Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce is a staple in my home! A slow cooked ragú made with lean ground beef, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, wine, and cream is one of my favorite Italian sauces. I make this sauce whenever I need to feed a large crowd, or just to keep in my freezer. Serve this over pasta with a big Italian salad and everyone is happy!
Because Bolognese sauce needs to cook slow and low for several hours, the crock pot is ideal for this. You can make this with ground turkey, buffalo, veal, or whatever meat you prefer. I always make it with beef, using the leanest ground beef I can find.
I’ve been taking some of my existing stove top recipes and recreating them for the slow cooker which usually require some minor tweaks to make them work. Because liquids don’t evaporate as much in the crock pot, this recipe is slightly different than my stove top Bolognese Recipe. I also have an Instant Pot Bolognese Recipe.
How To Make Bolognese Sauce
Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce
- 4 oz pancetta, chopped (or center cut bacon)
- 1 tbsp butter, or olive oil
- 1 large white onion, minced
- 2 celery stalks, about 3/4 cup, minced
- 2 carrots, about 3/4 cup, minced
- 2 lb 95% lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes, I love Tuttorosso
- 3 bay leaves
- salt and fresh pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup half & half cream
- In a large deep saute pan, sauté pancetta on low heat until the fat melts, about 4-5 minutes. Add butter, onions, celery and carrots and cook on medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Increase flame to medium-high; add meat, season with salt and pepper and sauté until browned. Drain the fat then add wine; cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add to crock pot. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper; cover and set slow cooker to LOW 6 hours.
- After the 6 hours, adjust salt and pepper to taste, add half & half and parsley; stir and serve over your favorite pasta or spaghetti squash.
- Makes about 10 cups. Leftovers can be frozen for future meals. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator then reheat on the stove or crock pot.
257 comments on “Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce”
Love this! I have made this recipe countless times. It’s just my husband and me, so I freeze portions for two [plus a little for leftover spaghetti]. It tastes so much better than jar sauce and is really not difficult, since there’s enough for multiple meals.
This was so good and stupid easy. I made before bed and then just packed it up to save for dinner later that night. Served it with spaghetti squash and a side salad – yummy and the kids ate every bite!