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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe is slow cooked to perfection for the best Italian meal. Enjoy this hearty Bolognese sauce for a great weeknight meal.

spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker with a wooden spoon
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Once you try this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese recipe, you are going to absolutely love it. Don’t let the word Bolognese intimidate you because this recipe is so very simple to make.

Slow Cooker Recipes save me from going through the drive-thru on a weekly basis. Cooking the Bolognese Sauce in the slow cooker gives it so much flavor. If you want a faster version try Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce.

What is Spaghetti Bolognese?

This is a meat based sauce for Italian recipes. It is a type of thick sauce with meat, tomatoes and spices. This sauce is simple tossed with spaghetti for a classic spaghetti recipe.


ground beef, onion, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaf, red wine
  • Ground Beef
  • Onion
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Minced Garlic
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Bay Leaf
  • Red Wine

For the full list of ingredients and recipe, scroll to the bottom for the recipe card.

Variation Ideas:

  • Change Meat – Feel free to use different types of meat to make this sauce. You can use bologna, veal, ground pork, ground turkey, or chicken. Cook the meat over medium heat before mixing with the sauce ingredients.
  • Seasoning – You can easily change the seasoning to what you prefer. Add in thyme, oregano, basil, cloves garlic, parsley to the mixture. Italian seasoning blends has these ingredients, but you can also add them separately.
  • Spicy Sauce – If you prefer to have a sauce that has an extra kick. Add in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
  • Creamy Texture – If you prefer a creamy texture and tastes, you can easily add in heavy cream or cream cheese. If you are adding in one of these ingredients, add it towards the end of the cooking time.
  • Vegetables – Feel free to sneak in vegetables to the sauce. We have chopped up carrots, celery and broccoli for flavor.
  • Noodles – We used spaghetti noodles in this recipe, but you can easily use other types of noodles.
  • Zucchini Noodles – Substitute the pasta for zucchini noodles to make it low carb. We also like using spaghetti squash. They are both great options and the great thing my kids will even this substitute.

How to Make Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce:

Cooked ground beef in a cast iron skillet

Step 1 – Brown Ground Beef – First, in a large skillet brown the ground beef.

Placing ground beef in the slow cooker with a spoon

Step 2 – Place beef in Slow Cooker – Add the browned ground beef to the slow cooker. I used a 6 quart slow cooker.

Adding the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker

Step 3 – Add remaining ingredients – Add in all the other ingredients, including onion and garlic. Except the pasta to the slow cooker.

Combining the ingredients in the slow cooker with a spoon

Step 4 – Cover and Cook – Stir the ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Stir to combine.

  • Step 5 – Cook Noodles – Meanwhile boil your spaghetti until al dente. Cook the noodles on medium high heat. I like to cook the noodles with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Step 6 – Mix in sauce – You can stir your pasta into your cooked Bolognese meat sauce. You can also serve the sauce on top of a plate of spaghetti.
  • Step 7 – Serve and Enjoy – We like to top with grated parmesan cheese.

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe Tips:

  • Cook Ground Beef – We recommend cooking the ground beef separately in large skillet over medium heat. Cook beef before adding to the slow cooker. There are crock pots that you can cook the beef directly in the slow cooker.
  • Combine Ingredients – After cooking the beef, mix with the other ingredients. At this time, do not mix in noodles.
  • Cooking Noodles – Cook the noodles separately in a large pot or dutch oven. Make sure to cook the noodles according to the package and al dente. This will prevent the noodles from being mushy.
  • Cooking Sauce – You can cook the bolognese sauce on high or low. We like to start it in the morning and it is ready to eat when we are home in the evenings.
  • Noodles – We like to mix the noodles with the sauce, but you can easily keep everything separately. If you plan on freezing this recipe, I would keep it separate.
Spaghetti Sauce in the crock pot

What to Serve with Spaghetti Bolognese?

We usually serve traditional sides when we make Spaghetti Bolognese. These are some of our favorites.

  • Caesar SaladWe love to make a delicious caesar salad to make with this spaghetti recipe. It is easy to make it is a light side to serve with this rich and hearty sauce.
  • BreadsticksEveryone will love it when you serve this Garlic Bread Cheese Sticks Recipe. It is the perfect combination of garlic bread and the gooey deliciousness of cheese sticks.
  • Roasted Vegetables – Make a side of roasted broccoli or asparagus to complete your meal. It is a light side dish and pairs perfectly with this spaghetti recipe.
Bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese

Can you Freeze Spaghetti Bolognese?

Yes, you can easily freeze this Bolognese Sauce recipe. We recommend keeping the sauce separate from the noodles as the noodles do not freeze well.

Store in a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. For more freezer tips, check out Can you Freeze Spaghetti Sauce to learn more.

How to Store Leftovers:

If we are going to eat the spaghetti sauce in the next few days, we will store in the refrigerator. It stores great in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

To reheat, we simply put in on the stovetop to reheat. You can also reheat in the microwave but heat in 1 minute intervals to ensure that it is heated thoroughly.

Try These Other Easy Spaghetti Recipes:

We love hearing from you. If you make this crockpot Bolognese recipe, make sure to leave us a comment or a star review.

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

5 from 6 votes
Slow cooker bolognese sauce recipe is slow cooked to perfection for the best Italian meal. Enjoy this hearty bolognese sauce for a great weeknight meal. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Cuisine Italian
Course Main Course
Calories 391


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  • In a large skillet brown the ground beef. Drain off the excess grease.
  • Add the browned ground beef to a slow cooker.
  • Add in all the other ingredients to the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Serve over your favorite type of pasta and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5-7 days.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 391kcal, Carbohydrates 19g, Protein 23g, Fat 23g, Saturated Fat 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 81mg, Sodium 768mg, Potassium 1063mg, Fiber 4g, Sugar 10g, Vitamin A 671IU, Vitamin C 20mg, Calcium 101mg, Iron 5mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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