Beef Ragu

Beef Ragu

Cozy, comforting and packed with flavor, this Beef Ragu is so satisfying! Chuck roast cooked low and slow in a rich tomato and red wine sauce – pure joy!

beef ragu in a white bowl with a fork.

Ragu of Beef

Beef Ragu is a classic Italian dish that’s loaded with goodies! Beef chuck roast is cooked slowly in a large pot, then smothered in a red wine sauce which has a wonderful depth of flavor. Serve with pasta for a super hearty meal, perfect for a filling weeknight or special occasion dinner!

Looking for more holiday recipes? Why not also try my Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast and my Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole.

Why You’ll Love this Braised Beef Ragu Recipe:

  • TENDER BEEF: The beef is cooked low and slow, so it’s melt in your mouth delicious!
  • RICH SAUCE: This sauce is so tasty! Herbs, red wine, tomatoes and veggies all cook together slowly, combining to create deep and satisfying flavors.
  • GREAT FOR MEAL PREP: Perfect for meal planning, you can make this ragu ahead of time. It tastes even better as the flavors develop in the fridge.

This easy Beef Ragu serves up a thick and full bodied meat sauce that the whole family will love!

beef ragu in a dutch oven with a spoon.

How to Make Beef Ragu

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Sear the seasoned beef in a Dutch oven with oil.
  2. Add in your veggies to the pot, followed by aromatics and then the red wine.
  3. Finally add in your crushed tomatoes and beef broth.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer for 2.5-4 hours.
  5. Shred the beef in the pot and simmer for another 20 mins.
  6. Serve with pasta and enjoy!
overhead view of ingredients for beef ragu.
beef ragu in a white bowl with a fork.
What is ragu?

Ragu is an Italian meat-based sauce served with pasta. It typically consists of veal, lamb, beef, or pork mixed with sofrito (carrots, celery, and onions) and tomato. It is cooked low and slow to produce a tender, savory sauce.

How is ragu different from bolognese?

Bolognese sauce is actually a variation of ragu. In Italy, it’s called ragu alla bolognese. Traditionally, bolognese is made with a combination of beef and pork cooked with white wine and served over tagliatelle pasta. It usually also includes milk and nutmeg.

What is the best meat to use for beef ragu?

This recipe uses beef chuck roast, often also called blade roast. Other great cuts for ragu include beef brisket, beef shanks, or beef short ribs.

What kind of red wine should I use for beef ragu?

For this dish, look for a full-bodied and slightly fruity red wine, such as a Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chianti, or a lighter Cabernet.

beef chuck roast pieces searing in a dutch oven.

Serving Suggestions

This delicious pasta dish is a meal in its own right but you can certainly add sides to make this a real feast. Here are some favorites:

All whipped up in one pot, this easy and delicious beef ragu recipe is ideal for weeknights, weekends or holidays!

beef ragu in a white bowl with a fork.

Make Ahead Instructions

Beef ragu is a great make-ahead recipe because many argue it is best to let the ragu cool to room temperature, then store it overnight in the refrigerator. This overnight chill in the refrigerator helps the flavors to develop, creating a richer tasting ragu.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover beef ragu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Gently reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until simmering.

Freezing Instructions

Freeze leftover beef ragu in an airtight container for up to 4 months. Let ragu thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Ragu Variations

  • Bolognese: Use ground beef, veal, lamb, pork, or a combination of any of those meats and add nutmeg and milk. Use white wine in place of the red. Serve over tagliatelle or in a lasagna.
  • Ragu di Prosciutto: Use prosciutto as the meat and add more extra-virgin olive oil. Omit the carrots and celery, and use white wine in place of the red. Serve over pappardelle or tagliatelle.
  • Ragu d’agnello: Use ground lamb as the meat. Omit the carrots, celery, and onion. Serve over tagliatelle.
  • Sugo di Carne: Use ground beef, pork, or a combination of both, optionally with porcini mushrooms. Serve with penne, rigatoni, farfalle, or fettuccini.
  • Amatriciana: Use guanciale (cured pork jowl) and diced tomatoes. Omit the carrots, celery, and onions. Add hot peppers, if desired, and toss together with either spaghetti or bucatini pasta.

More Beef Recipes We Love

beef ragu in a white bowl with a fork.

The rich and delicious flavors in the beef ragu come out of a low and slow cook, giving this beloved pasta dish an incredible taste. The beef is super tender and the whole dish comes together in large pot or Dutch oven. Your friends and family will go gaga for this lip-smacking ragu!

More Italian Pasta Recipes to Try:

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!

featured beef ragu.

Beef Ragu

Cozy, comforting and packed with flavor, this Beef Ragu is so satisfying! Chuck roast cooked low and slow in a rich tomato and red wine sauce – pure joy!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 672kcal



  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast cut into large pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup red wine see note
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes 1 can
  • 1 pound cooked pappardelle pasta for serving (1 box)
  • Fresh chopped parsley optional, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese optional, for garnish


  • Season the beef generously with salt and pepper.
    3 pounds beef chuck roast, Salt and pepper
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
    3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sear the beef for a few minutes on each side to create a brown crust on the outside of each piece. Set aside on a plate.
  • Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pot.
  • Add in the onion, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
    1 onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots
  • Add in the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and cook for another minute.
    4 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, 2 bay leaves
  • Pour in the red wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
    1 cup red wine
  • Add in the beef broth and crushed tomatoes.
    1 cup low sodium beef broth, 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • Bring everything to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover the pot, and cook for 2½-4 hours, until the beef can be easily shredded with a fork.
  • Remove the bay leaves and beef from the pot.
  • Shred the beef. Then, return it to the pot and stir it into the sauce and pan juices.
  • Let the beef simmer for about 20 minutes to let the flavors deepen.
  • Serve the beef ragu over cooked pappardelle pasta.
    1 pound cooked pappardelle pasta
  • Finish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
    Fresh chopped parsley, Grated Parmesan cheese


  • Wine: For the wine, choose a Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chianti, or lighter Cabernet.
  • You can also use beef brisket, beef shanks, or beef short rib in this recipe.
  • If you can’t find pappardelle, use tagliatelle or fettuccini instead.
  • For the best tasting ragu, prepare the recipe 1 day in advance and let the flavors develop in the refrigerator overnight. 
  • Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.
Storage: Store beef ragu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.


Calories: 672kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 840mg | Potassium: 1402mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3735IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 7mg

The post Beef Ragu appeared first on The Cookie Rookie®.

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