Chef Boyardee Sauce
Homemade Chef Boyardee Sauce! Serve this Iconic Classic Tomato & Meat Sauce with Ravioli or a variety of Short Pastas. This stuff is just Nostalgic.
We all grew up on this stuff, and it was a real treat with those tiny bits of Beef in the Sauce and that extremely soft Ravioli stuffed with meat. With this Homemade Tomato Meat Sauce you can enjoy those same flavors with Ravioli, Rigatoni or other short Pasta and even Spaghetti.
Chef Boyardee Ingredients
Tomatoes (Tomato Puree, Water), Water, Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], and Folic Acid), Beef, Crackermeal (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Less than 2% of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Textured Vegetable Protein (Soy Flour, Soy Protein Concentrate, Caramel Color), Sea Salt, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Carrots, Onions, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Ammonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Flavorings, Enzyme Modified Cheese (Cheddar Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Cream, Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Carotenal [Color]), Yeast Extract, Lactic Acid
Key Ingredients for the Sauce are Tomato Paste, Water, Sugar, Salt, Cornstarch, Oil, Carrots, Onions, Acid, Cheddar Cheese, Cream, MSG.
The following were also listed for the older versions of Chef Boyardee Sauce.
- Romano Cheese in the older versions, which was replaced with Cheddar Cheese
- Olive Oil in the older version which was replaced with Soybean Oil
The Bolognese Sauce is the base flavoring Sauce, with the tiny bit of Meat speckled throughout the Chef Boyardee Sauce. This is the longest part of the recipe, which takes over 4 hours to prepare if making this from scratch. Once prepared though, it can make a lot of Chef Boyardee Tomato & Meat Sauce. I usually use leftover Bolognese Sauce to make this recipe.
- 1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 C Onion, Carrots & Celery, each
- 1/2 C Tomato Paste
- 1 C Wine – Optional Red or White
- 1 lbs. Ground Beef & Pork
- 1/2 lbs. Veal or Pancetta – Optional
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 680 ml Mutti Passata
- 5 C Water
- 1/2 C Whole Milk or Cream
For Chef Boyardee Sauce, leave the Wine out and only use the ground Beef & Pork or just ground beef. Everything else is the same.
Out of 1 batch of Bolognese Sauce, you will end up tripling the amount of Sauce. That’s a lot of Sauce! Place the Tomato & Meat Sauce into Tupperware containers or freezer bags and freeze for long term storage.
The Chef Boyardee brand to me at least taste a lot like a Bolognese Sauce with Tomato Soup. With Cheddar Cheese & Parmesan added in.
I did test this with a Passata as well. But this didn’t turn out so well. Passata has a Fresh Tomato Taste. Whereas a Tomato Soup has flavors that are more ideal for a Chef Boyardee Tomato Sauce.
One can will give you just a bit more than 1 Cup. I add 1 Cup of Bolognese and 1 Can of Tomato Soup or, if making Homemade Tomato Soup, 1 Cup of Tomato Soup. Just with this addition, we end up doubling the amount of Bolognese Sauce we started with.
Homemade Tomato Soup can also be made in larger batches for much cheaper than buying individual cans of Tomato Soup.
Canned Tomato Soup or Homemade Tomato Soup. Use equal amounts of Bolognese & Tomato Soup.
With homemade Tomato Soup or even different brands of canned Tomato Soup, the flavor will be slightly different. But you’re still in that range for a Chef Boyardee Sauce.
Use 1/2 Tbl of Cornstarch with either 1 Cup Beef Broth or 1 Cup of Water with 1/2 a Beef Bouillon Cube or a full Bouillon Cube for a stronger Beef Flavor. This is used to thin out the Sauce and get the same consistency as Chef Boyardee Sauce. It also lightens the color, coming more into line with what the Sauce should look like.
Chef Boyardee has a deep Broth and Tomato Soup taste that has the consistency of a Tomato Sauce thickened with a Starch. The nodules of Beef are spread out and the sauce very much thinner than a Bolognese Sauce.
After everything is added, you end up with 3x as much sauce than what you started with for the Bolognese. All equal amounts of Bolognese, Tomato Soup, Broth with Starch to slightly thicken. This is a lot of Chef Boyardee Sauce that can be portioned off and frozen to enjoy quite a few dishes.
Either Maggi Beef, Faragello or Knorr Beef Bouillon cubes will work. I’d imagine other brands would work too. My go to is either Maggi or Faragello, only resorting to Knorr if I can’t source either, since Knorr is a bit more expensive.
Chef Boyardee Seasoning
There isn’t very much in the way of Herbs & Spices. You don’t really see any Herbs at all throughout the Sauce.
The old version Chef Boyardee does state it has Citric Acid, Paprika & Garlic in it. As well as the old version and todays version containing Yeast extract, which is MSG. Add all of these to taste if desired.
Chef Boyardee Cheese
The Cheese is simple too, just Parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano & Cheddar Cheese. Originally, the Old Style Chef Boyardee Sauce had Romano Cheese in it. Later this was replaced with Cheddar. However, this recipe combines both of them (Cheddar & Parmigiano Reggiano) and it’s good too. But you can adjust these amount to taste. The Cheese is what’s going to make this sauce pop out.
This adds a very nice sharpness to the Sauce and works exceptionally well with a Bolognese type sauce.
Either Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano will work at adding an Italian Cheese Flavor to the Sauce. Added in the same amounts as the Cheddar Cheese.
Romano was used in the Old Style Chef Boyardee Sauce. For this, I just pick up these, which work pretty good. I’d imagine fresh would work better.
Chef Boyardee Ravioli
The Classic is your Ravioli that we all grew up with. Pick up some Ravioli or make your own. I am experimenting with this next. But I made this with Rigatoni just to see, and it was just too good I had to share it now. I really love this Sauce with Short Pastas. Especially when you let the Pasta sit in the hot sauce for a bit to soften, just like Chef Boyardee.
I tried this a few different ways before settling on a way to get Soft Pasta in the Chef Boyardee Sauce. The best method for me was to boil the Pasta in 16 cups of water with 2 Tbl of Sea Salt for 15 minutes. Then Scoop the Pasta out and place into the Pan with the Tomato Meat Sauce heated over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes and then set aside to rest and soften.
Chef Boyardee Pasta Dishes
Use 100 g of Pasta to 200 g of Chef Boyardee Sauce per serving. A little more or less Sauce depending on how Saucy you like it and whether you are eating it with a slice of buttered bread or Garlic Bread to sponge up the Tomato Meat Sauce.
Chef Boyardee Spaghetti
I wanted to test the Sauce with Spaghetti. It’s good, but taste like canned Spaghetti (What you would expect). If you like that, then using the Sauce as is will do. It is remarkably just like canned spaghetti.
For me, I like the Sauce but figure you may need to add in 1/2 lb. of Ground Beef and up the Black Pepper, adjusting the Salt to taste. Add in other items such as Onions, Garlic and Peppers along with some Parsley and Basil to gear away from that canned spaghetti taste. Possibly exchange the Tomato Soup for Crushed Tomatoes.
Chef Boyardee Spaghetti
Chef Boyardee Sauce
- 1 Sauce Pan
- 1 C Leftover Bolognese Sauce - or prepared Bolognese Sauce
- 1 Can Tomato Soup (284 ml) - or 1 C of Homemade Tomato Soup
- 4 Tbl Parmigiano Reggiano - or finely shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese
- 4 Tbl Cheddar Cheese - finely shredded
- 1 C Water
- 1/2 Cube Beef Bouillon - Maggi, Faragello or Knorr
- 1/2 Tbl Cornstarch
- To Taste Salt & Pepper
- Combine everything except the cheese into a saucepan and heat over max heat.
- Stir frequently until thickened. Add in the Cheese and mix well. Remove from heat and use with a variety of Pasta.
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