Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce

This Instant Pot bolognese sauce is a hearty meat sauce made with both ground beef and ground sausage, and is loaded with veggies!

  • Prep Time:
    20 min
  • Total Time:
    1 hour
  • Makes:
    12 cups 1x
  • Prep Time:
    20 min
  • Total Time:
    1 hour
  • Makes:
    12 cups 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
    • 3/4 cup diced carrots (about 3 large)
    • 3/4 cup diced celery (about 3 large stalks)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 tablespoons tomato paste (½ small can)
    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
    • Kosher salt to taste
    • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
    • 3 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
    • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    • 22 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (see notes)
    • ⅓ cup heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)


    1.  Sautè the onions, carrots, and celery, then add tomato paste & garlic. Set Instant Pot to SAUTE – NORMAL (MEDIUM). Add olive oil and, once hot, add onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic and cook until tomato paste is brownish in color, about 1-2 minutes.
    2. Brown the ground beef and sausage. Add ground beef and sausage and season with about ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, breaking up meat with a fork or spoon, until most of the meat lightly-browned with just a little pink remaining.
    3. Deglaze with the red wine. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE – HIGH, add the red wine (if using) and scrape any brown bits from the bottom. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until most of the wine has evaporated.
    4. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasoning. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning (or dried herbs). Bring to a simmer.
    5. Cover and pressure cook on LOW. Put the lid on the Instant pot, seal, and set the unit to PRESSURE COOK – LOW for 10 minutes.
    6. Quick release the pressure and simmer. Switch the Instant Pot to SAUTE – LOW and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency.
    7. Add half-and-half and serve. Stir in heavy cream or half-and-half, or omit for a dairy-free sauce. Serve over cooked pasta or zoodles with plenty of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of parsley, if desired.


    Favorite Equipment

    Ingredient Notes

    • Fire-roasted tomatoes: Any fire-roasted tomatoes will do. Have diced or whole? Use an immersion blender to “crush” them before adding to the pot.
    • Leftover tomato paste: This recipe uses about ½ of a small can of tomato paste. Freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray for another recipe!
    • Leftover parsley: Make this quick, nutritious and freezer-friendly Kale Parsley Pesto next!

    Ingredient Prep

    • Dice onion, carrots, celery & mince garlic; store in the fridge up to 5 days

    Little Helpers

    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help: 

    • Toddlers — Wash celery and carrots; remove sausage from casing; add ingredients to pot
    • Little Kids — Peel carrots; measure Italian seasoning, tomato paste etc.
    • Big Kids — Open cans; dice celery, carrots, and onion; chop parsley


    • Serving Size: 1 cup (1/12th of recipe)
    • Calories: 229
    • Sugar: 6 g
    • Sodium: 807 mg
    • Fat: 9 g
    • Saturated Fat: 3 g
    • Carbohydrates: 10 g
    • Fiber: 1 g
    • Protein: 15 g
    • Cholesterol: 39 mg

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