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Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Easy, tasty and absolutely comforting, this Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce Recipe is one of our favorite family recipes which is also super easy to whip up!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta, Sauces
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 407kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped small
  • 1 celery stalk chopped small
  • 2.2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup of red wine or brandy
  • 1 can 28 ounces peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 small rosemary sprig
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 3 dried cloves optional
  • 1 Tbs coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste optional


  • Cut the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces.
  • In large pan over medium high heat add your oil and the vegetables. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until the onions get soft.
  • Add in the ground beef and cook over high heat until the meat is no longer pink, breaking up as you cook, drain off grease.
  • Next pour in the red wine/brandy and let it reduce for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Place the meat and vegetable mixture into your slow cooker and add remaining ingredients.
  • Stir to combine and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste if needed and serve with pasta of your choice and top with parmesan cheese


  1. Nutritional value is calculated without the pasta.
  2. In Italy they often use half ground beef and half ground pork or 1 part beef, 1 part pork and ½ part Italian sausage, you can use this ratio if you'd like.
  3. Cherry tomatoes are very aromatic and sweet. But since they are sometimes hard to get, you can also just use peeled or diced tomatoes.
  4. Cloves are used in some Italian families but if you don't like the taste, you can omit them completely.
  5. The sugar helps to balance and intensify the flavors of the tomatoes. You can leave it out if you want.
  6. Italian mamas don't use tomato paste in their Ragú (at least the ones he knows), but if you like your sauce a bit thicker you can use it.
  7. This recipe is very forgiving and it is no problem to cook it even longer!
  8. You can easily freeze this recipe, see my notes above.


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 1153mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1505IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4mg