It might technically be spring, but it sure doesn’t feel like it yet. Enter: simple weeknight slow cooker bolognese featuring a hearty amount of veggies balanced with tomatoes and a touch of mascarpone cheese.
There are a few easy steps to make this slow cooker bolognese a success:
- Sautee the beef for a nice crispy exterior.
- Mince all the veggies in seconds using a food processor.
- Use good quality tomatoes (I pick San Marzano whenever possible, it’s worth the extra dollar.)
- Let the slow cooker do it’s magic.
I have been dreaming of this meal for the last year, and now it’s finally here.
My mom made a variation of this recipe one weekend in March of
If you haven’t used mascarpone before, think of it as the sweet and elegant sister to cream cheese. It’s soft and spreadable, and has the tang of cream cheese, but with a touch of sweetness. It can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores by the cream cheese or sour cream.Print
Slow Cooker Bolognese
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion, minced (about 1 onion) *see note
- 1/2 cup celery, minced (about 3 celery stalks) *see note
- 1/2 cup carrot, minced (about 3 large carrots) *see note
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (2 garlic cloves) *see note
- 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering.
- Add beef and sausage and flatten to cook until the bottom is browned, about 3 minutes. Flip in sections, chopping into bite-sized pieces. Cook until no longer pink. Drain fat and add meat to slow cooker.
- Add all remaining ingredients except mascarpone to the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
- Just before serving, stir in mascarpone cheese.
To save time, mince the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in the food processor by pulsing 8-10 times.
The mascarpone can be substituted with cream cheese.