Bison Bolognese

As a follow up to my post touting the advantages of bison, I thought I would post a recipe that uses it. Bolognese is a traditional Italian red meat sauce, with a heavy emphasis on the meat component (originated from Bologna, Italy). While I love meat and bolognese, changing ratios of traditional dishes to increase the vegetable content is always a goal of mine. Most of the time I end up liking the veggie heavy version better (or at least just as well!). I added red bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms this time around because they were fresh and calling to me at the grocery store. Experiment with different vegetables if those don’t tickle your fancy.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 5 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 8 oz cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 can diced tomatoes (28 oz) (or fresh if you have them)
  • 1/2 cup red wine**
  • Fresh oregano, parsley, and basil, rough chop
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper (optional or use less if you don’t want too much heat)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional topping)


In a stock pot or Dutch oven, sauté the carrots, bell pepper, celery and onion in olive oil. When vegetables begin to soften – push to the sides of pot. Add bison to middle of pot to brown. After the bison is browned and the carrots are somewhat soft add garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for an addition minute or two. Add in the rest of the vegetables, cooking for another 5 – 8 minutes until begin to soften. Add tomatoes and red wine, reduce heat to medium low and cover for 20-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fresh herbs 10 minutes before finish. Serve over pasta (I love linguini) and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

**Note: A great tip that a great chef once told me: “Cook with the wine you want to drink. Why skimp on flavor in your meals with bad alcohol…that’s just cooking blasphemy.” 🙂


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