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Close up of pappardelle pasta with slow cooker lamb ragu

Easy Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu Recipe (Gluten-Free)

  • Author: alicia gonzalez tome
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main course
  • Method: Slow cooking
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This juicy slow cooker lamb ragu is incredibly tender, rich, and SO DELICIOUS! A perfect hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy. Ideal to make a big batch and store portions! Gluten-free.


Units Scale
  • 1kg lamb shoulder (excess fat removed, see notes) cut in big pieces
  • 1 large brown onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 cup of beef or lamb stock
  • 2 cups of tomato passata
  • 4 rosemary stalks
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper


  1. Start by searing the lamb: Add a generous drizzle of olive oil to a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the pieces of lamb leaving space in between, and sear on all sides until nicely browned (approx. 5 minutes per side). Don't add salt to the meat yet!Sear in batches until you've done all the lamb bits, and set aside.
  2. Cook the veggies: In the same oil where you've cooked the lamb, add the onion, garlic, celery, and pinch of salt. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes until the onion starts to become transparent (approx. 5 minutes). Add the carrot and another pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the carrot is soft. 
  3. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker: Add the tomato passata, beef stock, red wine, veggies, ground black pepper, and salt to the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Make sure to pour the juices and browned bits on the bottom of the pan too! Add the rosemary stalks and browned lamb, cover with a lid, and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 5 hours.
  4. Pull the lamb: Pull the lamb into small pieces using two forks. You can either do it directly in the slow cooker (less cleaning!) or take the bits of lamb out, and pull them on a plate or chopping board.

    If you take them out, put the shredded lamb back in the slow cooker and combine it with the sauce. Cook for another 15-20 minutes more and it's ready!

  5. Serve with your favourite type of pasta or potato/cauliflower mash.


Lamb fat: remove the big chunks of fat, but make sure to leave some! 

Tomato passata substitutions: canned chopped tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, or a simple tomato sauce would work as a substitute for the tomato passata.  

You should 100% sear the lamb very well before transferring it to the slow cooker. It is where the depth of flavor starts to build up, so don't skip it!

To thicken the sauce: If your rich sauce ends up more liquid than what you'd like, you can thicken it using a slurry made with tapioca flour or cornstarch. 

Serve with your favourite pasta: in my opinion, pappardelle is the best pasta for lamb ragu. Other pasta shapes like rigatoni (big penne) or fettuccini work great as well. Whatever pasta shape you go for, make sure to cook it al dente! 

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

Keywords: slow cooker lamb ragu, lamb ragu slow cooker, gluten free lamb ragu, slow cooked lamb ragu, slowly braised lamb ragu