Slow-Cooker Bolognese

I love my Bolognese recipes which are also on this site. Sometimes I just want to use my slow-cooker so that my meal is ready when I am home at the end of the day. This is what I did and I have to say it came out very tasty. I made all 4 lbs. of ground beef ( you can sub turkey or chicken if you would like) and I had about 4 meals out of this. Perfection! I froze in individual containers for 3 meals after the night we originally ate it. It’s perfect for the cold winter nights ahead of us. File this under cozy comfort foods.


This is what I did.


4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4 lbs. ground beef–I prefer the meat with a little fat so if you’re using turkey make sure it’s not 100% fat free because it will be rather dry and tasteless

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 whole carrots, chopped

2 onions, chopped

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine

2 cups whole milk

2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. dried basil

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*if you’d like instead of all these dried spices you can use dried italian seasonings which come in a spice jar but I would still add the nutmeg and  red pepper flakes

Grated Parmesan for serving

*Chopped Fresh Basil and Chopped Fresh Parsley for serving if you’d like


Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mirepoix ( carrots, celery and onions) season with salt and pepper and cook until softened and onions are transparent ) app. 10-15 minutes — I stirred in the garlic at the end and then added the tomato paste , stir around and cook for another few minutes. Pour in the red wine. Cook until most of the red wine is evaporated, app. 5 more minutes on a low flame. Pour this into the slow cooker.

Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil into the same skillet, add the beef and season with salt and pepper, cook breaking up the beef until it is nicely browned about 15 minutes. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the milk and continue cooking until it is mostly absorbed by the meat, app. another 5 minutes. Add this to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes and all the dried spices. Add some more salt–taste for salt I was pretty generous with the salt.

Give the pot a good stir , cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

I didn’t have any fat to skim on top because I drained the fat earlier and used 15% fat ground beef. The totally lean beef is a little to dry for my liking but use what ever meat you like. Check the consistency if it is too thick add a little bit of water. If it is too thin, cook for another 30 minutes or so with the cover off.

I have to say mine came out perfectly after 6 hours in the slow cooker. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you desire. Also a little note about slow-cooker, once the initial cooking process is over my slow cooker goes to warm and will stay on warm for another few hours or so . This is perfect because it will not cook anymore just stay warm. This is what I did.

Serve over pasta with lots of grated Parmesan Cheese and top with fresh basil and fresh parsley if you’d like.

By all means freeze the extra in air-tight containers for another few meals!




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