Slow Cooker Bolognese Recipe -
Slow Cooker Bolognese Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 5 hrs

Slow Cooker Bolognese

Recipe by  

"A very thick and hearty meat sauce simmered in the slow cooker."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    4 hrs 30 mins

    4 hrs 50 mins


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  • Easy Cleanup
  • Try using a liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 02, 2010

Hi - this is my recipe and I just wanted to note that I have switched from using 1 lb ground beef to 1 lb "meatloaf mix" (a ground beef/pork blend) and it really enhances the flavor of the sauce. Enjoy! :)

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 09, 2011

Meh. This was allright. I wasn't particularly thrilled, but my hubby seemed to enjoy this. I hesitated to give this a try, mainly because it really isn't authentic at all (but the slow cooker convenience appealed to me...). True bolognese is made with a mixture of beef, veal AND pork. Celery is also typically added although not necessary (it just adds another level of flavor). Served over spinach fettuccine (ironically, the one thing my hubs didn't care for), this was just "OK." I much prefer my slow cooker meaty spaghetti sauce recipe and will stick with that from now on. Thanks anyways, VD711. :-)

Aug 22, 2011

I made this for the recipe group selection of 8/13/11. I made very few changes: Browned the carrots and onions w/o the garlic, added them to the crockpot. Browned the beef/pork combo, drained the oil, added the milk and simmered until the milk was incorporated. (I felt this was an important step as I've never seen it in any other recipe!) I then added the meat and rest of the ingredients (except the cheese) plus a few shakes of garlic powder to the crockpot. Cooked on low for 7 hours, turned the temperature down to Warm and stirred in the cheese. This was definately worth the prep time. Hubby kept eating the sauce like chili (sans pasta) and asked me to put the rest in the freezer so he wouldn't OD on

Apr 13, 2011

Wonderful and so easy to make. I have to admit that I took the advice of another reviewer and I browned the hamburger meat, drained off the grease and added it to the slow cooker. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and set the slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours. It was delish!

Aug 17, 2011

I made this for the recipe group selection of 8/13/11. I've never had Bolognese however had just seen a cooking show on how to make it. Even though this recipe is slightly different, the one thing the chef said was how important is is to cook the carrot and onions separately, then adding the meat and cooking thoroughly for the right flavoring. So I followed the recipe's instructions to a tee and cooked the time specified. I thought this would taste just like regular spaghetti sauce, but it had a distinct rich meaty flavor. Everyone raved about it...lots of yum yums being murmured. I served it over wide egg noodles to hold the heavy sauce better. For certain I'll make this one again.

Oct 22, 2011

This is a very good, authentic recipe that's hard to mess up. I think next time though, I'll use Italian sausage instead of the ground beef just because we prefer the seasoning used in sausage. Thanks! :o)

Jul 09, 2010

This recipe was delicious! I made a couple changes - skipped the basil, oregano, & red pepper flakes and I only browned the meat, not the carrots, onions, & garlic. I also added 1 16oz can of tomato sauce. Once the meat was browned, I threw in all the ingredients & turned the crock pot on low for 8 hours....PERFECT!! Even my mother loved it and my brother said it was just like grandma's!

Oct 28, 2013

The only problem with this and other recipes is they cook vegetables and add the meat after and then drain fat. When you do this you drain all your vegetable juices along with the fat. Reverse the procedure and brown meat first, drain the fat, then add vegetables!!! Much more flavor!!! Saying this, the recipe was great!!


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  • Calories
  • 245 kcal
  • 12%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 17.9 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 44 mg
  • 15%
  • Fat
  • 13 g
  • 20%
  • Fiber
  • 3.9 g
  • 16%
  • Protein
  • 16.3 g
  • 33%
  • Sodium
  • 547 mg
  • 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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