Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce
Confession: up until recently, I owned 3 rice cookers and 4 crock pots.
Disclaimer: two of the rice cookers were unwittingly “inherited” and two of the crock pots were gifts.
I’m an impulsive throw-away-er who’s always getting rid of All the Stuff. The fam knows that any belongings left laying around too long are privy to being donated.
However, the aforementioned excess appliances managed to escape my notice while they rested in the basement storage. After my spring cleaning frenzy, we’re down to the essential appliances. Essential = Instant Pot. It’s earned a permanent space in the kitchen.
I used to stand over the stove, stirring a slowly simmering bolognese sauce for hours until it reached perfection. While that’s the classic road, this Instant Pot Bolognese has majorly cut down on cook time and tastes awesome….
Simple, Real Ingredients
- We love a mix of lean ground beef and ground pork sausage; it creates the best flavors (bolognese is a classic Italian ragú using beef or pork, which creates rich flavors.)
- Plenty of chopped onion and garlic for wonderful aromatics
- Diced celery and carrots for plenty of flavor and a veggie boost
- Fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste; the combo provides perfect balance
- Beef broth and dry red wine; it’s the mixture of these liquids that give this bolognese its richness in flavor
- Bay leaves, a bit of sugar, and fresh parmesan for amazing yum. Freshly torn basil is a definite!
Don’t forget your favorite pasta cooked to al dente, as the perfect vehicle for serving this amazing bolognese. For a gluten free option, use gluten-free pasta, rice, or potatoes. All are seriously delicious!
Tips to extraordinary Instant Pot Bolognese?
- Sauté the aromatics and veggies in the Instant Pot first, which gets all that fabulous flavor out. It’s my favorite thing about the IP – you can sauté right in the same pot as you’ll be pressure cooking in.
- Include all the juices from your cans of fire-roasted tomatoes. All that goodness goes to delicious use.
- Use a dry red wine you really enjoy and that you’d drink alongside the dish. You’ll want a decent bottle of wine, which is the rule of thumb when cooking with wine…use one you would like to drink with the dish.
- This Instant Pot bolognese sauce can be made ahead. Pressure cook it earlier that day, let it release naturally so you don’t have to fuss with it, and have it set to automatically enter warm setting when done. You’ll have a hot meal ready to go by dinner time.
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Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe
- 3 TB butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 tsp kosher salt, not fine/table salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 TB dried oregano
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork sausage
- 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes , 14 oz, with juices
- ½ cup regular beef broth
- ½ cup good dry red wine
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese and freshly torn basil for serving
- Other: pasta cooked to al dente for serving*
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté setting. Heat butter until sizzling; add onion, garlic, celery, carrot, salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir for 5 min. Add ground beef and ground sausage, stirring and breaking up the meat as you cook. Cook 10 min or just until no longer pink.
- Add fire roasted tomatoes and their juices, beef broth, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, and bay leaves. Stir well to combine. Seal lid of Instant Pot. Press Cancel to reset the pot, and set to Pressure Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure.
- If serving immediately, carefully do Quick Release once the timer goes off. If not serving right away, allow Instant Pot to do its own Natural Release and elect "keep warm" (up to 6-7 hours) until ready to serve.
- Taste finished bolognese sauce and add kosher salt or black pepper if needed. Pour sauce over individual bowls of cooked pasta, rice, or potatoes. Top generously with freshly grated parmesan cheese and freshly torn basil.
Nutrition (per serving)
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