One Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Beef Bolognese Sauce

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The best, quick, easy instant pot bolognese sauce recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in 30 minutes. Full of onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, ground beef, sausage.

Normally, it takes all day to develop this sauce, but with the use of the pressure cooker, you get the same flavor in a fraction of the time. This Homemade Marinara Sauce (One Pot) and Basil Pesto Sauce (Blender), and Spicy Arrabiatta Sauce (One Pot) will also add variety to your pasta sauce choices.

Easy Homemade Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce in Black Pot on White Background

How To Make Easy Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Saute meat– Until no longer pink.
  2. Drain grease– If necessary.
  3. Add vegetables– This includes garlic, onion, carrots, celery.
  4. Add red wine- And reduce sauce.
  5. Add remaining ingredients– This includes crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, broth, sugar, Italian seasoning, red chili flakes, salt, pepper.
  6. Mix- Until combined.
  7. Cover- And cook.
  8. Release pressure– Through a quick pressure release.
  9. Continue coking– Until excess liquid is evaporated/ reduced.
  10. Turn off heat– And mix in heavy cream, basil, parsley. Enjoy!

What Sides To Serve With Best Beef Bolognese Sauce?

Serve it over any of your favorite pastas:

  • Spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, macaroni, rotini, fettuccine, angel hair
  • Gnocchi
  • Zucchini noodles (zoodles)- Healthier alternative.
  • Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash – Another healthier option.
  • Filled pastas- Such as tortellini, ravioli, stuffed shells

This hearty sauce would be great with roasted vegetables:

You can even add leftovers in soups such as:

Use it as a dip and serve it alongside:

  • Breadsticks
  • Garlic bread
  • Cheese bread
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Onion rings

Use it as a filling/topping in other Italian dishes:

What Is The Difference Between Bolognese Sauce And Spaghetti Sauce And Marinara Sauce?

Bolognese sauce is heavily based on meat with other complex flavors coming from heavy cream, and a small amount of tomatoes. Marinara sauce on the other hand is a quick, lighter, simple tomato based sauce that can be used for dipping or over pasta and has no meat. Spaghetti sauce has a tomato base, but can contain meat or other vegetables as well as some cheese.

Is Bolognese Just Meat Sauce?

While it is heavily based on meat it also traditionally contains wine, cream, and some tomatoes.

Why Add Milk In Bolognese Sauce?

It makes a creamy, rich, silky smooth sauce and also helps to keep the meat tender.

How To Thicken Pasta Sauce? How To Make It Thinner?

To thicken the sauce, continue to cook it uncovered and allow the excess liquid to evaporate and thus thicken the sauce. In order to make the sauce thinner, add a little more broth or water.

Spoonful of Best Beef Bolognese Sauce on White Background

Ingredients For Bolognese Sauce

  • Fats– Use high quality olive oil and unsalted butter.
  • Meat– Use lean ground beef and Italian sausage for the most flavor.
  • Red wine– You can use whatever flavor you have such as Cabernet, Merlot, or a Pinot.
  • Dairy– I recommend adding heavy cream in order to create the richest sauce.
  • Vegetables– Finely diced onions, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes are the best choices.
  • Seasoning– Pepper, salt, Italian seasoning, red chili flakes, basil, and parsley are delicious.
  • Balsamic vinegar– Use a high quality vinegar so that is can add the best flavor.
  • Beef broth– Make sure it’s low sodium.
  • Granulated sugar– This helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

Variations For Spaghetti Bolognese

Turkey bolognese– Use ground turkey in place of ground beef for a lighter version.

Veggie/Vegetarian bolognese– Use this recipe for Instant Pot Vegetarian Mushroom Bolognese.

Chicken bolognese– Use ground chicken in place of beef and Italian sausage.

Add pork– For even more flavor.

Add pancetta– For a salty flavor addition.

Add meatballs– They can be frozen or fresh (whichever you prefer).

Add mushrooms– Brown mushrooms in the bottom of the pot and add them for an even heartier sauce.

Make it spicy– Increase the amount of red chili flakes, or add a stronger chili like cayenne.

Add other herbs/seasonings– Such as smoked paprika, Cajun seasoning, chives, or fennel.

Tips And Techniques For Homemade Pasta Bolognese

Do I need to drain the fat from the ground beef? This is not necessary if you are using lean meat with low fat content. If using meat with high fat content, draining fat may be required to prevent sauce from becoming too greasy.

What to use instead of red wine? Simply replace the red wine with more broth. Some people replace it with bit of grape juice.

Fresh tomatoes vs. Canned crushed tomatoes – Canned crushed tomatoes are often ripened to a more appropriate point than fresh tomatoes are before being picked. They are also fully cooked before going into the can which makes them more convenient. The only downfall is that they can be more acidic. Fresh tomatoes are obviously fresher, and not as acidic. I prefer canned because of the convenience.

Adjust amount of Italian seasoning- More or less can be used, based on your preference.

Sugar alternatives- Try honey, maple syrup or even molasses.

Use low sodium broth- Because it prevents this meal from becoming too salty.

Closeup Shot of Pasta Meat Sauce


Refrigerate– In a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Freeze– In a freezer safe bag or container for up to 1 month.

Reheat– From thawed, in the microwave or on the stovetop.

More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
The best, quick, easy instant pot bolognese sauce recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in 30 minutes. Full of onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, ground beef, sausage.
Yield: 6 People



  • Turn on the Instant pot and set the "Saute" mode.
  • Add oil and butter.
  • When it's heated, add beef, Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • Drain grease (if necessary). You probably won't have to do this if you are using lean ground beef.
  • Add garlic, onion, carrots, celery and saute for a few minutes until vegetables are partially softened.
  • Add red wine and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until it's reduced.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, broth, sugar, Italian seasoning, red chili flakes, salt, pepper and mix until combined. Be sure to scrape the brown bits in the bottom of the pot.
  • Put the lid on and turn the valve to “Sealing.”
  • Select “Manual” mode and set the timer for 20 minutes.
  • When the cook time is over, do a quick pressure release.
  • Continue coking uncovered on the Saute mode until excess liquid is evaporated/ reduced.
  • Turn off heat and mix in heavy cream, basil and parsley. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave or stovetop. 


Calories: 455kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 101mg, Sodium: 626mg, Potassium: 770mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 4183IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 455
Author: Abeer Rizvi

3 comments on “Instant Pot Beef Bolognese Sauce”

  1. It’s a great recipe, but I always seem to get the burn message when it starts to buildup pressure. Any suggestions? 


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