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Instant Pot Bolognese

Instant Pot Bolognese - Now you can make the most EPIC bolognese sauce in just 1 hr rather than 3-4 hrs! So rich, hearty, and chockfull of meat and veggies!

Now you can make the most EPIC bolognese sauce in just 1 hr rather than 3-4 hrs! So rich, hearty, and chockfull of meat and veggies!

Instant Pot Bolognese - Now you can make the most EPIC bolognese sauce in just 1 hr rather than 3-4 hrs! So rich, hearty, and chockfull of meat and veggies!

There’s honestly nothing better than this.

A giant bowl of pasta smothered in the meatiest, heartiest bolognese sauce ever, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan and paired with a glass of red wine.

Nope, nothing better, especially in this cold Chicago fall season we’re having right now.

Instant Pot Bolognese - Now you can make the most EPIC bolognese sauce in just 1 hr rather than 3-4 hrs! So rich, hearty, and chockfull of meat and veggies!

And that vat of bolognese? Yes, I’ll take that in one bath, please.

That vat is conveniently the Instant Pot, which helps cook the bolognese in just 1 hour. I know. No more 3-4 hour bolognese sauces. The pressure cooker makes this too easy and fast, and it infuses the flavors even more, making this my all-time favorite bolognese sauce.

It’s also enough for 8 servings so it’s perfect for company or for leftovers because let’s be honest – it’s too cold to go out to eat right now!

Instant Pot Bolognese - Now you can make the most EPIC bolognese sauce in just 1 hr rather than 3-4 hrs! So rich, hearty, and chockfull of meat and veggies!

Instant Pot Bolognese

Now you can make the most EPIC bolognese sauce in just 1 hr rather than 3-4 hrs! So rich, hearty, and chockfull of meat and veggies!

20 minutes1 hour


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cups dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Set a 6-qt Instant Pot® to the high saute setting. Melt butter; add onion, carrot and celery, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef, pork, pancetta, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook until browned, about 5-10 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef and pork as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and cinnamon until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until reduced, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in crushed tomatoes and beef stock. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 20 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
  6. Select low sauté setting; simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until thickened to desired consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve immediately.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I love 3 hour Bolognese.  Don’t have 3 hours most of the time. This was an awesome recipe for a week night. Add more liquid to avoid burn notice, just boil it off between adding cream. Very tasty! My vote is cool the pasta al dente, don’t trust pressure. 

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this last week and it was incredible! I subbed the protein for a pound of mild Italian sausage and 1/2 pound of regular bacon. I also made homemade fettuccine and stirred that in at the very end. The depth of flavor was amazing. I absolutely loved this sauce!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Don’t stir in the tomatoe paste per step 3 as if can cause the “burn” message (as do burned bits stuck to the pan from the sauté). This is true for any thick tomato, cream-based sauce, or starch-thickened roux. Instead, after everything has been sauteed and combined (except the tomato paste), and just before you’re ready to secure the lid and start pressure cooking, dump the tomato paste on top of the contents and just let it sit there. Secure the lid, start the pressure, and the tomato paste will be incorporated as the sauce cooks. I learned this handy tip from other IP recipes that use tomatoe paste and it works like a charm. Also, this bolognese is delicious — I will be making it again!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    My son asked me to make spaghetti Bolognese one night and I really didn’t feel like cooking for hours.
    Your recipe solved my problem especially with the instant pot.

    I didn’t have all the ingredients you listed so I just used ground beef without the pork and pancetta. It still tasted delicious.
    It definitely hit the spot for my teenage son.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with the instant pot. We are a fan of instant pot and use it at least once a week so your recipes are a hit in our household.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was absolutely delicious! Our favorite instant pot meal yet!

    We got a burn notice before fully pressurized and were able to scrape around the bottom and try again. We used an 8 qt so maybe next time we just need more liquid (found that suggestion in another comment)? Fortunately we only got the one notice and then it was smooth sailing.

    Other than that it was absolutely perfect! 10/10 will make again!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is truly incredible!! I made it tonight and was drooling from the smell as it all came together. The taste was mouth watering and I will definitely be making it again! 

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious!   I think next time I’ll use a yellow instead of sweet onion.   I also used diced tomatoes because the store i was at didn’t have crushed tomatoes. 

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe looks great and I am going to try it tomorrow. Wondering if after I make the sauce can I put spaghetti right on top and pressure cook it? Thanks!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    I love this recipe… I make slight alterations based on what I have laying around for proteins but this turns out awesome every time!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’ve made this several times and LOVE it, it’s been a staple in our kitchen.

    My partner decided to put the ground beef in the freezer this morning. Can I use frozen ground beef for this?? 

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is great and easy. Start cooking 1.75 hours before company arrives and change your clothing from what you cooked in before they get there. I have made this recipe twice. I give it 4 stars for my first make and 5 stars for my second make. On my second make, what gave it the extra edge was that I used San Marzano canned tomatoes and sprinkled crushed Merlot Bellavitano on top before I served. Ricotta on top is also delicious!

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    Followed the recipe exactly! Fabulous!!!!!

  13. This was so good. I followed the recipe to a T except for one thing. After reading the burn notice comments, I really wanted this to turn out so I cooked it slowly on top of the stove.  Hubs liked it and said it was good. 

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    I have made this several times and it is wonderful every time.  I freeze leftovers and then can have a quick meal another night!

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    This came out absolutely delish. I sauteed the veges and meat in another pan and drained the oil afterwards. I only used ground beef and 4 slices of pre-cooked bacon in place of the pancetta. I reduced the wine in that pan as well. I have found that if you do not “mix” tomato sauce, gravy or other thickening agent or sauce with sugars that can burn but layer. I placed the beef/vege mixture in first after rubbing the pot with olive oil. The the wine and water ( I use Better then Boullion) 1/2 tsp not mixed. Carefully poured the crushed tomatoes on top then the tomato paste, do not mix in. Once the time is up I stirred together and proceeded as directed. I served Rigatoni that was finished with the sauce in a saucepan to soak up all of the flavors. Topped with parm cheese. Very, very good.

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Loved this dish! I’ve been looking for a good bolognese recipe and this one is fantastic!

  17. Rated 4 out of 5

    I couldn’t give it all 5 because of this burn thing going on. I don’t think it has anything to do with the saute step — I don’t do that in the instant pot. (Its not that hard to clean a non-stick pan and you have so much better control of the saute on the stove.) It gave me a burn notice and shut down. I added a bit more liquid and it worked the second time with only a minor scorch on the bottom. (When the burn notice happens I pick up the whole instant pot and give it some swirls to mix it. I wish someone would come up with an instant pot that also had internal stirring.)

    To be a bit pedantic … why do things burn? My list: 1) Too much heat in one place (the bottom) and not enough convection/stirring; 2) too little liquid to build up the steam pressure quickly; 3) ingredients that easily burn.

    So what in this recipe burns easily?

    The sauce is pretty thick even before cooking. That reduces the heat convection. Natural sugars in the tomato easily burn. And maybe I didn’t add enough fat, which may reduce burnability… but I’m guessing here.

    I mixed the whole thing up pretty well before cooking. Burning might be reduced if there was a less thick, more watery layer on the bottom. That is hard to do. Maybe a fine screen standup insert would work though . I’m thinking trying to get a quarter inch of watery stuff on the bottom and the real stuff above it.

    I did adjust the recipe for some dietary constraints (FODMAP-friendly). Garlic-infused olive oil instead of garlic; no onion (wah!); extra celery and a red pepper to make up for the onion. Heavy on the spices and herbs to make up for the onion. I also skipped the ground pork and pancetta and just increased the burger (this was a cook-from-the-pantry night). Threw in some chopped bacon and sautéed shitake mushrooms (fodmap friendly mushrooms).

    Also 20 minutes wasn’t quite long enough to fully cook the carrots I diced … I suppose a smaller dice would have worked better (< 1/4 in). But a little crunch on the carrot isn't so bad.

  18. Love the recipe- new family favourite! It would be really great if you could include nutritional information as well.

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great recipe. Making it for tomorrow even though it’s supposedly late spring! I have never gotten the burn notice with the ip. When I was learning how to use it, the best tips I got were don’t put anything in, even oil or butter, until it says hot. And then always completely deglaze after the browning or saute step.

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe is amazing!! It tastes as good as the Bolognese that cooks all day! We love your insta pot recipes.  They have so much flavor and are sos great for those times you don’t have all day to prepare!!

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sauce was delicious. For all you “BURN” notice reviewees… I have given up sauteeing in my IP because I am tired of getting this error message AND I don’t like having to reach down into the vertical IP liner to brown the meat and veggies. Call me old fashioned and crazy, but I saute in a frying pan on my stovetop to avoid the IP drama. Yes, I have an extra pan to clean out but it’s worth not having the aggravation of bringing the IP to pressure multiple times.

  22. Damn Delicious!!! For those getting the “burn notice” on their instapot put a little bit of olive oil in with your butter to raise the heating temp on the butter. It should do the trick Now excuse me while I go pig out with my family on this delicious creation!!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5


    Instant pot and instant preparation of meals. I liked it.

  24. Rated 3 out of 5

    The flavor turned out well, but I had a hell of a time cooking this. I kept getting the “Food Burn” error when I tried to bring my IP to pressure. After the third attempt (and adding a bit more broth + water), I ended up sauteing this on low heat for 15-20 minutes until I was happy with the consistency and cooked off the additional liquid I added. Did anyone else have this issue? If so, what did you do to combat it?

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Quick and easy.  Generous portion size too.  Better the next day.  Might add some additional tomatoe paste and seasoning to bump it up a notch.  Will definitely try it again.

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was so easy, and so delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Rated 4 out of 5

    I tried this recipe tonight but when I put the pot on high pressure, I got the burn message before it reached full pressure  and I had to stop, stir and finish on low pressure to avoid a burned dinner. Any ideas on how to avoid the burn message in the future? I followed all steps and ingredients exactly as in the recipe up to that point.

    • I also got “burn” message while cooking this. I turned it off and scraped the bottom of the pot and added some more canned tomatoes with its juice. Turned it back on on Low pressure, but still got the burn message again. 

    • I also got the burn message. I usually brown  my meat and so the rest in the crock pot. Thought I could speed it up tonight. No dice. 

    • Rated 5 out of 5

      Same thing happened to me. Got the burn notice before it came to pressure. I have the 8 qt. model. Maybe I needed more liquid/broth. After getting the burn indication, I scooped out the sauce (without touching the bottom of the inner pot) into another saucepan and finished cooking on the stovetop on low heat for just a few minutes more.
      Despite this hiccup, the sauce tasted amazing!!!! The whole family, including kids, loved it!

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Proclaimed “the best sauce I’ve ever tasted” when I made it last night. Fantastic!  

  29. This was absolutely delicious and easy to make! my whole family enjoyed it and it was perfect for a cold winter night. So comforting! I will definitely make this again!

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was absolutely delicious! My kids asked for seconds and wanted leftovers in their lunch 🙂 Definitely a keeper and easy for a weeknight meal.

  31. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was amazing!! I’m huge on spaghetti and I make my own sauce, but I wanted to switch it up a little. This did the trick. This was dinner and leftovers for 2 people, and we still had some left over that we used as a sauce base for homemade pizza. It made the best pizza sauce as well! Thanks for this recipe, I cant share it enough.

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    This. Recipe. Was. SO. Good. So, so, so good. I used bacon instead of pancetta and free handed the seasonings. It was perfect.

  33. Is there a  substitute you would recommend for the heavy cream to make this dairy-free? Could I just omit it? Thanks!

    • You can omit or use a non-dairy creamer. I sometimes substitute coconut milk when a recipe calls for heavy cream, but you have to like the taste. But as always, please use your best judgment when making substitutions and modifications. Good luck! 🙂

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    As always, damn delicious did not disappoint! Other than having a heavy hand on the seasonings, I didn’t change a thing. Thanks for another great recipe!

  35. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was so incredibly good!  My husband loves spaghetti and he said this is the best ever!  It makes a lot for two people – although we didn’t mind eating it for three meals in a row!  Have you tried freezing the sauce?  I would like to make it again and freeze the leftovers for a couple more meals.

  36. Rated 5 out of 5

    Loved this! I added extra crushed red pepper because I love spicy sauce. I also didn’t have any pancetta so I subbed with bacon.

    But I don’t think this recipe needed any modifications at all!! Spot on. Highly recommend. 

  37. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thanks for this great recipe! Fast, easy, & tasty! I followed to a T at first then I tasted the seasoning before adding the heavy cream. I felt it needed a bit more seasoning, prob just my taste buds needed more, so I added about 1/2 of the oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes you originally called for with a splash of red wine, Super tasty! The kids had seconds and enough for left overs! Thanks it’s a keeper!

  38. Rated 5 out of 5

    Marked it as 5 since it sounds delicious and that’s a required field…I’m just starting to use my instant pot. This may sound like a silly question, but any suggestions for how to drain off the fat? I’m used to browning meat in my skillet and using a lid to hold the meat back while draining and my instant pot doesn’t have a lid. Thanks in advance!

  39. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this today! Absolutely fabulous! I do not have an insta pot so I simmered it on my cooktop for two hours and then added the cream at the end with the parsley and s & p to taste. Delish!

  40. Hi, do you think it would work to make meatballs with the meat instead?  Thanks!

  41. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this last night for dinner, on the stovetop, it turned out delicious.  For all those asking if it can be made that way, yes, I let it simmer for about an hour and it was a rich sauce. Just follow the exact same directions for sautéing/browning and let it simmer with a lid over it slightly ajar so that some steam can escape. 

  42. Rated 5 out of 5

    My vote for time savers of this kind. Always !

  43. Rated 5 out of 5

    Hi..cannot wait to try this! Is it possible to use whole milk instead of cream for calories?

  44. Rated 5 out of 5

    Recipe looks terrific! I do not have an insta pot. How long do you recommend simmering on the cooktop? Thanks!

  45. Hi this looks great and I can’t wait to make and eat it! But if I want to make 4 servings instead of 8 should I just half the ingredients but stick to the same cooking times as instructed? Any alternative I can use instead of wine?

  46. Rated 5 out of 5

    I noticed you didn’t cook the noodles with this. What type do you recommend? 

  47. Do you think this would fit in a 4qt instant pot?

  48. Rated 5 out of 5

    Can you make this stovetop style? Thank you!

  49. This sounds……MAGNIFIQUE!!! However, I don’t own an Instant Pot and was wondering if you have a version that can be adapted for cooking on the stove?