Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

This slow cooker beef ragu has a delicious sauce that has chunky vegetables such as carrots and celery. As with any ragu, it goes perfect with a serving of pappardelle pasta.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Ragu is traditionally an Italian dish that was first documented in the 18th century. Today, it’s an extremely popular dish that is found all across the world.

You might be thinking that this recipe is quite involved, but it is totally worth it. The combination of ingredients creates a saucy ragu that you and your family won’t be able to resist.

I recommend using a pappardelle pasta for the best results. The ragu sauce will work best with this type of pasta, but you can swap it out if you don’t have any lying around. I also recommend topping the pasta with some shaved parmesan.

There are plenty of side dishes that you can make to go with this pasta. For example, a lovely refreshing green salad or freshly baked garlic bread works excellent with this delicious pasta dish.

Leftovers of this slow cooker beef ragu are well worth keeping. You can heat this ragu with some pasta or you can use it in other recipes.

Beef Ragu Pasta

For example, any leftovers will go great on top of some jacket potatoes or on a delicious homemade pizza. There are many choices to what you can do with the leftovers.

Usually I’m too full to eat anymore after this wonderful beef ragu, but if i were to have something it will be the delicious poached pears in white wine. They’re not too heavy and the perfect way to finish of this lovely meal.

As with all my recipes you can find the video on how to make this beef ragu in a slow cooker. Alternatively, you can find the full recipe underneath the video or in our slow cooker cookbook.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu Recipe

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Prep time
30 Minutes
Cook time
10 Hours
Total time
10 Hours & 30 Minutes


  • 1kg (2.2 lb) chuck beef or similar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp garlic crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 800g (1.7 lb) crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 500g (1 lb) pappardelle pasta, cooked (To serve with)

You can make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free pasta instead of the pappardelle pasta.


  1. Season the beef with salt & pepper.
  2. In a frying pan over high heat, brown the beef on all sides. Once browned, put to the side.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, then transfer to a slow cooker.
  4. Next, in the slow cooker, add the beef, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, sugar, fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and the beef stock.
  5. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  6. Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shared using two forks. Return the beef to the slow cooker once it has been shredded.
  7. Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Season with salt & pepper.
  9. Serve & Enjoy

Recipe Tips

  • You can use any type of pasta for this beef ragu, but for the best results, I highly recommend using pappardelle pasta.
  • It's essential to cook the pasta separately from the sauce. Cooking the pasta in the slow cooker will likely leave you with a gluggy sauce and inconsistently cooked pasta. Use the cooking recommendations on the packet of the pasta to get the best results.
  • Any cut of beef will work fine for this recipe, but I highly recommend choosing a tough cut of meat. By the time you're ready to pull the meat apart, the beef should be super tender.
  • The slight addition of sugar is recommended to help take away some of the acidity of the tomatoes. If you’re avoiding sugar, then you can easily leave this out.
  • You might need to skim the fat from the liquid when you remove the beef. The process of doing this is straightforward and will leave you with a less greasy ragu.
  • The beef should easily pull apart. Otherwise, it is likely the beef will need to be kept cooking for even longer. If you're running low on time, speed up the cooking by turning the slow cooker to high.

Nutritional Information

All the nutritional information that you need for this slow cooker beef ragu can be found right below.

This information assumes you have 500g (1 lb) worth of pasta with the ragu. If you use a different side, then you might want to recalculate the values.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 364g (12.84 oz)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 58.5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.5g 10%
Saturated Fat 2.5g 13%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 393mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 7g
Protein 33g 66%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

If beef isn’t your kind of meat, but you like the sound of lamb, then you might be interested in our lamb ragu recipe. It’s similar but has quite a few unique twists to it, such as crispy bacon and some herbs that go great with lamb.

There are also plenty more beef recipes that you can make in a slow cooker. Another recipe that I highly recommend trying is the Hungarian inspired beef goulash. It’s got a lovely rich tomato sauce that has delicious paprika flavors.

This slow cooker beef ragu is one of my favorite slow cooker pasta recipes and I hope that it becomes one of yours too. If you have some tips, feedback, thoughts, or anything else then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Note: I use a 5.5L (6 Quart) slow cooker for all the recipes that I have on this website unless specified. If you have a smaller or larger slow cooker, then you might need to adjust the ingredients.

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