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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 7 hrs 15 mins
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

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

4.25 from 4 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 mins
Cook Time 7 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 15 mins
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. Larry Gaines says

    Will try your recipe in my Instant pot . I threw the slow cooker/ crock pot out as I don’t like to wait hours to eat as I am retired now. Your recipe sounds good

  2. J. Rempt says

    I found this sauce to be fantastic! However, I did make a few changes: I used 28oz of crushed tomatoes since I don’t like diced and I did not include the bell peppers or onions since my husband and I don’t like them either. The sauce came out super thick and was very very tasty! We ended up having it two weeks in a row because it was so good! This sauce reminds me of what I used to get from my favorite Italian restaurant that closed a few years ago. This is one more recipe for my new Ninja Foodi!

  3. Heather says

    If you’re wanting a thick and chunky spaghetti sauce, this isn’t it. I added mushrooms and carrots to the pan when softening the pepper and onion, but otherwise followed the recipe to a β€œt.” Taste was okay, but it’s a very thin sauce!

  4. Veronica says

    I love cooking in a slow cooker it is fast and convenient! I made this spaghetti sauce for my kids and they absolutely loved the new taste on spaghetti!

  5. Isadora @ she likes food says

    I don’t know how you do it all either! I can barely do mom of a cat and food blogger sometimes, haha! I still don’t own a slowcooker, but I’m looking into one because I think it would make my life so much easier! I don’t make my own spaghetti sauce much, but I think I need to start doing it more, this looks so good!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Isadora! I can’t believe you don’t have a slow cooker — it’s pretty much my favorite thing ever. Especially for soup, and I love soup in the winter!

    • Eugenia Traglia says

      A slow cooker and an Instant Pot make cooking sooo much easier. If you get a programmable slow cooker you can set it to start at a certain time. You can dump some stuff in and set it to start cooking while you’re at work. I absolutely love both of these amaaazing tools. Cleanup is easy too…one pot.

  6. [email protected] says

    Balancing out motherhood and blogging is tough, especially with a newborn! Easy dishes like this are always welcome because life is way too hectic to go with fussy dishes all the time. This looks delicious, Ashley!

  7. Shinee says

    Love this easy recipe, Ashley. And you totally deserve some time for you and your girls. I don’t have kids and I hardly have a free time. I simply admire moms, like you!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Christina! I’m lucky enough to be able to test some recipes from Campbell’s and this is one of our favorites!

  8. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says

    This is great! I need recipes that hide out veggies for me. I am not a fan either and I need good ways to sneak them in. Plus, slow cooker recipes are always better than cooking. πŸ™‚ Take all the time you want with your little ones and savor these moments! πŸ™‚

  9. Danielle says

    I think it’s great that you’re taking more time to spend with your family and I totally would too! I like my veggies kind of hidden in my meals, so this dish sounds perfect! We love spaghetti around here, so I will have to give this a try. Hope you have a good weekend, Ashley πŸ™‚

  10. Allie | Baking a Moment says

    Aw, congratulations! And that is so great that you are taking some time to spend with those sweet little ones. They grow so fast, you’ve got to enjoy this time while it lasts. This recipe looks like a great one that would please the whole family! Thanks for the awesome giveaway too!

  11. Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says

    Ashley, I am happy that you are taking time out to rest and be with your girls. You need it! I was wondering where you were on Wednesday too. I stopped by to say hello. πŸ™‚ Great minds think alike too. We both posted pasta today. πŸ™‚ This looks delicious and I need to make this asap. I love the veggies!! Yum! It makes it healthy right? πŸ™‚ Happy weekend friend!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks so much Cyndi! I feel like it’s necessary right now, and I’m looking forward to trying to relax a bit! Even though I’ll probably just spend the extra time on Pinterest or something…. Lo.

  12. Cailee says

    YUM!! Gotta love whippin out the slow cooker in the chilly days of winter! This looks delicious! Gotta love fresh pasta sauce! YUM πŸ™‚ Great recipe!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Shashi! It goes by crazy quickly, though I can’t imagine having a teenager just yet! Although my 2 year old definitely acts like one sometimes… Lol

  13. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says

    Enjoy as much time as you need with your sweet girls, it’s tough balancing it all. Slow cooker meals are such a lifesaver. Love this spaghetti sauce, such a great way to hide all those veggies πŸ™‚ It looks incredible and love that you used Campbell’s in here

  14. Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says

    Good for you for taking more time to spend with your family! You take all the time you need, don’t feel pressured to post a ton every week. 2 posts a week is still really great! And I’m glad your husband was able to be with you for 6 weeks. That’s amazing. Bet it really helped with the transition from 1 to 2. This slow cooker spaghetti sauce sounds amazing!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Natalie! It was really awesome having him around! It is nice to get back into “routine” though, even if life is a little crazy sometimes.

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