Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Microwave spaghetti bolognese

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
Bolognese sauce is one of those recipes that everyone should learn to cook. It can be adapted to make lasagne, chilli con carne or even cottage pie and you can add extra vegetables such as mushrooms and peppers to use up whatever you have in the fridge.


  1. Put the chopped onion, garlic and carrot into a large microwave safe bowl.

  2. Add the mince and mix together with a fork, breaking up the meat until it is well combined.

  3. Cover the bowl with a microwaveable lid or cling film, leaving a small area open, and microwave on full power for three minutes.

  4. Remove the bowl. Stir with the fork, breaking up the mince again, cover and return to the microwave for another three minutes. Take care when removing the bowl as it will be very hot. Break up any clumps of mince again.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes to the bowl together with 50ml/2fl oz of boiling water, and crumble over the stock cube, oregano and black pepper (if using).

  6. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon. Cover again and cook in the microwave on full power for seven minutes. Remove the bowl, stir well, cover and return to the microwave for another 10 minutes on full power, stirring halfway through.

  7. Remove the bowl and leave to stand while you cook the spaghetti.

  8. Boil the kettle for the spaghetti. Break the spaghetti into thirds and put in a separate microwave safe bowl. Add the oil and mix well with a wooden spoon to coat the spaghetti with oil. Pour over boiling water until just covered and stir well.

  9. Put into the microwave and cook on full power for four minutes.

  10. Remove the bowl and stir the spaghetti. Cover and return to the microwave and cook on full power for another four minutes.

  11. Take the bowl out of the microwave and leave to stand for two minutes. Check that the spaghetti is cooked and is al dente (still has a little bite). Cook for another couple of minutes if it’s not soft enough.

  12. Drain the cooked spaghetti and serve with the bolognese sauce.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped into pea-sized pieces
  • 300g/10½oz lean beef mince
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 50ml/2fl oz boiling water
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)
  • 300g/10½oz uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

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Microwave spaghetti bolognese

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