Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce – two kinds of meat, loads of vegetables, and a hearty dose of herbs and seasonings make this easy marinara sauce a winner!
A PERFECT FAMILY DINNER RECIPE!
Spaghetti is one food that we rarely have at my house. I’m not sure why, because it is super easy and everyone likes it. I just never think of it. My boys had been asking for it, so I put it on the menu for the week.
Then I proceeded to scour my cookbooks looking for a new recipe to try. Because I can’t use the stuff in the can when there are so many recipes out there just waiting to be discovered. I know, I need intervention. 🙂
I adapted a crock pot recipe I found in a magazine and it turned out even better than I expected. My family LOVED this easy crockpot pasta sauce.
I was a little worried that they would think the carrots were funky, but they didn’t even notice them. I couldn’t even taste them and I knew they were there. I love it when you can sneak vegetables in under the radar!
This makes a fairly large batch, so we froze half of it. My hubbie was putting it in the freezer and I asked him to make sure and put a label on it. When I opened the freezer this morning, I smiled when I saw what he wrote. The label read: “Spaghetti Sauce (Awesome!)”. So I know it is a keeper!
(To skip my tips and just see the full recipe card, scroll to the bottom of the post.)
How do you make spaghetti sauce from scratch in a crock pot?
- lean ground beef (I haven’t tried it with ground chicken, but if that’s your thing, go for it!)
- Italian sausage (Adds incredible flavor! In a pinch ground pork sausage can be used, but it isn’t quite as tasty.)
- canned crushed tomatoes (If you can’t find them, you can used canned diced tomatoes. Petite diced work well, but if you use the regular ones, pulse them a couple times in the blender first.)
- small green pepper (The green peppers at the store are usually large, so I just use half of one.)
- onion (I use regular yellow onions.)
- carrots (I know it sounds strange in pasta sauce, but they add a nice sweet flavor, and since they are finely grated, they disintegrate in the sauce.)
- tomato sauce (If you use low sodium, you may need to add extra salt.)
- sugar (offsets the acid of the tomatoes)
- Italian seasoning
- ground sage
- dried parsley flakes
- garlic (I used fresh garlic, but dried minced garlic works too.)
- Salt and pepper
BROWN MEATS: I like to use a non stick skillet to brown the ground beef and sausage. I use a ladle to scoop out most of the fat, and after that I use a paper towel to soak up any remaining fat.
CHOP VEGETABLES: While the meat is cooking, chop the onion and green pepper, and peel & grate the carrots.
ADD TO CROCK POT: Transfer the meat to your slow cooker, and add the remaining ingredients.
COOK: I like to let it cook on low heat all day long, but you can cook your slow cooker spaghetti sauce on HIGH for about 3-4 hours if you prefer.
SERVE: Just before serving, cook up your pasta in some salted boiling water. Serve the hot sauce over your pasta. I typically use spaghetti noodles, but I have also served it over rotini noodles.
LEFTOVERS? YOU CAN FREEZE THE PASTA SAUCE.
Thankfully, this spaghetti sauce freezes really well. I like to cool it completely in the fridge, then scoop it into heavy duty freezer ziplock bags. It will last for 3-4 months in the freezer.
However, if you just have a small amount left over, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
I DON’T HAVE A SLOW COOKER. CAN I COOK IT ON THE STOVE INSTEAD? -Yes, you can! Just add a cup of water and simmer in a large pot for 1-2 hours. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEATY SPAGHETTI:
- At our house, spaghetti is almost always served with a tossed green salad, and sometimes corn.
- Soft Garlic Knots go perfectly with any Italian meal.
- Garlic Cheddar Breadsticks are great for soaking up that extra sauce on your plate.
- My family LOVES these Cheesy Focaccia Bread Sticks.
MORE TASTY CROCK POT DINNER RECIPES:
- Crockpot Roast Beef (makes its own gravy)
- Best Crock Pot Pulled Pork
- Crock Pot Taco Beef Over Noodles
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
- Glazed Crockpot Chicken
MEATY CROCK POT SPAGHETTI SAUCE RECIPE
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- 5 8 oz cans tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp dry parsley flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Brown hamburger and sausage in a large skillet.
- Drain off the fat and transfer to a 5 or 6 quart crock pot.
- Add remaining ingredients and cook on LOW for about 8 hours, or on HIGH for about 4 hours.
- Serve over hot spaghetti noodles.
-This can also be made on the stove. Just add a cup of water and simmer in a large pot for 1-2 hours. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 442mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g
Nutrition information does not include pasta.
(originally published 5/19/2009, updated May 2020)
See all my BEEF RECIPES.