Thursday, September 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Bolognese

Slow Cooker Bolognese - Let your slow cooker do all the work so you don't have to hover over a stove all day to achieve this rich velvety pasta sauce.

Slow Cooker Bolognese from

Hey hey hey gang! How's your Thursday treating ya?

Me? Pretty ding dang good! Why you ask? Well, let me tell ya  #1 is because I am looking at these photos of one of the most glorious pasta sauces you will ever try, and #2 because I am heading to IFBC15 (International Food Bloggers Conference) tomorrow!

Have you ever been to a conference? I absolutely love them. They are a perfect mix of learning and fun. Plus, me being the social person that I am (who me social?), I love the opportunity to meet people that I otherwise would never get to meet. I love my bloggy peeps 

So I will be able to come back to you a better blogger + more friends. Yay!

Slow Cooker Bolognese from

Now, let's talk talk about this sauce shall we?

Oh yes, let's!!

When I was growing up one of my best friends was from a BIG Italian family. Her Momma and Nonna were always in the kitchen cooking something up that would make their house smell insanely good. I swear, you could walk into their house at 3 AM and it would still smell amazing. I wish I could have just bottled that smell. Just thinking about it makes me happy......and verrrrrrrrry hungry!

Slow Cooker Bolognese from

There were so many unbelievably delicious meals I was privileged to share with that family. Thinking about those times always makes me smile. If you belong to, or have ever had a chance to hang out with, a large Italian family, you know what I mean. There is never a dull moment! 

One of my favorite memories is of her Nonna letting us help make cannolis. We had a table of cannoli shells, and a HUGE bowl filled with the most delicious cream filling *sigh* 

Of course we probably ate as much cream as we piped into the cannoli shells ssshhhhh don't tell Nonna. 

But, as much as I loved those cannolis, her bolognese sauce was heaven! I remember feeling like the day was a million hours long because I couldn't wait for my big plate of pasta smothered in that velvety goodness. #drooling

Fast forward to my adult life and, as you know, my lack of cooking prowess. Spaghetti in my families kitchen came straight from a jar. Oh, once in awhile I would "spice it up" by adding a few spices, sausage instead of hamburger, or canned mushrooms 

Slow Cooker Bolognese from

Once I made the change to using fresh ingredients I knew eventually I would give bolognese a try. But having to monitor a pot all day just wasn't tickling my fancy. Oh, I did it, and it was good, but really wanted to find a way to get that all day flavor without having to cook all day, and that was where my new found love for my slow cooker came in.

I had really shied away from my slow cooker for quite some time because the recipes always seemed to involve using canned soups, processed cheese, or something boxed, things I just didn't want to use anymore. But it is a catch 22. Those things allow for the quick and easy dump and cook. Most people that are looking for a slow cooker recipe don't want to chop, saute, and brown before they walk out the door to start their day, so my goal was to make this sauce as easy to prepare as possible while still getting that rich amazing flavor that you expect from a good bolognese and I have done just that!

This sauce gives me flashbacks of those childhood memories. It is rich and creamy, just like a remember, but the prep for it is so fast you really won't believe it. 

Ohhhhh believe it my friends! This sauce comes together with just 15 minutes of prep!! Seriously!

This sauce is so good you don't even need the pasta. Just grab a piece of bread and a bowl and go to town. I will admit that I have done that a few times. It has now been put on the rotation so I can make sure I always have a batch of it in my freezer at ALL times!

So, get to the store, buy the ingredients, get them in the slow cooker, then head to the movies, or the mall (you could always start your holiday shopping), and then come home to a house that smells amazing, and a meal your whole family will love.

OK, I need to go grab a bag out of the freezer now that I have made myself hungry!

Slow Cooker Bolognese from

2 years ago - Homemade Sloppy Joes
3 years ago - Spicy BBQ Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
Slow Cooker Bolognese from


  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 large carrot, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large stalk of celery, cut into large chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, rough chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Fresh ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • Pasta, for serving


  1. Combine the garlic, carrot, celery, and onion, in a food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are finely minced.
  2. Cook the bacon, in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, until the fat renders. Add vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, thyme and nutmeg, and continue cooking to allow the tomato paste to warm, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, making sure to pull up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in the cream and tomatoes. Mix the sausage and ground beef together in a bowl, using your hands, until combined. Spread small amounts of the meat mixture evenly into the slow cooker, by breaking it apart with your hands, avoiding any large clumps. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours. Skim the accumulated grease from the surface and use a potato masher to make sure all of the meat is broken into small bits.
  4. Serve over cooked pasta.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Cook time: 08 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 8 hrs. 15 mins.
Tags: bacon, carrot, garlic, celery, tomato, red wine, Italian sausage, ground beef, Italian, pasta

Adapted from a recipe by Kelsey Nixon

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Slow Cooker Bolognese - Let your slow cooker do all the work so you don't have to hover over a stove all day to achieve this rich velvety pasta sauce from


  1. I am always looking for tasty recipes to make in the crockpot because this Mama does not always have time to hang in the kitchen to cook. Bake, yes. Cook, not so much! ;-)

    1. I am with ya Betsy! What is funny though is that I use my slow cooker now that it is just the two of us, than when all of the kids lived with us! Weird right? But I seriously <3 my slow cooker!!