My bison bolognese is a family favorite. It is a rich tomato-based meat sauce made with ground bison instead of ground beef, filled with flavorful spices and chunky tomatoes. I love to serve it over linguine pasta with freshly torn basil from my garden.
I like to make a big batch of the meat sauce at the beginning of the week and reheat it throughout the week with fresh pasta for easy lunches and dinners. I have been super busy with work lately and having a meal already made in the fridge that I can just add to linguine is a huge life saver.
Key Ingredients for this bison meat sauce
Bison is buffalo meat, it is a very lean and healthy red meat. It is grass-fed and pasture-raised with less fat than ground beef. The taste is pretty similar to ground beef, I like it a lot more, but my family doesn’t really taste a difference. If you don’t have ground bison, feel free to substitute it with ground beef if you like!
Onions and Garlic
A staple in any tomato-based sauce. I like to cook my onions until they just start to turn brown before adding in the ground meat because they start to caramelize and add a lot of flavor to the meat sauce.
Dried herbs and spices
The key to the best meat sauce is adding a lot of seasonings. Dried thyme, oregano, rosemary, cayenne pepper, all-purpose seasoning, and a couple of bay leaves all add wonderfulness to this sauce!
I use a plain tomato sauce with no seasonings or addictives.
Homemade chicken broth adds sooo much flavor to this sauce, but if you don’t have any broth, I have used just water and it was totally fine!
I love adding fresh tomato to my meat sauces because it adds a little bit of chunkiness to the sauce and a fresh tomato flavor.
How to make the best bison bolognese
Step 1. On medium heat, add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to a medium-sized skillet. Add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until they are translucent and start to turn brown, 3 – 5 minutes.
Step 2. Next, add the ground bison, dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, ground paprika, all-purpose seasoning, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix to combine. Cook until the meat is well browned, 10 – 12 minutes. Then add in the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant, stir so it doesn’t burn.
Step 3. Add the tomato sauce. Cook, it covered for 1- 2 minutes to get rid of the bitterness that canned tomatoes can have, then add in the bay leaves, chicken broth, and chopped tomato. Stir and cover. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer., then cook the meat sauce for 30 minutes.
Step 4. Boil linguine pasta according to package instructions. Serve meat sauce over pasta with freshly torn basil. Enjoy!
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Kitchen Items You Might Need For This Recipe
Frequently Asked Questions
Does bison taste like beef?
Yes, bison tastes very similar to beef. I prefer it over ground beef, but others don’t taste a difference.
What seasonings are good with bison?
You can use the same seasonings with bison that you would use with ground beef. Some of my favorites are dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried thyme, ground paprika, and minced garlic.
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My bison bolognese is a family favorite. It is a rich tomato-based meat sauce, filled with flavorful spices and chunky tomatoes. I love to serve it over linguine pasta with freshly torn basil from my garden.
- 4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1lb ground bison or beef
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 – 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
Fresh basil for serving
- Heat a skillet on medium heat with vegetable oil. Saute chopped onions for 3 – 5 minutes, until it is translucent and starts to brown.
- Add the ground bison or beef with the seasonings – dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, cayenne pepper, ground paprika, all-purpose seasoning, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix to combine.
- Cook the meat until it is well browned, about 10 – 12 minutes.
- Add in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add in a can of tomato sauce. Cook covered for 1 – 2 minutes to get rid of the bitter taste canned tomato sauce can have. Add chicken broth/ water and chopped tomatoes.
- Cook meat sauce at a low simmer for 30 minutes. Boil the water and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- Serve meat sauce over pasta with freshly torn basil. Enjoy!
Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Store in the freezer in a plastic baggie for up to a month. To reheat, thaw in warm water then reheat over the stove with a splash of chicken broth or water.
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