Mid Week Family Meal Ideas With Dolmio

Friday night is take away night, at the weekend we often have a roast and maybe a barbecue, Monday might be leftovers, but by midweek we are often running short on time and ideas for a tasty, healthy meal which will please everyone. We were challenged by Britmums and Dolmio to come up with a #ThankGoodness mid-week meal including a jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce that would please the whole family. After we received a hamper of food I was full of ideas and ready to get creating a few recipes.

2 jars of Dolmio original Bolognese sauce surrounded by vegetables with title text "Family meal recipes inspired by Dolmio"

Why Dolmio?

Dolmio Bolognese contains no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweetners. In fact as you can see from the video you could easily make a jar yourself, but when you are short on time and you don’t have a fridge full of tomatoes the convenience and cost of a jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce is worth it.

Here are 5 recipes that I came up with and taste tested with my family.

Simple Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe 

Spaghetti bolognese is one of my eldest daughter’s favourite recipes. It is really quick and easy to make a simple version with a jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce.

Ingredients (to feed 4)
A 500g jar of Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce
A splash of olive oil
500g Beef Mince
300g Spaghetti
Pinch of salt (optional)
grated cheese for serving if that is your thing (optional)
  1. Put the kettle on to boil with enough water to cook the pasta.
  2. Put the spaghetti in a large pan, cover with boiling water and add a pinch of salt (optional).
  3. Heat a large pan with a splash of oil.
  4. Break up the beef mince and add to the pan, stirring until cooked (it should all be a pale brown with no red left).
  5. Pour the jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce over the beef mince, stir occassionally for 5 minutes.
  6. After the spaghetti has been cooking for 10 minutes (or as preferred for taste) drain the pasta and add to bowls.
  7. Spoon over the cooked bolognese sauce and sprinkle with cheese (unless you are currently dairy free like me).
  8. Serve.
  9. Eat.
  10. Wipe clean all the happy little faces covered in tomato sauce.
A young girl eating a bowl of spaghetti bolognese

Chunky Vegetable and Meat Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

If you are looking for something a little different try this chunky vegetable bolognese sauce recipe. With the addition of all the veg you can halve the amount of mince used compared to the simple recipe making this a cheaper option. For vegetarians you could double the veg and leave the mince out completely.

This meal full of tasty vegetables takes only 15 minutes to prep and get on the table so it’s great when you are in a hurry.

Ingredients (to feed 4)
A 500g jar of Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce
A splash of olive oil
250g beef mince
300g spaghetti
2 medium onions
a green pepper
a large courgette
5 good size mushrooms

A flat lay showing Wholewheat spaghetti, 2 onions, 5 white mushrooms, organic beef mince, a courgette, a green pepper and a jar of Dolmio Original Bolognese sauce
  1. Boil water for the pasta.
  2. Heat frying pan with oil and add the mince (stirring occasionally until cooked through).
  3. Put spaghetti in pan and add boiling water.
  4. Cut up onion, pepper, mushrooms and courgette into chunky pieces.
  5. When the mince is cooked add in the cut vegetables. Stir and cook on high for 3 minutes
  6. Add Dolmio sauce to the vegetables and mince mix, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Drain spaghetti when cooked (about 10 minutes).
  8. Serve.
A close up of a bowl of the chunky vegetable spaghetti bolognese

Shredded Chicken With Vegetables and Rice Recipe

This recipe is great with left over roast chicken, but you can cook a couple of chicken breasts in the oven and use those instead. I recommend covering the chicken with foil when cooking to steam it and keep the outside soft.

Ingredients (to feed 4)
250g Dolmio Original Bolognese sauce
About 300g cooked chicken (e.g. a couple of chicken breasts)
A courgette
3 large close cupped mushrooms
A dash of oil
  1. Cook enough rice for 4 using your preferred method (I pour 1 cup of white basmati rice into a sieve and wash under the tap before adding to a sauce pan. I then add 2 cups of cold water to the pan, heat until boiling then add a lid and reduce to a low heat until all the water is absorbed-no stirring or it goes mushy).
  2. Cut up the vegetables and fry with a little oil until cooked.
  3. Shred the chicken (use 2 forks, stick them in the chicken and pull away from each other.
  4. Add the Dolmio sauce and the chicken to vegetables and heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve.
A close up of shredded chicken and vegetables on one side of the plate and fluffy white rice on the other side

Hidden Vegetables Pasta Sauce Recipe

If your children don’t like vegetables this sauce has them all blitzed up to give them a good portion without them realising. Great to serve over their preferred pasta shape. You can use different vegetables in this depending on what is in your fridge. I recommend staying away from anything green (unless you want a strange colour sauce) or red pepper (which is too strong tasting and might be rejected if they are fussy). My favourite is celery and carrot.

The minimum amount of sauce you can make will depend on your blender. There needs to be enough sauce to cover the veg to blitz it up properly. I have a Vitamix and with the small container I need to use about half a jar of Dolmio with 1 large carrot and a few sticks of celery.

Half a jar of Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce
Vegetables of choice
  1. Cut the vegetables into large chunks and cook. I steam mine for a minute in the microwave.
  2. Place in blender with enough Dolmio sauce to cover the veg and cutting blades (you can add a bit at time and see how much you need).
  3. Blitz until the vegetable pieces vanish.
  4. Heat for 5 minutes and serve over the pasta of choice.
A bowl of tomato sauce with no visible vegetables and a bowl of animal shaped vegetables and stirred through tomato sauce

Chicken, Mushroom and Aubergine Bake Recipe

This recipe takes slightly longer to make as you need to cook the chicken and aubergine before assembling the bake. You can cook these both ahead of time as they will be heated though in the oven. I make a dairy free béchamel sauce from dairy free olive oil spread, flour and almond milk. If you eat dairy and want a convenient option you could use Dolmio Lasagne sauce.

Ingredients (to feed 4)
A 500g jar of Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce
500g béchamel sauce
3 large Chicken breasts 
2 Aubergines
150g Mushrooms
Cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into strips and cook through (fry, bake or steam depending on your preference).
  3. Cut the Aubergine into 1cm round slices, brush with oil and place on a non-stick baking tray. 
  4. Place in oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Slice the mushrooms and fry until soft.
  6. Get a large oven proof dish and assemble the bake: place chicken pieces in a layer, pour over Bolognese sauce, add the aubergine slices in a layer, cover with the mushrooms then pour over the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle on grated cheese if desired.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbling.
A collage of 9 photographs showing step by step images of layering the bake as in the instructions and a close up of the cooked bake

This post was an entry for a Dolmio competition, we received the food below in exchange
a flat lay of products received in exchange for the post including: chicken breast fillets, cheddar, parmiagiano, beef mince, spaghetti, onions, carrots, potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes and an aubergine
We received this great selection of food to inspire our recipes.

An Infographic showing what goes into a jar of Dolmio Bolognese Sauce (diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, onions, salt, corn flour and other spices, basil and other herms, garlic and sunflower oil and beet sugar


  1. We love a bolognese, if I'm in a hurry its from a jar but I like to cook from scratch and freeze leftovers

  2. Love bolognese - anything that speeds up time in the kitchen gets my vote!

  3. Can't beat spaghetti bolognaise it is a whole family pleaser, with a sprinkling of cheese of course! Looks like you made some great meals!


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