Authentic Low-FODMAP Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce; Gluten-free

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Authentic Bolognese Sauce is one of the most amazing Italian meals.  This sauce is so much more than a ‘spaghetti’ sauce, mostly due to the richness of the ingredients, and the long simmering process.  Perfect for a slow-cooker that does most of the work!

I adapted this recipe from one that Ree Drummond makes for Food Network.  I find her recipes relatively easy to prepare, and family friendly.  While this low-FODMAP recipe does look complicated at first, most of it is just dumped in your slow-cooker without a lot of chopping/dicing or preparation.

I guarantee, this low-FODMAP Bolognese Sauce is totally worth it. It is so rich and hearty.  Don’t worry about having too much, it  tastes better after a day or two in the fridge 🙂

I love to ladle this sauce over low-FODMAP, GF rigatoni, penne, or other wide noodles, and sop up the rest with some LF, GF crusty bread.   Check out some recommended low-FODMAP brands on my low-FODMAP Grocery Shopping Blog!

You may also love my:

Or check out over 400 more low-FODMAP recipes on the blog.  IBS-friendly!

Be healthy and happy,

Rachel Pauls, MD

P.S.  Check out my new COOKBOOK for over 100 low-FODMAP recipes, low-FODMAP Meal Plan, FODMAP Tips and everything you need!!  It’s the BEST!

the low-fodmap IBS solution

Although this recipe has not been laboratory tested, a single serving should be low-FODMAP based on the ingredients (*using available FODMAP data at time of posting)

Serves: 10

Yield: About 7.5 cups; 50 ounces sauce

Serving size: About 3/4 cup or 5 ounces sauce (amount will vary depending on the amount of liquid in your final product)

Prep time: 45 min

Cook time: 6 hours on low (I recommend using the lowest setting to allow a longer simmering time)

Total time: 6H45M

Equipment: Large skillet (I prefer cast-iron), 5 or 6 quart slow cooker


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil; divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
  • 1 tablespoon onion or shallot infused oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
    • About 1/4 stalk (10g) is one low-FODMAP serving due to mannitol
  • 2 carrots, chopped
    • FODMAPs are not detected in carrots
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus to taste (I used an additional 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus to taste (I used an additional 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 tbsp is one low-FODMAP serving due to fructans
    • Select a brand without onion or garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds ground beef
    • I used organic, lean, grass-fed ground beef for this recipe (85%/15%)
  • 1 cup low-FODMAP milk (I prefer lactose-free FULL FAT or ‘whole’ milk for this recipe)
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • Under 4 ounces of canned tomato is one low-FODMAP serving.  Higher amounts will contain excess fructose
    • Select a brand without added onion or garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (avoid if you don’t tolerate spicy food)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Parmesan rind, optional
  • Prepared low-FODMAP Beef Broth or Stock, optional for consistency

For serving:

  • Freshly grated Parmesan
    • Cheeses are naturally low in lactose levels
  • Cooked low-FODMAP, gluten-free pasta of your choice (about 1-1.5 cooked cups per serve)
  • Low-FODMAP, GF Crusty Bread (I used Schar’s ciabatta rolls)
  • Chopped fresh basil, Italian parsley and green scallion tips


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and carrots, season with half the salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon each) and cook until softened, about 10 minutes, covering if desired
  • Add the tomato paste and stir together, then pour in the white wine and cook until it is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes
  • Pour this mixture into a slow cooker. Wipe out skillet if desired, then return it to your stovetop
  • Place the beef in the skillet with a second tablespoon of olive oil and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper
  • Cook on medium or medium-high heat, breaking up any lumps, until it is nicely browned (about 10 minutes)
  • Discard any fat from the pan and stir in the low-FODMAP milk
    • The milk helps soften the meat, so it stays moist for the slow-cooking process
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the milk is mostly absorbed into the meat (about 5 minutes)
  • Add the meat to the slow cooker along with the 2 infused oils, canned crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and Parmesan rind (if using)
  • Stir, cover, and cook on low for 6 hours
  • Skim off any fat on top (if needed) and check the consistency
    • If it is thick, you can add a bit of water or low-FODMAP beef broth
    • If it is thin, then allow to cook 15 or 30 minutes longer
  • Taste and add salt and pepper as desired, or other spices (I added 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper)
  • Remove the Parmesan rind if necessary, and serve over low-FODMAP, GF pasta with additional grated Parmesan and fresh herbs
  • Sauce is delicious the next day, or can be frozen for later use

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