Spicy Chorizo Bolognese
Spicy chorizo bolognese is off-the-charts delicious. From now on, bolognese should always be made with chorizo!
I have a confession to make. My entire cooking life, I've been making bolognese sauce all wrong. And just for the record, it was only a couple of years ago that I stopped calling bolognese Spaghetti Sauce.
Here's the deal, it turns out that bolognese (that delicious combination of ground beef and tomato sauce simmered in spices and ladled over spaghetti pasta) MUST have chorizo in it. Who knew!
Full disclosure – I'm not Italian or a grandmother (I hope my picture gives that away) but I truly believe that bolognese should always be made with chorizo. I'm not talking about Chorizo Bolognese as if it is some special kind of sauce. It's just that when I say, “Hey, come over for dinner. I'm making bolognese.” You simply assume there'll be chorizo in it.
We make a lot of ‘spaghetti sauce' around here. When I first made chorizo bolognese, I didn't tell my handsome man that I did anything different. I mean, it really does look the same.
When he put the first bite into his mouth, his eyes shot open and he spent the next several minutes telling me how good it was. Chorizo bolognese is basically the best meat and tomato-based pasta sauce you've ever eaten.
Spicy Chorizo Bolognese
- It's super easy to make. If you can saute some onions and garlic and put some chorizo and ground beef in a pan, you can make this. It's one of those recipes that is delicious enough to serve at a dinner party but easy enough to make as a weeknight meal. Love these kinds of recipes!
- We've been over the delicious part, but I have to say it again. Chorizo bolognese has so much more flavor and totally kicks butt over regular bolognese. It has a subtle spiciness to it so everyone at the table can eat it. Truth: we sprinkle the top with chili flakes for extra heat.
- The recipe makes eight moderate-sized portions. I like to serve this with a big side salad, which makes it the perfect amount for us. I made the recipe a little larger than normal because the leftovers are awesome for lunch.
- It freezes VERY well. Make a double portion and freeze half in a plastic freezer bag. The next time you're reaching for your phone to order in, open your freezer instead. You'll be much happier.
Enjoy your chorizo bolognese, my friends!
More delicious pasta recipes
- Drunken Red Wine Spaghetti with Spicy Chorizo and Black Kale
- Sage Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Kale and Buttered Pecan
- Green Goddess Pasta Bowls
- Creamy One Pot Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
Spicy Chorizo Bolognese
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 1 lb. dry spaghetti, linguini, or fettuccini, gluten-free, if needed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus oil for the pasta
- 1 large onion, finely minced
- 3 anchovies packed in oil, minced (optional, see notes)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casings and crumbled (see notes)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt, to taste
- Optional toppings: fresh mozzarella, grated parmesan, black pepper, parsley, chili flakes
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8-9 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta using a colander then put the pasta back into the pot. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and toss to coat.1 lb. dry spaghetti, linguini, or fettuccini
- While the pasta water is heating, begin making the chorizo bolognese. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and let it cook until it is golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Add the anchovies (if using) and the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes to let it caramelize.2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 large onion, 3 anchovies packed in oil, 4 cloves garlic, 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- Add the chorizo and ground beef and let them cook through. Add the crushed tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and let the pot simmer gently for 10 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt.1 lb. fresh chorizo, 1 lb. ground beef, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Serve the chorizo bolognese over the cooked pasta and top with any or all of the optional toppings.Optional toppings: fresh mozzarella, grated parmesan, black pepper, parsley, chili flakes
Excellent weeknight dinner. As tasty as something you’d find in a restaurant. What a great idea!
Marion again…hubby is eating dinner, eyes got wide at the first bite then SILENCE! With a mouthful he says…this is really good baby! What better compliment than that!
I forgot to add that aside from using fresh tomatoes, I followed the recipe EXACTLY! I added NOTHING but extra garlic as we LOVE it here!
I’m so happy that you loved the recipe!!
The sauce is simmering as I type. It smells so FREAKIN’ GOOD! I have NEVER eaten anchovies in my life so I have NO idea what to look for in taste. Having said that…it tastes as good as it smells! This was the first recipe that came up that caught my eye enough to try, I’m SO glad I did. I am planning to make it again without the anchovies to “taste” the difference IF any. I have a sh..load of tomatoes so I blanched them then crushed them. I LOVE cooking from scratch & this is so easy. My son is packing his lunch for work & he keeps dipping bread into the sauce saying, mmmmm… It IS REALLY good, looking forward to dinner tonight. Not sure what type of pasta I’ll use but I have bread baking in the oven & going out to my garden for veggies for a HUGE salad. THANK YOU for making this so easy. I can’t wait to try your other recipes.
What could I use instead of balsamic vinegar?
Tastes real good without it but I’d like to try it the way the recipe says first.
Balsamic vinegar is like a sweeter and maltier red wine vinegar. So you could try using red wine vinegar with some honey or sugar. 🙂
Have you done this in a slow cooker? Thinking it would be fine, but I didn’t know if the anchovies would affect it?
I haven’t tried it, but a lot of the flavor comes from caramelizing the onions and tomato paste. Once you’ve done that the recipe is half made so a slow cooker might not be worth it. If you really want to just put everything into your slow cooker and let it do all the work, you’ll probably want to add some sugar or honey at the end for flavor. 🙂
This recipe is fantastic. Thank you!
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for coming back to let us know!!
I made this recipe for the first time a while ago and ever since then I absolutely CRAVE it. I’ve made it a few times now and it’s always a hit! I add a tablespoon of red pepper flakes before letting it simmer because I like an extra kick. THANK YOU for this recipe – it’s definitely in my top 10!
I almost made this recipe for dinner again last night but I wouldn’t find any chorizo. I’m so happy to hear you love it as much as I do!
This dish is perfect! It’s so delicious, so easy to make, and you end up with enough sauce to feed a family of four twice. I made this a few weeks ago for the first time and it was so incredibly good I wanted to get it back onto our meal plan right away, but thought I better show some restraint so that the kids don’t get bored of it. I, on the other hand, think I could happily eat this a few times every week.
I’m curious if you’ve tried it with Italian sausage instead of Chorizo? Does it lose flavour? My guess is the Chorizo is the secret ingredient, and I don’t think I want to mess with perfection.
I love that this recipe was a hit! I think it could be great with Italian sausage, too. Especially if it were spicy. Even if it weren’t quite as good as the chorizo it would still be delicious. 🙂
The chorizo totally takes this to the next level! I’ll never go back to my old way of making spaghetti.
I’m so happy to hear you agree!!
Beautiful photos! I’m eager to try Barilla’s new GF line. 🙂
You’re going to love it! It’s a great gf option. 🙂
Yum, this looks so great! I guess I need to start adding chorizo to my bolognese haha
You so do! Seriously, it makes the dish!
You’re kidding! I’ve never heard of chorizo pasta before! I’ve got to try it!
You totally need to try it. It seriously amazing!
I never thought of using chorizo in bolognese but now I NEED to try it this way! This sounds so amazing, I love chorizo!
Thank you so much! It seriously changes everything. I’m never going back to regular bolognese!
That sounds and looks amazing!
Thank you so much!!
This looks seriously amazing. I didn’t know it needed chorizo either. Huh. Feeling a little dumb now lol. I love chorizo, though… sooooo….
Ha ha at least we both didn’t know! Trust me girl, the chorizo is so where it’s at!