Crock Pot Spaghetti is so easy to make and your family is going to love it! The meat sauce is slow-cooked all day before adding the spaghetti.
Slow cooker recipes are a hands-off way to get dinner on the table! Serve with a simple side dish, and use a crockpot liner for easy cleanup.
This crock pot spaghetti recipe is perfect for busy days when you know you aren’t going to have time to prepare dinner. Put everything in the slow cooker and leave it simmering all day. Then, stir in the pasta before dinner and enjoy with an Italian salad and Texas toast or garlic bread.
Here’s What’s Included In This Post
- Ingredients We Used and Suggestions For Substitutions
- How To Make Crock Pot Spaghetti
- How To Store and Reheat Spaghetti
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Want more slow cooker recipes? Try these next:
Ingredients We Used and Suggestions For Substitutions
Meat Sauce Ingredients
- Oil: We use olive oil to saute the onion and garlic, but it is also an important part of the spaghetti sauce because it adds flavor and a velvety texture to the sauce. We suggest sticking to the olive oil in the recipe, but butter could also be used in a pinch.
- Onion: For this recipe, we used diced yellow onion since it holds up well to being cooked for extended periods of time. You could also use white onion if you prefer.
- Garlic: The minced garlic adds lots of flavor to the sauce. If you don’t have a head of garlic available, you could use 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder per clove of garlic.
- Meat: We used a combination of ground beef and ground Italian sausage for the best flavor. You could use only ground beef if you prefer, but it won’t be as flavorful.
Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients
- Tomatoes: You’ll need a can of crushed tomatoes. We recommend using high-quality Italian tomatoes such as Cento or Mutti for the best flavor and texture.
- Tomato Sauce: Canned tomato sauce is a flavored sauce made from tomatoes and seasonings. It is not the same thing as a jarred marinara sauce, but you could substitute an equal amount of your high-quality marinara sauce from a jar if you prefer.
- Tomato Paste: This recipe uses a small can of tomato paste to thicken the sauce while adding to the tomato flavor.
- Liquid: The beef broth adds extra liquid to the sauce and deepens the meaty flavor of the sauce.
- Sugar: We added a little bit of sugar, but depending on the brands of canned tomato ingredients you choose, you may need to add more sugar to taste since some brands are less sweet than others.
- Seasonings: We added kosher salt, black pepper, dried oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaves.
How To Make Crock Pot Spaghetti
Using a crock pot to make spaghetti is so easy, and you’ll be amazed at how good it tastes!
- Meat: After sauteeing the onions and garlic, brown the meat and drain the excess grease.
- Sauce: Put the cooked meat into the crock pot and add the canned tomatoes (crushed, sauce, and paste), beef broth, sugar, and seasonings. This mixture is slow-cooked on low all day. You can stir it occasionally if you want, but it doesn’t have to be stirred.
- Pasta: Cook the spaghetti and reserve some of the pasta water before draining the rest. Add the cooked pasta and pasta water to the sauce and stir to coat. Leave the cover off and cook for another 20-30 minutes.
This recipe is easily adaptable and can be turned into other sauces! Here are a few to try:
Meatless Crock Pot Spaghetti
If you prefer meatless spaghetti, you can skip the meat and make it without it. If you want to have a meaty flavor, you can add mushrooms. We also suggest that you increase the amount of diced onions to one cup. Then, saute the onions and garlic, add them to the slow cooker, and follow the instructions as directed in the recipe.
Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce
This recipe can be used to make just the spaghetti sauce, and it can easily be doubled to make a large batch. The sauce can be used to make anything from lasagna to stuffed shells. You can divide the cooled sauce into portions and store it in the freezer for 4-6 months.
Another great option is to add more veggies to the sauce for extra flavor or add them instead of the meat. You can add diced red and green bell peppers, more diced onions, chopped carrots, sliced mushrooms, and chopped zucchini.
How To Store and Reheat Spaghetti
- Make Ahead: Cook the onions, garlic, and meat in the skillet as directed but allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, follow the recipe by adding all of the spaghetti sauce ingredients to the crock pot. Then, cover it with the lid and place the crockpot in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove it from the refrigerator and cook it as directed.
- Refrigerator: Allow leftovers to cool and then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezer: Store it in the freezer for up to three months.
- Reheating: Leftover crock pot spaghetti can be reheated in the oven in a covered oven-safe dish at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes. To reheat it in the microwave, place it in a microwave-safe dish, and add a teaspoon or two of water or extra sauce. Cover the dish and microwave on medium for one minute and then stir it. Continue microwaving and stirring it in 15-second intervals until heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make it on the stovetop, put the cooked and drained meat and onions in a large, heavy-bottom pot instead of a crock pot. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, cover, and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Cook the spaghetti in a separate pot and add it along with 1/2 cup of pasta water to the sauce. Stir and cook over low heat for about two minutes before serving.
Yes, you can freeze cooled spaghetti with meat sauce in an airtight container for up to three months.
For the best tasting sauce, use high-quality Italian tomatoes and ground beef, as well as Italian sausage. Then, allow the sauce to cook slowly so that the flavors can blend together.
Want more slow cooker recipes? Try these next:
Crock Pot Pork Chops turn out so tender and juicy when slow-cooked in a creamy sauce.
This Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken recipe makes the BEST barbecue chicken sandwiches.
Our Crock Pot Taco Soup recipe is a popular choice for large family gatherings and potlucks!
Slow Cooker Pot Roast is one of our favorite meals to make on busy days.
Crock Pot Spaghetti
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground mild Italian sausage see note 1
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes see note 2
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 teaspoon sugar see note 3
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 14 oz spaghetti dried (see note 4)
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano for garnish
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the ground beef and ground Italian sausage. Cook until browned. Drain the grease. Transfer the meat to a large crock pot (we used an 8-quart size.)
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, kosher salt, oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, ground black pepper, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Cook 14 ounces of spaghetti. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest. Do not rinse the pasta.
- Discard bay leaves from the sauce. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce along with 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Leave the cover off and continue heating over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with dried oregano and grated parmesan.
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