Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese

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This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese will make Italian Mamas proud. It’s rich, luscious, the sauce is silky and the meat is so tender it melts in your mouth. And the slow cooker does all the hard work!!

taking a scoop of Spaghetti Bolognese

Long and slow is how real Italian Mamas make proper Spaghetti Bolognese. It’s when the magic happens, the sauce thickens and infuses with incredible flavour that you simply can’t achieve in 30 minutes on the stove. The meat becomes so tender and soft, it literally melts in your mouth. The sauce is silky and rich, and clings lovingly to the pasta, staining the long strands a deep red.

So basically, slow cookers were made for Bolognese sauce. Or maybe Spaghetti Bolognese was made for slow cookers. Doesn’t really matter. They’re a match made in heaven! :-)

Spaghetti Bolognese in a white bowl

Now I have to tell you, this is a real proper authentic Bolognese recipe. So it’s not a “chuck it all in the slow cooker” recipe. Softening the onion and browning the beef before transferring it to the slow cooker is a key step, it can’t be skipped!

It just so happens that my slow cooker has a sauté setting – very handy for browning before slow cooking. However, when I make Bolognese Sauce in the slow cooker, I always make a double batch using 2 lb of ground beef. So if I were to brown the beef in the slow cooker, I’d have to do it in batches anyway because otherwise it would be (very!) overcrowded and the beef would end up stewing instead.

So I just brown the beef in a large skillet then transfer to the slow cooker. Well actually, I brown the onion first then transfer that into the slow cooker, then I brown the beef. Simply because of sheer volume – I don’t have a skillet large enough!

Spaghetti Bolognese made in the slow cooker

I am very particular about recipes I make in a slow cooker. I strongly believe that things should only be made in a slow cooker if it either enhances the recipe or the sheer convenience far outweighs a small compromise in the food.

As for Spaghetti Bolognese? It absolutely enhances it. Slow cookers on low cook maintain an even temperature lower than most stoves can manage. I truly believe to my very core that Bolognese Sauce made in the slow cooker is better.

This recipe makes a double batch but you could even triple it if you want! Because not only is Bolognese made for making in a slow cooker, it’s also made for freezing!

twirling Spaghetti Bolognese on a fork

taking a scoop of Spaghetti Bolognese
4.93 from 144 votes
Review Recipe

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 - 10
Author Nagi from RecipeTin Eats for Spend With Pennies
Classic Spaghetti Bolognese made in the slow cooker is extra rich and luscious, with beef that literally melts in your mouth!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 onions , diced
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup red wine such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot (or chicken or beef broth)
  • 2 x 28oz canned crushed tomato
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes , crushed
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti , dried

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  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until translucent and sweet - around 7 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same skillet and increase heat to high. Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go, until browned. Cook in 2 batches if your skillet is not large enough. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Return skillet to the stove, turn the stove down to medium and add red wine. Bring to simmer and scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet into the wine, then pour the mixture into the slow cooker.
  • Add remaining ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on Low for 6 hours.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the spaghetti until just before al dente (still slightly firm). Remove 1 mug of the water from the pot, then drain the pasta.
  • Return the pasta to the pot and add 2 1/2 - 3 cups of Bolognese Sauce, plus 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Toss gently over medium high heat for 2 minutes, or until the Sauce has thickened and coats the spaghetti. (Note 3)
  • Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe Notes

1. Bolognese Sauce freezes wonderfully! Allow to cool overnight then freeze in serving size portions.
2. This recipe is a double batch and makes enough for 8 to 10 servings.
3. This step of tossing the pasta with the sauce and some of the pasta water is called "emulsifying" and it's when the magic happens. The oil in the sauce and the starch in the pasta water come together to make the Bolognese Sauce thicker so it clings to every strand of the pasta. This is the proper Italian way of making pasta!
*Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 343, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 816mg, Potassium: 653mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 285IU, Vitamin C: 4.8mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 3.9mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Slow cooker spaghetti bolognese
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian

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About the author


Nagi is the voice, cook and photographer behind RecipeTin Eats, [Australia’s top food blog]. She believes that anyone can make amazing food with everyday ingredients, even if you’re short on time and cost conscious.

Nagi walked away from a corporate career to follow her passion for food. She truly believes that great food brings family and friends together, and more smiles into your life. She also firmly believes that whoever invented cheese deserves a Nobel Prize.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was delicious!! I did not add the cup of water the crock pot made parts watery already. Made lots going to freeze the extra. Needed my largest crockpot!5 stars

  2. Having been guilty for many years of cooking to date a pseudo English quickie 1.5 hr version of spag bol, I’ve just stumbled across your slow cooker variant. So very much looking forward in resurrecting our slow cooker pot and attempting a true ‘authentic bolognese sauce ” We usually use ingredients to accommodate just 2 servings which is pro rata to the ingredients you suggest for 8-10 servings. In going for batch cooking with your recipe ingredients we would  freeze 75% of the sauce.  To preserve the quality of this recipe can you advise the procedure and cooking of the  frozen sauce. Presumably the pasta would be cooked along side of the  frozen/defrosted sauce

    1. I would freeze just the meat mixture and warm in the microwave or stove top until hot. Enjoy Len!

  3. OOPS!!
    I wish I had seen the comment about the size of the crock pot before starting making it!!!

    I have a 3,5L one (which I believe is equivalent to 4quart), and once I poured the diced tomatoes, I realized my mistake… It was a little bit too small. It reached the top of the crock pot and I think it would have flowed out if I let it like this.
    So I removed 1,5L of the ingredients and I guess I’ll cook it later then mix it the leftovers.

    It’s cooking right now and can’t wait to try it tonight!!!

    See you in 6h!

  4. This was very good! I made some tweaks because I had some things to use up.

    Instead of ground beef I used a mix of ground turkey and hot Italian sausage, so omitted the salt and red pepper flakes.

    At the end, I threw in a couple handfuls of baby spinach, a health bump and added color.5 stars

  5. Do you know if the cooking water from gluten free pastas would create the same magic as wheat based pastas does?

  6. My husband made this for us for the very first time today. Hands down THE best spaghetti sauce I ever had! No more ragu and prego for us!

  7. Made according to recipe except I used one pound of of ground beef and one pound of ground pork. I also added 2 tbspn of balsamic vinegar and used Better Than Bouillon instead of bouillon cubes. Most Excellent!5 stars

  8. Hi

    I feel this is probably a daft question but if I’m halving the beef quantity, do I halve all others too? Just I know some recipes if you’re halving the meat quantity some others stay the same.

    Thanks in advance! X

    1. You can half all of the ingredients but that would make a smaller amount of sauce so you’ll want to ensure you’re using a small slow cooker. You can also just make it with half of the meat to have more sauce (it will just have less meat in it).

    1. Hi Andrea, you could add the green peppers in step 4 but I would wait till closer to serving to add the mushrooms as they won’t need as much time to cook. You can definitely add them during step 4 thought, they will just be much softer.

  9. Another delicious recipe from Nagi at RecipeTInEats! I followed it as written, except also added very finely chopped carrots (2) and 2 sticks of celery at the beginning. After about 4 hours it looked dry and was catching on the sides a bit, so added in 700ml of sugo/passata/tomato puree , cooked for another two hours and it was magic. Excellent!5 stars

  10. I apologize if I missed this somewhere but what size crock pot is required. Im a little nervous mine is a bit small for as full batch. Mine is 3.5Q has anyone tried full batch with this size?

    1. It might be a “tiny” bit tight for 3.5 quarts, but may just fit Lauren. Let us know if you try it!

      1. I decided to half the recipe since it’s better to be safe than sorry. The beef is browning right now! :D I will come back with a rating and anything I notice about slow cooking times etc while do said half batch.

        1. Update on half batch. I cooked it for 5 hours on low keeping a eye on the meat and it turned out wonderfully. Probably could have done 6 hours but I was hungry and this smelled divine. This sauce is amazing and I’ll be adding it to my staples. thank you!5 stars

          1. Thanks so much for coming back and letting us know how it turned out, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    1. I haven’t tried it in the IP. I do make a spaghetti sauce in the IP and as long as you ensure to scrape off any brown bits, I think it would work. Let us know how it goes.

      1. Tried this recipe recently and it was so so good! The whole family loved it.

        I was hoping to make it for dinner tomorrow, however I’m starting work quite early. Is it ok to make it all up this evening and then store overnight in the fridge ready to put on tomorrow morning?

  11. If you make half the sauce size how much would you decrease the slow cook time? Also by half? Thank you.

    1. I haven’t tried halving this recipe so I can’t say for sure. The time allows for the flavors to blend.

  12. This isn’t spaghetti Bolognese, an Italian wouldn’t dream of using Worcestershire sauce or chilli

  13. Tried this spag bol, I used my home grown tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme and oregano plus a carrot and it turned out fabulously!4 stars

    1. Hi Kelly, I would add them towards the end. You could add them in the beginning but they will be very soft by the time you are ready to serve it!

  14. Love the sauce make about once a month but how to get prepped in 20 minutes? It takes me about an hour5 stars

    1. Way too heavy on the dried oregano, dried thyme and bay for my taste, but I’m used to making Bolognese with carrot and celery, parsley and basil, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Am going to add 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and may add an additional pound of meat or even some additional tomato sauce (passata) to see if I can tone down the dried spices. I used 1 teaspoon of chili flakes and like that heat level.3 stars

      1. Based on your comment, I reduced the oregano to 2 tsp and still found it very oregano forward. Otherwise a great recipe, but I’ll adjust the spices accordingly next time.

    1. Hi Chloe, you could leave them out or try replacing it with beef stock. Let us know how it turns out!

  15. we are in the process of renovating our kitchen and I don’t have access to a stovetop , is it possible just to put all ingredients in the slow cooker?

    1. We haven’t tried it directly in the slow cooker but it should work. It may require a little longer to cook fully though.

    1. We LOVED this sauce. It’s been a while since I’ve made it so I can’t remember how much we got out of it. It would be enough for to make a lasagna with, right? My hubby wants to try it that way

  16. Followed this recipe to a tee…with the exception to the garlic. I doubled the garlic because, well, I love garlic! This was the best recipe I’ve ever made that didn’t come from Mom! Thank you!5 stars

  17. I made it today for dinner and it was absolutely delicious. Everyone in my family repeated a plate…5 stars

  18. This sauce is absolute perfection. I personally leave out the sugar, and it’s not needed, in my opinion. The first time I made it, I didn’t have a dry red wine, so I did 1/3 c each of port, chardonnay and beef broth, and it turned out wonderfully, so don’t be afraid to get creative with it. This is incredible in a lasagna also.

  19. When I read over the ingredients of this Bolognese recipe, I was a bit leery. No carrot? No pork? No milk? No cinnamon? Well I made this tonight and it is not an authentic Bolognese sauce. I agree with another review, this is just a meat sauce. I was disappointed and will not make this again.3 stars

  20. Hi I was wondering if I could use a 6.5L slow cooker to make the sauce? Because that’s all I have.


  21. Hi ! When you transfer the meat to the slow cooker, do you drain the fat or transfer that into slow cooker too?


    1. Hi Natalie, when making this recipe the meat we used didn’t have a lot of fat so we didn’t bother but if you find yours does you can definitely drain it before transferring it over.

  22. This recipe looks perfectly fine. However, it’s just standard spaghetti meat sauce. This is not a Bolognese. True Bolognese sauce has pork, cream, and carrot in it.

    1. You could definitely add pork and carrot to the slow cooker. That’d be delicious! You could try replacing all or part of the pasta water with cream as well Nunya!

  23. This is my absolute go-to recipe. So easy, so tasty, so so good.. Food prep is crazy easy, the slow cooker does all the hard work and you get to enjoy the delicious aroma as it fills your home. Thank you for this incredible recipe x5 stars

  24. Been meaning to leave a comment as this is my go-to recipe for SpagBol! It is fabulous. If you’re thinking about trying it out, DO! It has ruined me and my family for any other sauce. Also freezes well if you somehow don’t want to eat it all week. Thanks for posting this!5 stars

  25. I have made this once before and I’m making it again tonight! It is incredibly easy but most importantly, the taste is perfect! Wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing!!!

  26. This is incredible! I make spag bol at least once a fortnight, thought I’d try and find a slow cooker recipe, and wow this is tasty as heck.

  27. I’ve been searching for the best bolognese sauce recipe for a long time. This is “the one”.
    Taste was incredible. Everyone loved it! Will definitely making it again! Thank you for sharing5 stars

  28. Hi Nagi, I was wondering how to make the meat more fine and oily like the good restaurants. I’ve not tried this recipe yet but planning on it this weekend. When I’ve made Bolognese before in the slow cooker the beef tends to remain stringy like it is in the pack. I’ve tyres chopping it up first. Any advice please?

      1. Could you substitute the tomatoes for peeled San Marzano’s, spending the first few minutes breaking them up in the slow cooker before covering?

  29. This looks delicious & I’m anxious to make it. Recipe calls for 1/2 pound of dry pasta yet it says it serves 8-10 people. Is the pasta amount correct?

    1. The sauce makes enough for 8-10 servings. 8oz spaghetti should give you 4 cups of cooked pasta. If you prefer a bigger portion of pasta, you can certainly increase the pasta.

  30. This is my go-to spaghetti recipe! It’s by far the best I’ve had, and the whole family loves it! We always have enough for two meals, so I save half in the freezer for another day! I’ve made it for several guests, and it always gets devoured.5 stars

  31. I have been making this regularly for over a year now. I feel bad for not commenting before now because this has become my go-to bolognese. It is literally amazing every time. Everyone always loves it. I have shared this recipe with friends. Give it a try, follow the recipe, you won’t be disappointed.5 stars

    1. No worries Beigewood! We are just glad you have been enjoying it! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Love this recipe. I swear it tastes just like my Nanna’s Bolognese, she always made for all the kids when we would come over. I do a double recipe every time, so we have a few meals to freeze. I double everything accept for the tomatoes and wine. I do a cup and a half of wine, and add as many cans of tomatoes as will fit in my crockpot. Usually it’s two or three cans. Absolutely delicious and super handy to keep in the freezer.5 stars

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe Hannah! Having this in the freezer would be super handy for busy nights!

  33. This is my favourite Bolognese recipe ever! Been making it for a while now, and was curious, the nutritional info listed, does that include the calories for the pasta, or just the sauce alone?
    Thanks!5 stars

  34. Great recipe!

    I did make a few alterations. I used stew meat instead of ground beef do after browning it, put it in the pressure cooker for about 10 minutes along with some sliced baby carrots.

    After it was done, I mixed all the remaining ingredients in the pressure cooker and pressure cooked it all together for 5 minutes then put it on to slow cook for the afternoon.

    Even before it was done, I had to sample it….WOW! The meat become exceptionally tender and provides a lovely textural contrast to the sauce.

    1. Thanks for sharing this Justin! I am going to have to try making this in my instant pot now, I love the idea of your addition of stew meat!

    1. The cooking time will remain the same if you half the recipe. You’ll want to ensure your slow cooker is 1/2 full for best results. Enjoy Danielle!

  35. Hi! This recipe looks yummy and I’m going to give it a go, I would usually put it on before work and eat as soon as I get in but my working day is 10.5 hours, would that be ok? Don’t want to come back and it’s reduced to nothing!

  36. I really want to try this, but I’m wondering what type of onion you used. There can be a big difference between white, yellow, and sweet onions! (Though I also have to wonder if shallots would make a good choice, since they retain their flavor so nicely!) Ultimately I’d want to go by the book the first time, however, so I’d appreciate your input!

  37. All of our family enjoyed this recipe, it tasted delicious. Better than the bbc one I was using previously, this one has a richer, meatier flavour!5 stars

  38. This is hands down one of my favorite recipes! I first found the recipe about a year ago and after I first made it, my boyfriend and I LOVED it! It’s so simple to make and it smells heavenly as it cooks! It’s become a staple in our house!

  39. I really liked this one the first time I tried it. Now I love it because I replaced the hamburger with Italian sausage and bacon. The only thing to remember is not to add any salt as the sausage and bacon have enough.4 stars

  40. This was the first slow cooker bolognese I have made and only the third thing I’ve made in it ever. I halved the recipe, sautéed carrots and celery with the onion, used one beef OXO cube and one chicken stock pot (in place of the wine) and added mushrooms and peas at the end (with some water as it was a bit thick). I’m quite fussy and especially with Italian food but it was so delicious and wholesome and an amazingly easy recipe. Thanks very much, can’t wait to try the rest of your slow cooker meals!5 stars

  41. I made this recipe and it’s simply the best sauce I’ve ever made or tasted. I will be making this many times.5 stars

  42. This recipe is amazing! It is easy to put together and the crock pot does the work! I will definitely be making it again. My family loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  43. would this work with some stew meat or a cut up Chuck roast, I had a wonderful braised beef Bolognese that was amazing and trying to replicate in crockpot.

    1. I have only made this recipe as written, but that does sound super delicious! You may want to cook it a bit longer to make sure the beef is tender.

  44. So excellent! Easy. Made it for a work potluck and received so many compliments. People who normally do not eat pasta or tomatoes were taking it home. Making it for my husband’s fishing trip. Stupendous!!5 stars

  45. Hi there, when you add the 3 cups of sauce at the end to the pasta, should that be the entire amount of sauce left in the slow cooker. This is the only step that confused me.

  46. Cut up turkey patties I had in freezer vs beef and it still had a great depth of flavor. This will be my go to sauce recipe. Thank you5 stars

  47. I won’t be making this again. I expected a better result after reading good reviews,  but I was disappointed. I followed recipe exactly, as I usually do on trying a recipe for the first time (left out the red pepper flakes, which were optional). I can’t say exactly what was off, just not the delicious sauce I was expecting. 2 stars

  48. Hi Nagi!
    I’m Italian and I ends up on your receipt and… yes!!! that is a good bolognese sauce :D
    however I would like to give you a tips (but I believe you know that already xD):
    Is much better if you use proper beef stock instead of the beef bouillon cubes. Do a stock required just a pot on the stove and forget about it for few hours and you’ll get a much better result.
    And to give it my mum twist: Add carrots and celery with the onion before to add the meat, and after the meat add Green Peas (so yummy!!! :Q____)
    In the end this is a gorgeous receipt!!!
    ITALIANS APPROVE!!! :D :D :D5 stars

  49. 3 bullion cubes and a teaspoon of salt is quite a lot of sodium. I wonder if I could add some sodium free stock, or would that make it too thin? I add pasta water and it makes my sauce taste like tomato soup! I can’t wait to try this tho…any suggestions anyone?

  50. Found this recipe a year ago and it’s been our go-to sauce ever since! I do cut way back on the pepper flakes. So good, we’re craving it over using the grill today!5 stars

  51. This sauce is absolutely delicious! Easy to make, and only takes a few minutes to prep. Couple of things, I made this recipe as per instructions, but when it came to adding the wine to deglaze the pan, there wasn’t anything to deglaze. Maybe because I use a nonstick pan or maybe my beef wasn’t as lean, I don’t know. But I simmered the wine as it said to, and then added it to the slow cooker. Also, I thought I had beef bouillon cubes, turns out I was wrong LOL. I just left them out. The end result was fabulous as I had expected. No one missed the cubes, and no one knew I had nothing in the pan to deglaze LOL. I did have to add more salt. I checked the sauce when it had 2 hours left to go, to check seasonings. It did need more salt, and maybe that’s because I didn’t have the bouillon cubes. But you know what I always say about salt & pepper, you really just need to add that to your tastes. My whole family loved this sauce, and we are having it for left overs again tonight. I served it with some garlic & cheese ciabatta rolls.5 stars

  52. Hi There.

    The recipe sounds AMAZING, however, I do have one simple (maybe silly) question.

    As this recipe serves 8-10 people, if i wanted to half this recipe, would i only half the 2 lb ground beef portion? Is there anything else you suggest to half?

    1. Great question Kerri! I suggest you halve all ingredients to make a half portion. That said, the leftovers of this Bolognese taste even better, so you may want to make the whole recipe and keep the other half for another day :)

    1. You could thicken it with a bit of cornstarch or flour slurry. You mix cornstarch (or flour) with water, then add it to the sauce and let it heat up and thicken.

  53. I did not realize how spicy this recipe would be with the two teaspoons of red pepper flakes. It’s crazy spicy and my throat is burning every time I swallow and I love spicy food. I would like to avoid wasting the big pot of it. What should I do to cut the spice to avoid tossing the whole pot? Simply writing “optional” is not enough information in the recipe. For those who don’t cook with red pepper flakes often it’s misleading. I’m very sorry to report, but this recipe was awful awful!!!

    1. Sorry you found it spicy, we do love the pepper flakes in our family and find it has a kick but isn’t super spicy to our tastes. If you’d like to tame down the spice in the pot you’ve already made, perhaps you can create another recipe of the ingredients without the flakes and combine the two.

  54. Made this today. I added to it a pound of mild Italian sausage [brouned]. I also added a little more of spices, onion, garlic and wine because I added sausage. It was totally awesome. My husband overate and wants it again tomorrow night. 5 stars

  55. Could I make this recipe in my three quart slow cooker? Looks so great and I’m so excited to try it but I live in a Tony place and can only fit a 3 quart slow cooker :/

  56. Deborah

    I followed the recipe to the tee. The sauce was watery due to the use of canned crushed tomatoes. I prefer sauce as pictured, thick and hardy. The flavor was good, however l’ll be using 3 – 14 oz. cans of tomato sauce and 1- 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes (drained). To help stretch the dollar alittle as some of us need to do, you can use 1 1/2 pounds ground beef and 8 to 10 oz’s. lentals soaked over night.

  57. Morning! This was a HIT… a huge hit! Even with the picky eaters!! Found your recipe via Pinterest and had just been waiting to make it. So yummy! I used 2.5# of ground bison and 1# of chorizo as my protein, definitely added the 2 tsp of red pepper flake but ‘tripled’ everything else and made a nice full crockpot! I also served it over spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Perfect dinner! Might have to have a bowl for breakfast…yummmmm! 5 stars

  58. This is the best bolognese I’ve ever had and we make a big batch at least once a month and freeze the leftovers or make lasagna. It makes the absolutely best lasagna. 5 stars

  59. This was sooooooooo good! I used this as the sauce in my Christmas lasagna and everyone loved it. This recipe has won a spot in my recipe binder, and it being shared with several family members that needed to have it. :)5 stars

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for the kind words and the spot in your recipe binder!

    1. Yes, 80/20 is fine. If you find you have a lot of fat in the bottom, you can drain the beef before continuing with the recipe.

    1. The beef I use is fairly lean so there isn’t much to drain so I don’t bother. I don’t get really lean, I get “normal” but not one that is super fatty i.e. pink colour which = lots of fat. Hope that helps! If yours is very fatty you can certainly drain it.

  60. I want to make this next week. Do you add the pasta water to the full pot of sauce, and then add some sauce to the noodles? I plan to freeze the extra sauce, if we don’t devour it all. :)

  61. I was wondering why you suggest a full bodied wine such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot? 
    I only have a Shiraz Cabernet would this work or would I be better off using beef stock?
    Can’t wait to cook this today 

  62. Beautiful! Adding the sauce to the spaghetti really takes this to another level. Will never spoon sauce on top of plain  spaghetti again!5 stars

  63. Really wonderful recipe with deep, rich flavors developed during the slow cooking. I used red pepper flakes, but will reduce the amount to a scant teaspoon the next time – just to make it a tad less intense – but delicious nonetheless!

    I make spiral veggie noodles to cut the calories with this meal. Squash is great for this. It’s wonderful to come home after a long day at work and have a complete nourishing meal about 8 minutes – between cooking the veggie noodles and heating the frozen sauce. This will be one of my go-to recipes for the future!5 stars

  64. This is our go to pasta sauce for spaghetti, ziti, lasagna! Rich & flavorful! I add fresh, sauteed mushrooms. Thank you, Holly!5 stars

  65. Great recipe. The tastiest spag bol I have tried and the only one my partner will now eat! I halve the amount and it makes enough for 4/5 people. I also add some diced carrot (straight into the slow cooker) and chopped smoked bacon (which I fry first) to give a deeper flavour.4 stars

    1. I am so glad you two like the recipe Georgina! I love the idea of adding smoked bacon for an extra flavor dimension!

  66. Absolutely delicious!  I’m not sure if I misread the recipe, but 1/2 lb. of spaghetti noodles didn’t seem like enough.  I figured maybe the sauce was a double batch and you froze half of it? Anyway, I cooked another 1/2 lb. of spaghetti noodles and it was super yummy.  My husband said it was better than what we normally get at the Italian restaurant we go to. Thanks for sharing the recipe!5 stars

  67. This looks amazing! Would I be able to brown the beef and cook the onion from the night before to make it easier? I start work really early so don’t want to wake up even earlier.

  68. You mentioned we could use chicken or beef broth instead of wine. Would you recommend chicken or beef broth to replace the wine?

  69. I made this last night and it was amazing! My family liked it better than how I make spaghetti sauce. LOL!

  70. Since this recipe makes a double batch, if I want to cut it in half (meaning the serving size will be 4-5 instead of 8-10), what would be the cook time be? Should I halved that too? Thank you!

    1. The cooking time will remain the same if you half the recipe. You’ll want to ensure your slow cooker is 1/2 full for best results.

  71. HI, you have us reserve 1 cup of pasta water but only use 1/2- what happens to the other 1/2 cup-anything? Is it added to the unused sauce that’s going to be frozen?

  72. Hi, I Ann currently making this recipe! I made it a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with it, spaghetti bolonese being my favourite dish! I just wanted to know how many calories this dish is as I am currently keeping track of my Calorie intake? Thanks

  73. Hi,

    Two q’s:

    Do I drain the liquid/fat after browning the meat before transferring to the slow cooker?

    And, do I drain the liquid from the canned crushed tomatoes before transferring to the slow cooker?

    1. If using a fairly lean beef, there isn’t much to drain so I wouldn’t bother. Crushed tomatoes are different than diced tomatoes in that they’re almost like a sauce in a way so you wouldn’t want to drain it.

    1. If using a lean meat you shouldn’t have much to drain. If you find you have quite a bit of fat you could certainly drain some of it off.

  74. I have been making this recipe ever since I found your post. Its the best. It has such great flavor. I always make a lot so I can freeze it to have later. Tanks for sharing this.

  75. This looks delish! It’s cooking in my Instant Pot right now (slow cooker setting). I added some diced carrots. Will add some chopped mushrooms during the last 30 min along with chopped spinach (my husband loves plenty of veggies in every meal). Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  76. My husband is allergic to onions. Do you think it will greatly affect the taste if I leave them out? I love onions, it’s so hard to cook without them..

  77. Is half a pound of spaghetti enough?? Looks like it makes a lot of sauce. And my family loves pasta. Should I double the recipe?? Want to make this ASAP, I love Bolognese..
    Thanks for your help

    1. The sauce makes enough for 8-10 servings. 8oz spaghetti should give you 4 cups of cooked pasta. If you prefer a bigger portion of pasta, you can certainly increase the pasta.

  78. I made this a week or so ago, it was so good and the kidlets loved it too. We froze the leftover sauce and thawed it for dinner last night, and it was just as good if not better. New hit in our rotation and a new slow cooker recipe, win-win for us. Thank you for sharing.

  79. I cooked it today in our slow cooker exactly as you make it and it turned out to be fabulous !
    My son loved it and had 3 helpings . Thank you for a great recipe

    1. I was wondering the same thing! To be a traditional bolognese sauce, milk is usually added! Otherwise, it is just a meat sauce for spaghetti. But it still sound delicious, so I’m going to try it!

  80. My instincts say to leave the crock pot uncovered so the sauce reduces, but is that what I actually should be doing?

  81. Hi! Making this now…do I need to mix the items in the crockpot? My meat and onions are on the bottoms and all the seasonings are on top of the tomato sauce.


  82. I’m not a fan of chunky tomatoes. Will this recipe work if i blended up the run tomatoes till smooth? Also how would fresh basil work? I only ask as I have some in my garden. Thanks a lot

  83. I just made this and it was wonderful! Once I had everything in the slow cooker we headed to the pool and boy did it smell amazing when we came home. My youngest daughter even loved it and she normally eats butter and parmesan only on her pasta. The wine that I used was a Lambrusco. I can’t thank you enough!

  84. What if u don’t use the wine which one u think is will b better flavor the chicken or beef broth .

  85. My husband said it’s the best sauce I’ve made! Rich and flavorful. Mix in cavatappi pasta and loved it!

  86. I just cooked and assembled everything in my Crock Pot. Will update you with the results…my neighbor is waiting also!!

  87. You are so correct about using the starchy water from cooking the pasta, that’s liquid gold, people! Makes all the difference in pasta dishes

  88. I’m making this today since it’s supposed to be over 100 degrees here today and I don’t wanna heat up the house. Only half of the recipe since I only have a pound of meat… and tomato sauce since I’m outta tomatoes and tomato paste but I’m sure it’ll be amazing anyway!!! Thanks for the recipe and the tips to go with it.

  89. When you say it freezes well, do you mean even after the spaghetti is added, or should you freeze jus the meat mixture?

  90. it doesn’t. Say to drain the ground beef before transferring it to the crockpot. I am assuming you need to drain the beef. What’s the best kind of ground beef really lean or some with more fat?

    1. Hi Kelly! The beef I use is fairly lean so there isn’t much to drain so I don’t bother. I don’t get really lean, I get “normal” but not one that is super fatty i.e. pink colour which = lots of fat. Hope that helps!

  91. I have 2 questions. When making the Bolognese sauce, you are draining the beef after browning and before adding to the slow cooker, right? And secondly, what slow cooker do you have that also sautes?? Would love to look into one! Thanks!

        1. It’s pricey for sure… it’s a slow cooker and pressure cooker all in one and definitely not required for this recipe. :)

  92. A discovery I made while doing something very similar to this; add about 1/2 pound of browned bulk Italian sausage to each pound of ground beef. Obviously it will be a bit thicker but it will make possible an awesome “Sloppy Giuseppe” sandwich.

    1. I use the slow cooker frequently when I’m not going to be home (either at work or at soccer practice etc). I love coming home to a ready meal! :)

    2. I use it so it won’t heat the house up. I live in West Texas and it frequently gets above 100 degrees here. ☺

    3. For the safety and convenience that you can leave the house and return to a cooked meal at the end of the day. You don’t have to worry about stirring, over cooking burning your meal.

  93. I made this Monday night. Everyone loved it. My son asked me, “Why has your food been so good this week?”

    1. Yes, you’re going to want a full bodied wine such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot (skip the pinot noir & shiraz in this recipe).

  94. If you wish to avoid pasta, try this with spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is very versatile and is a favorite of mine.

  95. Sounds delicious! I will definitely make this. I have not cooked with red wine before and wondering if you could suggest one that you like to use? Thanks!

    1. Yes, you’re going to want a full bodied wine such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot (skip the pinot noir & shiraz in this recipe).

    1. Yes, you’re going to want a full bodied wine such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot (skip the pinot noir & shiraz in this recipe).

  96. I do love a good slowly cooked ragu and agree that a slow cooker is such a useful tool for making them. It is also nigh on impossible to over cook a sauce like this in the slow cooker.

    1. My slow cooker is one of my favorite kitchen tools! It definitely keeps this recipe perfect, and not over cooked in the slightest! Thanks for stopping by Helen!

  97. Oh. . .spaghetti bolognese. . .you are such a favorite of the hubby’s. When we lived in Africa of all places. . .the Mr. developed a slight (okay maybe it was intense) addiction to spaghetti bolognese. It always seemed to magically appear on the table no matter the restaurant. I must admit that I rarely cook it (does that make me a bad wife?) because I try to avoid pasta in our house; however, the Mr. has been on assignment in Shanghai. . .so I think this would be a welcome surprise (he’s sick of the gobs of Chinese food he has been eating at every meal) during his visits home.

    1. No, that doesn’t make you a bad wife Lynn! Pasta is one of those foods that if you don’t have the willpower to avoid it, you almost can’t make it {that is the case here! HA!}

      1. Spaghetti squash or cauliflower are good alternatives too. I just got a spiralizer that is supposed to turn zucchini into ‘pasta’ – haven’t tried it yet. Lots of alternatives.

    2. There are gluten free flours or grain pastas which are much healthier and lighter. Such as spelt pasta. Quinoa pasta. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative also.

  98. Would this work in a rice cooker? I have setting for slow cooking, I will try and see because that looks soooooooo good!!!

    1. I haven’t tried it that way so I am not quite sure, but if you try it would you please come back and let us know how it turned out in a rice cooker?

          1. Thank you! I was wondering the same thing. My rice cooker can also be used as a 4qt slow cooker. I thought this might be the best recipe to try as my first slow cooker recipe in it.5 stars

  99. I really need to purchase a slow cooker. My sis made hers in her slow cook too and it came out sooooo good!