Chicken Bolognese


Total Time:

45 minutes



Before we dive head first into this Chicken Bolognese situation, which might I add is going to blow your mind, let’s take a minute to learn a few things.

A tried and true recipe for the best Chicken Bolognese! Perfect for a quick weeknight meal - and doubles as extra delish leftovers!

The last few weeks have been quite educational for me. I’ve learned 4 very important lessons about myself and I feel it’s my civic duty to share these insights and hopefully prevent any trauma on your end.

1: Heart-wrenching documentaries should not be watched on a stay-at-home date night. Nope. Terrible idea. Don’t do it. Because if you’re like me, you’ll end up ugly crying for 2 hours after watching Virunga and then deciding that you should pick up your life, move to the Eastern Congo and do your part to help save the mountain gorillas.

2: Cross off anything that involves watching man eating snakes right before you go to bed. I don’t care how many commercials you see about the new Discovery TV special, watching anything that involves anacondas that are 20 feet long is an AWFUL idea before you doze off into dreamland / nightmare-land.

3: Last, but certainly not least, don’t attempt to have a fresh cut Christmas tree if you have a track record killing any and all plants that come in contact with you. All my rosemary / mint / chives and basil – died 2 weeks after planting. My fiddle leaf fig – trashed as of 5 days ago. My current Christmas tree, well, I’ll be surprised if it makes it through the holiday without dropping all of its pine needles. And WHY didn’t anyone tell me they needed gallons of water???

4: This Chicken Bolognese is 100000% my favorite meal these days. It’s quick and easy to whip up on any night of the week – it’s loaded with tons of flavor. Kids love it. Adults love it. It’s currently stocked in my freezer for a rainy day. And it satisfies by daily cheese obsessed when I load it up with freshly shaved Parmesan!

Chicken Bolognese

This Chicken Bolognese is one of my favorite meals these days. It’s quick and easy to whip up on any night of the week and both kids and adults love it.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course, Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 oz pancetta finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound ground dark meat chicken
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 24- ounce jar marinara sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • fresh basil leaves to garnish
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese


  • Add the pancetta to a medium heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Cook the pancetta, stirring frequently, until crisp. Spoon out the crisp pancetta and set aside.
  • Using the fat leftover from the pancetta, add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and stir to combine.
  • Add the ground meat and break apart using a wooden spoon. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until no pink remains. Add the red wine and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook the chicken until the wine has cooked off. Add the marinara sauce and pancetta back into the pan and stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Serve over freshly cooked pasta and parmesan cheese. Top with basil leaves and enjoy!

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

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Recipe Rating


  1. Heather Christo

    This looks wonderful! And I make a point not to watch any animal documentaries. In fact, Pete wont allow it or I would have the gorillas and every abused animal living with us . In our house.

  2. Chicken Bolognese | ShoutYourSite

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  3. Monika

    I am great with plants, but I am with you as far as scary things before bed!
    This bolognese looks like a keeper!!

  4. Barbara

    Hi Gaby, I am going to try this recipe. What kind of pasta did you use that is in the photo? Looks delicious!

  5. Marnie Schwartz

    This looks so good. I need help here, though. I don’t eat pork, so what do I sub for the pancetta? This is a chronic question and often I leave it out. Will turkey bacon – which produces no fat, work? Todah (Thanks).
    Kol Toov (all good things),

    • Gaby

      You can leave it out entirely and just use a bit of olive oil and some garlic instead! I do it all the time – equally as delish!

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  7. Barbara

    Hi Gaby…I made this for dinner tonight. Found a similar pasta to the one you used…substituted the ground chicken for ground turkey and used bacon for the pancetta… husband loved it! and me too……I live in Florida and it’s actually chilly here now so a bowl of pasta Bolognese was very warming and satisfying! Thanks…always enjoy getting your blogs….very inspiring and fun …love to cook and try new things,

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  10. Dawn

    This looks amazing! I might have overlooked it in the recipe; how many does this serve? Thank you!

    • Gaby

      you can leave it out if you want! otherwise white wine would work too

    • Anna

      My families recipe calls fir balsamic in theirs. That might be a good dub for the folks without wine. Obviously you would just add splashes. But it might do the trick

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  15. Christopher P Raley

    Gaby, OMG! Do you have a cookbook yet? I thought I knew how to roast veggies but tried your way and there were no leftovers.

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  18. Erin

    This was so good. Husband and I and my 11 yr old really enjoyed. My 6 year old wasn’t on board but still trying to get her into the red sauce. Will definitely make again. Added a little bit of sugar to cut the acid. Thanks!

  19. Molly

    5 stars
    So good! It’s easy and a huge favorite for everyone I’ve made this for! I sub pasta with zucchini zoodles

  20. marjanne

    5 stars
    This was tasty and delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic recipes!

  21. Stacey

    5 stars
    This is such an amazing dish! Simple and so so so flavorful. On a regular rotation in my house. Make it, I promise.

  22. Maggie

    Where do you find ground chicken (dark meat)? I can only find ground chicken breast.