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Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Use our beginner-friendly, easy recipe to make this delicious Instant Pot Bolognese sauce to save time and lock in all those gorgeous, hearty flavours and nutrients. Enjoy over pasta or zucchini noodles! Please note, we have updated the earlier recipe to simplify it. See Notes below for optional add-ons from the previous recipe if you loved that more complex-flavour version.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot or 2 small, diced into small cubes
  • 2 celery ribs, diced into small cubes
  • 3 oz / 90 g bacon, diced into small cubes
  • 2.5 lb / 1.1-1.2kg ground beef (we used grass-fed)
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced finely
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (you could use red too)
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14oz/ 400 g (1 can or jar) of tomato sauce or puree, also known as passata (we love this brand)

To finish: 

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour (tapioca/arrowroot for Whole30 or paleo)
  • Fresh parsley or basil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cooked spaghetti, pasta or zucchini noodles


  1. Prep. Dice onions, carrots, celery, bacon and garlic. Set garlic aside. 
  2. Sauté stage. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté function key (it will show Normal, 30 minutes). Once hot, add olive oil, onions, celery, carrots and bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
  3. After 3-4 minutes, add the beef, garlic, salt, pepper and spices/herbs and stir through breaking the meat apart with a spatula. Add 1/2 cup of white wine and stir into the beef, allow it to bubble for 30 seconds or so. Follow with the stock and press Cancel to stop the Sauté process. Mix the beef and stock through really well, keep breaking the meat apart if it’s in large clumps. Use the spatula to scrape anything that might have stuck to the bottom.
  4. Now, pour the tomato puree/sauce over the top and spread it evenly, don’t stir through all the way. This will prevent any possible BURN error as tomato sauce can get caramelized on the bottom.
  5. Set & cook. Secure the lid on top and turn to lock in place. If using earlier models, check that the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing.
  6. Press Manual/Pressure Cook button and use the + / – keys to adjust the time to 15 minutes. It should say HIGH pressure. If not, change to HIGH using the Pressure Level button. After a couple of seconds, the screen will show ON and the pot will start to heat up and build the pressure.
  7. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure. The more liquid/ingredients you have in the pot, the longer it usually takes. Once the pressure is built up, the float valve will come to the UP position.Now, the 15-minute timer will show on the screen. Note that the cooking actually begins during the pressurizing stage.
  8. Once the timer is done, the Instant Pot will change to a natural pressure release stage. Allow about 10 minutes to rest and then use the quick release to manually let off the remaining pressure (press the Quick Release button on the top). If Keep Warm is selected, you will see a new timer on the screen to let you know how many minutes the pressure cooker has been staying warm (you can use it as your timer for natural release).
  9. Thicken the sauce. Open the lid and stir the sauce. At first, it may seem like it’s got too much liquid but we’re not done just yet. Press the Sauté button again. Allow the sauce to come to a simmering bubble and cook it for 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times. This will allow some of that liquid to evaporate.
  10. In the meantime, mix 2 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl into a smooth slurry. Pour this liquid into the sauce and stir immediately. Press Cancel to stop the Sauté function. The sauce will now look more thickened and glossy. Taste for seasoning.
  11. The sauce can be served right away or stored in the fridge or freezer. Make sure to cool it down completely before storing. Serve with your favorite pasta (spaghetti is more traditional) or gluten-free alternatives. Zucchini noodles are great for Whole30, Keto, Paleo version.


Pressurizing time: 10 minutes | Cooking under pressure: 15 minutes (on HIGH) | Release: 10 minutes natural release + quick Release  Saute Time: 10 minutes Total cooking time: 45 minutes

MEAT. We used grass-fed ground beef, but you can use half beef and half pork; also, ground lamb or chicken meat will work. Grass-fed meat is optional but it’s more nutritious and really does taste so much better.

TOMATO SAUCE. Good, ideally organic tomatoes is another key to an amazing Bolognese. They tend to be sweeter and definitely better for you. We used tomato sauce (pureed tomato passata sauce) but you can also use chopped tinned tomatoes (we love this brand).

ADD-ONS FROM THE EARLIER RECIPE. For a bolder, more in-depth flavor, you can add any or all of the following: 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), 1-2 bay leaves and chili flakes or powder to spice it up. In this recipe, we have also added bacon which is optional.


  • Serving Size: 1.5 cups
  • Calories: 408
  • Sugar: 4.1 g
  • Sodium: 1360.2 mg
  • Fat: 27.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.7 g
  • Fiber: 2.9 g
  • Protein: 31.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 96.5 mg

Keywords: Bolognese Sauce, Bolognese, Ground Beef, Tomato Sauce, Italian, Spaghetti, Instant Pot, Gluten-Free, Whole30, Paleo, Pressure Cooking