Beef Ragù: The Original Awesomesauce


Beef ragù is a hearty, robust, tomato-based sauce starring ground beef or chuck roast. It’s packed with flavor and is easy to chill, freeze, and reheat. Beef ragù is traditionally served with wide pasta like pappardelle, fettuccine, and tagliatelle, but it is endlessly customizable.

As an added bonus, beef ragù is filling and packed with nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc. In honor of the storied sauce, here are our favorite ways to use beef ragù.

A Brief Lesson on the History of Ragù

The origins of beef ragù are, as the Economist notes, a bit tangled. While associated with Italy, the term ragù comes from France. “Ragout” (pronounced the same as ragù) refers to any dish stewed with minced or diced meat and/or vegetables. Somehow, the term made it to Italy, where Naples and Bologna have since been disagreeing over who originated the dish.

Hailing from Bologna, the popular ragù style, called Bolognese, is simply tomato sauce and ground beef (no veggies). But, before we declare Bologna the winner, Naples does have its own variation on ragù—Ragù Neapolitan, featuring pieces of whole meat rather than minced.

Regardless of who owns it, “ragù” has come to broadly describe tomato sauces that include ground or slow cooked meat, resulting in the abundance of variations we see today. Here are some recipes and ideas to savor, whether you’re Team Bologna or Team Naples.

1. Spaghetti Bolognese: Chef’s Kiss

Beef Bolognese is classic for a reason—it’s simple but so, so good. With a base of tomatoes and 1855 Black Angus ground beef, you can put your spin on the perennial classic by adding pretty much whatever you’re craving. Some ideas include bacon, red wine, oregano, basil, parsley, and nutmeg. We’ll hand the credit to NYT Cooking on the nutmeg idea.

Tomatoes and ground beef Spaghetti Bolognese

2. A Hearty Spin on a Middle Eastern Favorite: Shakshuka

Shakshuka. Spicy, savory, and satisfying. Delicious for breakfast, dinner, or any meal in between. And, like many of the other listed dishes here, it’s made even better with beef.

Packed with rich, flavorful ingredients, this globally popular Middle Eastern dish features eggs baked in a tomato sauce with onions, veggies, and spices like paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Like beef ragù, Shakshuka has endless variations—and it’s easy to make (a one-pan wonder).

Beef ragù speeds up the already-easy cooking process and adds flavor and satiety. To prep beef shakshuka, choose and sauté your veggies (peppers, tomatoes, and onions are the most common, but eggplant and zucchini are also delicious). Then, add the ragù, any spices you fancy, and six cracked eggs to the pan. You’ll be on your way to delicious, beefy shakshuka in no time.

middle eastern shakshuka

3. Flavor Fusion: Ragù + Tacos

Versatile beef ragù strikes again—as the perfect base for tacos. With onions, tomatoes, and top-notch ground beef, the sauce pairs with plenty of classic taco toppings, from guacamole to cotija. It also works well with both corn and flour tortillas, so take your pick. Top with peppers, queso fresco, black beans, avocado, you name it. You could also try our spicy lime crema sauce.

beef ragù tacos

4. Zucchini Boats: If You Know, You Know

Healthy, tasty, and versatile, zucchini boats are the new pasta, bread, chips, and everything in between. Whether you want a fresh take on garlic bread or a veggie hoagie for your Philly Cheesesteak, zucchini boats are your friend. And, no surprise, they’re especially flavorful when topped with ragù, making perfect appetizers or even a main dish. Just halve the zucchini, carve out the middle, and top with beef ragù, mozzarella, and some parsley before baking.

The Greatest Make-Your-Own Pizza of All Time

Beef has long been a supreme topping for meat lovers, and it happens to be the hero of beef ragù. Beef ragù offers robust sauce and delicious toppings all in one, making prep easy and the pizza delicious. Just add cheese and any other fixing you might like (we recommend bell peppers, tomatoes, and banana peppers) for the best personal pan or shareable pizza, period.

Next-Level Recipes for 1855 Black Angus Beef Lovers

Once you’ve had your fun with ragù, we’ve got a growing collection of recipes to try. And our 1855 Beef Ambassadors are always sharing their ingenious inventions, so make sure to follow us on Instagram.


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