Instant pot Bolognese sauce is a quicker version of this classic Italian dinner recipe. No hassle, quicker than on a stovetop but equally delicious!
If you like Spaghetti Bolognese, then you will definitely enjoy this instant pot Bolognese sauce.
What to cook in Instant Pot?
There are endless possibilities when it comes to cooking in a pressure cooker. Soups, stews, pasta sauces (see this pressure cooker Bolognese sauce), rice (check my Fried Rice), chili or curry dishes (Chicken Curry), Pulled Pork.
There are hundreds of recipes you can make in your Instant Pot!
How to make Bolognese sauce in an Instant Pot:
Prep the veggies: Dice the carrots, celery and finely chop the onion. Press the “SAUTE” function and throw all the veggies in. Saute this for about 5 minutes.
Turn off the saute function and add the rest of the ingredients.
Mix everything well and close the lid. I buy plum tinned tomatoes so I like to break them with a wooden spoon before I close the lid.
Turn the steam release to the “SEALING” position. Press “MANUAL” (or “PRESSURE COOK” on newer models) and adjust the time to 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes is all it takes to make this instant pot Bolognese sauce.
Remember, that the pressure cooker needs time before AND after the active cooking time to bring the pot to pressure and then release the pressure. This time varies with every dish.
When making this Bolognese sauce count for about 10 minutes for pressurizing and after the cooking is finished, wait 10 minutes before releasing the pressure.
Tip: Let the pot depressurize itself and keep the food on the “KEEP WARM” function until you are ready to serve. It should keep warm for a few hours.
Note: I add a lot of carrots and celery because they give this Bolognese sauce an amazing flavor and that is exactly how I was taught to do it by an Italian. If you prefer more meat, rather than veggies, then simply decrease the number of carrots and celery and increase the amount of ground meat.
I recommend using less salt at the beginning and adding more (if needed) after the cooking is finished. Bear in mind that every salt has a different level of saltiness.
Bolognese sauce – Ingredient substitutions:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – regular olive oil or sunflower/vegetable oil can be also used. However, I highly recommend using olive oil.
- Ground Beef or Pork – you can also use a mix of beef and pork.
- Celery & Carrots – these add a ton of flavor to the pasta sauce so would not omit them nor would I substitute them. Because they are cooked in an Instant Pot, they are so soft they will melt in your mouth. However, you can reduce their amount if you feel like 3 of each sound too much for you.
- Plum Tomatoes – To achieve a thicker consistency, you can substitute these with pureed tomatoes. They are richer and not that watery.
Frequently asked questions:
Can you freeze Bolognese sauce?
Yes, you can! Let it cool and pour it into a freezer-friendly container with a lid or use a resealable plastic bag.
I hope you will like this instant pot Bolognese sauce as much as we do.
What to serve with Bolognese sauce?
- Salad – Make anything you like. I love this simple and quick Romaine Salad but Goat Cheese Salad is also a tasty option, just to give you some ideas.
- Garlic Bread – This is so easy to make at home!
What pasta is best for this sauce?
While in the US spaghetti is the most popular choice, in Italy it would be tagliatelle or pappardelle.
What else can I make with this ragu?
I hope you will like this pressure cooker recipe as much as we do.
It reduces the cooking time significantly and its hassle-free prep makes Bolognese sauce in a pressure cooker definitely worth it!
More popular instant pot recipes:
- Chicken Risotto – A simplified recipe for any risotto lover!
- Stuffed Bell Peppers – Easy preparation!
- Instant Pot Pasta – Tasty dinner ready on your table in 25 minutes!
Want to see how to make instant pot Bolognese sauce? Watch the video!
Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , see note 1
- 3 medium carrots , finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium onion , minced (about 1 cup)
- 3 celery sticks (about 1 cup)
- 1 pound ground beef (450 grams), see note 2
- 1 can plum tomatoes (14 ounces/400 milliliters), see note 3
- 1 can pureed tomatoes (14 ounces/400 milliliters)
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt , see note 4
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- black pepper , a generous pinch
- Turn on Instant Pot and press “SAUTE”. Pour in olive oil and when hot add carrots, onion, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ground beef and using a fork or wooden spoon, break the meat so it cooks evenly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Break the plum tomatoes into smaller chunks and mix everything well. Turn the “SAUTE” function off.
- Cover it with a lid and lock it into its position. Turn the steam release to “SEALING”. Press the “MANUAL” (or PRESSURE COOK) function and make sure the pressure is set on HIGH. Set the timer to 5 minutes.
- When time is up, turn it off and wait 8 minutes before releasing the pressure manually by turning the steam release valve to “VENTING”.
- Taste and add more seasoning, if needed.
- Serve warm with long pasta (spaghetti, pappardelle, tagliatelle).
- Instead of extra virgin olive oil, regular olive oil can be used. If you don’t have these, you can substitute them with vegetable or sunflower oil.
- Ground beef, pork or a combination of these works well.
- Plum tomatoes can be substituted with a can of chopped or crushed. Choose good-quality ones – preferably Italian.
- Taste the sauce at the very end and add more seasoning, if you like your food saltier.
- This recipe was developed for a 6-quart/6-liter instant pot.
- Overall cooking time does not include the time the pot needs to come to pressure (about 13 minutes) and the 8 minutes you wait after it has been cooked. The sauce will be ready on your table in 30 minutes, from start to finish!
- Instant pot bolognese sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days (in an airtight container) or in the freezer for up to 3 months (use a freezer-friendly container, don’t overfill – leave about an inch/2.5-centimeters free from top.