Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce


I am always on the look out for recipes I can make in my crock pot.  I recently came across this recipe for Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce at a site called Framed- My Life One Picture at a Time and adapted it slightly .  Bolognese sauce is a meat based sauce for pasta.  It’s more meaty that your regular spaghetti sauce.  This recipe also makes a ton.  I was able to safe half of it for another meal.  It would work great to freeze also.  If you wanted your sauce to have some more zip to it, you could also substitute some of the ground beef with Italian sausage. My family loved it just as is.

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Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (14 oz) cans chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Cook beef in large skillet until browned.

2. Transfer to 5 quart slow cooker. Stir in all remaining ingredients, mix well.

3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

4. Serve over your favorite pasta. Happy sigh.

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27 comments on “Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

  • could i substiture honey or agave for the sugar?

  • Wow. I thought I made a great spaghetti sauce. This was amazing with the some additions. My husband absolutely loved it. Thank you.

  • This was so fabulous. All I added was 1 lb. Ground Sirloin and 1 lb hot sausage with casing removed per a reader’s suggestion and a good pinch of red pepper flakes and also added fresh basil along with the dried.
    I cooked it for (7) seven hours on low and (1) hour on warm.
    Will make this again and again. Thanks so much.
    Also used just a little less sugar. Did not quite fill the 1/3 cup measure.

  • I wanted to tell you that I use this webpage every time I make crock pot spaghetti sauce now. It’s not just the recipe I love, which I do, but also your writing style. Thanks for publishing!

  • You can use ground turkey and have great results!

  • If I make this in the crockpot, can I freeze the leftovers? Can I freeze it before cooking in the crockpot?

  • how many does that feed?

  • Kim, the sugar can be omitted, but, it requires a much much longer cooking time to cook out the acidity of the tomatoes.

    • You can also substitue about a 1/2 cup of red wine, as it contains sugars Also throwing in some minced carrots will work. I am Italian and everyone that I know uses Red Wine / and or minced carrots for taking acidity out of the ( gravy) sauce.

  • I just wanted you to know I made your delicious sauce and then used it to make lasagna for a big family get-together last night. It was the best lasagna I have ever had. My family loved it and people were asking for seconds. For the sugar, I used 3 tablespoons (packed) of brown sugar, and the sweetness level was just right for me. I really liked the warm flavor of brown sugar with the tomatoes and garlic and beef. Thank you for an outstanding recipe! :)

  • What is the yield for this recipe?

  • Made this today, it was delicious. I have tried so many different sauce recipes and this one is a keeper. I did use the Dei Fratelli chopped tomatoes with herbs and olive oil, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly.

  • This is a wonderful sauce, but I would suggest that you saute the onions for a few minutes before browning the beef. They were still a little raw.

  • I love the slow cooker – it’s so perfect for making pasta sauce. I have a veggie sauce recipe on my blog (http://healthyslowcooking.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/slow-cooker-meatless-sausage-mushroom-ragu/) if you’re interested.

  • The traditional sauce includes tomato paste, carrots, onions, beef, pancetta, celery, meat broth, red wine and optionally milk or cream. However a sauce can be considered bolognese if it is meat based sauce for pasta.

  • Isn’t this supposed to have milk or cream? Otherwise it’s just meat sauce.

  • this is simply comfort food at its finest…this is wonderful sauce- coming home from work- the whole house smells like love..thanks!!! love it! love your recipes..YUM!

  • Kim,
    The sugar in the sauce is intended to bring out the tomato flavor. I most definitely think you can reduce the sugar. You could even try to leave it out.

  • I am wondering the same thing as Kim although I am certain the sugar is there to help cut the acidity of all that tomato…What do you think?

    • You can add a decent pinch of baking soda instead of sugar to cut the acid. For this size of recipe, maybe a few teaspoons?

  • Yummy. I have always made my sauce in the crockpot and this recipe looks like an upgrade. Will be trying this one soon. Thanks.

  • Laura – this looks heavenly, especially with all the garlic! Do you think the sugar could be reduced or taken out and have it still taste the same?

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