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Miso Bolognese

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miso fettuccine bolognese garnished with chives in a black bowl on a blue background
Joel Goldberg

We’re no strangers to the simple magic of a well-done Bolognese; it’s a staple in our weeknight dinner rotation. To avoid falling into a dreaded rut, we turned to one of our favorite superpower ingredients to jazz it up. Enter: miso!

Fermented foods can level up a dish from “Mmm, good” to “WOW!” And the traditional Japanese seasoning paste miso is a great entry point. It’s made by fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji mold spores to create umami magic. It may sound intimidating at first, but trust us, you’re going to love how it elevates this Bolognese sauce to new heights. The strong flavors of miso alongside coconut milk and sherry wine melt right into the fettuccine, creating something both new and exciting and familiar.

This recipe doubles well, so do your future self a favor and make a large pot. It tastes even better reheated the next day and even freezes well too.

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

Editor's note: This recipe was updated on August 5, 2022 to reflect readers' comments. Thank you for your feedback!

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
1/4 c.

vegetable oil


medium yellow onions, finely chopped


stalks celery, finely chopped


medium carrots, finely chopped


cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 lb.

(20% fat) ground beef

1/2 c.

dry sherry

2 c.

low-sodium chicken broth

6 tbsp.

white miso paste

1 c.

full-fat coconut milk

1 tsp.

freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt

1 lb.


1/2 c.

chives, sliced, plus more for serving

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook onions, celery, and carrots, stirring, and until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add sherry. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk broth and miso until fully combined. Add to beef mixture. Reduce heat to low and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add milk and pepper and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors have melded, about 10 minutes more.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain. 
  6. Remove pot with sauce from heat and stir in chives. Add pasta to sauce and toss until noodles are coated.
  7. Divide pasta and sauce among bowls. Top with more chives.

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