What's better than taking a difficult recipe and making it easy enough for a weeknight? A recipe that makes a huge double batch that lets you cook once and freeze plenty for an even easier night another time! This easy bolognese using Barilla® Organic Pasta Penne/Spaghetti and Barilla® Pasta Sauce totally fits the bill!
I'm always looking for new ways to spice up our pasta rotation. In our house, noodles are practically their own food group. When in doubt, if I make pasta for dinner I know I have the best chance of getting the kids to dig in. And while I might still struggle to get them to eat veggies they can see mixed in stir-fry style, pasta sauces are perfect for sneaking in a little extra hidden nutrition.
I wanted to try out a new recipe that would be lighter and healthier than a traditional bolognese that involves beef and sausage. I decided to use chicken and since it's mixed in with the rich tomato sauce and fresh vegetables, it was an extremely satisfying swap that even Handyman Tim loved.
I stocked up on all the ingredients we needed during a trip to our local BJ's. Barilla® Pasta has been our favorite ever since I lived in Italy and my sweet friend Moira recommended it. I think of her every time I boil a pot of our favorite shapes.
I love how BJ's carries the widest variety of Barilla® Pasta shapes in their store but was especially excited to give their new Barilla® Organic Pasta Penne/Spaghetti sampler box a try! I know it will always be al dente and now it has certified organic wheat with no gmo ingredients.
Using jars of their new all natural Barilla® Pasta Sauce made with real veggies helps keep this recipe quick and easy and brings a little extra kick than using just plain canned tomatoes.
The recipe itself includes a simple batch of ingredients. Check them out in this video:
3 pounds of chicken sounds like a lot, but the whole purpose of this meal is to make a huge batch of sauce because it freezes so well. I used what we needed on the first night and then stored the leftovers in several smaller containers so that an easy weeknight dinner is just a boiling box of noodles and a bagged salad away.
Easy bolognese recipe with chicken and Barilla marinara sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 pounds ground chicken
- 3 large carrots, small diced
- 2 small onions, small diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 jars Barilla® Pasta Sauce only available at BJ's
- 1 pound Barilla® Organic Pasta Penne/Spaghetti
For the sauce:
In a very large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and brown while breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When the chicken is nearly cooked through, add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Continue to heat until the chicken is completely browned and the vegetables are starting to soften.
Add the bay leaf, chicken stock, and 2 jars of Barilla marinara sauce. Stir to combine. Heat until bubbling and then turn the heat down to low and simmer until your pasta is ready to serve.
For the pasta:
Barilla® does a great job of giving instructions for perfectly al dente pasta. I usually boil it for the lower end of the minute range recommended. For the organic spaghetti, that meant 9 minutes before draining.