Wednesday 24 February 2021

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 
This Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe I am sharing with you today is a hearty and rich meat sauce exploding with wonderful Italian flavors! Unlike the traditional Bolognese sauce, you can have it on the table in less than an hour, I kid you not!

Traditionally a Bolognese Sauce needs to be slow simmered on top of the stove for several hours in order for the flavors to deepen, and the sauce to thicken to a great consistency. This simple recipe reduces that time by more than half, without reducing any of the delicious flavors. I am all for that!

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 

Although I have had an Instant Pot for quite some time now, I haven't really used it as much as I should have done. I wasn't quite sure how to use it and I confess that I have been a bit afraid of using it.

I suppose I thought that it must be quite complicated to use and the thought of a pressure cooker is a tiny bit daunting to me. I remember a neighbor across from us back in the 1960's when I was a child being badly burnt when her pressure cooker exploded. 

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 
Because of that my mother would never have one in her house.  She surely passed that fear on to me, so although I did purchase one a few years ago, I have always felt somewhat intimidated by it. 

My sister does use hers regularly however. She made fantastic beef dips in it just a few weeks back and by watching her I have come to recognize just how safe and easy they are to use, so long as you do things in the proper way and have a healthy respect for just what it is and what it can do.

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 

I also believe they are much safer these days than what they were in my mother's time. They are energy efficient appliances and save on time and energy, both bonus's in the modern kitchen! 

Compared to other more common cooking methods (boiling, baking, steaming) an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker can reduce your energy usage and cook times by up to 70%!  

We all lead incredibly busy lives these days and anything that can help to make us more efficient with our time is a bonus!  I have vowed to use mine more, starting with this very delicious sauce!

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 
The recipe I am sharing with you today is a variation on my traditional Bolognese Sauce, adapted for cooking in the Instant Pot. You can of course cook it in a regular saucepan on top of the stove, but the cook time will be considerably longer. 

This Instant Pot version comes together very quickly and I can assure you is incredibly rich and delicious.  It lacks nothing in comparison to its main stream every day cousin!

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 
Spaghetti with "Meat Sauce" was always a favorite of my fathers.  Mom would brown hamburger on top of the stove and then pop open a tin of Catelli Spaghetti sauce, pouring it over top. 

Heated through she would proudly proclaim it to be "Italian" spaghetti, and we were none the wiser.  You know and understand what is familiar to you, and of course  we had never experienced the "real" thing, so were none the wiser! 

It was not until I was an adult that I experienced a true "Bolognese" sauce and came to know the difference.

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 
A traditional Bolognese sauce is known  in Italian as ragù alla bolognese or ragù. It is is a meat-based sauce originating in Bologna, Italy. Traditionally it would be served with tagliatelle. Here in the West, we most commonly enjoy it with spaghetti.

Bolognese sauce  has evolved greatly over the years, with every cook putting their own spin on it. So much so that many recipes today  don't have much in common with the original version.

I think most family's have their own versions of it, and whilst we may poo poo at some of them, who is to really say what is delicious and what is not. A rose by any other name and all that.  This version is delicious. Plain and simple.

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce 
It is what passes as a Bolognese in our house and that's what matters to us!  Rich and meaty with three kinds of meat.  A good ground beef, Italian sausage and cubed pancetta form the basis of the sauce.

In addition I like to add onions, celery and plenty of garlic, as well as some carrot for a bit of sweetness.  A mix of dried herbs, some red wine, stock and good tinned tomatoes round it out. I confess I add a tiny bit of brown sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and I always like to add a splash of good Balsamic, 

Some cream stirred into it at the end is the final touch that puts this sauce over the top!!

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce
We enjoy it on spaghetti, but it is equally at home on any kind of pasta. Macheroni, tagliatelle, farfalle, you name it. I cannot think of a pasta that wouldn't love this sauce.

I like to grate Parmesan cheese over the top of mine, but then I always did. I doused the top of my mom's "Italian" spaghetti with the one from the green can regularly.  Today I grate my own.  Some crusty bread and a nice tossed salad make this meal complete!

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce

Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 55 Min
A rich and meaty pasta sauce, made in half the time using your Instant Pot. If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can make it in a saucepan on top of the stove. It is delicious!


  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium brown onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and minced
  • 1 small green pepper, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup  (120ml) dry red wine
  • 1 (28oz) tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained (2 (420g))
  • 3 TBS tomato paste (tomato puree)
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) beef stock
  • 1 TBS Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS dry parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp  dried basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
You will also need:
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • Cooked pasta to serve
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle (I like to grate my own)


  1. Using the sauté setting on your instant pot, add the olive oil and heat.  Crumble in the ground beef, sausage and pancetta.  Cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.  Drain off most of the fat, if any.
  2. Add the  carrot, celery, onion and green pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomatoes, beef stock, tomato paste, red wine, vinegar,  sugar and all of the seasonings and herbs. Stir everything together well.
  4. Cancel the sauté setting. Place lid on top and secure. Press the pressure cook setting and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Release pressure according to your Instant Pot manual. 
  6. Remove lid and set aside.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required with some salt and black pepper.  Stir in the cream.  Reheat gently on the sauté setting until well heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Serve hot and ladled over your favorite pasta cooked to al dente along with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over top.


To Cook on top of the stove: Brown the meats in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the vegetables and saute until they begin to soften. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally , for about 2 hours, until the sauce is nicely thickened. If you think it is getting too thick, you can add a bit of stock or water.

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Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce
I really love how quickly this sauce comes together. It tastes just as if it has been simmering all afternoon. The flavors are wonderful.  I hope that you will give it a go, instant pot or not and enjoy this  heavenly, indulgent sauce! 

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  1. I don't have an instapot, this recipe looks good.

    1. Not a problem Linda, you can make this the old fashioned regular way and it will be delicious. It just takes longer! xoxo

  2. Hi Marie, I do love to follow your blog...lovely recipes. I wonder what size Instant Pot you use for this ? Many thanks for giving us such great recipes.Sue.

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment Sue! Mine is a 6 Quart instapot! Hope this helps! Xoxo


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