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Slow Cooker Ragu

Cans are one of the best ways to lock in nutrients and get vegetables from their source to your family table. And canned tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms make this pasta sauce as nutritious as it is delicious.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Prep time: 6 hours (depending on heat setting)
Servings: 8-10

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Slow Cooker Ragu


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/4 cup canned tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1 (14.5-ounce) can sliced carrots, drained
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
Cooked pasta, such as spaghetti, for serving


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for 1 minute just to soften. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper cooking for about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and thyme and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Deglaze with the beef broth using a wooden spoon to pull up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully transfer mixture to the slow cooker. Stir in the canned tomatoes. Mix the pork and sirloin together in a separate bowl, using your hands, until combined. Stir the meat into the slow cooker, spreading out evenly and avoiding any large clumps. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours. During last two hours of cooking, add canned carrots and mushrooms to ragu. Skim the accumulated grease from the top before serving.

Serve over pasta with crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 270
Total fat: 8g
Saturated fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 750mg
Carbohydrate: 34g
Sugar: 9g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 17g
Vitamin A: 120%DV*
Vitamin C: 35%DV
Calcium: 8%DV
Iron: 15%DV

*DV=Daily Value
**Nutritionals used lean beef sirloin and 16% fat ground pork