Easy Pressure Cooker Bolognese

A delicious and satisfying sauce made by bolstering store-bought sauce with loads of good veggies and meat!

A traditional ragu bolognese requires a long cooking time over the stove; allowing the meat to become meltingly soft and concentrating the robust tomato flavours into a delicious sauce that clings to any pasta. This pressure cooker version recreates that tender texture, and with the use of jarred sauce, recreates a thick and rich rendition which can be made without much fuss.

This bolognese also features loads of vegetables which not only sweeten the sauce naturally, but add nutrition to the end sauce. The best part is after cooking you won't even notice it inside! (A perfect recipe to get kids to eat their veggies?)

Chopping the vegetables in the food processor speeds up the preparation, and helps all the ingredients blend into the sauce.

Finally, a glug of balsamic vinegar is optional, but I do recommend putting it in if you have it - it really deepens the flavour of the final sauce.


Makes 4-5 servings
-1 large jar of traditional Bolognese sauce (use your favorite brand)
-1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
-2 sticks of celery, peeled and cut into large chunks
-5 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
-1 onion, peeled and quartered
-150-200g ground beef
-150-200g ground pork
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-½ cup water
-2 bay leaves
-Salt and pepper to taste
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)

Special equipment:
-Food processor
-Pressure cooker


-Place carrot, celery, onion and garlic into the food processor and process until finely chopped.
-Turn on pressure cooker and turn setting to “High Sear”.
-Once pot has heated up, add the olive oil and brown half of the beef and pork. Season with salt and black pepper.
-While the meat is frying, use a non-scratching spatula or cooking spoon to break it into smaller pieces. Keep frying until the pieces are separated nicely and browned.
-Add the remaining meat and all the chopped vegetables, stirring to break up the clumps. Season more if required.
-Continue searing until the vegetables have softened slightly.
-Add the Bolognese sauce, balsamic vinegar and fill the same jar with the ½ cup of water, cover the jar with the lid and shake to get every bit of sauce out. Pour water into the pot. The sauce should still appear very thick.
-Stir to combine, add the bay leaves and cover with lid.
-Set pressure cooker to “Stew” setting, and check that pressure valve is set to seal before starting.
-Allow pressure cooker to cook sauce for required amount of time. (My pressure cooker took 53 minutes).
-When done, allow the pressure to naturally drop for approximately 30 minutes. You will know this happened successfully when you release the pressure valve and almost no steam comes out.
-Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper where necessary.
-Serve over your favourite pasta, or use in making a delicious lasagna!

Recipe Notes

-Browning the meat adds an extra depth of flavor to the sauce, so it is worth doing!
-Drying the ground meat by patting it with paper towels will allow it to brown faster when cooking.
-Browning ground meat tends to make it very tough, so by browning only half the meat, we can achieve both tender meat and nice browned flavor.
-Bolognese sauce freezes very well, pack into individual portioned containers or Ziploc bags for easy meals on busy days.
-This sauce contains lots of vegetables, but those eating won’t notice it! It is delicious and very satisfying.

©2018 by Inspirecookeat