Instant Pot Bolognese (with video)

An Instant Pot Bolognese sauce, with traditional ingredients, taste as though it has cooked all day, but this Instant Pot recipe is ready in under an hour. 

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Over Pasta Or Pizza
Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Over Pasta Or Pizza

An Instant Pot For Busy Family Cooking

At this time in my life, I have the time to cook anything my heart desires.

But for my grown children and their busy families, meal time often produces guilt for not having the time to prepare healthy meals, quickly.  

I decided to create a few recipes for busy families such as this, using an Instant Pot! I heard so much about slow cookers, but even the name doesn’t ring a practical bell. My family needs to have something Fast, not Slow!

So, what is an Instant Pot, and how does it compare with a slow cooker/crock pot?

Is an Instant Pot is really just a pressure cooker with lots of convenient bells and whistles? 

Instant Pot Bolognese Over Pasta
Instant Pot Bolognese Over Pasta

Cooking With An Instant Pot

Ingredients go into the pot, just as you would a slow cooker, except in less than an hour the meal is cooked and ready to serve.

With a crock pot, it’s option is to sit on your counter, cooking All day while you are out and about. 

That thought worried me. But something else troubled me about the slow cookers and crockpots, something no-one talks about; bacteria. 

Common sense should tell us that a slow cooker takes several hours to reach a safe, bacteria-killing temperature for meat, particularly pork or poultry. 

The last thing I want is a delicious barbecue slow-cooked pork in which I will have tummy troubles for several days following!

Panela Pot Of Brazil and Instant Pot Of America

While living in Brazil, I became familiar with the Panela, the pressure cooker. Everyone owned one, rich or poor.

Every morning you would hear the hissing of the controlled steam escaping through the little wooden ball that danced around, like a wild samba dancer, on the top of the pan. 

Pressure Cooker In Brazil Over Fire!
Pressure Cooker In Brazil Over Fire!

Beans and rice were always cooked in these pots.

Not instant par-cooked rice, or canned beans, but the REAL stuff!

There was something comforting about the smell and sound. 

It made you think about the attention that would be given to a healthy meal you knew you could look forward to.

Shredded chicken was also used in a variety of popular Brazilian dishes and the best way to cook it fast, and keep it moist, was in the pressure cooker.

Now, I own an Instant Pot, and for me it has all the safety resolves for fast heat and the elimination of bacteria.

The moist requirements, a slow cooker provides, a sauté feature for flavorful braising, and the speed we need in the kitchen for our crazy busy lives, it has it all!

My First Instant Pot In America
My First Instant Pot In America

Busy Family Bolognese

Every Italian cook knows the time it takes to create depth of flavor in a Bolognese sauce.

It simmers for hours on top the stove, evaporating the liquid of light flavors and deepening them into a rich sauce. 

My first dish to share with you will be a meat sauce, a Bolognese sauce to be served over pasta.

This sauce is also perfect served over Homemade Pizza dough or wrapped inside Homemade Stromboli dough and it is simply the best meat sauce!

Stromboli With A Bolognese Sauce Wrapped Inside
Stromboli With A Bolognese Sauce Wrapped Inside

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground Beef
  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red chili flakes
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Ground fennel
  • Oregano
  • Red wine
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Sugar
  • Cooked pasta (optional)
  • Pecorino cheese (optional)
  • Pizza dough (optional)
Ingredients Needed for Bolognese
Ingredients Needed for Bolognese

Equipment Needed

  • Instant Pot
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Chopping knife
  • Ladle


Flavors in this traditional Bolognese sauce taste as though they cooked all day, but for busy families, this Instant Pot recipe is ready in 35-minutes. 
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Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Instant Pot Bolognese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 823kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Onion medium, finely chopped
  • 4 Carrot finely chopped
  • 4 Celery stalks finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • pinch Red chili flakes
  • 3 Garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/2 cup Basil rough chopped
  • 2 tsp Ground fennel optional, gives the taste of sausage
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 cup Red wine
  • 3 cups Crushed Tomatoes canned or fresh
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 lb Cooked Pasta homemade
  • 1/2 cup Grated Pecorino or Parmigiano Cheese


  • Set Instant Pot to Saute.
  • Place oil in the pot. Add onions, garlic, celery, and carrot. Sauté until onions soften.
  • Add the meat and spices and cook until meat browns.
  • Deglaze with wine. Cook for 15 minutes until the wine is reduced.
  • Stir in tomatoes and sugar. Close the lid. Press ‘Cancel’ then ‘Manual or Pressure Cook’ and cook for 35 minutes.
  • When it is finished, press cancel. Carefully release the pressure, and unlock the top when ready to serve.
  • Serve over Pasta with grated Pecorino Cheese, or use as a topping on pizza dough!



Serving: 4g | Calories: 823kcal
Instant Pot Bolognese
Instant Pot Bolognese
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