basics/gadgets/recipes/sauce

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Posted November 14, 2017 by Stephanie

I might not be Italian, but bolognese is the sauce of my people – my noodle loving tribe. The ones who feel like noodles are a meal that they could happily eat with an extra side of noodles. I feel like I could get along great with anyone – I’m talking anybody – as long as we’re hanging out over a plate of bolognese and pasta.

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Bolognese is my ultimate sauce, my kryptonite, my second true love (after Mike, of course). I love bolognese so much that once, many years ago (okay, not that many, maybe like four years) we went on a pilgrimage to the home of bolognese, Bologna. I had it in my head that the ragu in Bologna would be the best bolognese ever. Spoiler: it wasn’t. I’ve written about it before, and I still haven’t changed my mind about it – the bolognese sauce in Bologna is nothing like I imagined it to be. Still, it was bolognese sauce, so I was still kind of sort of happy?

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Anyway, I’m forever on a search for bolognese recipes because I feel like there can never be enough. It’s kind of how certain Japanese chefs spend ages trying to perfect their one dish: think of the guy in Jiro Dreams of Sushi and how long he had to make tamagoyaki for before he got the Jiro seal of approval. I dream of bolognese, searching for perfection. I know what you’re thinking…the world doesn’t need another bolognese recipe. And it’s true, it doesn’t. Everyone and their mom has a bolognese recipe up their sleeve. But, this one’s just a bit different, if only because I pressure cooked it instead of simmering it for hours on the stove.

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The allure of pressure cooking is of course, the time you save. Instead of simmering a sauce for hours, you can have a rich and full bodied ragu in under an hour. There are just a couple of things to remember when adapting a regular recipe for pressure cooking. When you’re pressure cooking, there’s no evaporation (because you’re cooking in a closed environment), so you want to start out with quite a bit less liquid than you would use when cooking on the stove.

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

With that in mind, this sauce starts out thick, but after a little bit of pressure (ha ha) the liquid in the ingredients is forced out and it becomes just the right consistency, perfect for coating and clinging on to noodles. I like it a lot – it really hits the bolognese spot, in less than an hour. So, here it is folks, instant pot bolognese, for all those times when the craving hits and you need the sauce.

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe
enough sauce for 4-6 servings of pasta


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 15 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Add the butter and oil to the Instant Pot on sear. When hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and half of the parsley. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, but not brown. Add the meat to the pot and cook, breaking up. You don’t need to brown the meat, you just want to cook it to the point where it breaks up and the meat is no longer pink. Add the wine and cook it down until it is mostly evaporated.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, milk, and bay leaf. Put the lid on, set the pressure to high and cook time to 30 minutes. Quick release the pressure when cooking time is completed.

Give the sauce a stir, then add 1/2 tablespoon of fish sauce and taste, adjusting with salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy with pasta!

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

11 Comments

    1. Stephanie says:

      thank you rebecca :)

  1. NIc says:

    YAAAAAAASSSSSSS

    1. Stephanie says:

      saucy!!!!! :P

  2. HT says:

    OH, this looks so, so good!

    1. Stephanie says:

      thank you! :)

  3. Lisa says:

    This looks amazing!
    What is an Instant Pot?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi! instant pot is an electronic pressure cooker :)

  4. cynthia says:

    I want to try these Instant Pot recipes so bad! If I ever get my hands on one, this bolognese and your pho are going to be first on my list, I just know.

    Also, how nifty are these cute comment boxes??? I love them!!

  5. Wendy says:

    Yes! You add fish sauce to your sauce! Perfect umami bomb!

    1. Stephanie says:

      it’s the not-so-secret secret ingredient!

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