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Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian


Make this Instant Pot Bolognese sauce to save time and lock in all those gorgeous, hearty flavours and nutrients. Enjoy over pasta or zucchini noodles!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 2 celery sticks, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 long red chilli, finely diced (can be omitted or use chilli flakes)
  • 2.2 lb / 1 kg grass-fed ground beef (I used 10-15% fat beef mince)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (don’t worry, you can’t taste it)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • 3 cups organic chopped tinned tomatoes (with juice)


  1. Turn the Instant Pot on. Press the Sauté function key (it will show Normal, 30 minutes).
  2. Add the olive oil, onions, carrots, celery and chilli to the pot. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. After 5 minutes, add the beef and break it apart using a spatula. Stir through, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the bay leaf and tomatoes, and stir again. Cook on Sauté for 5 more minutes to brown off the meat.
  4. Once the meat has changed the colour, add the chopped tomatoes (juices including) and stir through. Press Keep Warm/Cancel to stop the sautéing process.
  5. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Check that the steam valve knob is pointing to Sealing.
  6. Select Manual (High Pressure) and set the time to 20 minutes. Wait for the Instant Pot to beep three times to let you know it’s getting to work. You can now walk away and do your thing.
  7. After about 5 minutes, you will see and hear the steam coming out of the valve. Once enough pressure builds up in the pot, the valve will pop to the top. At this stage, you won’t be able to open the lid. During the cooking process, you will hear some hissing but don’t worry about it.
  8. When time is up, you can let the pressure release naturally or use the quick pressure release method before opening the lid. Our Bolognese sauce should be thick and glossy.
  9. If you find that the stew is too watery, set the Sauté function back on and cook the sauce uncovered for 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times. This will allow some of the liquid to evaporate and the ragu sauce to thicken more.
  10. Serve with zucchini noodles or your favourite pasta, rice or potatoes — store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.


I use grass-fed ground beef, but you can certainly use half beef and half pork; or, even ground lamb or chicken meat. I truly believe that grass-fed beef is not only more nutritious, but it really does taste so much better.

Good, ideally organic tomatoes is another key to an amazing Bolognese. They tend to be sweeter and definitely better for you. I love this brand of tinned chopped tomatoes from a can, but you could also use tomato passata.

The rest are my personal favourite ingredients in the Bolognese, such as sneaky cinnamon powder, fish sauce and tamari (gluten-free soy sauce). Another favourite of mine is a single star anise that I add to the cooking sauce, but it will taste just as good without.

Keywords: Bolognese Sauce, Italian, Pasta, Zucchini Noodles, Ragu