Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

113 reviews / 4.3 average

We're making this cozy, comforting Beef Ragu with Pappardelle! Steak is braised in the crockpot for hours with garlic, tomatoes, veggies, and herbs, then shredded and piled high on pappardelle with Parm cheese.

We won’t hold you up too long here because really we just want you to spend some quiet blissful minutes looking at these gorgeous pasta shots and know that this slow-cooked beef ragu is every bit as luscious and comforting as it looks.

It is absolutely packed with juicy tomato and big garlic flavor, tender shredded beef that swims in a little almost gravy-ish situation, all twirling and swirling around big wide chewy pappardelle. Hello, are you crying? It’s all just so beautiful.

We also probably don’t need to tell you that this is perfect for bread dips too because you were obviously already thinking that.

In This Post: Everything For Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

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A side angle view of beef ragu in a bowl with a fork. A white hand is sprinkling herbs on top.

Ingredients To Make Beef Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

In addition to a few pantry staples, there’s not a super long ingredient list to get this cozy, rich bowl of comfort on your table.

  • garlic
  • flank steak (chuck roast can also work)
  • can crushed tomatoes
  • beef broth
  • carrot
  • bay leaves, fresh thyme
  • pappardelle pasta
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan, ricotta, and parsley for topping
Beef ragu with pappardelle in a bowl with a fork.

Let’s Make Tender Beef Ragu

This recipe is originally from the amazing Skinnytaste cookbook, called Fast and Slow (affiliate link), which is loaded with awesome recipes for real people and we are just real big fans of Gina over here. Because this recipe is a slow cooker dream, it comes together pretty easily!

  1. Get your garlic cloves golden and lightly browned with a quick sauté in some olive oil.
  2. Season the beef and transfer to a slow cooker. Pour in tomatoes, broth, carrots, the garlic from step one, bay leaves, and thyme.
  3. Set that slow cooker to a low simmer and walk away for the day! Once done, discard the herbs and shred the beef in the pot.
  4. Cook your pasta and then let that sauce and pasta hang out with each other for a few minutes. Give it a quick stir.
  5. Top with some excessive piles of parmesan cheese, ricotta, and parsley or fresh basil.

We gave it a whirl and yes, this totally can be made in the Instant Pot in a pinch (see recipe notes for instructions), but why not fill your house with the smells of cozy dinner all day long?

Beef ragu with pappardelle in a bowl with a fork.

What To Serve This Alongside

Plenty of options to round out your table for this beauty even though it will be hard for anyone to focus on anything else once they have these joyous bowls of pasta in front of them. Maybe you want to do just a simple green salad or a roasted broccoli salad. If you’re not feeling pasta (seems strange, but everyone has their reasons), this ragu would also be absolutely stellar piled on some polenta.

Also we mentioned crusty bread dips earlier and we do really mean that. PLEASE TRY THIS NO KNEAD BREAD WITH IT BECAUSE YOU WILL DIE OF JOY.

Beef ragu with pappardelle in a bowl with cheese.

We love a good carb moment. Especially one that involves a sauce as luscious and cozy as this.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu: Frequently Asked Questions

Can this be made in the Instant Pot?

Yes! We followed the recipe as-is for 45 minutes on Manual and it turned out great. A quick release should work, but if it splatters, feel free to do a natural release.

You can also check out this recipe for Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu - made in the Instant Pot and insanely delicious!

Would it work to freeze this and heat later?

LOVE that idea! You can find instructions in this post.

I have extra sauce. How long will it last?

It should last about 1 week in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.

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Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle in a bowl with ricotta.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle


  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

We're making this cozy, comforting Beef Ragu with Pappardelle! Steak is braised in the crockpot for hours with garlic, tomatoes, veggies, and herbs, then shredded and piled high on pappardelle with Parm cheese. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed slightly
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut against the grain into 4 pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 16 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • Parmesan, ricotta, and parsley for topping

Instructions

  1. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  2. Season the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes and broth over the beef and add the garlic from step one, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. Discard the herbs and shred the beef in the pot using 2 forks.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and add the sauce from the slow cooker. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until the pasta and sauce are combined, about 1 minute.
  5. Divide among 8 bowls and top each with Parmesan, ricotta, and parsley. Serve hot!

Equipment

Notes

This recipe comes from the brand new Skinnytaste cookbook, Fast and Slow (affiliate link).

Instant Pot Instructions: We followed the recipe as-is for 45 minutes on Manual and it turned out great. A quick release should work, but if it splatters, feel free to do a natural release.

Freezer Meal Version

  1. Freeze Together:
    6 cloves garlic, smashed
    1 cup mirepoix, fresh or frozen
    2 pounds flank steak or beef chuck, cut into 4 pieces
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    1/2 teaspoon thyme
    2 bay leaves
  2. Instant Pot Instructions: High pressure 45 mins + 10 mins natural release
  3. Slow Cooker Instructions: High setting 6 hours (thaw first)
  4. Final Step: Shred the meat and serve with pasta, baked potatoes, polenta, rice, cauliflower rice, gnocchi, zucchini noodles, etc.
  5. Check out our full freezer meal posts with all recipes and instructions here!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: slow cooker beef ragu, beef ragu with pappardelle, beef ragu recipe

View the freezer meal version of this recipe here.

You might also like our full freezer meals post.

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One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of easy pasta recipes. Check it out!

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393 Comments

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Is this missing a step? What do you with the garlic and oil from Step 1? Do you cook the beef in it before transferring to the crock pot (Step 2)? Or do you just put the oil & garlic into the crockpot??

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks delicious and such beautiful photos! Love how entertaining your posts always are!! They’re such a joy to read. You’ve seriously brightened up my otherwise boring Monday afternoon 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay! Would it be accurate to use half of all the ingredients if I’m only cooking for 2? What should the cooking time be? Thanks!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    This sounds like my kind of cookbook! I’ve been on bed rest for the last month with no end in sight, so slow cooker meals have been a lifesaver. Beef ragu is a fav comfort meal here for sure.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I prepared this exactly as written and was …disappointed. I thought it was lacking flavor. I keep looking back through the ingredients and steps to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Oh well, this one wasn’t for us. On to the next!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          I just had the same experience! Keep re-reading… what did I do wrong? I am dumping salt on it to try and save it but I might just throw it all out. :(. My first miss from this website- leaving the feedback so others will skip this recipe, definitely not knocking the website !

        2. Skillful Cook Logo

          How funny. I have the exact opposite reaction. I love this recipe, and so does my family! We thought it was incredibly flavorful! Sorry to hear you had such a different experience. It is on regular rotation for us now!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, you’re the sweetest!! I want to be YOU when I grow up and learn how to write like you!! Thank you for your kind review and it was so nice seeing you this weekend!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I know, right? Bjork’s dad didn’t make this one! It’s from Speck and Stone. You can look her up on Instagram or her website. She is extremely talented!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      It is really frustrating as a fellow reader to have ppl “rate” the recipe with stars when they haven’t tried it yet. If you “can’t wait to try” it / haven’t made it yet please don’t rate. When I look at the “stats” of what the average rating is to help decide if I want to make a recipe, posts like yours mess it up.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay and Gina I can’t tell you how much my boyfriend and I loved this! Delicious and perfect in the cockpot when one of you has a last minute meeting (w, me) And the other works over night (him) next I want to try it with the polenta!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. 6 hours is quite long and I can’t stay home all-day for some errands. Would it be okay to use a pressure cooker to cook the beef? The combination of beef and pasta is really awesome. I hope I can cook this perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I had JUST been thinking I would use a pot roast for the beef in my pressure cooker. When I cook flank steak I cook it very medium rare so it is hard to imagine cooking it for so many hours. But I like this recipe idea with a pot roast, and having some sour cream on hand to add to a bite to see how that is. Okay – I’ll be ‘brave’ (I’m 64) and do it both ways at the same time – splitting the recipe between the two meats. 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looks delicious Lindsay! I have a love-hate relationship with my slow cooker and would love to see you using pressure cooker in some of your recipes cuz that’s my best friend in the kitchen 😉

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Can’t wait to try! Could I use short rib instead of flank steak? If so, would everything including cook time remain the same?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Short ribs would need the same amount of time, and actually pork ribs for that long would be excellent, too. You could just pick the bones out by the times end. Yum!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    REALLY, really good and so easy! My whole family enjoyed this and THAT is so rare!!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    The perfect quick, easy and cheap dish! However, I ended up pairing my meat mixture with mashed potatoes rather then pasta. 10 out of 10 dish.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this yesterday and love it! I amended the recipe a little bit b/c I needed to use up some items in my fridge and pantry. I cooked it on high for 4 hours in my slow cooker and it came out perfectly. Thanks again for another awesome recipe!! Congrats on the baby!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Just made this recipe yesterday. Turned out rich and delicious 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!