Slow Cooker Zucchini Bolognese – The Magical Slow …


Do you have a surplus of zucchini in your garden this summer? If so, then it is time to make Zucchini Bolognese with this easy slow cooker recipe!

This dish originated in Italy and got its name from the city of Bologna. While traditionally made with beef, it can also be made or vegan with a few adjustments.

fettuccine with bolognese sauce mixed in, in slow cooker.

It’s hard not to love food that tastes good and is also good for you! In this blog post I will show you how to make slow cooker zucchini bolognese as well as some other slow cooker pasta dinner recipes.

Megan Markle’s zucchini bolognese

This recipe inspiration is from Megan Markle. I saw that she loves to make zucchini bolognese on the stove-top and I had to try it in the slow cooker. You don’t have to be English royalty to enjoy this healthy version of pasta bolognese. This zucchini bolognese recipe is the perfect dinner for any day of the week.

Just combine a few ingredients with fresh zucchini in a slow cooker to create this meatless dish that has more vegetables than pasta. The best thing about it might be how easy is it to make and we can all thank the Duchess of Sussex for inspiring it!

pile of zucchini in large bowl

How to make zucchini bolognese:

Zucchini Bolognese is a classic Italian dish made with zucchini, garlic, and oregano that simmers into a flavorful sauce.

  • Zucchini– slice the zucchini and discard the ends. You’ll need about ten cups for this recipe
  • Chicken bouillon cubes– vegetable bouillon can be substituted if you prefer.
  • Garlic cloves– a staple in Italian , mince approximately two cloves
  • Red pepper flakes– Red pepper adds heat, so use measure them carefully. It’s easier to add more later if you prefer a spicy sauce.

The rich zucchini sauce is filled with tasty bolognese ingredients that can be served over fettuccine or rigatoni pasta as the main course of any Italian dinner!

sliced zucchini in bowl with spices on the side

Do you add water in bolognese sauce?

  • For our sauce, use around one and a half cups of water. Use less if you don’t want as much liquid in the dish.
  • The sliced zucchini will also simmer down and add some liquid to the sauce and it’s always easy to add a bit once the sauce is ready if you find that it’s too thick.
collage of zucchini before and after cooking

Should I add sugar?

  • No, the sweetness in this recipe comes from using zucchini as the main ingredient.
  • Adding sugar to the sauce can give it an overly sweet taste that will mask all of its other flavors and textures.

Is Zucchini Bolognese ?

My version is not because I use chicken bouillon cubes to enhance the depth of flavor. However, with one simple tweak of ingredients, this recipe can be vegetarian.

To make it vegetarian, simply swap the chicken bouillon cubes for vegetable bouillon cubes. That’s it. Omit the Parmesan cheese as well and the dish is now vegan.

zucchini Bolognese in slow cooker

How long does zucchini bolognese cook?

  • After adding the bolognese ingredients to your slow cooker, cook on HIGH for 5 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • This gives the crock pot pot time to properly soften the zucchini so it’s easy to mash for the sauce.
fettucine with zucchini bolognese mixed in. Salad and bread on side

Tips to make sauce taste better:

  • Red pepper- for an extra kick, sprinkle on red pepper flakes to your bowl of pasta.
  • Chicken broth- adding the chicken bouillon cubes makes a rich and flavorful stock that gives the sauce more taste.
  • Italian seasoning- adding oregano, basil leaves, and thyme to your sauce will give it a traditional Italian flavor that will balance out your zucchini bolognese sauce nicely.
  • Garlic- make sure you add plenty of garlic for an extra punch of flavor. Add as much or as little depending on how many cloves the recipe calls for.
  • Parmesan cheese- use shaved or shredded parmesan cheese for a rich taste. Grated is perfect for those who want an easy go-to to add flavor on top of the dish.
fettuccine with zucchini bolognese on top in bowl

This easy-to-make, healthy Megan Markle inspired recipe is perfect for when you’re craving something rich and filling but don’t want the guilt. We hope you enjoy this dish!  

Please share with us what other recipes that use alternative ingredients or methods are out there by leaving a comment below. What new food variations have you tried? How does it compare to traditional dishes? Let’s start a conversation!

More pasta recipes to try in the slow cooker:

Want to make more magic in your crockpot? Stay up to date and subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

fettucine with zucchini bolognese mixed in. Salad and bread on side

Slow Cooker Zucchini Bolognese

Healthy pasta sauce and a great way to use up zucchini!

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: zucchini Bolognese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 142kcal

Instructions:

  • Slice the zucchini, discard the stems. Add to the slow cooker.

  • Add the seasonings, chicken bouillon, and water.

  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. This may seem like a long time but the slow cooker takes this long to turn the zucchini into mush.

  • When the time is up, use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon to mash up the zucchini.

  • Taste the sauce and decide if you need more salt and pepper.

Serving suggestions:

  • Add 8 ounces of cooked and drained fettuccine to the sauce in the slow cooker. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.

  • Or you can spoon the sauce over pasta in individual bowls. Top with parmesan cheese.

How to Video:

Recipe Notes:

Is Zucchini Bolognese Vegetarian?
My version is not because I use chicken bouillon cubes to enhance the depth of flavor. However, with one simple tweak of ingredients, this recipe can be vegetarian.
To make it vegetarian, simply swap the chicken bouillon cubes for vegetable bouillon cubes. That’s it. Omit the Parmesan cheese as well and the dish is now vegan.
Should I add sugar like tomato sauce recipes call for?

  • No, the sweetness in this recipe comes from using zucchini as a main ingredient.
  • Adding sugar to the sauce can give it an overly sweet taste that will mask all of its other flavors and textures.

 
Nutritional values do not include the pasta or parmesan cheese.

Nutrition:

Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 407mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 372IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg





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Post Author: MNS Master

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