Homemade Spaghetti Sauce in the crockpot is such a great dinner that is so easy to prepare. The delicious Italian flavors mingle all day long, giving the sauce such a wonderful flavor.
This is a recipe that I got from my mom. I originally made it in a large pot on the stovetop. After making it a few times, I realized it would be so much easier to make it in a slow cooker, and now that is the only way I make it.
I love making homemade spaghetti sauce. Not only is it delicious, but by using simple ingredients, I know exactly what is going into our dinner.
Why use a crockpot to make spaghetti sauce? By using the crockpot you can make the spaghetti sauce earlier in the day and it will be cooking while you are out of the kitchen. The flavors have a lot of time to mingle in there which makes the spaghetti sauce so delicious.
And it will be waiting for you at dinner time! You will just need to cook the noodles!
A time-saving tip: When I make spaghetti dinner, I usually just brown the meat in my cast iron skillet and crumble it with a spatula instead of making meatballs. It saves time by not having to make and cook the meatballs before adding them to the sauce.
- Ground Beef
- Bell Pepper
- Carrots (optional)
- Garlic powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Diced Tomato
- Tomato Paste
- Whole Grain Spaghetti Noodles
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Fresh herbs to garnish (optional)
Optional ingredients: Sometimes, I like to add carrots into the sauce to add in a little more nutrition. Once the sauce is cooked you can't even tell they are in there. The other optional ingredients (grated Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs) are to sprinkle over the top of the spaghetti when serving it.
How to Prepare Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
Brown the meat by placing the beef in your skillet and cooking it on medium heat. Using a spatula or large spoon, stir the meat occasionally to ensure the beef cooks evenly. While doing that, crumble the meat up with your utensil so that it is in smaller pieces to add to the sauce.
Once the meat is browned, drain off the fat. Place the beef into your crockpot.
Cut up the pepper and onion into small pieces. I usually use a green bell pepper but if the grocery store is out of them, I use a red or orange bell pepper.
If adding in carrots, peel and shred the carrot. To finely shred the carrot, I use a lemon zester or cheese grater.
Place all the vegetables in your crockpot with the browned beef. Add in the garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
Pour in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Give everything a good stir.
Cover the crockpot, and cook on high for 4 - 6 hours or low for 6 - 8 hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.
Optional: Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. If you like, garnish with fresh herbs such as oregano or basil.
Time-Saving tip: If you don't have time to prepare the sauce that day, it can all be prepped the day before. Just keep the cut-up vegetables and cooked beef covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it the next day. Then place all ingredients in the crockpot and turn it on.
How to measure the correct amount of pasta:
The serving size for spaghetti noodles is usually about 2 ounces of uncooked noodles or one cup of cooked noodles. Sometimes it is hard to figure out how much to place in the pot of boiling water.
Here are some great ideas to measure out the dry pasta so that you won't be stuck with too much or too little pasta...
Think the diameter of a quarter. That is about what 2 ounces of dry spaghetti noodles will be.
Make a circle with your thumb and index finger and then fill that in with dry spaghetti noodles.
Want to cook the noodles ahead of time? Use a muffin pan for this one! Fill up each muffin area of the pan with cooked spaghetti noodles. Each one equals one serving of pasta. Then place them covered in the refrigerator or freezer to have for dinner on another night.
Have leftover sauce? Place the sauce in a freezer-safe dish and freeze it for another day. Perfect for when you are short on time but want a delicious homemade dinner.
Do you love cheese? Check out my Spaghetti Parm aka Cheesy Spaghetti recipe! That one is a favorite dinner recipe in our house and is often requested as a special birthday dinner.
Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below. I love hearing from you.
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Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 12 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 bell pepper, diced (green, red or orange)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1-2 carrots, peeled and finely shredded (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- whole grain spaghetti noodles
- grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- fresh herbs such as oregano or basil to garnish (optional)
- Brown the meat on medium heat in skillet, stirring occasionally. Break up the meat into small pieces while cooking using a spatula or large spoon.1 lb. lean ground beef
- Cut up the pepper and onion. If using carrot, peel and shred the carrot.1 bell pepper, diced, 1 medium onion, diced
- Place browned meat into the crockpot.1-2 carrots, peeled and finely shredded
- Add in the peppers, onion, and carrot. Add in the garlic powder and Italian seasoning.1 lb. lean ground beef, 1 bell pepper, diced, 1 medium onion, diced, 1-2 carrots, peeled and finely shredded, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Pour in the diced tomato, tomato paste, and water.1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 12 ounce can tomato paste, 2 cups water
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 - 6 hours, low for 6 - 8 hours.
- Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.whole grain spaghetti noodles
- Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and/or fresh herbs. (optional)grated Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs such as oregano or basil to garnish
Update Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2015, but was published again in 2022 to include step-by-step directions, nutritional information, and new photos.
Yumm! That looks so good. I will try that for my family. I love the crockpot so much!
Thanks! I love using my crockpot too, let me know how if you make it!
I just love how simple this recipe is to make. I browned the beef the night before and just threw it together. It was absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing...
That is great Sophia! Thanks for letting me know!
I love how east this is to make. And I love my slow cooker. I do have a question for you... I am used to putting a bay leaf in my spaghetti that I make on the stove top. If i put one in for the slow cooker recipe, would you recommend to put it in at the beginning or later on? I wasn't sure if it is OK to leave in in there for 4+ hours.
If you want to use a bay leaf in your crockpot spaghetti, that would be fine to add it in with all the other ingredients. This way it will simmer in the pot along with all the other ingredients. Just make sure you take it out before serving as it can be unpleasant to eat on its own. Enjoy!
This is so easy to make that I threw it together in 15 minutes but it certainly does not taste like it. So yummy!! I added some fresh oregano from my herb garden at the end. Great summer recipe.
I love adding fresh herbs too! We use our crockpot all year! Perfect for summer so you don't heat up your house.