Best Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce Ever!

This recipe, along with my beef barley soup and a chocolate pudding cake , is the reason I adore my slow cooker. Yes, it is a huge, old-fashioned, clunky appliance that only does one thing. But MAN! it does that one thing really well, and I promise you that if you will just drag yours out of the attic or basement or garage or wherever you have it and make this sauce, you will be a believer! Trust me on this one, will you? I won’t let you down.

Now with most things that have to do with my slow cooking, this recipe makes way too much to eat in one sitting, unless you are feeding an entire Boy Scout troop.

But that is why they invented those disposable Gladware containers – just scoop the leftovers into those babies, pop them in the freezer, and so long as you have spaghetti in the house somewhere you will be all set for future dinners when you are faced with a ravenous family and your mind is a blank.

In the meantime, this is a fantastic, rich, meaty sauce that cooks away all day long in the slow cooker and makes your kitchen smell like an Italian paradise. There is just the tiniest bit of prep involved (browning the meat), and then the whole shebang gets dropped in the reliable old slow cooker, and your work is done for the day. Some pasta, a little fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and you are in dinner heaven.

Go find that slow cooker now. I know you have one somewhere.

Best Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce Ever!
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Cook beef in large skillet until browned.
  2. Drain and transfer to 5 quart slow cooker. Stir in all remaining ingredients, mix well.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Serve over your favorite pasta. Happy sigh.


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  1. Memória says

    Woah. Your spaghetti sauce looks fantastic. I just made spaghetti and meatballs the other day (and blogged about it), but next time I have a hankering for this, I will throw everything in my slow cooker. YUMMY!

  2. Anonymous says

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I can't wait to try it and I too love my slow cooker but don't make too much in it because of the limited recipes I have that I like. This one looks really really good and I am so looking forward to making it and making the house smell good while it cooks.

  3. Anonymous says

    I tried your bolognese sauce recipe and can report that it is INDEED delicious!!! My entire family enjoyed it and my daughter who does not eat 'red sauce' loved it. :) Thank you!!

  4. Mama Peck says

    I made this for our Christmas dinner (turkey feast was Christmas Eve). Anyway, the family LOVED it! One comment was who needs pasta when the sauce is so delish?? Thanks for sharing- this one is a keeper, for sure!

  5. Anonymous says

    I just made this today… it's awesome! I was a little worried about the 'slow cooker' thing seeing as i'm often not happy with anything in the slow cooker. Make it, you won't regret it.

  6. Mia @ Fat Loss Tips says

    I couldn't believe this could be made in my slow cooker, but it definitely was!! AND – it was perfect, the flavor was awesome from simmering so long. Definitely one I will be making again!

  7. Jeri @ says

    This looks great! I just got into really using my crock pot and have been hunting for recipes to use. I think I will have to try this one soon.

  8. FramedCooks says

    I promise as soon as I can get a decent picture of it I will…it's been a tough one to photograph but I'm working on it!

  9. says

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic

    • Kate says

      I’m so sorry! (Especially because I know I would have loved reading it!) But one way or the other – thank you!! :)

  10. NoNoNannette says

    I like your recipe it very close to the one I make, but I saute my onion with the meat and I also add fresh mushrooms. Always cooker it in my slow cooked all day on low. I do cook the beef in large skillet until browned with the oinons, mushrooms then drain and transfer to slow cooker

  11. Mely214 says

    Looks yummy going to make it tomorrow but I only have a 4 qt crock pot. Do you think if I make 3/4 of the recipe it will fit. Also how many servings do you think it will yield. Going to feed about 5 hungry EMTs.

  12. mely says

    Looks yummy plan to make this tomorrow. But I only have a 4qt crock pot do you think if I make 3/4 of the recipe it will fit? Also how many servings will this yield?

    • Kate says

      This makes a lot – enough for 8-10 servings depending on how big the servings are. I think you might want to cut it in half just to be safe! :)

  13. Dianna says

    I thought bolognese sauce had carrots and celery in it. This isn’t like any bolognese sauce I’ve seen. It sounds like it is a good spaghetti sauce, but is misleading if you are looking for a true bolognese.

    • Kate says

      Hi Dianna! Technically a bolognese is a sauce that is slow cooked and mostly meat (as opposed to mostly tomato), and you are right that many of them have carrots and celery and onion in them. This is definitely a sauce that is heavier on the meat than the tomato, but it’s also true that it’s not traditional…starting with the fact that I am using a slow cooker! If you are looking for a fabulous and totally traditional bolognese, here’s a fabulous recipe from the wonderful Marcella Hazan. Happy cooking!


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