You are going to love this episode of In The Kitchen With Dana!
Honestly, this meatless slow cooker mushroom tomato bolognese is so hearty, you won’t miss the meat!
Mushroom tomato bolognese used to be a weekend-only Bolognese (Ragu) but can be an everyday option.
Slow cookers revolutionize our daily rush mode.
Now the bold flavors of both tomato and mushroom atop pasta can be a weekday dinner option!
Create amazing end-of-day meals, that simmer while you work and enjoy weekend-only sauces during the week.
In fact, many won’t cook a bolognese during the week due to limited time.
However, with this simple, hearty, and meatless slow cooker mushroom tomato bolognese (ragu) it becomes Sunday pasta meals any day of the week.
Bolognese sauce is traditionally prepared with some meat, however, this one is vegetarian.
Certainly, you could add-in meat if you prefer.
Hearty and meatless slow cooker mushroom tomato sauce is fresh, slow-simmered, and simple to make.
Whether you serve this mushroom tomato bolognese atop spaghetti, tortellini, small cut pasta, zucchini noodles, or parsnip pasta it will be hearty!
Meatless Slow Cooker Mushroom Tomato Bolognese (Ragu)
Is it bolognese or ragu?
To be totally honest, in my home, we use the words interchangeably and remember my grandparents were straight off the boat (lol).
My husband’s family also uses the words interchangeably and he’s from a first-generation family!
So, I’m going with this statement: when we make long cuts of pasta (spaghetti rigati, fettuccine pasta, bucatini, linguine) we call it bolognese.
There’s really no right or wrong answer, just so you know.
While I may not be a pro chef, no one has ever said that it’s incorrect.
Go ahead and check out the internet, you’ll find the names are also interchangeable.
Call it what you may, it is meatless slow cooker mushroom tomato bolognese or ragu.
Slow Cooker Mushroom Tomato Bolognese Tip
If you want the same slow cooker and 4 Qt Stockpot as I have, here’s what I used and there’s 20% off too!
To perfect this meal, I used my 360 Cookware 4 Quart Stockpot atop my slow cooker base.
However, since it was a weeknight meal, I actually did the saute the day ahead and then the next morning added up the chopped ingredients.
That’s it, I put it on the slow cooker and let the 360 Cookware do its thing!
At the end of the day, my slow cooker mushroom tomato bolognese was ready and waiting for me!
Perhaps the most gracious part of this whole process is that this can be made in 2 hours or it can simmer day-long.
Really, its both basic, simple, yet it imparts a very rich flavor.
Check out my Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Mmmm!
Tomatoes, Fresh Garlic & Mushrooms, Oh My!
To achieve a very deep flavor, I use only fresh tomatoes and freshly peeled and cut garlic cloves.
Never do I skimp on the garlic, nor the tomato chunks.
You won’t find paste in this mixture it takes away from the flavor.
When I purchase mushrooms, I only buy whole mushrooms.
I believe (and have taste-tested and try this theory) that purchasing sliced mushrooms diminishes the quality of flavor in a mushroom.
Purchase whole stem mushrooms and slice them yourself.
Thank me later!
Basil, buy it in bulk, keep it at room temperature, and don’t be shy with using it in this recipe.
Did I mention there is one secret ingredient that I use instead of salt?
There’s no need to use salt in this recipe because this is the game-changer.
In fact, I’ve written a lot about what to use in tomato sauce and soups and it adds salt without adding salt (if that makes sense).
Grab the Recipe Here
- 1 Tsp Olive Oil
- 4 Cloves Garlic (peeled, 2 sliced 2 left whole)
- 9 Tomatoes (rinsed, dried, chopped)
- Package of Mushrooms (8 oz) rinsed and sliced).
- 1 Small Yellow Onion (peeled and sliced)
- 12-14 Leaves Fresh Basil (cleaned, chopped)
- Freshly Milled Pepper
- 1 Tsp Sugar (optional)
- 1/4 C Sauvignon Blanc
- Hunk of Parmesan Cheese Rind
- Stovetop setting medium-low.
- Place olive oil and garlic in 4 Qt Stockpot on the stove.
- Add tomato and mushroom.
- Then, basil, and onion.
- Top off with a dash of freshly milled pepper (as little or a much as you prefer).
- Optional (sugar).
- Add Wine.
- Now the cheese rind.
- Lid on.
- Sweat for 5 minutes.
- Then remove the lid and for 10 minutes more allow veggies to soften.
- Stir at 5-minute intervals.
- After approximately 15 minutes or when your veggies look like a photo, it's time to slow cook this for the rest of the time.
- Transfer to the slow cooker (plate - 360 slow cooker plate)
- I cooked mine on setting FOUR for 2 hours.
- You can choose any time allotment you prefer.
- When the cycle is complete, remove from the slow cooker and allow the sauce to bolognese to breathe for 5 minutes before using it.
- Since there is no paste to thicken, you may prefer to use a slotted spoon to serve. (unless you want to suck up the saucy part on your plate with bread after eating the pasta, Mmmmm!)
- Serve atop pasta, zucchini noodles, shrimp, chicken, gnocchi, ravioli, butternut squash, etc.