Easy Slow Cooker Beef Ragu Recipe

This Slow Cooker Beef Ragu is a hearty and flavorful dish for any dinner. The beef is slow-cooked until it’s perfectly tender and then shredded into a rich and aromatic sauce made with vegetables, herbs, and a touch of red wine.

This beef ragu will become a family favorite, served over pasta and garnished with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.


Beef (Top Round Steak):
This is the main protein in the recipe. You can also use other cuts like pot roast or sirloin. This beef will be shredded at the end.

Harperdale Pasta:
This is the type of pasta used in the recipe. You can use any pasta of your choice.

Crushed Tomatoes:
Crushed tomatoes add a tangy flavor to the ragu and help create a thick and rich sauce.

Beef Stock:
This is used to enhance the beef’s flavor and create a rich base for the ragu.

Red Wine:
It adds a depth of flavor and a slight acidity to the ragu. It also helps to tenderize the beef.

Celery, Carrots, Onions:
These are the primary vegetables used in the base of many sauces and stews. They add flavor and texture to the ragu.

Used for its strong, pungent flavor, garlic is a key ingredient in many dishes, including this one.

Bay Leaves:
These leaves add a subtle bitterness that balances out the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Olive Oil:
Used for sautéing the vegetables and searing the beef. It adds a rich, fruity flavor.

Dry Thyme and Dry Rosemary:
These dried herbs add a complex, aromatic flavor to the ragu.

Tomato Paste:
This is used to thicken the ragu and add a concentrated tomato flavor.

Fresh Parsley and Fresh Parmesan Cheese (for garnishing):
Used at the end for garnishing, parsley adds a fresh, bright flavor, and parmesan cheese adds a salty, nutty flavor.

How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Season the Beef

Start by seasoning your beef. You can use regular salt and pepper, or a blend of seasonings, as per your preference. Season both sides of the beef thoroughly.

Sear the Beef

Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil reaches the smoke point, add your beef. Sear both pieces of the beef until they have a nice brown color. After this, set the beef aside.

Saute the Vegetables

Lower the heat to medium, add another tablespoon of olive oil, and heat it up. Add your onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Saute these until they are softened, which should take about five minutes. Add a pinch of salt for seasoning.

Add Garlic

In the last minute of sautéing, add your garlic. Once done, turn off the cooktop and set the vegetables aside.

Prepare the Slow Cooker

Add the sautéed vegetables to your slow cooker. Add your thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, red wine, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir everything together to combine.

Add the Beef

Place the seared beef into the slow cooker, making sure to also add any juices that may have collected on the plate. Cover the slow cooker and cook on a low setting for six to eight hours. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness and cut of your beef. You’ll know it’s done when the beef shreds easily.

Shred the Beef

Once the beef is cooked and tender, shred it directly in the pot. Remove the bay leaves at this point.

Cook the Pasta

While the beef is cooking, prepare your pasta according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta.

Combine Pasta and Ragu

Add the cooked pasta to the slow cooker and stir it into the ragu. Ensure that the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.


Finally, serve your beef ragu with a garnish of fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Enjoy your homemade slow cooker beef ragu!

What To Serve with Beef Ragu

Beef Ragu pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Garlic Bread or Fresh Baguette: The crusty bread is perfect for sopping up the flavorful ragu sauce.
  2. Green Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette can balance the hearty, rich flavors of the beef ragu.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts, carrots, or asparagus can complement the beef ragu well.
  4. Polenta or Mashed Potatoes: Both polenta and mashed potatoes can provide a creamy counterpoint to the ragu’s rich sauce.
  5. Grilled or Steamed Asparagus: This can add a nice crunch and freshness to the meal.
  6. A Glass of Red Wine: A glass of red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Chianti can complement the flavors of the beef and tomato sauce beautifully.


Can I use a different cut of beef for this recipe?

Yes, you can use any cut of beef you prefer. Pot roast, beef short rib, or sirloin would all work well.

Do I have to use red wine in this recipe?

The red wine adds depth of flavor and a slight acidity to the ragu. However, you can substitute it with extra beef broth if you prefer not to use it.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, this recipe is perfect for making ahead. You can prepare the ragu, let it cool, and then store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it on the stove and cook the pasta just before serving.

How long can I store leftovers?

Leftover beef ragu can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Be sure to reheat it thoroughly before serving.

Can I freeze the beef ragu?

Yes, this beef ragu freezes well. Cool it completely, then store it in a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

What can I substitute for Harperdale pasta?

You can use any pasta of your choice. Penne, spaghetti, or rigatoni would all work well.

Can I make this recipe in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker?

Yes, you can make this recipe in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time according to your appliance’s instructions for cooking beef.

slow cooker beef ragu pasta served in a bowl.

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Ragu Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

This slow cooker beef ragu recipe is a hearty and flavorful dish that's easy to prepare, perfect for any weeknight dinner.


  • Beef (Top Round Steak): 2 lbs
  • Harperdale Pasta: 1 lb
  • Crushed Tomatoes: 1 can
  • Beef Stock: 1 cup
  • Red Wine: 1/2 cup
  • Celery: 2 stalks
  • Carrots: 2
  • Onions: 2
  • Garlic: 4 cloves
  • Bay Leaves: 2
  • Olive Oil: 3 tablespoons
  • Dry Thyme: 1 teaspoon
  • Dry Rosemary: 1 teaspoon
  • Tomato Paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh Parsley: for garnishing
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese: for garnishing


  1. Season both sides of the beef with your preferred seasoning blend, then sear in a hot pan with olive oil until browned. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, sauté onions, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes, then add garlic for an additional minute.
  3. Transfer sautéed vegetables to the slow cooker, followed by herbs, red wine, beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir until combined.
  4. Place the seared beef into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. Once the beef is tender and easily shredded, shred it directly in the slow cooker.
  6. While the beef is cooking, prepare pasta according to package instructions, then drain.
  7. Combine cooked pasta with the beef ragu in the slow cooker, stirring until pasta is well coated with the sauce.
  8. Serve your beef ragu garnished with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Enjoy your hearty and flavorful meal!
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: per serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400 kcalTotal Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 500mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 28g

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