This easy Instant Pot Beef Ragu is rich, hearty, and your new favorite Italian dish! Tender and juicy beef is pressure cooked in crushed tomatoes and fresh herbs, then tossed in al dente pasta. Topped with parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese, this Italian comfort food is delicioso!
Beef Ragu Sauce Made Easy
Oh, hey, you! Boy, do I have a recipe for you. If there is ONE thing I am good at, it’s making a perfectly delicious pasta sauce…except, I’ve made it even easier.
You see, every Sunday you can smell the garlic when you pull into my driveway. I let my pasta sauce simmer for hours on end, enticing the whole stinkin’ neighborhood.
Summer months are fast approaching Florida and I don’t dare keep my stove on for hours, so this Instant Pot recipe really saves time, energy and energy while preserving that simmering on the stove for hours flavor.
It’s so good that I was eating spoonfuls while serving my kids. One ladle full for you, two for me, please! And obviously, with more sauce, you need more cheese. My pasta tends to just drown in this delicious saucy heaven.
Whether it’s red wine pasta sauce, or this perfect beef ragu, you will enjoy the bold flavor of red wine mixed with crushed tomatoes and fresh herbs.
Beef Ragu Ingredients
- Onion, celery, and carrots- A yellow or white onion is great for cooking with and will add perfect flavor! In the Italian culture, we call this mixture of onion, celery, and carrots “the Holy Trinity.”
- Chuck Roast– Look for a roast that has a good amount of marbling. This will ensure a juicy and tender roast.
- Galic- Is there any Italian recipe that is complete without garlic!?
- Beef bullion- Adding a little beef bullion will give a perfect, balanced beefy flavor.
- Red wine- Any kind of dry red wine (dry means unsweetened) will work great for this recipe!
- Crushed tomatoes- Canned crushed tomatoes have a perfect texture that clings onto noodles! It’s not quite a puree, but you won’t find chunks of tomato, either.
- Thyme- Fresh or dried thyme adds a layer of flavor that really ties it all in.
- Bay leaves- The purpose of bay leaves is to enhance the flavor profile and flavors of meats put in dishes.
- Red pepper flakes- For an extra delicious flavor, add a pinch of red pepper flakes. A dash won’t create heat, but they will deliver an amazing flavor!
Chef Tip: How to cut the acidity from pasta sauce
Tomato sauce have you reaching your Tums? Tomatoes contain ascorbic acid which can taste bitter and can really irritate your stomach.
Cut the acidity of your favorite pasta sauce by adding 1/4 tsp of baking soda. Remember when your mom would fix you a glass of water with baking soda to help your belly ache? This is the same concept. A little baking soda will not alter the flavor of your sauce.
Do not use red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes are known to cause indigestion, so if you are prone to it, skip out on this ingredient.
Add a tablespoon of butter or a splash of heavy cream. Calcium is known to help reduce acid by neutralizing it with its alkaline properties.
Sugar does not reduce the acidity of pasta sauce. We perceive it to cut the acid because the sweet sugar counteracts the tart and bitter taste of tomatoes, but the PH remains the same, meaning it does not actually work.
How to make Beef Ragu in the Instant Pot
- Sautè the vegetables. Finely chop your garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Add a little bit of olive oil to your instant pot and set it on the ‘sautè’ option. Once the pot gets hot, add the vegetables and sautè for two minutes.
- Cut the beef into 2-inch chunks. To save time, cut the raw chuck roast into two-inch pieces. If you have time, just place the chuck roast into the instant pot, but the cooking process will take 1-2 hours longer.
- Add everything else. Add the beef, beef bullion, red wine, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Place the lid on the instant pot and select the meat/stew mode. Allow the ragu to cook at the automatic high pressure for 35 minutes.
Beef ragu on the stovetop
- In a dutch oven, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cut the chuck roast into 2-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper. Add the chuck roast to the pot and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set to the side.
- Finely chop the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. Add the vegetable mixture to the pot and sautè for two minutes.
- Add the red wine to the pot and deglaze it by scraping the bottom with a spatula. Add the chuck roast back to the pot (with the juices).
- Add the crushed tomatoes, thyme, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and beef bullion to the pot. Stir to combine. Place the lid on the dutch oven and allow it to simmer for 2 hours on low.
- Remove the beef chunks and shred them. Add them back to the sauce, then serve over your favorite pasta.
How to make beef ragu in the slow cooker
- In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Finely chop the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan and sautè for two minutes. Add the mixture to the slow cooker.
- Cut the chuck roast into two-inch chunks. Season the chunks with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan on the stove and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Add the beef chunks and pan juices to the slow cooker.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, thyme, red pepper flakes, red wine, beef bullion, and a pinch of salt to the slow cooker.
- Set your crockpot on low and cook for 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, remove the beef chunks, shred them, then add back to the slow cooker.
- Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Add pasta to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!
How to serve beef ragu
Beef ragu can be served with an extra pinch of red pepper flakes, fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, or thyme, and my personal favorite, parmesan cheese.
Pasta with beef ragu
- Zucchini noodles are a great way to cut out carbohydrates and still enjoy the divine flavor of this dish.
- Spaghetti squash is another healthy alternative to pasta that pairs great with this sauce!
- Pappardelle is a wide, thick noodle that allows the sauce to stick to it and is great for a hearty sauce!
- Fettuccini/thick spaghetti is easy to find in most grocery stores and has the same effect as pappardelle. The wider the noodle, the more sauce it can hold.
- Gemelli looks like a twist tie in pasta form. All the fold and crevices hold the sauce great!
What goes with beef ragu
Here are a few delicious vegetable sides that pair well with this classic Italian ragu.
- Pan roasted broccoli with garlic is an easy side dish that you won’t be able to keep your hands out of!
- Five minute oven roasted asparagus is the quickest vegetable side dish that always hits the spot!
- Crispy oven baked eggplant cutlets are the perfect Italian side dish. Sliced eggplant is coated in a breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture and crisped to perfection.
- White Wine and Lemon Roasted Artichoke Halves are packed with flavor and nutrition. With complimenting hints of white wine and lemon, with lemon zest, the artichokes are juicy and delicious!
- Carrot Top Pesto Over Roasted Carrots is a delicious way to use the whole carrot. Using the tops of the carrots for the pesto base, along with raw cashews, basil, white wine, and a few other fresh ingredients, this side dish has a fantastic, fresh taste!
Instant Pot Beef Ragu
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 3 lb chuck roast cut into 2 inch chunks
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 beef bullion cubes
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Select the sautè button on your instant pot. Add the olive oil and allow it to heat up. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery stalks. Stir and sautè for two minutes.
- Add the beef chunks, red wine, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, beef bullion and a pinch of salt to the instant pot. Place the instant pot on 'Meat/Stew" and allow it to cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
- When the beef ragu is done cooking, begin to boil a pot of hot water with 1 tbsp of salt. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions until it is al dente.
- Do a quick release on the instant pot and open when all the air has been released. Remove the beef chunks and shred them on a cutting board with two forks.
- Add the beef back to the instant pot. Stir in the spaghetti and serve. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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