Bolognese Lettuce Cups

Spaghetti bolognese is delicious - we’re not denying that. However, here is a lighter version that we promise will satisfy. This dish does require an hour and a half in the oven so do give yourself enough time. It’s well worth it! As a variation, you could serve the bolognese on zucchini noodles.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • A handful of rosemary leaves, picked and chopped
  • Chili flakes (optional) to taste 
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stem (stem discarded) 
  • 500g grass-fed beef mince
  • One glass (150ml) red wine
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or a tbsp of freshly picked leaves)
  • 500g fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 200g passata (tomato puree)
  • 5 mushrooms (button or Swiss brown), wiped and chopped
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or a tbsp of freshly picked leaves)
  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tsp coconut/rapadura sugar
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • Cos lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried


  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based pan for which you have a lid.
  • Add the onion, garlic, rosemary and chili flakes (if using) and sauté on low-medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the carrot, celery and thyme and sauté for a further couple of minutes.
  • Add the meat and continue frying for 2-3 minutes, and then add the wine. Add the chopped tomatoes, passata, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, basil and sugar.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir well and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 90 minutes, tasting after one hour and adding more salt/pepper if needed.
  • Towards the end of the cooking time, cook quinoa as per instructions.
  • To serve, grab a lettuce leaf, add a little quinoa and top with bolognese. 

Nutritional Information

Per Serving (recipe serves 4)