You (and all the pasta lovers in your family) are going to LOVE this homemade beef bolognese sauce! Packed full of ground beef and some of those Italian flavors we all love, this slow cooker pasta sauce is absolutely delicious.
If you didn’t know, I am a HUGE pasta lover. I love to eat it all sorts of ways- with some pesto sauce, alfredo, carbonara, or some simple cacio e pepe!
After I made my chicken bruschetta a few weeks ago, it really put me into an ‘Italian mood’.
And, let me tell you- You’re going to flip over the flavor of this slow cooker beef bolognese sauce! While I love pasta the way that it is, I also love this sweet goodness poured all over the top of my pasta as well.
Before making this recipe, I had been searching long and hard for a really good beef sauce recipe that would meet my expectations. And believe me, I’d tried them all!
But, once I made this delicious slow cooker recipe, I knew everything was about to change.
From the very first scent of this cooking up in the slow cooker, I knew that I’d found a winner. And now that I can easily share it with all of you, I’m beyond excited to do so!
I think you’re going to enjoy this delicious beef bolognese as much as I do!
Frequently Asked Questions About Beef Bolognese
Before I share my recipe for slow cooker beef bolognese sauce, here are a few questions I have gotten from our readers that I wanted to share:
What Kind Of Beef Is Used For Bolognese?
For this recipe, I went ahead and use ground beef but you can easily swap it out with some ground pork for some extra fattiness. You can even do some 50/50!
If you would prefer to make this pasta sauce vegetarian, you can completely omit the beef or replace it with some sort of soy-based meatless crumbles.
My Sauce Is Loose. How Do I Thicken Bolognese Sauce?
There are a couple of things you can do to thicken up your homemade bolognese sauce.
- 9 times out of 10, your sauce just needs time. Let your sauce simmer for the allotted time and as the ingredients cook down, your sauce will thicken.
- If the bolognese is still very watery and not at the consistency you were looking for, make a quick slurry (2 parts cold water to 1 part cornstarch) and slowly stir it into your sauce. Make sure to use this option after you have let it simmer.
Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese Sauce
Time to prep everything and get this beef sauce simmering.
Just gather up the needed ingredients below to get started!
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Onion (finely chopped)
- Carrots (finely chopped)
- Celery stalks (finely chopped)
- Minced garlic cloves
- Tomato paste
- Ground beef
- Crushed tomatoes
- Bay leaf
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Whole milk
- Chianti red wine
How To Make Beef Bolognese From Scratch
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat up the olive oil. Add in the finely chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic cloves and cook until tender (for about 7 minutes).
Add in the tomato paste and stir until it’s all combined. Then, add in the ground beef and cook until it’s browned and no longer pink.
Once everything is cooked, transfer all of the ingredients from your pan into your slow cooker.
In your crockpot, add the can of crushed tomatoes, oregano, thyme, basil, bay leaf, salt, pepper, milk, and red wine. Stir gently until everything is well combined.
Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Be sure to stir once in a while during the last 2 hours.
After your bolognese is cooked, discard the bay leaf.
What To Serve With Beef Bolognese
This classic Italian sauce can be served over your favorite pasta! Some of my go-to pasta options are:
- Angel hair
You can also serve this beef bolognese over some white rice or quinoa and a side of broccoli or asparagus.
If you are looking for a low carb option, you can always make some homemade zucchini noodles to swap put with the fresh pasta.
Don’t forget your garlic bread! Make some of this homemade crockpot bread and add some of your favorite butter and garlic to eat with this beef bolognese.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
If you loved this recipe for Beef Bolognese, check out some of our best recipes from The Slow Cooking Club:
- Cinnamon Roll Casserole
- Pineapple Chicken
- Chicken Enchilada Dip
- Homemade 2-Ingredient Bread
- Chicken Fajitas
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 – 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup Chianti red wine
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, then add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, Transfer ingredients to your slow cooker.
Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, thyme, basil, bay leaf, salt, pepper, milk, and red wine. Stir gently until well combined.
Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Be sure to stir once in a while during the last 2 hours.
Discard bay leaf before serving over your favorite pasta.