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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 |

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 |

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 |

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe |

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 |

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 -

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 (the small can) 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, adding the remaining flat lef parsley and adjusting with salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy with pasta!

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe -


    1. Stephanie says:

      thank you rebecca :)

  1. NIc says:


    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!

  6. Heidi says:

    Can this be doubled?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi heidi,
      yes, absolutely as long as it fits in your instant pot!

  7. Anita and Paul says:

    I made this with my boyfriend’s (much loved) instant pot. It’s great for a quick Sunday night comfort meal. It was a bit too saucy so for next time I would add more tomato paste and less crushed tomato. Thanks for the recipe Stephanie!

  8. Dave says:

    Thanks for this Stephanie! I’m new to Instant Pot and this is my favourite sauce. If you double the recipe would you increase the cooking time accordingly? Not sure how that works with IP.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi dave,
      you don’t need to double the time, it’ll cook in the same amount :)
      let me know how you like it!

      1. Dave says:

        Wow, I can’t believe that it worked this well! I used my own 4 hour Bolognese recipe and cut down the liquids a bit. Turned out the same. It has the same silky texture and look and the taste is virtually the same. At a saving of 3.5 hours. I was going to send a photo but can’t see how to attach it here.

        1. Stephanie says:

          yay! so happy it worked for you. the instant pot is amazing, isn’t it?!

  9. Denis says:

    I sliced a good chunk off my finger making this. But my wife finished and, wow, it was great. Will make again (without finger-slicing).

    1. Stephanie says:

      eep! hope your finger is okay and glad it was good!!

  10. Annie says:

    I’m making this tonight! What kind of noodles are those in the picture? They look sort of like fettuccini but… thicker? Can’t wait to see how this is!

    1. Stephanie says:

      they’re tagliatelle!

  11. Robert Jacobs says:

    As much as you dont think bolognese in bologna is right…it is…true bolognese has very little tomato…take out the 15 oz tomatoes…leave the paste in and add chick stock…

  12. Megan says:

    Hi! Do you drain the meat after it’s cooked?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi megan,
      nope, there wasn’t a huge amount of fat afterwards, but you can drain if you need to!

  13. Jen says:

    How lean or not lean were your ground meats?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi jen, they were regular lean :)

  14. Céline T. says:

    Just received my instant pot and this is the first receipe I tried… It’s really great, tasty, the right ration of sauce to meat for us. Thank you!

  15. Edward says:

    Can I omit the fish sauce ?

    1. Stephanie says:

      yes but if you have some at home, you should try it :P

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