Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is meaty, flavorful and hearty. An easy way to have a slow cooked, comfort food dinner even when you’re out for the day.
Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
- Easy To Make: Just a few minutes to brown and drain the ground beef and onions and you’re ready to go. 10 minuets of prep is all you need.
- Hearty and Comforting: A homemade spaghetti sauce recipe usually requires hours of simmering on the stove top. With a slow cooker recipe like this you can be free to go about the rest of your day, coming home to a delicious dinner.
- Adaptable: Not only is this bolognese sauce wonderful with pasta, it can be used in many other ways.
We’re so excited to share this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce recipe with you! We have lots of helpful tips and details to make this recipe look and taste it’s best.
However, if you’re ready to dive right into making this recipe, scroll down to the recipe card or click the “jump to recipe” button above the first photo.
How To Make Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
We’ll go over the basic steps here, but scroll to the recipe card at the end of the post for complete recipe instructions.
- Step 1 – Brown The Ground Beef and Onions: Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook while breaking up into crumbles. Stir the onion into the beef and cook with the ground beef until cooked through. Drain the drippings from the skillet.
- Step 2 – Transfer To Slow Cooker and Season: Transfer the ground beef and onions to a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add fresh garlic, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper and tomato paste to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the ground beef and onions. Pour in both cans of crushed tomatoes, stir and cover.
Step 3 – Cook: Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. The sauce can be kept on the “warm” setting while serving dinner if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
- CAN I USE GROUND TURKEY INSTEAD OF GROUND BEEF? Yes. If you want to substitute ground turkey in this slow cooker ground beef sauce you can. Other substitutions could include a meatloaf mix (ground beef, ground veal and ground pork).
- CAN VEGETABLES BE ADDED TO THIS SPAGHETTI SAUCE? Yes. You can add diced carrots to the ground beef and onions in step 1. Other ideas could include sliced mushrooms, diced eggplant or fresh spinach.
- DO I HAVE TO ADD MEAT TO THE SAUCE? No. If you’d like to make a vegetarian version of this spaghetti sauce you can leave the meat out. Add more vegetables as suggested above, or add soy crumbles instead of ground beef.
- CAN I ADD RED WINE? Yes. Like we do with our Bolognese Sauce, red wine adds a delicious depth of flavor to spaghetti sauce. Add the 1/2 cup of red wine in step 1 after browning the ground beef and onions, letting it reduce for 1 minute before adding it to the slow cooker.
Ways To Use This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
Besides tossing with pasta, there are many other ways to enjoy this hearty, meaty spaghetti sauce.
- Other Ideas “Like” Pasta: Serve with cooked strands of Spaghetti Squash or these fun Zucchini Noodles or “zoodles”. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
- Dipping Sauce: Use as a dipping sauce for Garlic Bread or these air fried Mozzarella Sticks.
- Topping: Use as a topping with a Baked Potato. Add mozzarella cheese and fresh basil or parsley for an Italian-style baked potato. Another idea is to make our Air Fryer Eggplant and use this sauce as a topping on a sandwich.
Can This Spaghetti Sauce Be Made On The Stove Top?
Yes. You can also follow this same slow cooker spaghetti sauce recipe and make it on the stove top. Follow the same instructions here, but cook the ground beef and onions in a 6 quart dutch oven or soup pot.
Add the seasonings and crushed tomatoes to the pot with the ground beef and onions. Stir and let simmer for 45 minutes or up to 2 hours, depending on how much time you have. If the sauce gets too thick, you can add a splash of water or red wine to thin it out.
Storage And Freezing
- TO STORE: Store leftover spaghetti sauce in air tight containers in the refrigerator for three to four days. After 4 days, it’s best to freeze the sauce or discard any leftovers.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze this spaghetti sauce in freezer bags or containers for up to 6 months. We like to freeze the sauce in 1 or 2 cup portions that we can pull out for easy dinners or to use in recipes. Try these Souper Cubes, they make freezing leftovers so much easier.
Looking For More Slow Cooker Recipes?
- Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
- Shredded Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches
- Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy
- Crock Pot Corned Beef
- Slow Cooker Ribs
This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is the best thing to come home to after a long day! Packed with ground beef simmered in a deep, flavorful sauce that can be served with pasta and so much more!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 2 – 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, breaking up into crumbles while cooking for 3-4 minutes. Stir the onion into the ground beef and cook for another 5 minutes until the beef is cooked through. Drain any drippings from the skillet and transfer to a 4 – 6 quart slow cooker.
- Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper and tomato paste to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the ground beef. Pour in both cans of crushed tomatoes, stir and cover.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
To Store: Store leftover spaghetti sauce in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. After 4 days it’s best to discard the sauce or freeze it.
To Freeze: Freeze this spaghetti sauce in freezer bags or containers for up to 6 months. We like to freeze the sauce in 1 or 2 cup portions that we can pull out for easy dinners or to use in recipes. Try these Souper Cubes, they make freezing leftovers so much easier.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American