Skip to Content

What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta (10 Options)

Bolognese is a classic Italian meat dish that is traditionally served with pasta.

However, nowadays, many people choose to eat bolognese without pasta.

So, you may wonder what can you serve with bolognese if you want to skip the ubiquitous pasta.

What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta

I’ve got just the answers you’re looking for — here is a list of pasta substitutes that you can use with your bolognese!

What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta

What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta

If you love pasta, but are trying to cut back on carbs, it can be tricky to find something else.

Here is a list of alternatives for when you have bolognese over pasta:

1. Butternut Squash Noodles

Spicy Bolognese with Butternut Squash Noodles

Have you been trying to figure out what to serve with your Bolognese sauce instead of pasta?

Well, I’m going to let you in on a delicious secret: butternut squash noodles.

Whether you’re looking for a low-carb alternative, or just want to try something new, butternut squash is the perfect noodle substitute.

See Also: 11 Best Substitutes for Red Wine in Bolognese

And the best part?

It’s super easy to make! Just cut up your squash and cook it for about 10 minutes, and voila!

You’ve got yourself some fresh butternut “noodles.”

Not sure where to start?

Here are some recipes that use butternut noodles as a pasta substitute:

  1. Squoodle Bolognese with Basil & Pine Nut Drizzle
  2. Vegetarian Bolognese With Butternut Squash Noodles
  3. Spicy Bolognese with Butternut Squash Noodles

2. Baked Potatoes


When you’re trying to eat healthier, it’s hard to give up pasta.

Pasta is good for the soul. But let’s be honest: pasta is not good for the body.

So what can you serve with bolognese that isn’t pasta?

Baked potatoes are a great alternative to pasta because they’re naturally gluten-free and high in fiber, which means they’ll keep you fuller longer.

Plus, they’re easy to make and can be dressed up to go with any meal.

To serve baked potatoes instead of pasta, try using them as a base for your bolognese instead of noodles.

Just cut them in half, scoop out the insides, and top with bolognese sauce.

You can even add some cheese on the top for an extra indulgent feel.

For baked potato recipes that go well with bolognese, try these:

  1. Baked potatoes with bolognese sauce
  2. Veg ‘bolognese’ baked potatoes
  3. Baked potatoes à la Bolognese recipe

3. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potato Bolognese Casserole

Now, I know what you are thinking: “But I can’t have mashed potatoes with bolognese, it always needs to be served with pasta.

Let me explain why mashed potatoes are a great alternative.

They go great with meat sauce and the texture is amazing.

Not only that, but they are also good for those who are on a low-carb diet.

If you want to use this alternative instead of the original, then here are some tips:

  • make sure that your mashed potatoes are smooth and creamy
  • do not use too much butter or milk
  • use an immersion blender if possible (it will make things easier)
  • add salt and pepper to taste
  • make sure that your sauce has enough liquid so that it does not dry out while cooking
  • add some cheese before serving (optional).

It’s easy!

You don’t need anything fancy at all to make this dish work! 

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, here are some recipes where this alternative is used:

  1. Mashed potatoes au gratin with bolognese
  2. Mashed Potatoes, Bolognese Style
  3. Mashed Potatoes Bolognese Bake Recipe

4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Stuffed With Leftover Bolognese

I got home the other day and realized I was out of pasta.

I had a huge hankering for bolognese, but didn’t have any noodles to go with it.

I had some sweet potatoes though, and could think of many reasons why they would be a good alternative.

So, I thought I’d share my reasoning with you all, and offer some tips on how to use them with your bolognese.

First off, sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.

They’re also high in fiber and potassium, which makes them heart-healthy.

They’re a great alternative for those watching their weight because the calories per serving are about half as much as regular potatoes or pasta.

Sweet potatoes can be sliced into steaks or fries and baked or sautéed with your favorite seasonings like garlic or rosemary.

You can also bake them whole in the oven until soft for use in soups or stews like bolognese.

Here are some recipes that use sweet potatoes instead of spaghetti:

  1. Sweet Potato Stuffed With Leftover Bolognese
  2. Cheesy bacon bolognese stuffed sweet potatoes
  3. Mushroom & Sweet Potato Vegan “Bolognese” or Pasta Sauce

5. Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)


Looking for a delicious alternative to pasta for your Bolognese?

Zucchini noodles (or “zoodles”) are a great, low-carb option that still give you that noodle-y satisfaction in your mouth.

It all comes down to the technique.

Since zucchini is more watery than pasta, it’s important to cook the zoodles separately from your Bolognese sauce, otherwise they will become too mushy.

You can cook them for just 3 minutes using our microwave method, or sauté them on the stovetop for about 4 minutes if you prefer.

You can always use Bolognese sauce as a topping for other types of vegan noodles, such as rice noodles or udon noodles.

Serve up a big bowl with some crusty bread on the side and you’ve got a complete meal in no time at all!

Zoodles are great with any sauce, but I think they’re especially good with bolognese.

Tips For Making Zucchini Noodles

  • You can use a julienne peeler, a vegetable spiralizer, or a regular old vegetable peeler to make your noodles.
  • If you’re using an electric spiralizer, cut the ends off the zucchini and place it in the chute. If you’re not using an electric spiralizer, cut the zucchini into sections no more than four inches long (depending on the size of your spiralizer).
  • Depending on how thick or thin your zoodles are, you might want to let them sit for a few minutes in some salted water before continuing with your recipe so they soften up!
  • Don’t add zoodles to boiling water—you’ll end up with mush! Instead, add them in during the last two-to-three minutes of cooking to make sure they stay al dente like pasta.
  • Zoodles will absorb flavors from sauces and dressings more easily than pasta will, so don’t forget to season them well!
  • Want a heartier dish? Try adding some protein such as chicken or shrimp!

Try these recipes if this sounds like something you want to try:

  1. Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Bolognese
  2. Zucchini Noodles with Bolognese (Meat Sauce)
  3. Zucchini Noodles with Quick Turkey Bolognese

6. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice with Bolognese Sauce

We got curious, so we did some research and found a number of recipes where people have used cauliflower rice instead of regular pasta.

In case you’re not familiar with it, cauliflower rice is an alternative to regular rice that’s made from – duh – cauliflower.

It has the same kind of consistency but fewer calories, so you can eat more without feeling guilty.

It’s pretty easy to make: just grate or process raw cauliflower until it looks like rice (or couscous), then cook it in a pot until soft.

You can also buy prepackaged frozen or chilled riced cauliflower at the grocery store if you don’t feel like dealing with making it yourself.

Some really good recipes that uses cauliflower rice instead of regular pasta are:

  1. Cauliflower Rice with Bolognese Sauce
  2. Bolognese with Cauliflower Rice
  3. Easy Cauliflower Rice with Bolognese sauce

7. Quinoa


When it comes to Italian food, nothing beats a plate of bolognese.

Instead of pasta, why not try quinoa instead?

Quinoa is a great alternative to pasta because it has less carbs and more protein than any type of pasta.

It also has a nutty flavor that complements the meaty flavors of bolognese sauce.

If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, it’s pretty easy: just put one cup of dry quinoa in a pot with two cups of water or stock.

Then bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes. It should come out fluffy and tender, much like rice!

Now that you have your quinoa, what can you make with it?

Just replace the pasta in any recipe with quinoa for a delicious, low-carb meal!

Here is a recipe where quinoa goes great with bolognese!

8. Polenta


When you think of bolognese, your mind probably goes straight to pasta. But why limit yourself?

Polenta is an excellent alternative to pasta, and it’s been gaining popularity in recent years.

If you’re going to try polenta instead of pasta with your bolognese, be sure to cook it well and top it with plenty of cheese.

Polenta can easily turn into a mushy mess if you don’t handle it properly.

This doesn’t mean that polenta is hard to cook.

In fact, there are many great polenta recipes out there!

Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Easy Parmesan Polenta Bolognese Recipe
  2. Polenta with Bolognese Sauce
  3. Beef Bolognese with polenta and romaine salad

9. Eggplant Noodles

Eggplant Noodles

The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favorite bolognese recipe just because you’re gluten-free or watching your carbs.

There’s a simple swap that works great in this dish: eggplant “noodles.

Just like regular pasta, eggplant is great for soaking up the flavors of your sauce, and the texture gives it a great mouthfeel.

If you’re new to the idea of cooking with eggplant, here are some tips to get you started:

  • If you’re looking for an easy way to cut your eggplant into noodle shapes, try using a spiralizer.
  • If you want more firmness in your noodles, try salting them and letting them sit before cooking. This helps draw out some of the moisture so that they won’t be too soggy when you’re done cooking.
  • If you want to make sure the eggplant doesn’t get bitter, try roasting it first! This will intensify its flavor and make it taste even better when combined with your sauce.

10. Roasted Cabbage Wedges

Wonderful Cabbage Wedges

I’ve got good news for you: roasted cabbage wedges make an excellent substitute for pasta in your favorite bolognese recipe.

Sure, cabbage isn’t a noodle.

But it still has texture, and it soaks up flavor just like pasta!

Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients that are great for your health.

And unlike noodles, cabbage is a low-carbohydrate vegetable that won’t spike your blood sugar levels or cause extra weight gain.

Whether you’re looking for a healthier alternative to pasta or just want to add some variety to your mealtime routine, roasted cabbage wedges can be exactly what you need!

Here are some recipes to get you started:

  1. Wonderful Cabbage Wedges
  2. Oven-Roasted Sweetheart Cabbage

Related Posts:

What Herbs & Spices to Put in Spaghetti Bolognese

What Vegetables Go with Spaghetti Bolognese?

What to Serve with Tomato Pie: 17 Best Sides

What Side Dishes Go with Low Country Boil?

What to Serve with Stuffed Shells: 23 Best Side Dishes

What to Serve with Katsu Curry – 17 Best Side Dishes

What to Serve with Paella – 26 Easy Side Dishes

What to Serve with Caesar Salad – 15 Best Sides

What to Serve with Chicken Skewers? 27 Tasty Sides

What Goes with Greek Salad? 15 Best Sides

What to Serve with Soup Besides Bread – 35 Easy Sides

What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta

What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta

Sometimes you just need a break from pasta.
Whether it's because you're trying to cut carbs, or you're looking for something new, or you just plain don't like the stuff, I've got just the answers you're looking for — here is a list of 10 pasta alternatives that you can use with your bolognese sauce!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 150 kcal


  • Butternut Squash Noodles
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Polenta
  • Eggplant Noodles
  • Roasted Cabbage Wedges


  • Pick any of these alternatives to serve with your bolognese sauce.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Be ready to serve in less than 20 minutes!
Keyword What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.