Slow cooker recipe: Spaghetti bolognese

If you saw the lamb stew recipe recently here you will know how simple it is to create a good meal with the use of a slow cooker. This is a recipe with the method for creating a nice bolognese using just two pots including one for the pasta. Like the idea? Read on.

The slow cooker method creates wonderfully infused and warming food that can be frozen if required or just refrigerated then eaten for a couple of days nom nom nommmm, the more it is cooked on low heat the better the end results are 😉

Preparation time is just 10-15 minutes then you can ‘set and forget’ to come back to a very tasty and nutritious meal.

Ingredients: Bolognese

  • 2 tablespoons of olive, vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 2 onions or 4 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1kg (2 lbs) of lean minced beef
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) of red wine (optional)
  • 2 x cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x can of baked beans or red kidney beans
  • 1 cup (250 ml) of beef stock
  • 6 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 large carrot (chopped into small chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon of beef stock powder or crushed beef bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano 
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil (or fresh basil, finely chopped)
  • 5 bay leaves (whole)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour (to thicken)
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Ingredients: Pasta

500 grams (17 ounces) of dried pasta, this come in many different styles due to regional or supply chain solutions.


Pop the oil into the bottom of the slow cooker then add all the ingredients starting off with the garlic and onions, then the meat, stock, vegetables, tomatoes and beans, tomato puree and then the cornflour, herbs with salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add the wine and fill the slow cooker vessel to the top with water.

Turn the slow cooker on to a low heat setting.

With a ladle, gently turn the food so it is all mixed up.

Wait for 15 minutes then ladle again and check there is enough water to reach the top of the inner ceramic pan..

Cooking time is approximately 4 hours but can be left longer, if you can do check the food every couple of hours with a gentle ladle action and check it is not drying out – the food will reduce down and thicken, this is fine and completely normal.

Pop the lid on and you can now leave the food in the slow cooker to cook

To serve:

With 500 grams (17 ounces) of dried pasta*, add to a pan of boiling water with a little salt and 3 tablespoons of oil (to prevent the pasta from sticking together). 

*If just for one or two people, two full cups of pasta is quite adequate as a (per person) serving.

Let the pasta boil for 3 minutes then reduce the heat so the water simmers away nicely..

Check the pasta at 10 minutes to see if cooked through and is of an Al dente texture (soft but not soggy)

Once the pasta is cooked, add to a bowl, then ladle on the bolognese, top with cheese, you can use regular cheese or the traditional Parmesan cheese.

If freezing, allow the pasta to cool then add to freezer-proof pots, it is easier to use a few smaller ones rather than one large container for ease.

You can also use the sauce for jacket potatoes as a filling, or even on toasted bread and of course with rice if you prefer.

I used the Morphy Richards slow cooker for this recipe, it is available from and being of a 3.5 litre (0.769 Gallon) capacity is perfect for this dish and some hungry mouths…

I hope you enjoy creating and subsequently eating this dish 🙂 

Keep an eye out for more recipes in time to come.

Thanks for reading!