Slow Cooker Italian Sausage, Beef, and Vegetable Ragu

A generous ladle of this Slow Cooker Sausage Ragu is the best companion for a cold winter night.

This Slow Cooker Sausage Ragu makes a hearty meal for a cold winter night.

I’ve never been much for resolutions, but I do enjoy taking some time at the beginning of a new year to reflect and plan, dream and remember. I know it sounds terribly selfish, but sometimes I forget to stop and be grateful for this life I’ve been given. In 2014, I visited five different states (plus discovered some hidden treasures in my own), met online friends in person for the first time, quit my job to pursue full time blogging, celebrated five different weddings of dear friends, and experienced the wonder that is Hot Chicken.

When I look back at this year, I’m overwhelmed by God’s goodness. I won’t tell you it’s all been easy or fun. There have been mouse infestations and gutters falling off the house, health issues and Polar Vortexes. But in the midst of the day-to-day grind, I see the punctuations of grace. Grace was there in a California sunset, in a late night heart to heart with a best friend. It was there when the tears brought healing, when new friendships were formed, when my husband and I walked hand in hand on a Cape Cod shore. I am so thankful for this crazy, hard, wild, beautiful, unexpected life.

Make this Slow Cooker Sausage Ragu on a cold winter night.

I’m not planning to sit down and make a list of SMART goals for 2015 or post my resolutions to the fridge. I have no idea what to expect of this year, but if there’s one thing I am hoping for, it’s that I can be fully present for whatever may come. I want to soak up every bit of this life I’ve been given, practice thankfulness, and be intentional with my time. Maybe that means not bringing my phone to dinner with a friend or leaving the computer off for an entire weekend. Maybe it means inviting people to my house even when it’s a hot mess or choosing celebration of the women around me over comparison. Instead of focusing on doing more, I want to focus on being present and showing up for every moment of life I’ve been given.

I guess I shouldn’t say I’ve totally shunned resolutions, because I do have a few for NeighborFood. One of those is to better communicate with you, the readers, and give you more of what you want. Back in September, I asked all of you what you would like to see in this space, and you answered with a resounding “Slow Cooker Recipes PLEASE!!” I heard you loud and clear, and I’m excited to tell you this entire month will be dedicated solely to crock pot favorites, starting with this hearty  sausage ragu.

This Crock Pot Sausage Ragu is packed with vegetables and herbs for the ultimate comfort food.

This is the kind of recipe you want to come home to on a cold winter night. It’s loaded with Italian Sausage and ground beef which simmer all day in an herby tomato wine sauce. Served over a pile of pasta, it makes a filling one pot meal.

I know a lot of you are probably resolving to eat healthier this year, and this recipe can definitely fit in. The sauce itself is gluten free and dairy free, loaded with carrots, celery, and mushrooms, and checks in at about 320 calories a serving. Pick a heart0healthy whole wheat or gluten free pasta to go with it, and you’ve got a hearty meal you can feel good about serving to your family. The Mr. went wild for this, and said he’d be fine if it made it onto our menu every single week. That, my friends, is high praise.

This recipe does require browning the meat before adding it to the crock pot, but other than that, it’s a throw it in and forget it recipe. I like to brown the meat and chop the vegetables the night before so I only have to spend 5 minutes in the morning getting everything ready to go.

You'll want to make this Crock Pot Sausage Ragu a regular on your dinner rotation.

I’m so excited to share more slow cooker favorites with you in the coming weeks. Here’s to being present, being thankful, and enjoying every moment of 2015!

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage, Beef, and Vegetable Ragu

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage, Beef, and Vegetable Ragu

Yield: 8-10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes

To make this easy, I like to cook the meat the night before then just throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning. Prep is a breeze!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage, in a roll or links with casing removed
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 6 ounce cans tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice (I like something hearty like rigatoni or cavatappi)

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, cook the Italian sausage and ground beef over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until beginning to brown. Add the chopped onion and cook until meat is no longer pink and onion is translucent. Drain any excess fat off the pan, then place the meat mixture in the slow cooker.
  • Add the tomatoes, paste, wine, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and oregano to the slow cooker and stir everything together. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with a hearty pasta, such as pappardelle or rotini.
  • Did you make this recipe?

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    Recipe by NeighborFood

    Looking for more meaty Slow Cooker favorites? Try these!

    Slow Cooker Rosemary Mushroom Pot Roast

    Slow Cooker Chinese Beef and Broccoli

    Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs from Big Bear’s Wife

    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff from The Daring Gourmet

    Slow Cooker Swiss Steak from The Midnight Baker

    16 Comments

    1. I was late getting this in the crockpot and I made about one and half times the recipe. I cooked the meat and put it all together in the crockpot, but was wondering if 4 hours on low would be sufficient. Or 2 on high and 2 on low. Not sure

      1. I would probably put it on high the first two hours since you’ll have a little less time. Good luck! I hope you enjoy the slow cooker ragu!

    2. Made this for dinner tonight. It is very hearty and quite tasty. I thought maybe it would come out dry when I started the crock pot but it turned out well.

    3. This is just a great post and I think you have an amazing year lined up. Love this ragu, I need to use my slow cooker more often. If it comes out looking like this, I’m in.

    4. Love your intentions for the new year. My intentions are similar, and they now also include making this ragu as soon as humanly possible. I can practically smell it through the screen!

    5. Loved this post, Courtney. “Not bringing my phone to dinner with a friend.” YES. I try my hardest at this, and succeed most of the time. Unfortunately, I have so many friends that will still sit through a dinner checking their phone all the time. It sort of makes me sad, but I don’t want to dwell on it. I’ll just do my best to do what I can!

      This ragu looks amazing! I’ve never tried ragu in the slow cooker before, but I like that it involves a lot less stirring than simmering on the stove all day!

      1. It IS sad, and I can be just as guilty as other people. I hate that I feel the need to be hyper connected even when I’m connecting with someone IN PERSON. Definitely want to do a better job at being present with people in real life this year.

    6. Nicely said about appreciation and reflection. My New Year’s Resolution is simply take more photos and live life fuller. This Ragu might have to be part of the plan. Man that looks good.

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