Easy Venison Bolognese Sauce

By GrowingDeer,

  Filed under: Recipes

This easy pasta sauce recipe is rich and satisfying, made with common ingredients you most likely have in your pantry!

With the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders I’ve searched for a new  recipe to try for the venison in the freezer and the ingredients available here without having to go to the grocery store. I discovered this Instant Pot recipe and modified it for venison and what was in the pantry.  If you don’t have an Instant Pot you can cook this in a crock pot/slow cooker for 8-10 hours on low. It’s now a family favorite and will be a regular recipe I cook!  Enjoy!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground venison
  • 3-4 oz. diced Canadian Bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 28 ounces crushed Great Value tomatoes, in purée
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream or whole milk
  • pinch ground nutmeg (to taste, optional)
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • cooked pasta of your choice (larger, firmer pasta is better but use whatever you have as I did)
  • Shredded Italian cheese for topping: parmesan, provolone, Romano


  1. Turn the Instant Pot on the Sauté setting.
  2. Add olive oil and heat.
  3. Add onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add ground venison and Canadian Bacon to the Instant Pot
  5. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  6. Cook the meat on the sauté function, breaking up meat with a spoon, until browned.
  7. Add garlic to the Instant Pot, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  8. Add the red wine, scraping the brown bits from the bottom so that nothing sticks to the bottom and all ingredients move freely, no sticking.
  9. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until most of the wine has evaporated.
  10. Stir in crushed tomatoes in purée, water, and 1 Tbsp parsley. Bring to a simmer.
  11. Put the lid on and seal the Instant Pot. Set the unit to HIGH pressure for 25 minutes. Quick release pressure and carefully lift lid when the float drops.
  12. Switch the Instant Pot to the lowest heat sauté setting and bring to a bubble. Simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes, frequently stirring. Allow the sauce to thicken.
  13. Stir in whipping cream, remaining dried parsley, and ground nutmeg (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over cooked pasta with plenty of  shredded/grated cheese and a sprinkling of parsley, if desired.

Notes:  This recipe works well with ground turkey, elk, pork…whatever you have in the freezer.  Above is the recipe as I changed it – the original recipe here must be even better if you have all the ingredients or want to modify it for your own use.