Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce


Imagine your favorite spaghetti bolognese sauce, simmered and seasoned to perfection, rich and flavorful… and all done conveniently in the slow cooker!


Your new favorite way to enjoy a bolognese-style pasta sauce… made easily in the slow cooker!  Rich, flavorful, and perfect for an easy weeknight dinner!

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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com

Spaghetti.  Such a classic meal.  Is there anything better than a big plate full of perfectly cooked pasta, topped with a rich and meaty sauce, some grated Parmesan cheese and fresh minced basil?  Not in my book!  Except maybe some cheesy semi-homemade garlic bread to go with it! Now picture this… you can have that fantastic-tasting, lip-smackingly good, slow-simmered tasting sauce, with hardly any effort?  How, you say?  In your slow cooker!

MY LATEST RECIPES

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com

That’s right, your slow cooker comes to the rescue once again!  When I plan meals, I plan about 9 meals that last us about 2 weeks with leftover nights so we don’t waste much food.  This past meal plan, I went a little slow cooker crazy, with the bulk of our meals having a slow cooker component.  Coming off being sick, my energy just isn’t up to where it usually is, so I figured I’d help myself out a little and pick easy meals and when I think of easy, I think of my slow cooker.

Oh, and don’t be thrown by my fancy-pants name for it… “spaghetti bolognese”.  A traditional bolognese sauce has other components that aren’t in this recipe (red wine, etc), so that’s why it’s more of a bolognese-style sauce… more suited for a weeknight dinner!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com

For me, my favorite spaghetti sauces all have meat in them.  What can I say, I like meat 🙂  What about you?  Do you prefer meat-free spaghetti sauce?   A meat sauce?  Meatballs?

Usually, to get a great tasting sauce, you have to let it simmer and let those flavors meld together for a while… like an hour or more.  Well I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have that kind of time most nights.  Especially if you work outside the home… I’m pretty sure the last thing you want to do is fight traffic, come home, and spend an hour cooking and babysitting sauce.  That’s a thing of the past.  Now you can walk in the door and smell a FANTASTIC sauce simmering away in your slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com

Now this recipe uses both ground beef and mild Italian sausage, but feel free to change it up to fit your family’s tastes.  It could be all Italian sausage, all beef, or you could go for a hot Italian sausage if you want to get spicy 😉

So the morning of, all you need to do is brown your meats with the onion and garlic… making sure you crumble up the meat pretty well.  For me, my best tool for that is my potato masher.  That’s right, you read that correctly lol.  I start with my wooden spoon to break it up into large chunks, then go to town mashing away with my potato masher.  It crumbles up meat like a pro!

Once the meat is browned, drain it, then add it to the bottom of your slow cooker.  Next, add in the remaining ingredients, pop the lid on, set it to low, and you’re done!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com

This sauce cooks for 8 hours, so you’re free to go about your day.  Then come dinner time, all you have to do is boil your pasta!  Simple enough right?

You deserve this sauce… treat yourself!

LOOKING FOR MORE ITALIAN DINNER IDEAS?

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com


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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com
Print
4.13 from 8 votes
8 servings
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 10 mins
 

Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready!

Calories: 428 kcal
Author: The Chunky Chef
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 onion minced
  • 2 carrots, very finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 - 14 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 24 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Newman's Own)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp better than chicken bouillon
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and Italian sausage, cooking until browned, about 5-6 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef and sausage as it cooks.  The last 2-3 minutes, add onion, carrot and garlic to beef and cook.  Drain in a colander to remove excess grease. 

  2. Place meat mixture into bottom of slow cooker. Add remaining sauce ingredients and stir to combine.  Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

Recipe Notes

If desired, stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream at the end of cooking, cover and cook another 5-10 minutes to warm it through.  Cream really rounds out the flavors and adds a beautiful richness, but it's optional

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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce | Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this bolognese-style sauce is made in the slow cooker.  Just boil some pasta and your dinner is ready! | https://thechunkychef.com

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56 comments on “Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce”

  1. Pingback: Easy Crockpot Spaghetti Casserole - The Chunky Chef

  2. What happened to the old recipe. This is different with the jar sauce and sugar. Missing the other version.

  3. My all time favorite comfort food! I could eat spaghetti any day of the week!

  4. Slow cooker is a life saver! 🙂 And we love bolognese sauce sooo much!

  5. I’m trying to use my slow cooker more, so this is perfect! Can’t wait to try it!

  6. This looks absolutely amazing! I’ve been craving spaghetti and meatballs for DAYS, but this is my dream! Wonderful!

  7. That looks so good, I want this for dinner right now!

  8. That is one long cook time but I have no doubt the flavor is worth it. YUM!

  9. With school back in session and the boys playing sports, having this ready in the slow cooker is like a dream come true! Thank you!!

  10. This looks so amazing & delicious. I can’t wait to try this recipe at my home. Bookmarked this recipe. I love easy to make yeast bread recipes…this one sounds easy and looks delicious really. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. Looking forward to more recipes. Best wishes and Regards.

  11. How do you take such good food pics? (Besides having great food to photo 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for hosting! Have a great long weekend!!

  13. Made this with King Arthur gf all- purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon zanthum gum. Added 1 teaspoon yeast to warmed water and 1 tablespoon sugar and allowed it to bloom. Then added 1 egg and flour mixture , beat on medium speed for approximately 2-3 mins in mixer. Let rest for 4 hours in the mixing bowl. Followed the rest of the instructions and was very happy. Beautiful presentation and great taste!

  14. do you think the bread would work without the cheese? I want to make is dairy free..

    thanks

  15. I am planning on making this tomorrow and I can’t wait to try it. I’m especially excited about the bread. I don’t have a dutch oven so do you think I could make it in my stoneware baker?

  16. This Bolognese sauce looks fantastic! I am featuring you this week over at Simple Supper Tuesday. We would love for you to join us again this week, starting Monday night at 8pm EST.

  17. This looks so tasty and easy!! I had no idea about using the potato masher for meat. I’m such an impatient cook. I’ll have to try using it next time. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Hello beautiful! This looks so amazing. I can’t wait to try it. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for being a part of our party and we hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. We can’t wait to party with you! Happy Valentines’ Day! Lou Lou Girls

  19. That Looks So Delicious. Every Since I’ve Gotten Pregnant I Am Definitely A Big Fan Of Spaghetti So This Is Definitely Something That I know I Have To Try.

  20. Wow — I can’t wait to make this sauce AND the bread!! It looks so delicious — perfect for a winter evening. Love your step by step directions and wonderful photos!!

    Will be a return visitor for sure!!

  21. I love this…I love that it is in a slow cooker! Hey I would love for you to share your stuff on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday-Link Party that starts tomorrow!! I would love to have you!! http://www.cookinandcraftin.com/my-2-favorite-things-on-thursday-link-party-6/

  22. Another fabulous recipe! Love it! Pin it!

  23. I definitely will be making spaghetti bolognese for dinner tonight after seeing this inspiring post! Thanks for the easy slow cooker recipe.

  24. You are right Amanda. It really is a classic meal. Warm, comforting food. Your bread looks gorgeous. And congrats on your milestone. Well done!

  25. You’ll laugh, but I make a Slow Cooker Sauce, too, that I have been meaning to post – it sits, partially finished in my drafts while I cheat on it, looking at other sauces! This looks delicious, and I think the slow cooker can’t be beat as far as a method for this sauce goes!

  26. I love a good bolognese! Thanks Amanda for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday!

  27. Gosh that looks good…. I’m going to run out of ink from printing out your recipes lol

  28. I’ve also never thought of the slow cooker for Bolognese. Great time saver for my favorite meal.

    Michaela

  29. This looks fantastic!! I am a total cheater. I make a million gallons of sauce without the meat and then can or freeze it. Then at dinner time, I just brown whatever meat I want and pile on the sauce I’ve already prepped. I can also use it like marinara that way. Mostly, I just love that it makes a huge shortcut on nights that dinner has to be quick. I can’t wait to try this in the slow cooker. And the bread looks amazing!!!

  30. I saw this yesterday on pinterest and already pinned it 😀 Looks delicious!

  31. Wow!! First of all- it is hard to beat sauce that has been simmering for hours- SUCH amazing flavor. Looks perfect. BUT your bread looks AMAZING!! (I especially love the “ugly” photo by the way 😉 ) The 12 to 18 hour rise time requires a little planning (sometimes a problem for me!) but the results are certainly worth it- I think the bread brought your fiesta worthy meal up a few notches!! Thanks for bringing it to the party & have a lovely weekend!

    • Awww well thank you!!! Bread is a huge weakness of mine… I LOVE it! But I hate spending $4 on a loaf of bread that we eat in one sitting… so I was so excited to find a recipe that won’t cost anywhere near that much to make 😀 Lol, glad you love the “ugly” pic 😉 Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

  32. What a great dinner! I can imagine how good the house must smell with the bolognese simmering all day. I love easy to make yeast bread recipes…this one sounds easy and looks delicious.

    • Thank you so much!! I walked outside and came back in and was blown away by how amazing the whole house smelled from the sauce… mouthwatering! We sure love our Italian meals around here 🙂