This Shredded Beef Ragu is the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth ragu recipe! It is made with a soffritto of celery, onion and carrots as well as fresh herbs and a beef chuck roast that is simmered in a tomato sauce until incredibly tender. 

For more delicious recipes using beef chuck roast, try my Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe and my Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

A white plate with the best beef Ragu made with pappardelle noodles, on a burnt orange background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Melt-in-your mouth beef ragu recipe. This beef ragu pasta is made with a beef chuck roast that is cooked for 3 hours until it is so incredibly tender and juicy! 
  • Packed with flavor. This beef ragu pappardelle is packed with tons of flavor and is a hearty meal the entire family will love! The combination of celery, onion and carrots brings a freshness to the dish. Combined with fresh herbs that infuse into the meat while cooking, you will be coming back for seconds and thirds! 
  • Pappardelle noodles. While you can use any noodle of choice, the pappardelle noodles work perfectly with this shredded beef pasta because the sauce clings to the noodles and the length of the pasta helps hold the meat! 

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients used to make the best beef Ragu recipe, with each ingredient portioned into glass bowls on a white background.
  • Beef Chuck Roast: Cut the meat into 4 equal pieces so they sear evenly. 
  • Soffritto Vegetables: Soffritto means lightly fried in Italian. It refers to a mixture of vegetables (carrots, onion and celery) and the method of cooking them. 
  • Tomato Paste: This will help thicken the sauce without needing to add flour or cornstarch. 
  • Fresh Herbs: We’ll use fresh rosemary, sage and fresh thyme, as well as bay leaves, to get the best and most flavorful ragu sauce. 
  • Crushed Tomatoes: I use a 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. This is different than diced tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are more sauce-like. 
  • Low Sodium Beef Broth: This will add flavor that you wouldn’t get if you just used water. You can also use red wine if you prefer.
  • Pappardelle Pasta: Pappardelle pasta is a thick and long noodle. It is typically dried in little noodle nests and not sold in a box like spaghetti or linguini. You can use bucatini or another pasta of your choosing if desired.
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan: Freshly grated parmesan is better than store-bought pre-shredded cheese which has been coated with cellulose to help the shreds of cheese not stick to each other. This makes it harder for the shredded cheese to melt. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Sear the beef. Pat dry the beef. Season each side with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chuck roast an sear on each side (about 3-4 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  1. Make the soffritto. Keep 2 tablespoons worth of the oil from the meat. If there wasn’t any remaining, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or more as needed) to the pan. Add the carrots, onion and celery. Salt and pepper (about 1 tsp each). Stir often. Cook for about 15 minutes or until browned. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. 
A beef Ragu soffritto and a tomato paste sauce in a large white pot.
  1. Add the tomato paste and beef broth. Add the tomato paste and stir until the tomato paste browns a bit. Pour in the beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Cook until almost all the beef broth is absorbed into the soffritto.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Tie the fresh herbs with kitchen twine and add them along with the bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, 2 1/2 cups beef broth, and seared beef.
  3. Cover and simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the beef is very tender. Check occasionally to see if you need to add a splash of beef broth if the ragu loses too much liquid.  
  1. Shred the beef. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and shred (the meat will be pull apart tender so it should shred really easily!). Remove the tied herbs and bay leave. Discard. Place the shredded beef back in the sauce. 
  1. Boil the pappardelle. Cook the pappardelle according to the package instructions (in water with a tablespoon of kosher salt until al dente). Save 1 cup of the pasta water when draining. 
  2. Add the heavy cream and cheese. While the pasta is cooking, let the ragu come to a simmer. Stir in the heavy cream and the freshly shredded parmesan cheese. 
  1. Add the pasta. Add the cooked pappardelle to the pot and toss until the noodles are coated. Add your desired amount of reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Serve! 

Recipe Tips

When searing the beef, do not overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if you need to. 

It’s all about low and slow to get the beef nicely tender and juicy! 

Use beef broth instead of water for added flavor. 

Fresh herbs will provide a stronger flavor and will penetrate throughout the dish better than dried herbs. 

If you want a bit of kick, you can add some red pepper flakes to the meat sauce.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

You’ll want to make this shredded beef ragu at least a bit ahead of time because of the cook time for the beef. Leftovers are also amazing so feel free to make it a day in advance if needed. 

Leftovers are absolutely delicious (perhaps even better the next day!) and my whole family fights over who gets the most of the leftovers! With that being said, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

If you want to freeze any leftovers, I would freeze the shredded beef ragu without the noodles. Once frozen and thawed, noodles will become mushy.

Kitchen tongs tossing Beef Ragu and pappardelle noodles in a white pot.

Recipe FAQs

What is a soffritto?

Soffritto means lightly fried in Italian. It is an Italian food term that refers to a method of cooking and with a specific combination of vegetables. A soffritto consists of celery, carrots and onion. 

What are pappardelle?

Pappardelle are long and thick noodles. You’ll probably recognize them from being sold in a specialty bag. They are dried in little nests and not sold in boxes like other long noodles like spaghetti or linguini.

Can I use a different pasta?

Yes you can! You can use whatever pasta you prefer. The pappardelle is my favorite pasta to make with this pasta dish because it is thick and pairs well with the sauce. 

What is beef ragu pasta?

Beef ragu is pasta with shredded beef and a red sauce. It is made with fresh herbs and beef that is cooked until oh so tender! 

What to serve with beef ragu pasta? 

Serve this delicious beef ragu pappardelle with some Buttered Vegetables and a Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad. And pasta night wouldn’t be complete without some homemade Garlic Dinner Rolls!

A white plate with homemade beef Ragu with pappardelle noodles on a white background.

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Shredded beef Ragu with pappardelle pasta on a white plate.
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5 from 5 votes

Shredded Beef Ragu Recipe

The most amazing Shredded Beef Ragu recipe made with a soffritto, fresh herbs, and beef chuck roast simmered in a tomato sauce. After 3 hours the beef is fall-apart-tender and melts in your mouth! Toss the flavorful sauce with some pappardelle pasta or your choice of noodles.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 2.5 pounds beef chuck roast - cut into 4 equal pieces
  • kosher salt - for seasoning
  • pepper - for seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots - peeled and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion - diced
  • 1 cup celery - diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic - minced, about 6-8 cloves
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth - or red wine
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs sage
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 24 oz pappardelle pasta - or bucatini or pasta of your choosing
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan


  • Pat the beef dry. Season all sides with kosher salt and pepper. 
  • Heat a large Dutch over medium high heat. Add 2 T olive oil to the pot. Once shimmering add the chuck roast and sear on all sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if you need to. 
  • Transfer the seared meat to a plate and set aside. If any drippings are in the pan, drain all but 2 tablespoons. If there are no drippings or olive oil left in the pot, add the remaining 1 T olive oil (or more as needed) and place the pot back on the stove over medium heat. 
  • Soffritto: Add the soffritto (carrots, onion, celery) to the pot. Season with kosher salt and pepper, about 1 tsp each. Stir often. Cook until deeply browned, about 15 minutes. Once browned add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the tomato paste and stir, cooking for another 2 minutes or until the tomato paste is browned
  •  Pour in the 1 cup of beef broth (or red wine) to deglaze the pan. Stir the mixture, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the broth is almost completely absorbed into the soffritto. 
  • Using kitchen twine, tie the fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme leaves together. Add them to the pot along with the bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, 2 1/2 cups beef broth, and seared beef chuck roast pieces. 
  • Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender. If the ragu loses too much liquid, add a splash of water or more beef broth to the pot. 
  • Once the beef is fall-apart tender, transfer them to a cutting board and shred the meat. Remove the tied herbs and bay leaves, discard. Place the shredded beef back into the pot with the sauce.
  • Boil water in a large pot. Once boiling add a tablespoon of kosher salt and the pasta. Cook until al dente. Once cooked, drain the water, MAKING SURE TO RESERVE 1 CUP OF THE STARCHY WATER. 
  • While the pasta is cooking, bring the ragu back to a simmer. Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Add the cooked pasta and toss it in the sauce until fully coated. If needed, add a splash of the starchy pasta water to loosen up the sauce.
  • Serve immediately with more cheese and fresh herbs, if desired.


Leftovers are absolutely delicious and are fought over in our house! With that being said, store leftovers in the fridge covered for up to 1 week. 
If you want a bit of kick, you can add some red pepper flakes to the meat sauce.


Calories: 633kcal (32%)Carbohydrates: 59g (20%)Protein: 37g (74%)Fat: 28g (43%)Saturated Fat: 12g (60%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 163mg (54%)Sodium: 601mg (25%)Potassium: 1095mg (31%)Fiber: 5g (20%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 2967IU (59%)Vitamin C: 13mg (16%)Calcium: 158mg (16%)Iron: 5mg (28%)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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recipe adapted from Plays Well With Butter.