Makaronia me kima

Makaronia me Kima – the best you’ve ever had and my unique way of cooking them!

Makaronia me Kima is a dish similar to the Italian Bolognese that brings a smile to anyone tasting it!

Christine’s Greek traditional “Makaronia me kima” also known as Greek Bolognese

Every Greek cook learns early on how to cook “Makaronia me kima” because it is one of the most popular dishes in Greece and despite the small differences and regional trends from one cook to another, the basic meat and tomato sauce is very similar.

I’ve never heard anyone disliking this simple but very tasty dish that you can have ready within 30 min!

This recipe displays how I like to eat and cook this dish which is also the tastier “Makaronia me kima” I’ve ever tried so far! Well, I might be a little biased about my own dish but give it a try and let me know what you think!

Greek bolognese makaronia me kima recipe

Greek Bolognese vs Italian Bolognese what are the 2 major differences?

  1. Both dishes include spaghetti and minced meat, mostly beef, which usually consists of 3 cooking techniques: Sweating, sautéing and braising. The differences between the Bolognese versions of the two countries are in the vegetables and spices. In the Italian version carrots, zucchini and fresh herbs are often added to the sauce, while in the Greek version we like to cook it meatier with the addition of spices such as cinnamon and cumin without a lot of added vegetables in the sauce.
  2. In the Italian Bolognese they like to mix the pasta with the sauce while in the Greek version we like to keep it separately. If you mix the meat with the pasta you should eat it right away.

If you keep the sauce and the spaghetti separately then it is easier to store them in the fridge and reheat them the next day.

Nevertheless, if I would choose only one ingredient that defines the differences between the two versions I would say it’s the carrots.

If you add carrots it is not the Greek version anymore but an Italian Bolognese.

Carrots need a lot of time sautéing to wither and release its juices and sugars. If you do not sauté it correctly you will end up with a watery sauce.

Makaronia me Kima

What beef cut should you choose for this recipe?

We only use beef for the Bolognese recipe (Makaronia me Kima) in my country and the perfect cut would be the Flank. It needs to have plenty of fat to release its flavors and extra taste. It is the same cut we use for a burger patty and meatballs. 
Meat cuts are not the same for each country. Depending on the cut they might vary a little, a lot, or not at all.

Beef cuts flank eng
Makaronia me kima
Bolognese recipe pin

The video has subtitles in English, Greek, and more than 30 languages.

Makaronia me kima

Makaronia me Kima – the best you’ve ever had and my unique way of cooking them!

Prep: 5m | Cook: 30m | Total: 35m | Serves: 4


For the Sauce:

  • 500g minced Beef Flank
  • 500g Passata tomato juice
  • 2 Big fresh tomatoes, grated
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Green bell pepper, cut into cubes
  • 1 Red horn pepper (Florina), cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp Honey, (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • A pinch of Salt (at the end)
  • A pinch of black pepper (at the start)

For the Spaghetti:

    • 500g Spaghetti
    • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted Butter
    • 2 pinches of Salt


  1. Cook the spaghetti al dente in salted water (about 3 minutes) and after you drain them, put them back into the pot with the addition of 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp of Olive oil. Stir well to coat them.
  2. Sweat the onion with olive oil over high heat and add the minced meat with cinnamon and black pepper.
  3. Sauté them until the minced meat loses its juice and creates a crust in the bottom of the pan (about 5 mins).
  4. Move the meat to the half side of the pot and on the other side add the red horn pepper* and green pepper cubes and sauté them all together until they wither (about 5 mins).
  5. Again, move the meat to the half side of the saucepot**, and on the other side add the fresh grated tomatoes and the Passata.
  6. Let them heat up while deglazing the pot and then mix it all together also adding the salt***.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Add 1 tsp of Honey (optional step)**** after you have turned off the heat and the sauce is ready!
  9. I like to serve it with a green salad or a Greek salad and enjoy!


  • * The red horn pepper (Florina pepper) is optional. If I forget to buy it or it is not available in my fridge I skip it sometimes.
  • ** I don’t pour the tomatoes straight into the saucepot because they are cold and acidic and they will toughen the meat. I add them to the side so that only a small portion of the meat comes in contact with the cold tomatoes and when they heat up I mix them all together.
  • *** If you add the salt directly right over the meat just before you put it in the saucepot it toughens it. I add it after the meat has been sauteed when I add the tomatoes to avoid tough chunks of meat in my sauce.
  • *** The honey helps to balance the acidity of the fresh tomatoes. (if the fresh tomatoes in your country are sweet, then skip it).
Greek Bolognese nutrition facts

Did you make this recipe? Or are you planning to make it? Let me know in the comments below, tag me on Instagram @freshpiato or show me your photos on Pinterest!

4.7/5 (3 Reviews)

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Hi, I'm Christina!

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