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Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

97 reviews / 4.4 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.

Monday, Monday, Mondayyyyy.

The day when we’re all trying to slow down while also keeping up with our responsibilities and ambitions and dreams and all the things that we maybe got behind on this weekend, and, just, bottom line, trying to get our lives together and be mostly happy. Amiright? Ahh, life. I’m glad to be living this weird, crazy journey with you guys.

Yesterday I flew home from Salt Lake City after spending a few days with a handful of boss bloggers at a retreat where we shared our hearts with each other in a really sweet and vulnerable way. Also noteworthy was both the quality and the quantity of world-rocking food that we ate for basically three days straight. So yes, I’m in full blown marshmallow state.

When Bjork picked me up from the airport, I said: take me straight to the grocery store. Actually, that’s a lie: I said, take me straight to Panera because I’m craving chicken wild rice soup and that Mediterranean veggie sandwich and I am going to become a hangry monster in about three seconds. But after we took care of that imminent disaster, we went to the store, stocked up on food for the week like responsible people, and settled in at home in sweats and hoodies to make pumpkin cake, ancho turkey chili, and healthy meal prep stuffs for the week ahead. We lit a little candle and opened the window cause small kitchens be gettin’ hot, yo. It was like fall meets Pinterest meets real life, and it was lovely.

I cannot even tell you how awesome-and-in-charge-of-my-life I feel right now. A full fridge of flavor-packed healthy food never ever felt so good.

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

One of the bloggers who was at the retreat with me this weekend was the ever-amazing Gina from Skinnytaste. She needs absolutely zero introduction. She is a food blogging legend and a total babe and a two-time NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLER as of a few days ago. But here’s the thing you might not know about Gina – she’s literally one of the most kind and positive people I’ve ever met. I want to be her when I grow up.

So it totally makes sense that her new cookbook, called Fast and Slow (affiliate link), is loaded with awesome recipes for real people.

Sorry to dork out for a second, but you guys, can we just give it up for the cookbooks that work for real people? THANK YOU, UNIVERSE. Gina’s cookbook is 100% for US. It’s not a high-brow food diva situation. No, no. It’s familiar and easy and healthy. It’s called Fast and Slow because half of the recipes are speedy-fast and the other half are slow-cooker-friendly.

Beef ragu with pappardelle in a bowl with a fork.
Beef ragu with pappardelle in a bowl with cheese.

This Beef Ragu Is Out-Of-This-World Good

This slow cooker beef ragu is the first recipe I made from the book and it was every bit as luscious and comforting as I expected it to be. It’s packed with juicy tomato and garlic flavor and tender shredded beef that swims in a little tomato gravy situation that is on point for crusty bread dips. (PLEASE TRY THIS NO KNEAD BREAD WITH IT BECAUSE YOU WILL DIE OF JOY.)

I’ve only ever made a braised beef ragu one other time (which I love love loved) but I served mine over polenta, so this time around, serving it with pappardelle was bomb.com for a quick and easy melt-in-your-mouth pasta dinner.

We are nothing if not pasta people, so obviously. Just, obviously.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu: FAQs

Can this be made in the Instant Pot?

Yes! See recipe notes.

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.

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

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

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


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. 


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


  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!



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
  • Cuisine: Italian

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

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View the freezer meal version of this recipe here.

You might also like our full freezer meals post.

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Noodles Forever, and Ever, and Ever, and…

One More Thing!

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

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Recipe rating


  1. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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!

  5. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum Logo

      We don’t have a ton of experience with pressure cookers, so can’t really say! Keep in mind that with the crockpot, you can set it and then leave while it cooks. 🙂

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Linda Berglund

      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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Linda Berglund

      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. Pinch of Yum Logo

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

  11. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum 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. Pinch of Yum Logo

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