Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield Yield: serves 15 1x
  • Category Category: Sauce
  • Method Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dinner


This easy Bolognese Sauce is made right in the slow cooker!


  • 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 (28- ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Heat a large, deep, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. (Alternately if your slow cooker has a saute setting you can do these steps using that feature.) Add the pancetta and cook, stirring until the fat renders, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the butter, onion, celery, and carrots and cook until soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the garlic and ground beef, and season it with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it browns, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook 3 to 4 minutes to reduce slightly. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and more pepper to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. Discard bay leaves, stir in half and half, and parsley and serve.


Slight adaptations I made:
* I used bacon instead of pancetta and omitted the butter, using the bacon grease to saute the vegetables.
*I added 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper when I added the tomato sauce.

Keywords:: cookies and cups, slow cooker recipe, crock pot, bolognese, slow cooker bolognese

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