Packet vs homemade: Bolognese sauce

We compared Maggi Spaghetti Bolognese recipe base with homemade bolognese sauce.


Maggi Spaghetti Bolognese recipe base

Ingredients: Stock powder: sugar, corn starch, iodised salt, potato starch, onion, yeast extract, vegetable fat, tomato powder, garlic, flavours; herbs; citric acid; white pepper; mushroom powder.

Add fresh: 500g lean beef mince, 1 onion, 105g mushrooms, 410g can tomato purée (plus spaghetti, to serve).



Freezer-friendly bolognese sauce

Ingredients: Canola oil, onion, garlic, celery, lean beef mince, oregano, parsley, salt, black pepper, bay leaves, carrot, courgette, mushrooms, silver beet, tomato purée, canned tomatoes.

Nutrition information per 1 cup sauce serve (without spaghetti)


The Maggi recipe base (when prepared) has two vege serves in each serve of sauce using just three vegetables: onion, mushrooms and tomato. The Healthy Food Guide recipe has three vege serves in each serve of sauce, from eight different vegetabless: onion, garlic, celery, carrot, courgette, mushrooms, silver beet and tomatoes. Eating a wide variety of vegetables means we get the benefits of a wider range of nutrients and phytonutrients (protective chemicals found in plant foods). Preparing a vege-laden sauce ahead of time and freezing it is a great option for a quick meal.


The HFG recipe has just 63g mince per serve, compared with 125g in the Maggi recipe. While 125g meat per serve is fine, we’ve made room for the veges. This combo of less meat and more veges accounts for the lower kilojoules and protein in our recipe. Adding 75g dried pasta per serve adds 9—10g protein, so there’s plenty of protein in either of these meals.

Blind tasting

We did a blind tasting in our HFG test kitchen. Tasters thought the veges in the HFG recipe added more complexity of flavour and texture. Although there’s not too much sodium in it, the saltiness of the Maggi recipe was commented on, as well as the sweetness. Not surprisingly, the meatiness of the Maggi sauce also stood out.

First published: April 2017

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