Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings

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This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is rich, hearty, seasoned with onion, peppers, garlic and is slow cooked in the crockpot for incredible flavor!

slow cooker spaghetti sauce in white crockpot with metal scoop scooping sauce

Spaghetti is one of our family’s all-time favorite meals, and this easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce means I have no problem getting it on the table at dinner time.

It’s going to be a lifesaver when school starts back up in a week, as I can get everything going while the girls are in school and then actually have time to sit with them when they get home, do homework, and hear about their days.

What makes this an even better dinner option?

Both girls love taking leftover spaghetti in their lunches, and they don’t even care if they eat it cold or room temperature.

By this point, I’ve added lots of spaghetti recipes here on The Recipe Rebel simply because of how much we love it.

crockpot spaghetti sauce being spooned over pasta on grey plate

Sometimes you need something quick and hands off like this Instant Pot Spaghetti.

Sometimes you need something that will cook most of the day with no extra pots, like this Healthier Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.

Sometimes you want it all done in one pot, like this Healthy One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.

And sometimes you want a new twist, like in this Cheesy Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti.

How to make Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce:

  1. Brown your ground beef and soften your veggies — this is a must because we don’t want one big clump of beef in our sauce!
  2. I like to toast up my dried herbs and spices in the pan as well, but you could skip this step if you’re in a hurry. It just helps to bring out the flavor.
  3. Throw everybody in the slow cooker and set it to low — I try not to cook this recipe on high unless I have to, as it really doesn’t take that long and I find that lower and slower gives better flavor.
  4. Cook up some pasta and serve!
slow cooker spaghetti sauce plated on grey plate on white background
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Tips for making Spaghetti Sauce ahead:

This Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce is perfect for prepping ahead because there are lots of things you can do in advance so that in the morning you can just pop it in the slow cooker and be out the door.

  • You can chop your veggies ahead of time and store in the refrigerator
  • Take it one step further and cook your ground beef and veggies the night before, then throw everything in the pot of the slow cooker
  • In the morning, all you have to do is pop it in the outer shell and turn it on

How to freeze spaghetti sauce:

The other option is to make this entirely ahead of time and save for later. We almost always have some spaghetti sauce in the freezer!

I prefer to freeze in large ziploc freezer bags, laid flat in a thin layer. This makes it really easy to thaw and serve when you’re short on time.

You can also use silicone freezer bags or freezer safe containers, though the thinner the layer, the quicker it will thaw.

You can freeze prepared spaghetti sauce up to 3 months. To thaw, place in a sink of cool water for 30-45 minutes, or leave in the refrigerator overnight.

crockpot spaghetti sauce overhead on grey and white plate and marble background

How to make this Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce even healthier:

There are lots of things you can add or swap in this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce to make it a little healthier or lighter:

  • Swap the beef for ground turkey (though in general, lean ground beef and lean ground turkey are roughly the same in calories and fat, and I don’t think one is better than the other0
  • Add in extra veggies! There’s always room for more veggies when you’re making a sauce like this — add in spinach, kale, extra peppers, mushrooms, whatever you like!
  • Choose all low sodium products so you can control the amount of salt

What can I use this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce on?

*This recipe and photos have been updated since the original post in January 2015

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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

4.50 from 6 votes
This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is rich, hearty, seasoned with onion, peppers, garlic and is slow cooked in the crockpot for incredible flavor!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 10 servings
Calories 171cal

Ingredients

  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes no salt added, 398 mL can
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes no salt added, 398 ml can
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  • In a medium pan, brown ground beef until no pink remains. Add onion and red pepper cook 3-5 more minutes until veggies soften.
  • Stir in garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, bay leaf, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper, Cook and stir 1 minute.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, and sugar. Pour into 4-6 quart slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (stirring once half way through if possible).
  • Stir, remove bay leaf and serve with parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

I always, always make a huge batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze it in smaller portions so it’s easy to grab, thaw and heat for a quick meal! It works best to chill the sauce in the fridge before filling a Ziploc freezer bag or plastic freezer-friendly containters. Seal tightly and freeze.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 171cal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 641mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 25.3mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3.8mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Tanya says

    Hi Ashley,

    What time would you recommend cooking in an instant pot on the slow cook setting? I just want to try the slow cook function before I go out to purchase a slow cooker. Thank you

      • Tanya Tissaaratchy says

        Hi again Ashley,

        Well, I’m trying YOUR recipe on the slow cooker setting for 7 hours in the Instant Pot. I’ll report back to you!

      • Tanya Tissaaratchy says

        Used slow-cook setting on Instant Pot and this recipe turned out perfect! I cooked it for 7 hours which is 15 minutes less in a traditional crockpot. I used ground turkey which I browned first on the stovetop, then I added all the other ingredients to the Instant Pot. Give it a try, no need to have an Instant Pot and Slow-cooker.

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