I don't know that I've ever been as proud of myself as I am at this very moment. I'm not usually one to brag, but this recipe for "south of the border" slow cooker bolognese stuffed potatoes is the best recipe I've ever shared. I've outdone myself. The spicy flavors in the bolognese makes for a versatile sauce, easily paired with not only baked potatoes but pasta, rice, veggie noodles, or in tacos. The possibilities are endless. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo and can be modified to be Whole30 compliant. In my humble opinion, this dish hits the recipe jackpot, if there ever was one.
Call me old school, but my kitchen is still sans Instant Pot. Truthfully, the idea of something that powerful existing inside my condo scares the heck out of me. That being said, I still swear by my slow cooker. Compared to an Instant Pot, what could possibly go wrong? (if you're a fan of the television show This is Us, don't answer that). I'm sure sooner than later I'll jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon, but until then my slow cooker must suffice. As long as it keeps churning out food this amazing, I'm going to keep using it.
Traditionally, bolognese is an Italian meat sauce but I'm hesitant to call this an Italian dish because it definitely has more of a Mexican vibe (hence "south of the border"). Regardless, it's probably the easiest sauce you'll ever make. Simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6 hours or high heat for 3 hours. If you're around to give it a stir every once in awhile, cool. If not, don't sweat it. It'll be just fine.
Note: simply omit the maple syrup to make this dish Whole30 compliant (I haven't tried it without the maple syrup but I can't imagine leaving it out will make much of a difference).
I chose to spoon the bolognese into baked potatoes and top them with green onion, red onion, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno and fresh basil, but the uses for this sauce are pretty much limitless. I recreated the leftovers into tacos one night and a chili of sorts the next. There's nothing this glorious concoction can't do.
Feel free to divide the recipe in half if 8 servings is too much, but you're probably going to want the leftovers (trust me). This sauce keeps for 4 days in the fridge and will last in the freezer for up to 2 months.
This meal is perfect for any night of the week and will surely wow your family or guests. If you try this recipe, don't be shy - let me know! Comment, rate, and/or tag your recreation photos with the hashtag #paleoishkristaeats! With so many possible uses for this sauce, I can not wait to see what you come up with!
PIN NOW! MAKE LATER!
"South of the Border" Slow Cooker Bolognese Stuffed Potatoes
For the sauce
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 16 ounce jar tomato-based red salsa
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 jalapeno seeds removed; diced
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup omit for Whole30
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the stuffed potatoes topping (optional)
- 4 large russet potatoes
- thinly sliced green onion
- diced red onion
- sliced jalapeno
- halved cherry tomatoes
- sliced basil
- extra tomato-based red salsa
For the sauce
- Add all of the sauce ingredients to a slow cooker; stir well to combine.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours (or high heat for 3 hours), stirring occasionally.
For the potatoes
- While the sauce is cooking, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Scrub the potatoes and then pierce them on all sides with a fork.
- Place on a baking sheet and then into the preheated oven for 90 minutes or until softened.
- Keep warm until ready to use.
- To assemble
- Halve the potatoes. Use the back of a spoon to gently cave in the center (making a bowl shape).
- Spoon the bolognese into the potatoes.
- Sprinkle with your choice of toppings.