Go Back
+ servings

Bolognese Sauce Recipe (Pressure Cooker)

This Bolognese Sauce is incredibly easy in your pressure cooker or multi-cooker. Who thought you could have Bolognese any night of the week? The sauce freezes very well for a make ahead meal as well.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Pressure building5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Instant pot, Mealthy, Meat Sauce, spaghetti
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Sally Humeniuk


  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine, or grape juice
  • 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more to season meat
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper plus more to season meat
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup half & half or cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan


  • Chop the pancetta into minced pieces as best you can. Set aside. Mince the white onion, celery stalks, and carrots. You should have about 3/4 cup each of the celery and carrots after mincing but doesn't have to be exact.
  • Press saute function on the pressure cooker and adjust to low heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat is rendered, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add butter, onion, celery and carrots. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add ground beef and season with some salt and pepper to taste. Saute until barely browned, about 4 minutes. While cooking the meat, break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • Add the wine or grape juice and cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and fresh black pepper. Cover, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • When time is up, let pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes, then switch to Vent and finish releasing pressure. Remove lid, take out bay leaves, stir in the grated Parmesan (this helps thicken the sauce), half & half. If at this point you feel the sauce still isn't as thick as you'd like, you can turn on the Saute function again at low heat and cook the Bolognese down a bit more before serving, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve over your favorite pasta, garnished with shaved or shredded Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.


  1. If you prefer, you could use one pound ground beef, one pound ground pork, and then use less of the pancetta. Center cut bacon may be used in place of the pancetta.
  2. Half and half may be substituted with whole milk or heavy cream, depending on your preference.
  3. I find this sauce tastes even better the next day and frequently make it a day ahead of serving.
  4. Bolognese is customarily served with tagliatelle but use whatever you like. That being said, since Bolognese is a hearty textured sauce, it pairs best with "bigger" pasta, like papardelle, bucatini (that I used in photos), rigatoni or penne.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 441mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2205IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2.3mg