Here’s How to Lighten Up Your Pasta Bolognese
Say arrivederci to hefty meat sauce. Boost the veg, replace the meat, and drop more than 500 calories with our lean version. Go head, have a hefty serving.
When it comes to meat-sauced pasta, Bolognese is the heavyweight champion, clocking in at over 800 calories with almost 1,800mg sodium. The traditional dish has a rich cast of characters—up to three kinds of meat, plus cream, cheese, and pasta—and packs half a day’s worth of sat fat into just one serving. Here, tempeh and two types of mushrooms mimic the texture of ground meat while adding plenty of savory depth. By upping the veggies and nixing the cream, we leave plenty of room for the good stuff: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Simmering the cheese rind with the sauce infuses even more full-bodied flavor and salty tang. Our makeover delivers classic satisfaction for less than half the calories and 1,300mg less sodium than the standard.
View Recipe: Vegetarian Bolognese
Make Better Bolognese
Hard, aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano have rich, concentrated flavor, so even a small amount packs a savory punch. Simmering the cheese rind in the sauce adds pronounced depth.
With 68% less saturated fat per ounce than beef, plus a firm texture and mild, savory flavor, tempeh is an excellent stand-in for meat. Plus, tempeh offers fiber plus more protein per ounce than beef.
A combination of antioxidant-packed porcini and shiitake mushrooms adds meatiness and deep umami flavor for very few calories. Soaking dried mushrooms creates a flavor-packed broth.
WATCH: This low-calorie spaghetti squash lasagna has nearly two cups of vegetables per serving:
Healthy Supermarket Pick
Ancient Harvest Pow! Pasta Green Lentil Spaghetti
With more fiber than whole-grain pasta and as much protein as meat, Ancient Harvest’s Green Lentil Spaghetti is sturdy (great for a hearty Bolognese) with a mild flavor.