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How to cook the most delicious slow cooker spaghetti bolognese. This slow cooker spag bol is perfect for busy weeknights and incredibly simple to put together.
If you love a Bolognese, then you will love this slow cooked Bolognese that is loaded with onion, garlic, basil, oregano, carrots, and celery as well as lean minced beef.
Slow Cooker Spag Bol
If there is a meal from childhood that never seems to age and always has me licking my lips with excitement it is spaghetti Bolognese or as I always call it spag bol.
That slow cooked Bolognese sauce that is loaded over pasta of your choice. Then you add a little cheese and maybe have some garlic bread on the side, and you have the best comfort food ever.
But did you know that spaghetti sauce or Bolognese sauce as you might call it, tastes so much better when it is slow cooked rather than cooked fast on the stovetop?
An Italian will tell you, that you should spend hours watching over it and that the best ones are cooked slow so that they can simmer away for hours.
Whilst Italian grandmas have the time to do that, most of us are busy working and busy with our kids and don’t have the time for this and that is when slow cooked spaghetti Bolognese via the slow cooker makes a fantastic Plan B.
Today, I wanted to share with you a quick prep recipe for slow cooker spag bol that you can recreate at home in your slow cooker.
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Slow Cooker Mince Recipes
Over the next few days on Recipe This I am celebrating one of my favourite ingredients in the slow cooker and that is mince aka ground meat. I love how you can grab a cheap pack of it from the supermarket and use it to make your favourite comfort food and also have great variety too.
You can follow our slow cooker mince series below:
- Slow Cooker Cottage Pie
- Slow Cooker Shepherds Pie
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese (todays recipe)
- Slow Cooker Quorn Bolognese
- Slow Cooker Lasagne
- Slow Cooker Cumberland Pie
- Slow Cooker Mince & Dumplings
- Slow Cooker Mince Cobbler
You can also get all our slow cooker mince recipes here.
Can You Put Mince In Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can put mince in the slow cooker and its delicious. Just take a scroll through some of the slow cooker mince recipes mentioned above for the variety of ways you can cook mince in the slow cooker.
You can also make it even more simple by just adding mince and a jar sauce to the slow cooker and letting the slow cooker work its magic.
Can You Put Raw Mince Into A Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can put raw mince into a slow cooker. You can dump mince along with the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker together and then let the slow cooker cook the mince for you.
Do You Need To Brown Mince Before Slow Cooking?
It is NOT essential to brown mince first when slow cooking. You could simply load up raw mince into the slow cooker along with your carrots, celery and onion and the slow cooker will cook it altogether for you.
But of course, what you lose out on here, is the delicious flavour of the mince in the slow cooker, which you get from browning the mince and sauteing the onion.
Can You Overcook Bolognese In A Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can overcook Bolognese in the slow cooker, just like you could if cooking it on the stovetop. If slow cooker Bolognese is left for too long it will go dry and will not taste as nice as the Bolognese sauce that you are used to.
Though don’t worry we have the perfect spaghetti Bolognese slow cooker cook times so that you don’t have overcooked Bolognese.
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Slow Cooker Bolognese Ingredients
Mince – The most important ingredient is the minced beef, or ground beef as you may call it in the US. We used lean beef mince which is best for the slow cooker because there is a lot less fat and then it won’t make your spag bol taste greasy.
Pasta – You can serve any pasta below your Bolognese sauce. What we did was use some spaghetti and some linguine and did one lot with our quorn Bolognese and another lot with our minced beef Bolognese.
Veggies – I love the mix of carrots, celery, and onion that go into a classic Bolognese in the slow cooker. What is often missed out in British versions is the lack of celery and carrots, which you will always find in a true Italian one.
Garlic. Frozen garlic is a genius. I buy chopped garlic from the supermarket (usually Tesco or Iceland) and you can just add a little to a recipe without needing to peel and slice garlic.
Tomatoes – I also use both tinned tomatoes and tomato puree or as you might call it tomato paste. The tomato combo adds a delicious flavour to your Bolognese.
Seasoning – Then for seasoning we used salt, pepper, basil, and oregano.
Slow Cooker Mince Quantity – I often get asked can you make a spaghetti Bolognese slow cooker recipe with 500g of mince and the answer is YES. We usually use a 750g pack because there is 4 of us but you can easily downsize.
Slow cooker spag bol with Dolmio – If you would rather use Dolmio rather than tinned tomatoes then that is not a problem. Simply swap the tinned tomatoes for Dolmio of similar quantity.
Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this slow cooked spag bol recipe it has just been our Ninja Foodi. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of slow cooker recipes and also great for easy Sunday lunches.
Plus, we recommend you head over to our slow cooker recipes category as we have more than 100 tried and tested slow cooker recipes and have been using slow cookers for 18 years.
How To Cook Spaghetti Bolognese In A Slow Cooker?
- Prep. Start by peeling and dicing your onion and carrots and clean and dice your celery.
- Sauté. Add your veggies and frozen garlic and sauté with a little extra virgin olive oil. Then brown your mince.
- Dump. Next dump in the rest of your ingredients (apart from the spaghetti) stir and then slow cook on high for 4 hours.
- Soak. A fantastic trick is load dried spaghetti into water and it will turn it from dried pasta into fresh pasta. This then speeds up the cook time of your spaghetti and you can simply load it into the microwave or the air fryer for a couple of minutes with some butter and it will be delicious.
- Stir. When the slow cooker is done, stir the slow cooker and serve your Bolognese sauce over your spaghetti.
And I am sure you can see why this recipe for spaghetti Bolognese in slow cooker is a true favourite of mine.
How Long Does Spag Bol In Slow Cooker Take?
Our spag bol slow cooker recipe takes JUST 4 hours on high or 7 hours if using the low setting. Unlike a lot of our other slow cooker mince recipes, you only need to dump the ingredients in the slow cooker once, then come back in four hours to stir and tuck into your Bolognese.
How Do You Thicken Spaghetti Bolognese In A Slow Cooker?
The easiest way to thicken slow cooked spaghetti Bolognese is to stir in a little mashed potato.
Mashed potatoes are a natural thickener, and you only need a small portion to thicken a mince dish.
What I do is freeze leftover mashed potatoes into little ice cubes and then I can just add in some frozen potatoes to a slow cooker dish, and I don’t have to worry about the meat not been thick enough.
Slow Cooker Pasta Bolognese
You can also go beyond spaghetti or linguine and serve your Bolognese over any of your favourite pastas. It’s a great way to use up leftovers and my favourite is to use some pasta twists or some butterfly pasta.
More Slow Cooker Dinners
- Slow Cooker Corned Beef Hash
- Slow Cooker Pork Leg Joint
- Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew
- Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- Slow Cooker Bacon Chops
- Slow Cooker Stovies
Your slow cooker spaghetti bolognese recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.
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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
- Peel and dice the onion and the carrots as well as cleaning and slicing the celery.
- Use the sauté function to sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery with extra virgin olive oil.
- Once they are sautéed add in the minced beef and brown all over but don’t cook.
- Then add everything else into the slow cooker (apart from the spaghetti) and mix well. Slow cook for 4 hours on high.
- Whilst the slow cooker is working its magic (about 30 mins before it finishes) soak in a bowl of cold water the pasta you are using. It will remove the starch and transform it into fresh pasta. Then warm up in the microwave for 2 mins with a little butter and seasoning.
- When the slow cooker is done, stir and then load the Bolognese over the spaghetti.