This Slow Cooker Beef Ragu simmers all day for a hearty and satisfying meal that your family will love. It’s full of beef that’s slow-cooked to tenderness in a tomato base full of herbs and spices before being served over pasta.
If you’re looking for an easy meaty, saucy pasta meal, you’ll love this Slow Cooker Beef Ragu recipe! With just a few minutes of prep, you can have these everyday ingredients ready for your crockpot to do all the work while you carry on with your day. Come home to an appetizing aroma that will have your family ready and waiting for dinner to be served!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Requires no special cooking skills
- Mostly hands-off meal
- Uses common everyday inexpensive ingredients
- Perfect for meal planning and is freezer-friendly
- Make easy ingredient swaps for the meat and pasta
Beef Roast – Cut into cubes before adding to the slow cooker.
Red Onion – Peeled and diced. Can also use a yellow or white onion.
Garlic – Minced, to add flavor and spice.
Carrot – Peeled and sliced thinly, to add texture and flavor.
Celery – Sliced thinly, to add texture and flavor.
Beef Broth – To add flavor and help cook the ingredients.
Crushed Tomatoes – To help make the tomato-based sauce.
Salt And Pepper – For seasoning. Can also add dried Italian seasoning to amp up the flavor.
Rigatoni Pasta – To serve with the ragu sauce.
Butter – To add to the sauce for flavor.
Grated Parmesan Cheese – A garnish over the sauce when ready to serve.
How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Ragu
STEP 1: Add all of the prepped ingredients (onion, carrots, celery, garlic) to the slow cooker.
STEP 2: Cut the roast into 3” cubes and place in the slow cooker.
STEP 3: Pour the beef broth and crushed tomatoes on top. Sprinkle the salt and pepper around and give it a gentle stir. Cook on low for 8 hours.
STEP 4: Right before it’s done, add the butter to the slow cooker and let it melt. Take the meat out and shred it while you are waiting for the butter to melt. Add the meat back to the slow cooker and stir.
STEP 5: Boil the pasta and drain. Serve the ragu sauce over the pasta and garnish with parmesan cheese.
What Is Ragu?
Ragu is the Italian word for a meaty sauce that’s cooked with tomatoes and herbs. Traditionally served with pasta, it can also include vegetables.
The Best Cuts Of Beef To Use
Almost any cut of beef will work, since it’s going to be slow-cooked to tenderness. A beef roast, brisket, stew meat, flank steak or chuck steak will work. No need to use the most expensive cut – inexpensive cuts will work.
Do I Need To Sear The Beef First?
No, not with this recipe. Just cut the raw beef into 3” chunks and place them in the slow cooker as directed. The beef broth and other ingredients will help infuse the beef with flavor and the slow cooking will tenderize it so that it shreds easily.
While this recipe calls for rigatoni, you can easily swap it out for a different pasta. You’ll often find beef ragu served over the popular pappardelle pasta. Also try tagliatelle, farfalle, fettuccine or spaghetti.
What To Serve With Slow Cooker Beef Ragu
You’ll want some bread to go with this pasta meal and my Cheesy Garlic Bread pairs perfectly with this beef ragu. My Slow Cooker Focaccia would also be a great side item to serve and so are my Italian Garlic Herb Parker Dinner Rolls.
For something green, a simple side salad would be perfect. To finish off the meal, keep the Italian theme going with a slice of my irresistible Italian Cream Cake or my Easy Cannoli Poke Cake.
Is This Meal Freezer Friendly?
The ragu sauce (without the pasta – make that when you’re ready to serve it) is perfect for a cooked freezer meal. Just make the ragu sauce, and thoroughly cool it before adding it to a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. It will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop and serve it over freshly cooked pasta.
Cooled leftovers will be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop. For the freezer, store the ragu sauce leftovers (without the pasta) in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop.
More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes
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A slow cooker recipe that simmers all day to get the most delicious, mouth-watering Beef Ragu with all the flavors from beef roast, onion, garlic, and veggies.
- 3 pound beef roast
- 1 red onion (peeled and diced)
- 4 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 carrot (peeled and sliced thinly)
- 1 celery (sliced thinly)
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth
- 14 ounces can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Gather all of the ingredients.
- Add the sliced onion, sliced carrots, sliced celery, and minced garlic to the slow cooker. (I used an 8-quart slow cooker).
- Cut the roast into 3” cubes and place in the slow cooker. Pour the beef broth and crushed tomatoes on top. Sprinkle the salt and pepper around and give it a gentle stir. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Right before it’s done add the butter to the slow cooker and let melt, give it a stir once melted. Take the meat out and shred it while you are waiting for the butter to melt. Add meat back to slow cooker and stir.
- Boil the noodles and drain once done. Place the noodles in a bowl and pour some of the meat and sauce on top of the noodles. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve!
Tips and tricks!
- Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge.
- Use your favorite pasta for this.
- Garnish with parsley for a fresh taste.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 560Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 172mgSodium 447mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 47g