Slow Cooker Thick and Saucy Veg Bolognese Recipe

Slow Cooker Thick and Saucy Veg Bolognese Recipe

This sauce is such a favourite of mine because it’s rich, hearty and satisfying, while also being a big dose of veggies! And it couldn’t be further from a watery sauce – in fact it’s so thick and luscious we had to water it down to make lasagne. Make this recipe throughout spring, summer and autumn when these veggies are plentiful, cheap and at their best, loading up the freezer to get you through winter or whenever you need a quick meal. Heat up a container, cook some pasta and you’ve got the ultimate bowl food, faster than you could order Uber Eats. This recipe is a teaser straight from my brand new cookbook ‘Modern Slow Cooker’… click below to check it out!

Serves 6
Hands-on time: 15 mins
Total slow cooker time: 4 1/2 or 8 1/2 hours

+ dairy free
+ vegan
+ vegetarian
+ egg free
+ nut free
+ soy free
+ gluten free
+ freezer friendly


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 eggplant, diced
400 g swiss brown mushrooms, diced
200 g pitted kalamata olives, diced
500 g ripe tomatoes, diced
¼ cup (70 g) red miso paste*
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 chicken-style stock cubes or 1 tablespoon faux-chicken stock powder (click here)
3 teaspoons ground sweet paprika
700 g passata
1 potato, peeled and grated



  1. Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and sauté for 5–10 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. In this order, add carrot, celery, eggplant, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, miso paste, maple syrup, stock cubes or stock powder, paprika and passata to slow cooker. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.


  1. Add grated potato, fold through, incorporating well. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes on high.

And your bolognese is ready to serve! My favourite option is to ladle the sauce over penne or rigatoni and garnish with a sprinkling of cheese and fresh greens (pictured). This sauce is also great as a shepherd’s pie base, a pie filling, pasta bake sauce, served over creamy polenta, stuffed in capsicums or inside a jacket potato (see page 76 for my slow cooker jacket potato recipe).

*If avoiding gluten and soy, ensure miso paste is gluten and soy free – soy-free miso is hard to find but it can be done!