Beef Brisket Rigatoni Bolognese (Easy Recipe)

Beef Brisket Rigatoni Bolognese (Easy Recipe)

Use up last night’s beef brisket for this Rigatoni Bolognese dinner tonight. Loaded with carrots and mushrooms on top of pasta, this dinner is comfort food at its finest.

Close up of rigatoni with bolognese sauce

This copycat recipe was created after a night out with friends to watch dueling piano players singing our favorite tunes.

I had the Bolognese short ribs rigatoni for dinner and it was delicious.

I decided to create my own version.

My Bolognese recipe turned out fabulous and so easy to make.

We substituted the short rib beef from the original version with beef brisket, slow cooked for hours.

After shredding the tender beef, we tossed it with rigatoni and a stew of carrots, celery, mushrooms and onions.

I created a thick meaty sauce that was full of big rich flavors perfect for a wide pasta like rigatoni.

Each plate was topped with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, also known as Parmesan cheese.

I will slow roast a cut of beef brisket when making pot roast for the family because the beef always turns out so tender and this recipe is perfect when you have leftover brisket.

Wooden spoon stirring chopped vegetables

What is the difference between meat sauce and Bolognese?

Bolognese, also known as Ragu alla Bolognese, is a slow cooked sauce that is cooked down to produce a thick sauce. 

A sofrito of vegetables including celery, onions, mushrooms and carrots are sauteed and mixed with minced or finely chopped meats and mixed with a small amount of tomatoes and wine or milk. 

A meat sauce is typically a tomato purée marinara sauce with ground beef or veal. 

What pasta goes best with Bolognese sauce?

A Bolognese sauce is best served over Rigatoni, Penne, Ziti or Campanili pasta. 

Save spaghetti and other flat noodles for a marinara or meat sauce.

Wooden spoon stirring pot of bolognese

Can you freeze Bolognese sauce?

Yes. Allow the Bolognese to cool completely to room temperature.

Save what you need for the next day and freeze leftover portions in ziplock bags for up to 4 months. 

Refrigerate what you need the night before for an easy weeknight dinner. 

How to make Rigatoni Bolognese 

First, shred the leftover beef brisket and be sure to save the juices. 

Chop the vegetables finely or use a food processor to save time.

Next, sauté the carrots, celery, mushrooms and onions in a large pan.

Add the wine and broth and allow the Bolognese to cook down at low heat. 

Meanwhile, boil the rigatoni and cook until al dente.

Drain the pasta water and toss with the Bolognese. 

Top each plate with fresh basil and parmesan cheese and serve it up. 

Serve with your favorite red or white wine.

Close up of sliced beef brisket

I will slow roast a cut of beef brisket when making pot roast for the family because the beef always turns out so tender and this recipe is perfect when you have leftover brisket. 

Learn how to make beef brisket in the oven.

It’s an easy recipe for a weekend that I will make a couple of times in the colder months.

More easy recipes using leftovers

Cast Iron skilet with Rigatoni Bolognese on wooden table next to serving bowl

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Close up of rigatoni with bolognese sauce

Beef Brisket Rigatoni Bolognese (Easy Recipe)

Ali Randall
Use up last night’s beef brisket for this Rigatoni Bolognese dinner tonight. Loaded with carrots and mushrooms on top of pasta, this dinner is comfort food at its finest.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 box rigatoni
  • 2 pounds beef brisket, minced or chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup baby Bella mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef broth, as needed
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Chop or mince the leftover beef brisket.
  • Coat pan with one tablespoon olive oil.
  • Sauté the chopped onion over medium heat in one tablespoon of olive oil until soft, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the celery, mushrooms and carrots and cook until all the veggies have softened, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, wine, and the brisket and its juices (or added broth) to the pot and simmer for a half hour until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Meanwhile, boil the rigatoni in a large pot of water at medium-high heat according to the package directions until al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and add to the Bolognese just before serving.
  • Mix the pasta and Bolognese well and serve in bowls.
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil.


This recipe was originally published December 31, 2014. It was updated December 2022.
Keyword Beef Brisket Rigatoni, Brisket Bolognese
Rigatoni Bolognese in a cast iron skillet

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13 thoughts on “Beef Brisket Rigatoni Bolognese (Easy Recipe)”

  • This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it out, I know my family will love it! Thank you for sharing!

  • 5 stars
    What a delicious idea for using left-over beef brisket! I’m so excited to make this dish. It looks healthy, colorful, and scrumptious. I can almost taste it right now!

    • Thanks Denay. I love it too. Sometimes you just want pasta with a different kind of bolognese sauce. This is a great way to use up last night’s leftovers.

  • I made this last night. It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. My only addition was 2 TBSP of tomato paste. I added it to the veggies after they were soft. I sautéed all together for about 2 minutes before adding the wine and broth!

  • 5 stars
    Oh my… this is so delicious! I made this for the fam tonight so everyone could have a little comfort after a long day of work. The general consensus was WOW! Thanks for sharing this delicious dish. The next time I spend a day in meat church we’ll definitely set some brisket aside to have this again. So yummy! Thank you for this gift!

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