A thick and delicious ground beef spaghetti sauce that’s slow-cooked for the ultimate flavor. Make this easy and delicious Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce for your next spaghetti night. It doesn’t get easy than throwing it all in the slow cooker and letting the flavors mingle before serving over a bed of pasta. The whole family will devour it.
For your next spaghetti night, skip the stove and make your spaghetti sauce in the crockpot! This is the easiest way to make a big batch of meat sauce that doesn’t require any babysitting – just do a few steps and then leave it to simmer until dinner time.
I love making this crockpot spaghetti sauce because it’s so easy and the family loves it especially with some breadsticks on the side!
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s so easy! Instead of simmering and stirring the sauce on the stove, you let the slow cooker do the work. I love that I can leave it to do its thing!
- It’s so flavorful with ground beef, garlic, onions, and seasonings.
- It has the perfect thickness. Some slow cooker pasta sauce recipes come out too watery. Not this one! It has tomato paste and the right amount of liquids so it has the best consistency and texture.
- The leftovers are even better the next day! Or you can freeze and thaw it later for really easy dinners when life gets crazy.
Serve this easy homemade pasta sauce over spaghetti or other pasta you like for the best spaghetti night!
- Ground beef – I don’t recommend going to lean wiith the beef. Since it’s browned first you can drain off excess grease, but you want a little fat so your sauce has lots of flavor and the beef isn’t too dry. 80 to 85% lean would work well.
- Crushed tomatoes – I like crushed tomatoes because they are already broken down. You can use canned whole tomatoes, but you should break them apart when you add them to the slow cooker.
- Canned tomato sauce – this adds more tangy tomato flavor and also gives the sauce a great velvety texture.
- Tomato paste – I use 12 ounces which seems like a lot, but I promise it isn’t. This is the key ingredient for making your sauce the perfect thickness.
- Brown sugar – this helps balance the acidity from all the tomatoes. Don’t skip it!
- Chopped white onion – yellow onion works, too!
- Minced garlic – no sub for this!
- Dried oregano – or feel free to use the same amount of Italian seasoning if that’s what you have on hand.
- Dried basil – you can use the Italian seasoning for this, too!
- Salt and pepper – of course!
How to Make Crock Pot Pasta Sauce
Brown: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the beef until it’s browned. Drain off the excess fat in the pan.
Combine: Place the cooked beef in the slow cooker and add all of the other ingredients. Stir to combine and then secure the lid.
Slow Cook! You can cook spaghetti sauce on high for four hours or on low for eight hours in the crockpot. Don’t take the lid off while it’s cooking.
How to Serve It
Boil some spaghetti and spoon that delicious sauce over the top. Add some grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped parsley for garnish.
Sometimes I make my copycat Olive Garden breadsticks for a special treat to go with it!
You can also add a side dish like air fryer broccoli or a salad with Italian or Caesar dressing.
Technically, you can but it depends on the recipe. For this spaghetti sauce, I brown the beef first so it has a good texture. If you add it raw with the other ingredients in the slow cooker it will turn out completely different. Beef cooked that way will break down a lot as it cooks and will give the sauce a different texture. So, that’s why I like to cook it first!
For this recipe, you can’t and will need to boil the pasta separately. If you want an all-in-one recipe try my crockpot spaghetti. I developed it so the pasta can cook directly in the sauce while it cooks in the slow cooker.
It will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days.
Yep, it freezes great! Allow it to cool completely and then store it in freezer bags or containers. It should freeze well for two to three months.
You can skip the beef and use ground turkey, pork, or Italian sausage. You can even use frozen meatballs. They all work well!
I haven’t tested this crockpot recipe for an IP, but I have a great Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe you should try!
When is the next pasta night at your house? Be sure to pick up the ingredients for this crockpot spaghetti sauce! It will be the hit of the week – enjoy!
More Slow Cooker Pasta Recipes
- Chili Mac combines two comfort foods in one! Plus, it’s an easy recipe you can make in your crockpot.
- Make a batch of Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese the next time you get a craving for creamy, cheesy pasta!
- Beef and Noodle Soup is so easy and a great dinner when you want something hearty and cozy!
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Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 29 oz tomato sauce
- 2 cans tomato paste 6 oz each
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ c. diced white onion
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Cooked spaghetti noodles
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Fresh parsley
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain off fat.
- Add the meat to the crock pot. Then add the rest of the ingredients for the spaghetti sauce.
- Place the lids on the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Do not open lids during the cooking time.
- Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles and garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley if desired.