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Slow-Simmered Meat Ragu

After a day of simmering in the slow-cooker, this ragu is not your typical spaghetti sauce. It's almost like a stew, so feel free to skip the pasta. —Laurie LaClair, North Richland Hills, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1 jar (24 ounces) tomato basil pasta sauce
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 jars (6 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 jar (3-1/2 ounces) prepared pesto
  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Hot cooked angel hair pasta


  • In a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and onion; cook and stir until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender. Drain. Add to slow cooker.
  • Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve with pasta.
    Freeze option: Do not cook or add pasta. Freeze cooled sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place meat mixture in a large saucepan; heat through, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Proceed as directed.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 341 calories, 20g fat (5g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 1294mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 26g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Adele
    Nov 12, 2020

    I like the idea, but jarred pasta sauce and jarred pesto? No. Just no.

  • Diane
    May 15, 2020

    Very little "fresh" here. Canned tomatoes and canned tomato sauce are one thing. But jarred sauce and jarred mushrooms? I might change the title of the recipe to include the word "easy" so as to let readers know that much of this recipe is a "dump and go" recipe.

  • Amy
    Oct 23, 2017

    We loved this flavorful sauce. Thick like a stew, and we loved it over Spaghetti squash, sprinkled with some parmesan cheese.

  • Briadona
    Mar 2, 2016

    Like the chunks of meat and not too heavy. Cut the chicken into large cubes so it would be about same size as sausage. Skipped the pepperoni. Only change to the recipe. Was plenty done 5 or 6 hours total. Rich flavor with the pesto think you would need more to serve 10 so good!

  • SHOK
    Feb 25, 2016

    I would substitute Italian seasoned meatballs for the chicken tenderloins, but otherwise it sounds great! (This is just a personal opinion, but chicken doesn't go in spaghetti type dishes, to me.)

  • cannolisuzuki
    Jul 22, 2015

    I really like the variety of meats in this dish, my family raved about it.

  • bjsilve0
    Apr 3, 2014

    Very good and a nice change from the traditional hamburger or sausage sauce but it is more expensive to make.