slow cooker spag bol

Slow Cooker Spag Bol

Slow Cooker Spag Bol

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Slow Cooker Spag Bol
Slow Cooker Spag Bol


Slow-cooker Bolognese


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 smoked bacon rashers, chopped
  • 1 ½kg lean minced beef (or use half beef, half pork mince)
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • large glass red wine (optional)
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • cooked spaghetti, to serve
  • parmesan, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the bacon and mince in batches until browned. Add to your slow cooker.

  • STEP 2

    Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs, wine (if using), vinegar, sugar and seasoning to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours, then uncover, turn to High and cook for another hour until thick and saucy.

  • STEP 3

    Serve with cooked spaghetti and grated or shaved parmesan. To cook this entire recipe on the hob, check out our big-batch Bolognese recipe.


Spag bol (slow cooker)


  • 2 tsps Olive oil
  • 6 mushrooms diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 500g beef mince
  • 800g chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 75ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp basil


  • STEP 1
    Put 1 tsp of oil in to a large pan + add the mushrooms, carrot and garlic and gently cook for 3 minutes. Put in slow cooker once done
  • STEP 2
    Put the rest of the oil in the same frying pan and add the beef mince. Gently cook for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  • STEP 3
    Add the browned meat to the slow cooker with the vegetables.
  • STEP 4
    Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours

Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese


  • 350g Quorn Mince,
  • 2 tbsp olive oil,
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped/ 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 200g mushrooms finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 200ml boiling water
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup / 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp dried oregano / 1 tsp dried majoram

350g spaghetti (dried)fresh basil leaves, torn, for garnish

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Italian style hard cheese shavings to serve


Slow Cooker Spag Bol
Slow Cooker Spag Bol



  • STEP 1
    Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, carrot, celery and garlic gently for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes more.
  • STEP 2
    Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, red wine, dried herbs, tomato ketchup and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer gently for a further 8-10 minutes. Stir in the Quorn mince continue to cook over a low heat while you cook the spaghetti as per pack instructions, season to taste.
  • STEP 3
    Drain the spaghetti, spoon the bolognese sauce over the top and serve, sprinkle with some basil leaves and Parmesan or vegetarian Italian hard cheese shavings.


An easy slow cooker spaghetti bolognese recipe, perfect for busy weekdays or lazy weekends! It’s rich, tender, and oh so tasty!

There’s no browning required in this crockpot bolognese recipe, so just put all of your ingredients in your slow cooker, give it a stir, and switch on! I love minimal prep, maximum taste recipes like this.

This super tasty slow cooker spag bol is on a regular rotation in my house! The kids love it, the adults love it, everyone loves it! Therefore it’s a definite win in my book.

Cooking bolognese long and slow in a crockpot or slow cooker results in meltingly tender meat and a rich and flavourful sauce.

You just can’t beat it, especially when it’s served with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and garlic bread!


Here’s why this is the best slow cooker spaghetti bolognese recipe!

  • Dump and go slow cooker recipe.
  • Minimal hands on prep.
  • No browning required.
  • Perfect for batch cooking.
  • Freezer-friendly.


  • Beef Mince – it’s best to use lean steak mince (less than 5% fat), if you’re not browning the mince first.
  • Bacon – finely chopped streaky bacon adds a lovely salty flavour to the dish.
  • Onion, garlic, carrot, and celery for the soffrito base. Chop the vegetables as finely as you can, especially if you have fussy eaters in the house!
  • Passata – or use a tin of chopped tomatoes if you prefer a chunkier textured bolognese.
  • Tomato Puree – adds depth to the ragu sauce.
  • Sugar – to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Beef Stock Pot – there’s no need to dilute it with water as there is plenty of liquid in the recipe already.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – or use a splash of red wine.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – substitute with half a teaspoon of marmite for the same deep savoury flavour.
  • Milk – helps tenderise the meat and balances the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Herbs – bay leaves and oregano. Fresh or dried!
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning, and fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for garnish.
  • Spaghetti – or another long pasta


I use a Morphy Richards 3.5 litre slow cooker (they also do a 6.5-litre capacity one too). The 3.5-litre slow cooker is more than big enough to feed a family of 4-5 people, so this is the one I use on a day to day basis!

You’ll also need a vegetable peeler and chopping board!


  • This recipe doesn’t require browning of the vegetables and minced beef prior to cooking them in the slow cooker. Therefore, it’s best to use very lean minced beef (5% fat) so you don’t get a layer of fat on top of the sauce. You’ll also need to cut your vegetables as small as possible to ensure they become tender and ‘melt’ into the ragu during slow cooking. I use a mini chopper for this!
  • The minced beef will need to be broken up with a wooden spoon as you mix all of the ingredients together in the slow cooker. Don’t leave any large lumps lingering.
  • You can use dried or fresh herbs. If you’re using dried herbs, check the best before date! You don’t want to use stale tasting herbs that have been sitting in your cupboard for years.
  • The sugar is really important in this recipe as it helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Don’t skip it!
  • To thicken the sauce without using cornflour or thickening granules, take the lid off the slow cooker for the last hour of cooking!



Should you brown mince before adding to the slow cooker?

When mince cooks it releases fat and water which doesn’t evaporate when cooking in a crock pot, and so would simply sit on top of the sauce. Browning mince first means this liquid can be drained away before cooking. Additionally, the browning process gives the meat texture; raw mince in a slow cooker sauce becomes so soft that it loses structure.

Why is milk added to Bolognese sauce?

Milk is used to tenderise the meat and also to balance the acidity of the tomatoes in bolognese sauce, giving a greater depth of flavour.

Can I cook pasta in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can add the pasta to the bolognese sauce around 30 minutes before the end of cooking. Remember to add a little more liquid as the pasta will absorb some of the sauce during cooking.

What’s the difference between Bolognese sauce and meat sauce?

They are the same thing, bolognese is a sauce of ground beef or veal often combined with pork then cooked low and slow with tomatoes and seasoning. Meat sauce is exactly the same!

How do you store slow cooker Bolognese sauce?

Store the Bolognese sauce in an airtight container and it’ll stay fresh for three days in the fridge, or up to three months in the freezer. Reheat thoroughly before serving.


Slow Cooker Spag Bol
Slow Cooker Spag Bol



  • soffrito is a classic Italian cooking method used for making the base of a variety of sauces, it involves sauteing onion, celery and carrot in oil before adding other ingredients. This creates real depth of flavour in a dish. Ensure that the vegetables are very finely diced (pieces of ½ cm or less ideally) to get the best results and a smooth bolognese sauce.
  • Cornflour can be replaced with plain flour if required although reduce the quantity to 1 tbsp as wheat flours are heavier and less will be required to thicken the sauce.
  • Fork through the beef mince before cooking to break up any lumps of meat.
  • Use finely sliced pancetta if possible rather than the cubes as this will melt easily into the sauce and keep it smooth whilst getting the flavour of the cured pork.
  • Use good quality canned chopped tomatoes as they are a key part of the sauce, the finely chopped variety will help blend the ingredients together and create a smoother ragu.
  • Some canned tomatoes can have an acidic tang, even after slow cooking for hours, this can be mellowed by adding a little more sugar or a few tablespoons of milk.


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