Making Bolognese sauce in a slow cooker let’s you create that all day cooked flavor with little to no work. My favorite kind of recipe!
Plus this recipe makes a large batch one to eat that night and two more to freeze for a quick meals when you don’t feel like cooking.
What is the difference between Bolognese sauce and spaghetti sauce?
This is a question I had when doing my research for this recipe. How are they different really? Turns out Bolognese Sauce is a meat sauce from Bologna, Italy. It has a tomato base along with other liquids such as white wine and milk. These add a unique flavor to the sauce. Spaghetti sauce is primarily just a tomato sauce with spices.
What is Bolognese Sauce made of?
The three main ingredients needed to make a true Bolognese sauce is tomatoes, milk or cream, and wine. You can read more about how the the city of Bologna has an official recipe as of 1982 you can read more about that here.
Do you add milk to Slow Cooker Bolognese sauce recipe?
Yes. This is one of the key ingredients to make it an official Bolognese sauce. You can use cream or milk to make a creamy rich sauce.
How long should I simmer Bolognese sauce?
Bolognese sauce gets richer with flavor the longer you let it simmer. It combines several cooking methods to help it reach that rich all day flavor. Like sweating the vegetables, sauteing the meat, and braising the pancetta That is why cooking it in the slow cooker is the best way to make sure it has that cooked all day flavor. This allows all the flavors to come together in the best slow cooker Bolognese sauce recipe you will find.
How do you reduce Bolognese sauce?
If your sauce seems a bit too runny, then take the lid of your slow cooker the last 30 minutes before it is done. Stir it every five minutes to keep it warm all over. Then once you turn off your slow cooker, allow to set 5 – 10 minutes more before serving. This allows for some moisture to escape to help thicken the sauce.
What to make with Homemade Bolognese Sauce
After you have made this wonderful homemade bolognese sauce, what are you going to put it on? Try making your own homemade pasta for a fresh meal idea. You could also use this recipe for the filling of homemade pizza pockets. Pizza pockets are a huge hit for lunches in my house. Making this easy ravioli bake with bolognese sauce for a quick meal on those busy nights will be sure to make you a superstar.
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The Best Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
- 2 med carrots or 6 baby carrots
- 8 oz pancetta
- 1 med onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 Tblsp oregano
- 2 Tblsp basil
- 1 Tblsp thyme
- 1 cup milk or cream
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 lbs ground meat beef, chicken or turkey
- 4 Tblsp tomato paste
- 2 Cans crushed tomatoes 28 oz cans
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt to taste
First saute chopped onions, carrots, and garlic in a skillet. I like to use my cast iron skillet. Add the garlic last.
Next add pancetta and brown.
Then add the ground meat and cook until browned in the skillet.
Add all the cooked mixture from the skillet to the slow cooker.
Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, thyme., basil, salt, and pepper to the meat and mix it all well in your slow cooker on low.
Close the lid and let is slow cook for about 8 hours on low. 4 hours on high
Right before serving add the cream or milk.
- You can use beef stock if you have it. I normally have chicken stock on hand.
- I like more garlic and basil flavor so I added more.
- This made 3 family sized servings for a family of four.
- For a more WW friendly recipe, use fat free Greek yogurt cream cheese instead of milk or cream.
- This was the best left over and heated up the next day.