This Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce is the best classic meat sauce ever! This rich and deep in flavor pasta sauce is cooked in a crock pot, served over fettuccine and topped with Parmesan.
Serve with Easy Garlic Bread or my Easy Focaccia Bread and you are in for a feast that didn't take much effort at all.
That's exactly what this is - comfort food at it's best. This pasta sauce recipe will change your spaghetti game and you will love it! It's perfect for those days when pasta just seems boring and you need a big bowl of comfort food. We are bringing spaghetti back to our weekly dinner menus with this Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce. A new family favorite! A steaming bowl of spaghetti with rich, slow cooker bolognese sauce is bound to make your soul and belly happy. Planning a relaxing weekend? This recipe is perfect for it! Minimal prep time and the magic happens in your slow cooker. Yes, please!
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- red onion
- 1 lb ground beef
- crushed tomatoes
- half and half
- tomato sauce
- salt and pepper
- Italian seasoning
- Saute garlic and onion in a skillet for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes. Place sauteed vegetables in a 5-quart slow cooker.
- In the same skillet, cook beef until no longer pink. Stir in half and half and tomato sauce and cook for about 4 minutes. Pour mixture over vegetables in crockpot.
- Add crushed tomatoes and all of the seasonings to the slow cooker. Stir well.
- Cook sauce on LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours.
Can I freeze this sauce?
Yes! You can make the sauce, cool completely and place in freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw the sauce in the fridge and heat up in a pan.
- veggies: Don't let the carrots and celery throw you off. It is quite common for these veggies to be used in pasta sauce by Italian cooks, or so I have been told. I love the sweetness the carrots add to the sauce. The celery blends perfectly with onions and garlic.
- garlic: Feel free to amp up the amount of garlic in this recipe. I used 3 cloves but I love it with 5 cloves even more. That's a personal preference. I just love garlic in my pasta dishes!
- beef: When browning the beef, let it cook until you see little bits at the bottom of the pan - they have a ton of flavor
- half and half: Adding half and half and one can of tomato sauce adds more flavor and richness to the dish.
More homemade sauce recipes:
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
- 5-Minute Pizza Sauce
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Mushroom Sauce
If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo and share it on INSTAGRAM! Tag me @crunchycreamysweet so I can check it out and leave a comment! 😀
Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ cup chopped red onion
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup half and half
- 4 oz tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- In a large saucepan, heat up olive oil. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Place sauteed vegetables in a 5 quart slow cooker.
- To the same saucepan, add beef and cook until done. Brown over medium heat, stirring often and breaking the meat. Cook until brown bites are visible on the bottom of the pan. Add half and half and cook 2 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Add tomato sauce and cook the mixture for 3 minutes. Place in the slow cooker, next to vegetables.
- Add crushed tomatoes and seasoning to slow cooker. Stir everything together. Cook on LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours.
- Serve over cooked spaghetti or fettuccine pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.
- Feel free to use ground turkey in place of beef.
- To freeze: cool the sauce completely, then place in freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 6 months.
This recipe was originally published on January 18th, 2017 and updated on November 12th, 2019.
Great recipe, set it and forget it until after work.... the family is going to be happy!
Exactly! Thank you so much, Phillip!
Noreen Gamble says
Any thoughts on doing this in the Instant Pot?
Thank you ahead, Anna
We've made something similar to this before but never thought to use the slow cooker! Such a great idea! Trying this ASAP!
We are huge pasta lovers but I've never been a fan of store-bought sauces so this was beyond delicious! Great recipe!
Looks SOO delicious! I am excited to try your recipe!
Oh my, this sounds incredibly delicious! A must make!
Mmmm...I love this sauce!! It's rich & hearty & great with any pasta!! My family loves it!
Oh yeah, Amp up the garlic on mine!
My ultimate comfort food right there!
I just love a good homemade pasta sauce! And bonus points for being made in the slow cooker. 🙂
There is nothing like a great Bolognese sauce! So nice to enjoy with a bowl of spaghetti and how great that you made it in a slow cooker...I bet your family was excited to know this sauce was what was for dinner!!
I love that the slow cooker will do the work! This is a perfect comfort food for winter!
The last time I made a Bolognese, I was a newlywed with tons of time on her hands and could babysit my sauce on the stovetop. Your rendition of the classic is going to be ADORED in my household because it sounds so good! Thanks for sharing this!
I have been blessed with this recipe!