This Lamb and Mushroom Ragu is made in slow cooker for a super hearty and savory weeknight meal. This mouthwatering ragu sauce is full of flavor, and is great paired with any noodle or noodle replacement of choice. The sauce itself is low carb, gluten free, dairy free, and keto friendly. The complex flavors of this sauce will delight your palate, and they develop in the slow cooker while you are free to work on other projects.
The slow cooker is one of our most favorite kitchen appliances. Although this sauce starts on the stovetop to develop and deepen the flavors, it finishes in the slow cooker and will make your home smell amazing! We love using a slow cooker to develop rich, complex flavors, without having to take up space on a burner for 8 hours. While we do suggest cooking this sauce on low in the slow cooker for 8 hours, there's plenty of inactive time while it's in the slow cooker so you can work on other things. We absolutely love this low carb and keto friendly ground lamb sauce.
If you're looking for more similar hearty low carb and keto recipes, try these lamb meatballs with feta and lemon, or even these top sirloin steak caprese skewers with walnut pesto! If you're really trying to make a cozy evening of it, try this low carb bourbon hot cocoa to warm your bones! Missing something on our website? Please let us know in the comments if there's something on here you'd like to see so we can get in the kitchen and create it!
Here’s What We Used For This Lamb and Mushroom Ragu (Slow Cooker):
- Ground Lamb
- Olive Oil
- Tomato Paste
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Smoked Paprika
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Good Quality Red Wine
- Beef Broth (Pacific Foods)
- Fresh Thyme, Rosemary and Sage (for your herb bundle)
- Bay Leaves
- Good Quality Parmesan Cheese and/or Ricotta for garnish
- Basil for garnish
- Salt and Ground Pepper
- Serve with noodles or noodle replacement of choice. We used some Healthy Noodles that we bought at Costco.
What Is a Ragu Sauce?
So, what makes a ragu a ragu you ask? It's a bit of a broad definition, but technically it's a rich, slow cooked sauce for pasta that is primarily made of meat! So naturally, this description fits our recipe. We added in mushrooms because, who doesn't love mushrooms in their pasta sauces?! It makes for a great, savory and earthy flavor to accompany the meat and tomatoes.
What Cut of Lamb Do I Use and How Do I Prepare It?
Many recipes call for lamb shoulder. Lamb shoulder would most definitely be delicious in this recipe, but it is a more expensive cut of meat. We also find it a bit more difficult to find! We love using ground lamb and think it works perfectly in this recipe. Ground lamb is pretty easily accessible at many grocery stores, and we found ours at Aldi. No matter what cut of lamb you are using, you should definitely brown it in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. You could technically add the ground lamb to the slow cooker raw, but we promise, it will not taste as good or be nearly as tender. Browning the meat allows it to develop more flavor, and taste as you go. We like to add a lot of the salt at the stages where we brown the meat and caramelize the vegetables. It helps us control the salt levels and develop such nicer flavors in the dish.
What Type of Red Wine Should I Use?
For this recipe, you should pick a good quality red wine. That doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune, but you do want something that tastes great. We opt for a drier variety, especially since we eat low carb. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Merlot would make good choices. They are on the drier side, but pack plenty of body and fruit flavor that will turn into such a rich sauce. You can also enjoy a glass with dinner when it's all done! You don't need to go crazy picking a wine. Something drinkable works. You definitely don't need to spend more than $10-15 for a bottle.
Do I Have To Use a Slow Cooker?
While we do prepare our lamb and mushroom ragu in the slow cooker, you definitely don't have to. We like to prepare ours in the slow cooker so we can keep our stovetop burners free, and go about our day without having to worry about the ragu sauce. This recipe is truly a perfect candidate for a slow cooker, after we brown the meat and cook the vegetables a little bit. Ragu sauce is meant to be cooked low and slow for hours, until a thick, rich sauce is achieved. If you do prefer to use a dutch oven, go for it! It would make sense, since we start this recipe on the stovetop. You will just want to cook this sauce for hours, at least 4, so it can get nice and tender. We cooked our lamb and mushroom ragu for 8 hours in the slow cooker so the meat became super tender and delicious.
Tools We Used For This Recipe:
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Sharp Chef's Knife & Chopping Block
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
- Slow Cooker
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More Recipes To Try:
- Lamb Meatballs with Feta and Lemon
- Easy Keto Greek Style Lamb Salad
- Low Carb Creamy Chicken Bacon Spinach and Mushroom Pasta
How to Make This Lamb and Mushroom Ragu in the Slow Cooker:
Start by prepping your vegetables. We minced our onions, garlic, carrots, and celery really fine. Thinly slice your mushrooms. Set them aside. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. We will start the sauce in cast iron and then move it to the slow cooker for the best possible flavor.
In a hot skillet with olive oil, brown your ground lamb with salt and pepper. Once it's cooked through, remove it from the skillet and add it to your slow cooker. Add the remaining olive oil, then add your onions, carrots, and celery with some salt. Cook until caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add in your tomato paste and cook until the color deepens slightly. Add in your mushrooms, with a pinch more of salt, then cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly softened. Now, stir in your minced garlic, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then immediately remove from the heat.
Add your cooked vegetables to the slow cooker with the cooked lamb. Pour in your beef broth, and red wine. Add your herb bundle, and some bay leaves. Cover with the lid and let it cook for 8 hours! Stir every so often.
After cooking, remove the herbs and the bay leaves and discard. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve with pasta or pasta replacement of choice. Top with whatever you like. We love to top with ricotta, parmesan and some fresh basil.
If you get a chance to try this recipe, let us know what you think, would ya?! Leave us a comment, or catch up with us on Facebook or Instagram, or pin to your favorite Pinterest board for later. We love sharing your versions of our creations over on Instagram @afullliving!
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Until Next Time,
Briana & Chamere
Lamb and Mushroom Ragu (Slow Cooker)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 3 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 2 medium carrots, minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 8 oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- bay leaves (optional, add 3-4 for flavor)
- thyme, sage, rosemary bundle (for slow cooking to infuse flavor)
- noodles or noodle replacement for serving
- parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese for serving
- In a large heated cast iron skillet, add half of your olive oil, and your ground lamb to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Once cooked thru, add to your slow cooker.
- Add the remaining olive oil, then your onion, carrots and celery with some salt. Cook until caramelized, about 7 minutes, then stir in your tomato paste, cooking until color deepens, about 3 minutes.
- Add in your mushrooms and a pinch more of salt, cook for 3-4 minutes until your mushrooms are lightly softened. Finally, add in your garlic, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and remaining pepper and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Combine the vegetables with the meat in your slow cooker, then pour in your crushed tomatoes, red wine and beef broth. Stir. Add in your bundle of herbs and bay leaves, then cook for 8 hours on low in your slow cooker.
- After cooking for 8 hours, remove your herbs and bay leaves then discard. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Serve with noodles or noodle replacement of choice, top with parmesan cheese, ricotta and fresh basil. Enjoy!
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.