Crock Pot Pasta Bolognese


There are just 10 more days until school starts for my kiddos.

So now the summer panic is starting to set in.

You know, when you realize you didn’t get to do all the fun and exciting things you had planned for in the beginning of the summer. And now your kids are going to be ‘that kid’ at school who had a “boring summer.”

I’m not joking when I say that I have taken my kids swimming every. single. day. this week.

Oh yes, the race is on to finish off this summer with a bang.

So naturally, who has time to prepare dinner?

Hello crock-pot! 

By preparing dinner in the morning, you are free to enjoy the day with your munchkins, go run errands, head off to work, or just relax and watch Dr. Phil. Either way, you’re chill-axin’ knowing that dinner is taken care of.

One of my favorite things to make in the crock-pot is spaghetti sauce, especially when I am cooking for a crowd. When it’s just for my family, I’ll freeze the leftovers in quart-size bags and then I am ready for another easy dinner.

The thing I really like about Pasta Bolognese Sauce is the heartiness to it. It’s filled with ground beef, ground sausage, chopped mushrooms, onions and diced tomatoes.

This bolognese sauce is a little on the lighter side, cause I’m trying to watch my waist line right now. So I used the leanest ground beef I could find, I also used hot turkey sausage and instead of adding heavy cream to the sauce, I added fat free evaporated milk. It still gives it that creamy texture without the added calories and fat.

It does take just a little bit of prep in the morning to get this sauce started. But it’s real easy, so no worries.

Just brown the ground beef and the sausage along with the onions and mushrooms, drain off the fat, then toss it into the crock pot. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Salt and pepper, then throw in a few bay leaves.

Set it to low and go have yourself an epic end-of-the-summer-kind-of-day.

When you come back, your house will smell yummy and inviting.

All you’ll have to do is stir in the evaporated milk, boil some noodles, cut up some crusty bread, and watch the Olympics with your kids while they pretend the couch is a balance beam.

Ah yes…isn’t summer the best?

Crock Pot Pasta Bolognese
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 hot sausage turkey links, removed from casings
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 8 oz package button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 5 oz fat free evaporated milk
  • Spaghetti Noodles, cooked according to package directions
  1. In a large skillet combine ground beef, turkey sausage, onion, and garlic.
  2. Brown for 2 minutes and add mushrooms. Continue stirring and browning for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Drain any fat from the skillet and transfer meat mixture to crock pot.
  4. Add the diced tomato, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Taste the sauce and add more salt if desired.
  5. Add the bay leaves and stir.
  6. Set to low for 6-8 hours.
  7. Before serving remove bay leaves and stir in the fat free evaporated milk.
  8. Serve over prepared noodles with a side salad and crusty bread.
Notes from Shawn:
*Freeze any leftover sauce for another night. Simply remove from freezer in the morning and place in the fridge to thaw. Heat it up on the stove top/microwave/ or back in the crock pot.



  1. Now why didn’t I think of this!? This is genius and I will be making this once a week…probably. So I have more than 10 days til school starts. Help.

  2. Really…only 10 days left of summer vacation??? My son goes back after labour day…but school in Canada finishes at the end of June which is much later than in America.

    Pasta looks mouthwatering…really should invest in a crock pot….

    • Yeah, we got out at the end of May, but have several breaks throughout the year. You should get a crock pot, they are wonderful time savers!

  3. Its times like this I really wish I had a crock pot…looks just gorgeous, and has definitely made me want spag bol for dinner tonight!

  4. I’m always looking for new slow cooker recipes. This looks awesome. I love the idea of using evaporated milk. I never thought of that! So good and perfect for those crazy nights when it’s hard to get dinner on the table.

  5. If I wanted to use the heavy cream instead of the evaporated milk, would I still use the same amount? Can’t wait to make this! My mouth is watering…

  6. I appreciate it for writing “Crock Pot Pasta Bolognese
    – I Wash You Dry”. I actuallymight surely end up being back again for alot more reading through and commenting here soon enough.
    Thanks, Ronda

  7. This recipe is good, but a little strange. We thought the spicy sausage was great, but I’m not sure what the point of the evaporated milk is. To reduce acidity? Mine turned out a little watery, and would have been bland if not for the sausage. I may make it again but will use more tomato sauce and fewer diced tomatoes, and will add Italian seasoning.

  8. Terry Z says:

    I love the idea of using non-fat evaporated milk in place of the cream. Do you use that substitution in other dishes? Looking forward to making this sauce. Bolognese is one of my favorites! Thank you.

    • I don’t have any other recipes on the site that use evaporated milk as a substitution, but I have used it in a white sauce with pasta before. :)

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