Three Meat Ragu Sauce

This ragu sauce has a combination of beef, pork, and veal, producing a rich and hearty Italian sauce. Perfect with pasta, as well as in baked Italian dishes. The best part of all is that this is an Instant Pot recipe! You’ll never have to stand over the stove for hours watching over your sauce. In about 45 minutes, you can be enjoying this Italian comfort food!

I love homemade pasta sauces. We have our “healthy” homemade spaghetti sauce that we created to use when we don’t want any added sugar. And we often make our lasagna meat sauce to serve over spaghetti noodles because it mouth-watering delicious.

Today we have a new Three Meat Ragu sauce for you!

Three Meat Ragu Sauce over spaghetti

This delicious sauce is made in your Instant Pot which means it is easy. It boasts 3 meats and is loaded with veggies. It’s rich and has amazing flavor. You can serve it over pasta or even use it in your favorite Italian casseroles.

What’s the difference between a ragu and a bolognese?

Although both of these Italian sauces are delicious, they are not one and the same. Ignore the jarred product found on the shelves of the grocery store; authentic ragu is not a simple tomato sauce. Ragu is a meat-based sauce, typically made using ground beef, pork, veal, and sometimes lamb. In addition to meat, authentic Italian ragu sauce also includes sauteed minced vegetables, white wine, and cream. Bolognese uses more tomato sauce and does not include cream.

Our recipe for 3-Meat Ragu Sauce is dairy-free, as it does not include cream. The vegetables we use are carrot, onion, celery, and zucchini. Additionally, we substitute beef broth for the wine.

A bunch of different types of food, with Beef and Pork

Are dried or fresh herbs better for ragu sauce?

When you make sauces, stews, and anything else that requires a long cooking time, it is best to use dried herbs. Dried herbs are twice as potent as fresh, but it also takes longer for them to impart flavor into food. If you like fresh herbs, add them into the ragu sauce at the end of the cooking time.

A bowl of food, with Sauce and zucchini

Can you freeze ragu sauce?

Ragu is definitely freezer-friendly, making it a great choice to use when making freezer meals. Add the ragu sauce to a make-ahead lasagna, or just store a batch (or three) in freezer-safe containers.

Note: Before freezing the sauce, be sure that it is completely cool. If you skip this important step, you risk ice crystals forming on the sauce. Trust us – nobody wants to eat ragu with freezer burn.

Once the sauce is frozen, it should keep well for up to 3 months.

A plate of pasta on a table, with Sauce

How to make meat sauce in an Instant Pot

To make three-meat ragu sauce in your Instant Pot, you’ll first saute the meat mixture and onions. Be sure that the pot is hot before you add the oil, otherwise, you’ll end up steaming the meat instead of browning it. Once the oil starts to shimmer, go ahead and add your ingredients.

Cook the meat until it is browned and the onions are translucent. Be sure to drain off any fat before you add the remaining ingredients.

A bowl of food on a plate, with Sauce and Pasta

What pasta goes with ragu?

We realize that most families have boxes of spaghetti in their pantries for when the Italian craving hits, so we showcased our ragu sauce with pasta. This sauce is a thick sauce though and would also pair well with a larger pasta. Think shells or tubes so that the sauce can hide in the holes & shapes of the pasta.

What is a good side dish for ragu?

This recipe is really a one pot meal since it has veggies and meat right in the sauce. But it would be delicious with a ceasar salad and a slice of homemade bread.

Other Italian Recipes

square image Three Meat Ragu Sauce Recipe
square image Three Meat Ragu Sauce Recipe

Three Meat Ragu Sauce

5 from 1 vote
This ragu sauce has a combination of beef, pork, and veal, producing a rich and hearty Italian sauce. Perfect with pasta, as well as in baked Italian dishes. The best part of all is that this is an Instant Pot recipe! You'll never have to stand over the stove for hours watching over your sauce. In about 45 minutes, you can be enjoying this Italian comfort food!
Servings 24
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 4 cans crushed tomatoes (28 ounces EACH)
  • 6 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (1 small can)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 2 fresh sprigs)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 zucchini (chopped)
  • ½ cup beef broth

Instructions
 

  • Press the saute “more” mode for 18 minutes. Add in the oil, and once warm add in the 3 meats and onions. Brown the meats until no longer pink.
  • Drain off the fat after the meat has cooked.
  • Next, add in the remaining ingredients. Stir well and cover. 
  • Place the lid to sealing mode and cook high pressure for 15 minutes. 
  • Press cancel once time is up and allow to naturally release until all of the pressure is released.

Notes

**This made a large batch, save leftovers in freezer bags for future uses. I also used the larger Instant Pot. This recipe can be halved for smaller Instant Pots.**
 
The calories shown are based on the recipe making about 24 cups, with 1 serving being 1 cup of sauce. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 514mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1275IU | Vitamin C: 10.6mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Author Julie Clark
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 160
Keyword homemade sauce, italian dinner, meat sauce, spaghetti sauce

A plate of food with pasta, meat sauce and veggies

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Katherine Dietz
2 years ago

Can this be made on the stove or in a crockpot? Also can the zucchini be shredded or omitted? Thanks for your help!
Katherine

Dolores Arendall
2 months ago

I am looking for a vegetable, no meatSpaghetti sauce we got it at a game pizza place 30 years ago , will this recipe work , just leave meat out??