Spaghetti Bolognese Calories: Here is the Ultimate Protein Pasta

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Mohanned Alazzawi

Medical Doctor & Cofounder at CalorieAid

It’s Friday night, and you’re craving a hearty bowl of pasta covered with rich tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. You’re wondering: how will this affect my diet? For the past few years, I have been cutting the fat off my dishes and making healthier meals to lose weight, and Today I will break down the famous spaghetti bolognese calories and take a closer look at its nutritional detail, and it is as follows:

There are 482 kcals in 1 cup of spaghetti bolognese, and most of these carbs come from pasta and mince. It contains 48 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbs, and 3.8 grams of fiber. Calories may vary according to the ingredients used and the preparation methods.

Spaghetti Bolognese Calories

And now for the complete breakdown, stay tuned.

Table of Contents

Spaghetti bolognese calories breakdown

When it comes to the bolognese sauce, the meat mince is the star of the show. Bolognese sauce is basically a meat sauce, and everything else in the sauce is there for the mince to shine. Both the pasta and the mince are responsible for most calories of this dish, with the fat/oil used for preparing the dish and the parmesan coming second. As usual, the calories that come from the tomatoes and the veggies are not much. It is important to notice that this recipe does not contain a lot of fiber, and should be complemented by another meal that does such as lentil soup.

Spaghetti bolognese Veggies Calories

The Bolognese sauce starts by sauteeing onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil. As I mentioned before, these veggies don’t have many calories. However, a slight change in the amount of olive oil used can change the calories dramatically, because 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 kcals. The recipe also uses a lot of tomatoes (and tomato paste) to round up the meat sauce. Which like the other veggies, does not add much to the spaghetti bolognese calories.

Spaghetti bolognese mince calories

The calories introduce by the mince depend on two major factors: the type of the mince and its fat content. The common types of mince used in the bolognese sauce are beef, pork, and veal. The amount of calories for each of those is almost the same, although I didn’t find many details about the veal. Most of the time, a combination of all of these is used, and it is worth taking a look at all of their calories.

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The second major factor is the fat content of these minces. Obviously, the higher the fat content the more calories you’re going to consume. So if you’re on a diet, consider choosing lean minces. Speaking from a personal experience, if you add too much fat to the dish it will become greasy and unpleasant. And with different fats, you will get a messy flavor. The recipe already uses olive oil in the beginning, so be cautious to do it right. Keep in mind that you will need some fat in the minces to provide their flavor.

Beef, 5% Fat, Raw13621500
Pork, 4% Fat, Raw1212140.20
Veal, Ground113193.500
*Nutritional values for 100 grams

Spaghetti bolognese pasta calories

Just as with mince, different preparations of pasta yield different caloric results. If you’re using fresh egg pasta, it is going to have higher fat content than dry water pasta. With that being said, egg pasta suits this recipe much more than water pasta. It also contains more water than dry water pasta, so they’re less dense in calories. However, if you use a small amount of dry pasta they are going to soak up water and end up the same size and caloric density as fresh pasta, so in the end things even out. The shape of the pasta is not an issue here, just its weight (i.e. how much you’re using and your serving size). Calories aside, this recipe is made authentically with tagliatelle or pappardelle. They hold the sauce much better than spaghetti, so consider doing so when preparing this recipe.

Pasta, Made with water, Dry371131.5753.2
Fresh Pasta, Made with eggs288112.3550
*Nutritional values for 100 grams

Other Add-ons that affect the calories

The recipe may contain a glass of wine to deglaze the pan after sauteeing the mince. Although most of the alcohol evaporates due to the long cooking time, the sugar in the wine doesn’t. So it does contributes a little bit to the overall spaghetti bolognese calories. The cook typically finishes the sauce with a glass of whole milk, which also adds to the calories. That’s all of the recipe ingredient’s caloric background and all the possible variations that you can use in the kitchen.

A healthy spaghetti bolognese recipe

  • Start the recipe by sauteeing the veggies in oil, use as little oil as possible. However, make sure that you don’t use too little because the veggies will burn.
  • Use the leanest mince possible. I think 5% fat is optimal. Not only you will reduce calories, but in my opinion, you’ll improve taste too. You won’t end up with a greasy dish that is heavy on the palate.
  • Removing the wine and deglazing with water will reduce the calories a little bit, but it will affect the flavor greatly. However, this works for those who don’t drink alcohol. You can also use beef broth instead of wine but the overall caloric outcome is the same.
  • Go easy with parmesan cheese at the end. It is considered a seasoning and too much of it will ruin the recipe as well as the calories because it contains a lot of fat.
  • Keep your daily carb and daily protein intake in mind when deciding on the serving sizes of the pasta and the mince.

Doing these simple steps will affect the spaghetti bolognese calories dramatically, and in many cases, the flavor too. Here’s an amazing authentic recipe from Vincenzo’s plate that is both delicious and can be modified as I told you earlier.

1 Small red onion200.
1 stalk of celery30.100.50.3
1 Carrot250.5061.5
167 g Ground Pork23943.75.900
100 g Ground Beef18630.36.200
67 g Ground Veal11516.3500
1.3 cup tomato sauce764.20.617.14.8
133 g tomatoes241.
50 g tomato paste412.
2 tbsp Olive oil24028000
0.33 cup red wine65002.10
0.33 cup whole milk482.62.63.60
126 g pasta36314.32.9690
*Nutritional values for 3 Cups


That’s it. I hope I gave you some ideas that will help you to cook spaghetti bolognese without calorie guilt. After all, this is an amazing recipe that should be on everybody’s repertoire. To summarize, you need to be mindful of the amount and type of pasta and mince in your dish, and not to use too much olive oil. What is your favorite pasta recipe? Let me know in the comments, and share this article with someone on a diet who loves Italian food.

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