Weeknight Pasta with Meat Sauce

I have been on the hunt for cheap yummy(at least semi-healthy) recipes to build up my repertoire for weeknight dinners. You know, since I am getting married and all.:) Anyway, I came across this recipe recently for slow cooker Bolognese sauce.

Usually I am not a huge slow cooker fan.

Slow cookers (aka Crock Pot) just seem a little too “becky home-ecky” to me.

Using a cast iron Le Creuset Dutch oven to make authentic pasta sauce seems so much more sophisticated (you know, like Ina Garten); but alas, I don’t have a Le Creuset Dutch oven and I am not as sophisticated as I would like to think I am.

I also picture myself much taller than I really am. Whenever I see myself in pictures I am always shocked at my short stature. But that’s another issue for another day.

And I certainly don’t have the luxury of having eight hours of time at home during the middle of the day to let it cook in the oven.

So I just whipped out my little slow cooker and cranked up the heat so it would cook while I was at work.

This sauce was really yummy. It’s definitely enough for two or three meals, unless of course you are feeding a small army.

And to make it a super quick meal, I actually made the rigatoni ahead of time. Drained off the water, tossed in a little parm, fresh frozen basil, olive oil and s/p. I stored the pasta in the frig overnight and then just let it come to room temp before dinner. Talk about easy!

Recipe courtesy of framedcooks.com

My notes are in green.

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced (garlic powder would work too because that’s alot of garlic! Folks, get out the garlic press!)
  • 3 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes


1. Cook beef in large skillet until browned.
2. Transfer to 5 quart slow cooker. Stir in all remaining ingredients, mix well.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. (I cooked mine on high for 5 hours. Worked great.)
4. Serve over your favorite pasta. Happy sigh.
photo by bigheartdiary.tumblr.com
Update: This sauce freezes really well. 

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