Slow Cooker Bolognese

They always say the secret’s in the sauce, and there are few sauces with more secrets than a Bolognese! Even if you don’t have an Italian grandma to give you all the tips and tricks, this Slow Cooker Bolognese recipe will make it seem like you do.

Frequently Asked Questions Q: Does this bolognese sauce freeze well? A: Yes, this slow cooker bolognese freezes well. Simply store it in a sealed, airtight container or bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Q: Do I need to add any additional liquid while cooking? A: No, the tomatoes in the recipe will release enough liquid to keep the sauce moist and juicy.

Q:What should I serve with this bolognese? A: This bolognese makes a delicious and satisfying meal when served over a bed of freshly cooked pasta. You can also top with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if desired.

Slow Cooker Bolognese

3.9 from 39 votes

This slow cooker bolognese recipe uses only a few simple ingredients, cooked together in a slow cooker to create the classic Italian tomato-based sauce. The slow cooking process coaxes out the flavor of the various herbs, spices and seasonings, resulting in an incredibly delicious and comforting meal.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup finely chopped baby carrots

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the carrots, onion, and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Place the ground beef into the skillet and cook and stir, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until browned. Drain off excess fat from the skillet, and pour in 1 cup milk. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the milk is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Place the beef mixture into a slow cooker, and set the cooker to High. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 hours. Mix in 1/2 cup milk and Parmesan cheese, stir well, and cook for 2 more hours.

As I delved into the recipe, I discovered the importance of slow cooking, allowing the flavors to develop and meld together over time. The tantalizing aromas of garlic, onions, tomatoes, and herbs filled my kitchen, creating an ambiance reminiscent of an authentic Italian trattoria.

With each passing hour, the sauce transformed into a rich and velvety concoction, the depth of flavors intensifying. The combination of quality ingredients and the slow cooking process ensured that every bite would be a symphony of taste and texture.

Finally, the moment arrived to savor the fruits of my labor. The sauce, thick and luscious, beautifully coated the pasta, inviting me to take a bite. As I tasted the harmonious blend of savory flavors, I was transported to the charming streets of Italy, where every bite tells a story of tradition and passion.

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