Cuban Bolognese with Zoodles
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Test Kitchen Approved Recipe

Take advantage of the fall harvest with this flavorful weeknight meal. Instead of a traditional pasta dish, we offer an easy-to-prep method for making zucchini noodles—you don’t even need a spiralizer.

4 servings


  • 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (or tempeh)
  • 3 Tbsp. Cuban Island Spice
  • 1 cup whole milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh grated Grenada Nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14.5) oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5) oz. can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 medium to large zucchini
  • Grated Parmesan for garnish (optional)

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Vegan: Use tempeh and almond milk options and omit Parmesan. 

Vegetarian: Use the tempeh option.

Gluten-Free: No substitutions necessary, this recipe is already gluten-free.


Heat 4 Tbsp. of the oil in a large saute pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 min. Add carrots and celery; season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 2 more min., stirring occasionally. Add beef (or tempeh) and Cuban Island Spice and cook for 2 to 3 min., crumbling the meat as you stir. (If using tempeh, add 1/2 cup water while it cooks.) Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in milk and nutmeg. (Rub whole nutmeg against the surface of a small grater to grate.) Cook for 3 to 4 min., then increase heat to medium and stir in wine. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated, 10 to 12 min. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for at least 10 min., or up to 1 hour depending on how thick you want the sauce; stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, make zoodles using one of these methods: Use a vegetable peeler to shave zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons then slice the ribbons in half lengthwise. Or, slice zucchini into 4-inch long thin matchstick-like strips. Once the bolognese is done, heat remaining oil in a separate large saute pan over medium heat. Add zoodles, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 min. Transfer to plates or bowls and top with a generous portion of bolognese and sprinkle with Parmesan (if using).

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