Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW

Ingredients

Core Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (or Italian sausage, or a mix)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a little kick)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, for a touch of sweetness)

Optional Flavor Boosters

  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Fresh herbs like basil or parsley (added at the end)

Instructions

1. Brown the meat (if using): Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef (or sausage) and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain off any excess grease.

2. Combine Ingredients: Add the browned meat, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), and brown sugar (if using) to your slow cooker. Stir well to combine.

3. Add optional flavor boosters (if using): If you’re using green bell peppers and/or mushrooms, stir them in now. If using red wine, add that as well.

4. Slow Cook: Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. Do not open the lid during cooking if possible.

5. Taste and Adjust: Once finished, give the sauce a taste and adjust salt, pepper, sugar, or herbs to your liking.

6. Serve: Serve over your favorite cooked pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Tips

Customization: Play with Italian seasoning blends, adjust the spice level, or try adding other vegetables like carrots or zucchini.

Make-ahead option: Brown the meat and prep the other ingredients the night before. Store everything in the refrigerator and dump into the slow cooker in the morning.

Storage: Leftover sauce stores well in the fridge for 3-4 days or can be frozen for later!

Enjoy your delicious and easy homemade spaghetti sauce!

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