Easy to make rich and rustic Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese, with a sauce packed with so much flavour to coat your pasta (or vegetables) of choice!
Making bolognese is so simple over stove top, BUT, in the slow cooker? Even better when the slow cooker does all the work! You will LOVE this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese recipe!
The ONLY way we love our bolognese is cooked in a slow cooker or crockpot. With meat so incredibly soft and tender, it falls apart all over your pasta.
This family recipe makes enough to freeze any left overs for any emergency dinner situations, OR enough for the next day. Just boil up some more pasta and you have a restaurant quality meal two days in a row! NO COOKING! Well, except for boiling the pasta, which is simple itself. OR, do what we do and use the leftovers to smother ALL over toast.
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
What I have found over the years of making this sauce is browning the meat first before adding it into the slow cooker tastes incredible. I used to throw it all in the slow cooker without browning the meat first, but we had an aversion to the ‘stewed meat’ flavour.
I also found frying off your onion and garlic first creates a delicious depth of flavour.
The sauce is so versatile, you can serve it over pasta, like the spaghetti pictured here, BUT I usually opt to serve this sauce over zucchini noodles, or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and pumpkin when following a low carb diet or calorie counting.
The sauce is so thick and rich, full of unmistakable Italian flavours.
The addition of carrots in my sauce adds some sweetness through the tomatoes. You will no doubt love this sauce just as much as we do!
Love Slow Cooker Meals? Try these!
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced (or 1 tablespoon minced garlic)
- 2 pounds (1 kg) lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) red wine or beef broth/stock (optional)
- 2 x 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 tablespoon stock powder or crushed beef bouillon
- 2-3 teaspoons salt adjust to your tastes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh basil, finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Cracked pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 17 ounces (500 g) dry pasta (spaghetti)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Brown beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until just beginning to brown (about 2-3 minutes). Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker bowl.
Return the skillet to the stove; pour in the wine while scraping any bits of the fried meat from the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and transfer to the slow cooker bowl.
To the slow cooker bowl, add in the crushed tomatoes, beef stock, tomato paste, carrot, stock powder (or crushed bouillon cubes), salt, oregano, basil, sugar and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. Add in the chopped parsley before serving.
In the last 15 minutes of cooking time, boil pasta in salted water following packet instructions.
Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Pour the reserved water back into the pasta along with 2 cups cooked bolognese sauce. Stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the pasta.
Serve with parmesan cheese and (extra) chopped parsley, if desired.
To freeze: cool completely before transferring any remaining sauce into air tight containers. I use disposable containers since the sauce tends to stain.
Nutrition information is based on per serve out of 9 serves. The recipe states serves 8, but you will have about 2 serves of left overs!
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