on top of spaghetti noodles but it can absolutely (and is mostly recommended for this Italian-style sauce) on larger, tubed pasta or scoopable pasta so it will hold the chunky sauce better.
🥫 Ingredients Needed
I’ve highlighted a couple of ingredients with some relevant notes. Aside from this, the ingredients needed are pretty basic.
- Carrots and Celery – If you haven’t tried putting vegetables like this in your bolognese sauce, try it! It’s actually very common and it helps season the sauce. It’s also a great way to get veggies in, without even the pickiest of eaters realizing it!
- Ground Chicken – You can buy pre-ground chicken or even make your own. If making your own though, be sure to use dark and light meat (a whole chicken, chicken breasts, or chicken thighs can be a good option too!) for the most flavor! You may want to add cooked shredded chicken to a food processor to dice it very fine, to resemble ground chicken.
- Canola Oil – The flavor that the canola oil gives the sauce, is better than olive oil but feel free to use a different type, such as vegetable or olive oil.
Where’s the milk/cream? Some versions of bolognese also add evaporated milk or heavy cream, to make a slightly creamier sauce. If you prefer, you can add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk/cream to your sauce, with the tomatoes.
If you find that some items need to be switched out for dietary reasons or because they’re not available for this recipe as written, here are some suggestions that may be helpful:
- Chicken – Ground turkey, ground beef, pork, or even vegetarian ground meat is an option!
- Carrots/Celery – yes, you can omit these in the recipe but do note that it will sacrifice flavor. So you may want to add spices/seasonings like celery salt, a bay leaf, fennel, and maybe even a dash of allspice for a warm flavor.
- Basil – fresh basil is hard to beat in this recipe. However, if you’re using dried basil, you can use 1/3 of a teaspoon.
To make this easy chicken bolognese recipe exactly as instructed, you’ll need a large dutch oven or a large pot, and a food processor if you want to finely dice the vegetables.
Looking for a set-it-and-forget way of cooking this bolognese?
What we love about slow cooker recipes, is that you can pretty much allow things to slow cook, so you can focus on something else! (Which, slow-cooking bolognese is what it’s known for but we’ve made the main recipe quick for your convenience!)
- Cook your veggies, garlic, and ground chicken on the stovetop as instructed, and then add that mixture along with the remaining ingredients (except basil, baking soda, and spaghetti noodles) and cook on low for 6 hours in the slow cooker. Add in baking soda and fresh basil, and then serve over al dente spaghetti noodles.
We love Instant Pot recipes around here, so if you have one too, this can be an optional cook method:
- Saute. On the saute setting, cook the vegetables, garlic, and ground chicken until the onions are translucent and the ground chicken is fully cooked.
- Add more ingredients. Turn off the “saute” function and pour in the remaining ingredients except for basil, baking soda, and spaghetti noodles).
- Scrape bottom. Using a wooden spatula, scrape off any stuck-on tidbits off the bottom of the pot, and attach the lid.
- Pressure Cook on High. Adjust the nozzle to “seal” and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes and then quick-release (carefully) and add in basil and baking soda and stir.
- Saute. Turn the “saute” function back on, stir, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Serve. Pour on top of cooked spaghetti noodles or your favorite pasta.
Make these Instant Pot meatballs to serve on top for some added heartiness!
👩🏻🍳 Detailed Step-by-Step Instructions
The steps to make this ground chicken bolognese recipe are so simple, and involve dicing veggies, sauteing the vegetables and meat, and then simmering the liquids with the chicken to create a beautiful bolognese recipe.
This Bolognese is broken into 3 components:
- Saute veggies and ground chicken
- Simmer sauces with veggies and meat
- Serve over pasta
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Oftentimes, you can find pre-diced vegetables at your local grocery store in the produce section or even in the freezer section, if you want to save time from chopping – but you’ll probably still want to add them to the food processor to chop them finely enough for a smoother, flavorful sauce.
STEP 1. Dice the Vegetables. Trim and finely dice with a knife, or use a food processor, the onion, carrot, and celery (Images 1&2).
STEP 2. Saute vegetables. Add veggies to the Dutch oven or deep pot with canola oil. Cook on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, until the veggies are soft (Image 3).
STEP 3. Saute Garlic. Add garlic to the pot and cook for 1 min more, until fragrant (Image 4).
STEP 4. Seasonings and Chicken. Add chicken, red pepper, black pepper, salt, and Italian seasoning to the pot (Image 5). Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, which is about 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat (Image 6).
STEP 5. Add both types of tomatoes. Place tomatoes in the pot. Once bubbling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10min stirring occasionally (Images 7 & 8).
STEP 6. Basil and Baking Soda. After simmering add chopped basil and baking soda. Stir well and simmer for 5 more minutes (Images 9 & 10).
TIP: Baking soda neutralizes some of the acids in the sauce and gives it a sweet taste without adding sugar or standing over the stove all day.
STEP 7. Serve! Pour on top of your favorite cooked pasta, add parmesan cheese, and a little more basil if desired.
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Not sweet enough? Too sweet? Add more baking soda pinch by pinch if a sweeter taste is desired. If you accidentally add too much baking soda and your sauce is too sweet, add an acid such as white vinegar to the sauce, to regain flavor.
📋 Recipe FAQs
Any type of pasta you prefer, is just fine. However, it’s commonly served with tagliatelle, rigatoni, or shell pasta so it can “scoop” up the meaty, thick sauce.
It makes the sauce more rich and creamy and can add more depth to the flavor.
No they’re not the same. Marinara sauce doesn’t have to have meat in it, and may just consist of tomatoes and spices. Classic bolognese sauce has delicious pieces of cooked meat in it as well.
If you have leftovers, refrigerate it in an airtight container for about 3 days or you can freeze it, in a freezable container for up to 2 months.
🥗 What to Serve with this Dish
🍝 More Easy Dinner Recipes You’ll Love
If you love quick and easy dinners like this one, you’ll especially love this lasagna stuffed chicken and these other dishes that are popular on the blog:
Did you make this? I’d be so grateful if you left a “star” rating below to let me know what you thought! Then, the next time you need a quick and easy recipe, come back to Fantabulosity to browse all of my easy recipes!
- Dutch Oven
- Food Processor – optional
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 peeled carrots
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves chopped
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pound spaghetti noodles, cooked or your favorite pasta
- Trim and finely dice with a knife, or use a food processor, the onion, carrot, and celery. Add veggies to Dutch oven or deep pot with canola oil. Cook on medium heat for approximately 5 min, until veggies are soft.
- Add garlic to the pot and cook 1 min more, until fragrant.
- Add chicken, redpepper, black pepper, salt, and Italian seasoning to the pot. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, 5-7 min on medium high heat.
- Place tomatoes in the pot. Once bubbling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 min stirring occasionally.
- After simmering add chopped basil and baking soda. Stir well and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Serve with your favorite pasta, parmesan cheese, and a little more basil if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.