Recipe Review

I Made Meghan Markle’s Famous “Zucchini Bolognese” and It’s as Perfectly Creamy as Everyone Says

published Jun 14, 2024
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Meghan Markle's Zucchini Bolognese
Credit: Ashia Aubourg

I recently moved to Vermont, where seasonal produce shows up on shelves more frequently than a bag of chips. With such easy access to fresh veggies, I struggle to control myself when it’s time to fill my tote. But if I’m keeping it real, sometimes I go overboard. And when my fridge is full of greens, I’m constantly searching for creative ways to cook them.

After stumbling upon a zucchini Bolognese hack from Meghan Markle, it seemed like a great way to get me out of my cooking rut. My obsession with this type of pasta dish runs deep — so much so that one time, while in Tuscany, a chef at this restaurant noticed me scarfing down forkfuls and walked out of his kitchen to scoop me an extra helping on my plate. So, with a bounty of veggies in my fridge, I was excited to give this beloved meal a shot.

Get the recipe: Meghan Markle’s Zucchini Bolognese

How to Make Meghan Markle’s Zucchini Bolognese

Grab a medium white onion and zucchini and roughly chop them into diced pieces. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. 

Toss the diced onions into the pot and cook until soft and translucent — about five to eight minutes. Stir the onions to prevent them from sticking. Toss in the zucchini, water, and bouillon cube, and mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook for four hours, constantly stirring, until the zucchini completely breaks down. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the rigatoni and mix it in the pot with the zucchini sauce. 

Season the zucchini Bolognese with lemon juice, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Once you serve the dish, top with more cheese. 

Credit: Ashia Aubourg

My Honest Review of Meghan Markle’s Zucchini Bolognese

I spent months living with an Italian host mom and savored all kinds of innovative pasta dishes every night, and this recipe definitely competes. Stewing the zucchini allows it to soak up the savory notes from the chicken bouillon. While salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes are the only seasonings in this dish, the vegetable’s sweet, buttery flavors make up for the lack of spices. 

To avoid burning the sauce, I made a few tweaks while cooking. I recommend deglazing the pot with water to prevent the stew from drying out. Also, the recipe suggests simmering the zucchini for four hours, but it only needs two hours to reach the desired consistency.

So, would I cook this recipe again? The moment I finished the sauce with a spritz of lemon juice and grated Parmesan, I couldn’t wait to dig in. This vegetarian riff on Bolognese definitely works. It embodies all the comforting, rich, and hearty elements I cherish in the traditional meat sauce. With all the seasonal produce blanketing shelves, I look forward to transforming my zucchini (and other squash varieties) into this summery dish. 

Tips for Making Meghan Markle’s Zucchini Bolognese

  • Continuously rehydrate the stew. To prevent the zucchini from burning in the pot, deglaze your pan with water or chicken stock anytime the sauce dries out. 
  • Sprinkle on crispy toppings. Fried pancetta or mushrooms will add crunchy textures and rich flavors to this zucchini Bolognese. 
  • Reserve pasta water for creamy bites. Set aside some of the water used to boil the rigatoni and add a splash or two to the finished sauce for a creamier texture.
  • Swap the zucchini for a different squash: Plenty of veggies, such as yellow squash, pumpkin, or butternut squash, can substitute for zucchini.