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5 from 5 votes

Bolognese Sauce Recipe (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

This classic rich meaty Bolognese Sauce is made quicker in an Instant Pot, but can also be made in your slow cooker or on the stovetop.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time1 hr 55 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 463kcal


  • 6 Quart Instant Pot, Large Slow Cooker, or Large Dutch Oven


  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • cups onion, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, dice
  • ¾ cup celery, diced
  • 4 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef chuck
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or Merlot
  • 28 oz tomatoes, crushed
  • ¾ cup water*, see notes below for slow cooker and stovetop
  • ½ cup Flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or half & half

For Serving:

  • 1 lb wide noodle cooked pasta, tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettucine
  • ½ cup Parmesan, freshly grated, optional


  • Heat Instant Pot to highest Saute setting. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened and golden, about 8 minutes.
  • Add pancetta and saute 1 minute. Add ground chuck, ground pork, salt, and pepper and continue to saute until meat is brown and most of the juices have evaporated. If you have excess fat, carefully remove insert, drain and return to Instant Pot.
  • Add garlic and tomato paste and mix well, cooking about 2 minutes. Add red wine and simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until the wine has evaporated.
  • Add water (see note below for additional water need for slow cooker and stovetop), crushed tomatoes (including their juices), and ¼ cup parsley. Mix well and bring to a low boil. Place lid on Instant Pot, seal and set to high pressure for 22 minutes.
  • Quick release the pressure - be careful as very hot steam will quickly escape. Once the float drops on the release, about 12-13 minutes, carefully remove the lid.
  • Change Instant Pot setting to the low saute setting and bring to a low bubble. Continue to cook about 10 minutes, stirring to make sure all is well combined, and cook to the consistency you desire.
    In a slow cooker begin to cook on high for 2 hours and then cook on low for 4-5 hours.
    If cooking on the stovetop, cook on medium for 30-minutes, then reduce to low and simmer for another 2½ hours.
  • Stir in remaining parsley and heavy cream. Check seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Prepare a wide noodle pasta, serve with Bolognese Sauce, and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.


  • In a slow cooker or stovetop increase water to 1.5 cups
  • Serve with a wide flat pasta, tortellini or gnocchi
  • Freeze for up to 6-months
  • Refrigerate for 3-4 days
  • Nutrition facts do not include pasta and cheese 


Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1236mg | Potassium: 830mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2038IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 4mg