Crockpot spaghetti sauce is one of the best multi-use pasta sauce recipes out there. The low and slow cook in the crockpot develops the flavors and makes it the perfect sauce for tons of pasta recipes.
With Italian sausage, ground beef, three types of tomato, Parmesan cheese, and Italian spices, this isn’t one of those plain Jane spaghetti sauce recipes. It’s thick, rich, and classically Italian. It’s a snap to add pasta and make this a hearty crockpot pasta meal! You’re going to love this sauce!
Let’s get this slow cooker spaghetti sauce cooking!
What I Love About Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce With Ground Beef Recipe
Besides how absolutely delicious this crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe tastes, there’s a long list of other things I love about it!
- Double meat=Double flavor
- Crockpot convenience
- Rich tomato taste with 3 forms of tomato
- Can be used anywhere it calls for marinara sauce
One of the best things about this crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe is how easy it is to make! Honestly, there’s not complicated about it! Here are a couple of extra tips to make it even easier.
Browning the meat: Depending on the fat ratio in your meat, you might need to drain the pan after you cook the ground beef. The Italian sausage typically has a fair amount of fat as well. Be sure to save just a little bit of it to cook the aromatics in. It boosts their flavor!
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients
- Beef: I use 80/20 for the best flavor. You can use a lower fat version if you prefer or ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Salt + Pepper: Plain table salt and black pepper
- Sausage: I use mild Italian sausage to keep the sauce kid friendly. Feel free to use spicy if you’d like.
- Onion: Use white or yellow.
- Garlic: I use a hefty 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic in this recipe which is sautéd to a mellow, delicious sweetness!
- Dried Italian Seasoning: No endorsement-I use McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning.
- Dried Rosemary: Regardless of which blend of Italian seasoning brands I use, I always find I want a little more rosemary!
- Red Wine: If you prefer not to cook with alcohol or don’t have any on hand, you can use a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar and a cup of beef, chicken, or vegetable stock. This will bring the acid and flavor that the wine would have contributed.
- Crushed Tomatoes: If you are able to use San Marzano tomatoes, please do!
- Don’t skip the sugar: Even if you’re watching calories, you’ll need the sugar to round out the flavors. I like brown sugar in this recipe because it brings a molasses-like sweetness that compliments the sauce better than white granulated sugar.
How Long Do I Cook Spaghetti Sauce In The Slow Cooker?
To cook the sauce, place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
How Do I Make A Thick Spaghetti Sauce?
Double up the tomato paste if you want the sauce to be thicker. Add another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar to taste.
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How To Store: My biggest tip when storing spaghetti sauce is to use a glass container. The tomato base will stain plastic and can potentially react with metal. Also, make sure it is well sealed to preserve the flavors and freshness!
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? In keeping with the USDA food safety guidelines, you can keep this crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Can You Freeze This? You can absolutely freeze this crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe. Simply allow it to cool and transfer to a freezer container. According to freezer guidelines, you can freeze it for up to 2-3 months.
- Make-Ahead Tips: The crockpot allows you ultimate flexibility with the fix-it-and-forget-it method. A couple of shortcuts to consider are browning the ground beef and sausage and chopping the veggies before you’re ready to assemble and cook. It will only take you a few minutes to sautee the veggies and toss everything in the slow cooker when you’re ready for it.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more info on food safety check out this link.
How To Make Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
Transfer the cooked ground beef and Italian sausages in the crockpot.
- Add garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, and rosemary, and saute until the onion is translucent. Pour the onion mixture over the sausages in the crockpot.
Add red wine, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, parmesan, and brown sugar
Turn the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6.
- Serve with pasta.
***See Full Instructions Below.
Crockpot Spaghetti SauceVariations
- Make Mine Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage: Skip the pound of ground beef and use a pound of Italian sausage. Mild or spicy, casing removed.
- Make Mine Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce With Meatballs: In place of the ground beef, substitute a 2-pound bag of frozen meatballs.
More Seriously Amazing Spaghetti Recipes
- Easy Chicken Spaghetti
- TikTok Spaghetti
- Italian Spaghetti
- Taco Spaghetti
- Weeknight Bolognese
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Spaghetti Pie
- Spaghetti Recipe With Ground Beef
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 pound ground beef, 80/20
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- olive oil, as needed
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup Parmesan, grated
- 1 level tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar, lightly packed
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef (1 pound), and sprinkle with salt (1 teaspoon) and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon), breaking it up into large chunks. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a crockpot.
- Brown sausage (1 pound) on both sides. Place on top of the beef in the crockpot. Remove and discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet (if there isn't enough fat in the pan, add olive oil).
- Add garlic (1 tablespoon), onion (1 medium), Italian seasoning (1 tablespoon), rosemary (1 teaspoon), and saute until onion is translucent. Pour the onion mixture over the sausages in the crockpot.
- Add red wine (1 cup), crushed tomatoes (1 can), tomato sauce (2 cans), tomato paste (2 tablespoons), parmesan (1 cup), and brown sugar (1 level tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons), and turn the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6.
Fans Also Made:
- Browning the meat: Depending on the fat ratio in your meat, you might need to drain the pan after you cook the ground beef. The Italian sausage typically has a fair amount of fat as well. Be sure to save just a little bit of it to cook the aromatics in. It boosts their flavor!
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