Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese sauce is so useful to have ready at any time. For pasta or lasagna, as a base topping for pizza or for rice dishes or as a base for risotto, it is handy to have some rich homemade Bolognese sauce in the freezer. It is even perfect in a hamburger bun for lunch.

This recipe is an easy way to make a truly rich, flavourful bolognese sauce that is slow cooked to perfection. Half an hour of preparation is all that is needed, then set the Slow Cooker and let it cook slowly for 8-9 hours overnight (or during the day) and it is ready in the morning to use immediately or to store in batches in the freezer for later.

This Bolognese sauce is truly easy to make and the resultant sauce is tasty, rich and thick. All that is needed is great ingredients.

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

IMG_20210106_192729-Bolognese ingredients


  • 1kg best minced beef
  • 1 bottle of Passata 700ml
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tblsp tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • Olive oil
  • 2 small knobs of butter
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1Tblsp chicken stock powder
  • 1Tblsp salt
  • Chicken seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 whole clove of garlic
  • 1 large bayleaf
  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped (6-7 stems)
  • 1 medium carrot, pealed and cut in half
  • 1 piece of celery stem about the length of the carrot, whole
  • mince steak-3579810_1920


  • Pour the tomato passata and chopped tomatoes into the slow cooker
  • Put a little water into the cans and bottle to swish out the last remnants of tomato and pour into the slow cooker
  • Add the chicken stock powder, salt, pepper, a few sprinkles of Chicken Seasoning, finely chopped rosemary, sage and parsley and stir to combine
  • Add the bay leaf and whole garlic clove, carrot pieces and the piece of celery
  • Set the slow cooker on HIGH while you prepare the onion and minced beef
  • In a large saucepan add about 1/4 cup of olive oil and knob of butter over a medium-low heat
  • When the butter foams, add the finely chopped onions and lower to simmer for 10 minutes till well caramelised and translucent. Add a little water if needed to stop the onion catching
  • When the onions are cooked stir through the tablespoon of tomato paste and cook for a minute
  • Increase the heat to medium high and stir through the cup of red wine.
  • Bring to the boil and cook until the wine has reduced
  • Then place the cooked onions into the slow cooker and stir through well to combine
  • Add some more olive oil to the saucepan used to cook the onions and add the second knob of butter and set over a medium high heat
  • When the butter foams add the minced beef and using a whisk, stir , breaking up the mince till the meat is well browned
  • Then pour all the meat and pan drippings into the slow cooker. Stir it all through the tomato mixture and add a little water if the mixture seems to need it.
  • Set the Slow cooker to LOW and cook for 9 hoursIMG_20210105_120723-Bolognese in slow cooker
  • When fully cooked the sauce should be rich and thick. Taste to check for seasoning and adjust at this pointIMG_20180207_230435-Bolognese rich sauce and spoon
  • Remove the carrots to a plate and using a fork, crush the cooked carrots to a paste and stir through the sauce. This adds natural sweetness to counter the acidity of the tomaoes
  • Do the same with the cooked celery
  • Remove the completed sauce to a container and put it in the sink, fill the sink with cold water near to the rim to quickly cool the mixtureIMG_20210105_122209-Bolognese sauce in container

This 1 kg of meat and other ingredients will make about 2.2 mls of bolognese sauce which you can divide into containers and freeze in portions suitable for future use with pasta, for lasagna and other dishes.

IMG_20210105_154503-Bolognese sauce in containers
One 1.5L and one 650ml container of rich bolognese sauce

*Remember to change the setting to LOW when the mince beef is added!

Enjoy your bolognese sauce with any pasta. IMG_20210105_121948-Pasta with bolognese sauce.jpg

Or use the sauce to make:

Classic Lasagna:

IMG_20151129_112152 (1)-Moussaka 2


IMG_20151225_150203-Pasticcio slice.jpg


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