Bolognese is one of my go-to recipes for easy prep, healthy ingredients, and fabulous flavor. This Americanized version with lean bison makes a great option for week-night suppers paired with a beautiful green salad.

Bison Bolognese AKA American Chop Suey/Slumgullion

recipe by Katie Webster for Healthy Seasonal Recipes


  • 12-16 ounces of your favorite pasta
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • carrots, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground Bison (or other ground meat)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Parmesan or other Italian cheese for topping – optional


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, fit food processor with steel blade attachment, close lid and turn motor on. Drop garlic through feed spout and continue processing until the garlic is minced. Open lid and add carrot and celery. Process until the carrot and celery are finely chopped. Open lid, add onion and pulse until the onion is roughly chopped. Alternatively, use a knife to mince garlic, finely chop carrot and celery and dice onion.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Crumble in bison or beef, and cook, stirring and breaking up chunks of meat until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable mixture, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are cooked down and browned slightly, 8 to 12 minutes. Pour in wine and cook until mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, once the water boils, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  5. Mix the pasta and sauce together and serve sprinkled with parsley and cheese if using.

Make Ahead: Store the sauce (not mixed with pasta) in the freezer for up to 3 months. Left-overs reheat well in the microwave.

Cook’s Note: I stir in 1/4 cup of fat-free half n half before adding the cooked pasta to the sauce. It adds a nice creaminess. I also save a cup of the pasta water before draining in case it needs a bit more liquid after mixing in the pasta.