Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese
Easy slow cooker mushroom bolognese recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with button mushrooms, vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, celery and Italian herbs. Best served with spaghetti.
Mushrooms add such a depth of flavor that really can not be matched by anything else! Bring the comfort of a tomato pasta sauce and marry it with mushrooms, and the next thing you know you have heaven on your plate. Here is the more classic version Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce in case you want to include meat in the sauce. Otherwise, enjoy this vegetarian version!
How To Make Slow Cooker Bolognese Recipe From Scratch?
- Saute ingredients– This includes onion, garlic, carrots, celery and saute.
- Transfer– To slow cooker.
- Saute mushrooms– And transfer to crockpot too.
- Deglaze pan– With red wine.
- Pour mixture– Into the slow cooker.
- Add other ingredients in crockpot– This includes tomatoes, tomato paste, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar, crushed bouillon cube (optional), red chili flakes, bay leaf.
- Mix– Until combined.
- Cover– And cook.
- Enjoy!– Serve over pasta.
What Sides To Serve With Veggie Bolognese Recipe?
Serve it over any of your favorite pastas:
- Spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, macaroni, rotini, fettuccine, angel hair
- Zoodles or spaghetti squash (low carb healthy alternatives)
Use it as a dip and serve it alongside:
- Garlic bread
- Cheese bread
- Mozzarella sticks
- Onion rings
- Fried zucchini
This hearty sauce can also be used as a topping or filling for:
- Slow Cooker Eggplant Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
- Stuffed peppers
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
How Do You Make Bolognese Taste Richer?
Make sure to use full fat milk. Saute the mushrooms. Use a high quality red wine. Make sure to include the bay leaves. These are the best ways to make this sauce taste as rich as possible. You can even add a splash of Worcestershire sauce, caramelize the onions, and add in blended olives like a paste, for the richest sauce around.
What Is The Difference Between Ragu And Bolognese?
Both the terms are used interchangeably. Ragu is a traditional Italian meat-based sauce that is usually served with pasta. It is typically prepared with ground beef and lots of herbs and simmered for many hours. Ragu alla Bolognese is the most popular version of Ragu.
Why Do You Put Milk In Mushroom Bolognese Sauce?
It makes the sauce richer and silky smooth. I highly recommend using whole milk or a full-fat vegan milk!
Variations For Vegetarian Bolognese
Mushroom lentil sauce– Add lentils for a heartier, and still vegetarian meal.
Walnut sauce– Add walnuts for an extra boost of flavor, protein, and healthy fats, while keeping the sauce vegetarian.
Use other mushrooms– There are so many choices. Use morels, cremini, portobello, chanterelle, or porcini.
Vegan milk options– Full-fat cashew or coconut milk would be my first recommendations because they have a creamy and high fat content. You can also use almond or soy milk
Add cheese– Such as parmesan, goat, asiago, romano, or mozzarella. You can even add a combination of cheeses. Freshly grated is best.
Add more herbs– Such as oregano, basil, or fennel. Fresh or dried herbs can be used.
Try different seasoning– Like Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning, or even a Cajun seasoning for a major flavor twist.
Add more veggies– Such as green bell peppers, finely chopped zucchini, eggplant, or artichokes.
Make it spicy– Add additional red chili flakes, or even cayenne if you prefer more spice.
Tips And Techniques For Vegan Bolognese
Saute mushrooms first– This allows all the excess liquid to evaporate. If you skip this step, the sauce will become watery.
Use multi-functional slow cooker– It allows you to saute ingredients in the crockpot. No need to do anything on the stovetop, and this also keeps the dirty dishes to a minimum!
How to thicken pasta sauce? To thicken the sauce, continue to cook it uncovered for the last 30 minutes and allow the excess liquid to evaporate and thus thicken the sauce, or add a cornstarch slurry. I prefer the first method because it prevents an odd “chalky” after-taste.
How to make pasta sauce thinner? Simply add more broth or water.
Omit the wine– You can use vegetable broth instead of wine.
What setting to cook pasta sauce in the slow cooker? Cook on Low heat for 4-4.5 hours or on High heat for 2-2.5 hours
Fresh crushed tomatoes vs. Canned crushed tomatoes? Canned tomatoes are often ripened to a more appropriate point than fresh tomatoes are before being picked. They are also fully cooked before going into the cans which makes them more convenient. The only downfall is that they can be more acidic. Fresh tomatoes are obviously fresher, not as acidic but they do take a bit more time to cook. So make sure to adjust cooking time accordingly.
Use low sodium broth and bouillon cubes- Because it prevents this meal from becoming too salty.
Refrigerate– In sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze– In a sealed freezer safe container for up to 1 month.
Reheat– From thawed, in the microwave or stovetop.
More Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipes
- Slow Cooker Cauliflower Casserole
- Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Pasta
- Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup
- Slow Cooker Pasta
Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese
- 2 tbsp Butter , Unsalted
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 cups Onion, Finely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
- 1.5 cups Carrots, Peeled, Diced
- 2 stalks Celery, Diced
- 2 containers White button mushrooms, 8 oz. each, Cleaned, Roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Red wine, Or use low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cans Crushed tomatoes, 28 oz. can each
- 1 can Tomato paste, 6 oz. can
- 1/2- 1 cup Milk, Whole, Adjust according to your preference, Can be replaced with vegan milk
- 1.5 tbsp Italian seasoning
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 1 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1 cube Vegetable bouillon, Crushed, Optional
- 1/4 tsp Red chili flakes, Optional
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tbsp Parsley, Roughly chopped, For garnish
- Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
- And add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and saute until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.
- Transfer this to slow cooker.
- In the same pan, add mushrooms and saute them until liquid is evaporated and they are golden brown.
- Transfer these mushrooms to the crockpot too.
- In the same nonstick pan, add red wine. Bring to simmer and scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.Then, pour this mixture into the slow cooker too.
- Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar, crushed bouillon cube (optional), red chili flakes, bay leaf.
- Mix until combined.
- Cover and cook on Low heat for 4-4.5 hours or on High heat for 2-2.5 hours.
- Discard bay leaf.
- Garnish with parsley.
- Serve over pasta and enjoy.
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave or stovetop.