★★★★★

Pork Ragu

Italian flavors shine in this slow cooker Pork Ragu recipe. Cooked for hours in the crockpot in an herb infused wine sauce, the juicy, shredded pork is served over pappardelle pasta for an irresistible Italian dinner.

This Pork Ragu is almost dancing with flavor. It’s perfect paired with Garlic Breadsticks or a loaf of Cheesy Garlic Bread.

Pork ragu served over pappardelle pasta on a white plate.

What is Pork Ragu

Pork Ragu is a meat sauce made with shredded pork. The Italian method for cooking an inexpensive pork shoulder imbibes it with aromatic herb flavor and a touch of garlic.

The pork shoulder is covered with Soffrito–a classic Italian trinity of celery, carrots and onions. These vegetables absorb some of the juices from the pork as it cooks, enhancing their natural flavors.

Red wine and tomatoes give the pork rich dimensions of flavor. It’s incredible served over pappardelle pasta or even mashed potatoes.

This slow cooker version is almost entirely hands off. Just toss everything in your crock pot first thing in the morning and let it cook for hours.

You’ll have a homemade Pork Ragu that rivals any restaurant dish ready in time for dinner.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make pork ragu with pappardelle pasta.

Pork. Pork shoulder or pork butt, with or without the bone, is best.

Red wine. The drier the better. It does not need to be a top shelf wine, but do not use “cooking wine.”

Pappardelle pasta. The fresh long ribbon shaped egg noodles are the best choice for an authentic Italian Pork Ragu. Linguini or fettucini could be substituted if you can’t find fresh pappardelle’s.

Fresh herbs. These are a MUST. The sage, rosemary, basil, and thyme give lots of flavor when simmered with the roast all day.

Soffrito- trifecta of vegetables. Carrot, celery, and onion!

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make pork ragu in the crockpot.

The active prep time for this pork ragu recipe is lighting quick. Put the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and top with the chopped vegetables.

Add the wine, water, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Cover the pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

When the pork is done cooking, shred it with a fork and serve over warm pasta.

This can also be made in a dutch oven on the stove top. Simmer on low for about 4 hours. Remove pork, shred, then continue to simmer an additional 2 hours.

Pork ragu sauce in black slow cooker.

Tips and Tricks

  • I highly recommend using fresh herbs. The flavor can’t quite by matched by their dried counterparts.
  • Cook on LOW. This is not a slow cooker recipe that does well on the high setting. You want hours of slow cooking time to allow the pork to break down and fully absorb the flavors of the garlic, herbs and wine.
  • I love this over the fresh pasta noodles. Pork Ragu can also be served over mashed potatoes or zoodles.
  • Leave larger chunks of pork in today’s recipe, don’t shred completely!

What to Serve with Pork Ragu

Pork Ragu is a hearty, filling meal. I like to serve it with some greens on the side, like this Easy Italian Salad.

For a full Italian feast, start the meal with a cup of Homemade Roasted Tomato soup and Garlic Bread.

Don’t forget the Cannoli for dessert!

Pork ragu on pappardelle pasta with grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe FAQs

Is pork ragu gluten free?

The Pork ragu meat sauce is gluten free. Serve it over gluten free pasta or mashed potatoes instead of pappardelle if you need the meal to be fully gluten free.

Can this be made with pork tenderloin?

No, I do not recommend making pork ragu with pork tenderloin. That cut of meat is completely different than the butt or shoulder and does not work for pulled pork. If you’re looking for an amazing Italian pork tenderloin recipe, give this Pesto Pork Tenderloin a try.

How long does pork ragu keep?

Pork Ragu leftovers will stay good stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. Leftovers reheat well on the microwave or warmed on the stove top.

Does this sauce taste like wine?

No, the red wine gives the sauce an amazing element of flavor but the dish itself will not taste like wine. The alcohol cooks out over the long cooking time, as the wine soaks into the pork meat.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: 10 servings

Pork Ragu

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

Italian flavors shine in this slow cooker Pork Ragu recipe. Cooked for hours in the crockpot in an herb infused wine sauce, the juicy, shredded pork is served over pappardelle pasta for an irresistible Italian dinner.

Ingredients

  • 5 pound pork shoulder
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 3 carrots)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • 1 pound fresh pappardelle pasta, cooked

Instructions

  1. In a large slow cooker, add pork shoulder. Top with diced onion, carrots, and celery.
  2. Pour wine and water over the top. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, sage, and basil.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Remove sage, thyme, and rosemary sprigs from crockpot.
  5. Remove the pork, shred, and return to slow cooker. Stir to combine and serve over warm pasta. ENJOY.

Notes

  • Pork shoulder or pork butt is best for this recipe. With or without the bone is fine.
  • We love leaving larger chunks of pork in the ragu sauce. Not completely shredding it.
  • I highly recommend using fresh herbs. The flavor can't quite by matched by their dried counterparts.
  • Cook on LOW. This is not a slow cooker recipe that does well on the high setting. You want hours of slow cooking time to allow the pork to break down and fully absorb the flavors of the garlic, herbs and wine.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 758Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 219mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 56g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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The best ever Pork Ragu is easy to make in the slow cooker! Impress all your family and friends with this amazing recreation of an Italian classic.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on November 3, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. This couldn’t have been any better! We made this for dinner tonight and it came out SO GOOD! 10/10 will totally make again!!

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