TLC Ragu

TLC Ragu
Prep TimeCook TimeCaloriesProtein
15 minsapprox 30-45 mins24427g

A ragu recipe is as individual as a fingerprint. My ragu recipe is totally different to my mums and it’s something that I’ve evolved over time. It’s quite different to my bolognese sauce and lasagne sauce, but delicious and packed with veggies too.

If you struggle to get vegetables into children, try this recipe!

This is one of the many lean recipes that I’ve created where flavour and simplicity are key. There are hundreds of lean recipes in my app The Lean Cook with adjustable calories and macros.

Ingredients for 4 servings

200gExtra lean beef mince
200gExtra lean pork mince
12gOlive Oil
1Chicken stock cube
1Parmesan rind
800gChopped tomatoes, blended until smooth
50gTomato puree
Salt & pepper to taste


  • Finely chop the carrots, onion and celery using a food processor. This is the base of your sauce known as a soffritto.
  • Take a large saucepan and put it onto a medium heat with the olive oil.
  • Add the chopped soffritto vegetables and take a few minutes to soften them before removing them from the pan.
  • Put the pan back onto the heat and add the pork and beef mince.
  • Cook the mince until it has browned before adding the softened vegetables back into the pan.
  • Take a moment to thoroughly combine the ingredients before sprinkling the stock cube over the mixture and adding the tomato puree.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir the mince to cook out the tomato puree and distribute the stock cube.
  • Add the blended tomatoes along with the water and a pinch of sugar.  This will remove any acidity from the tomatoes.
  • Finally add the parmesan rind to the sauce.  This is going to add a depth of flavour that you won’t believe and is totally worth it!
  • Bring the sauce to the boil before turning the heat right down to a simmer and leave it for 30-45 minutes to cook or alternatively transfer the sauce to a slow cooker – see notes for further details.
  • When the sauce is almost ready, taste it and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with your favourite pasta shape or with courgetti, the choice is yours!

Recipe Notes

  • I like to use low salt stock cubes.
  • Make sure your mince is extra lean, less than 6% of fat per 100g.
  • I like to use Parmigiano Reggiano for its fuller flavour.
  • Traditionally in Italian cooking we use the smallest pinch of sugar to take any acidity out of the tomatoes.
  • Below are further details on how to batch cook and slow cook this recipe.
  • I like to batch cook my ragu for the freezer as this is a family staple!

A word on batch cooking this recipe

As a busy working mum of twin boys, I’m a massive fan of batch cooking. If you take a look in my freezer, you’ll find portioned batches of several recipes which take the pressure off a busy week. All I need to do is remember to take enough portions out of the freezer to defrost and the rest is simple!.

So where do you start when batch cooking this recipe?

Firstly decide how many portions of ragu you’d like to have so that you can work out what ingredient amounts you need. There are, however some ingredients that really don’t need multiplying up by the number of portions. For example, if you want to feed your family with the initial 4 servings and freeze enough for your family to cover 2 additional meals (making 12 portions), only add 2 chicken stock cubes and use a slightly bigger piece of parmesan rind. All other ingredients are fine to multiply up.

Once cooked, divide the into equal portions and cool completely before freezing.

Slow Cooking

I’m a massive fan of slow and low cooking, but you’d be wrong to think that you can’t slow cook unless you have a slow cooker.

While I do have 2 slow cookers, I also have some cast iron casserole pots with lids that I bought from Aldi some time ago and these are great for slow cooking. For my ragu, I use my deep pot with lid.

Follow all of the steps but use a the cast iron casserole pot instead and cook for approximately 2 hours with your oven set to  140°C fan/275°F.

For slow cooker owners follow the basic method but use a frying pan for each of the cooking steps and add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker pot as you go. Remember to give all the ingredients a good mix to combine everything and start cooking. I like to cook on low for at least 6 hours.

Nutritional Information


Product recommendations

Below are affiliate links to products I recommend. These are affiliate links and should you decide to purchase these products using the links provided, any commission earned goes towards the costs to host and run this website, but it won’t cost you anything more!

When you batch cook for the freezer, you need good containers! These are my goto containers. I’ve provided details for the two sizes I use.

Morphy Richards 3.5 Litre Slow Cooker – this was the very first size of slow cooker that I bought and I still use today.

Morphy Richards 6.5 Litre Slow Cooker – this is a much bigger slow cooker and I’ve used this to cook large joints of meat as well as slow cooking my family favourite dishes!

Ninja 3 in 1 Food Processor – I’ve had this for a couple of years and this does so much!

Per serving

Recipe first added May 2019. Updated May 2022.

Nella Foulds
Nella Foulds

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The Lean Cook