Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese is a classic Italian Ragu sauce. A good bolognese sauce is cooked slowly, puttering away on the stove for hours as the deep meaty flavors develop but it’s so easy in the slow cooker!

This slow cooker bolognese recipe allows you to set it and forget it. Watch everyone’s eyes light up as their warm pasta bowls are filled with noodles, an irresistible meat sauce, and sprinkled pummeled with cheese. Buy one of these hand-cranked Cheese Grater doodads and it will almost feel like dining out because let’s face it, dinner is way more fun pretending you’re at an Italian restaurant (we have kids). This sauce freezes and reheats well so you’ll have leftovers ready for another meal.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 lb ground beef (we prefer beef with 15% or 20% fat content)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, plus more to serve
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)
  • 2 (28 oz each) canned crushed tomatoes (or canned whole tomatoes crushed by hand)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf, optional

What You’ll Need:

Large skillet or dutch oven, slow cooker, and Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner

Hold the phone! Have you tried these Reynolds slow cooker liners? They are so handy. I’m particularly fond of them for slow cooker meat dishes because those are the ones that need the longest cooking times and you otherwise have to soak or scrub your slow cooker for a while. You’ll see below when I removed the liner; it was clean!

How to Make Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce:

  1. In a large deep pan or dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Add onion, celery, and carrots, and sauté until softened (8-10 mins). Add minced garlic and 1/2 cup parsley and stir 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. Transfer to a slow cooker.

     

  2. In the same pan (without washing it), add ground beef, season with 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and sauté until cooked through and no longer red (6-10 mins). For a leaner sauce, you can spoon off and discard excess oil at this point keeping 3 Tbsp oil in the pan. Add 1 cup white wine and sauté on med/high heat until the wine has completely evaporated (8-10 mins) Transfer to slow cooker.

     

  3. Add 1 cup milk, 1 bay leaf, 1 Tbsp sugar, and both cans of tomatoes with their juice. Stir to combine.

     

  4. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. If it seems too liquidy, let it cook with the lid off for the last 30 minutes. See how clean it is after I took out the bag? I just wiped the condensation with a paper towel. Easy peasy!

     

  5. Season with more salt to taste (I added nearly 1 tsp more salt). Serve generous amounts of bolognese sauce over your favorite pasta, topped with cheese and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

 

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce (Pasta Meat Sauce)

A good bolognese sauce is cooked slowly, puttering away on the stove for hours as the deep meaty flavors develop but it's so easy in the slow cooker!

For the Bolognese Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • 2 lb ground beef we prefer beef with 15% or 20% fat content
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley plus more to serve
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay
  • 2 28 oz each canned crushed tomatoes (or canned whole tomatoes, crushed)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf optional

To Serve:

  • Pasta and Parmesan or your favorite Italian cheese to serve

What You'll Need:

  • Large skillet or dutch oven slow cooker
  1. In a large deep pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté until softened (8-10 mins). Add garlic and 1/2 cup parsley and stir 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker.

  2. In the same pan (without washing it), add ground beef, season with 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and sauté until cooked through and no longer red (6-10 mins). For leaner sauce, you can spoon off and discard excess oil at this point keeping 3 Tbsp oil in the pan. Add 1 cup white wine and sauté on med/high heat until wine has completely evaporated (8-10 mins). Transfer meat to slow cooker.

  3. Add 1 cup milk, 1 bay leaf, 1 Tbsp sugar, and both cans of tomatoes with juice and stir to combine.

  4. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. If it it seems too liquidy, let it cook with the lid off for the last 30 minutes.

  5. Season with more salt to taste (I added nearly 1 tsp more salt). Serve generous amounts of bolognese sauce over your favorite pasta, topped with cheese and garnished with fresh parsley.

*I know many chefs esteem Imported Italian whole plum tomatoes, but if you can’t find them in your grocery store (as was the case with me), the best quality you can buy will do!

Lunch, Main Course, sauce
American, Italian
Bolognese Sauce, meat sauce

What do you think?

8.7k Points
Upvote Downvote
Classic Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

Classic Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

Beef and Mushroom Pot Roast (a Slow Cooker Recipe)

Beef and Mushroom Pot Roast (a Slow Cooker Recipe)