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a hand with a fork twirling a bite of spaghetti on a plate

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

With a few simple ingredients, this hearty Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce couldn’t be easier or tastier! Serve over pasta, zoodles, or spaghetti squash for a delicious and healthy dinner. Double and freeze a batch for later using our freezing instructions.


Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (Here’s where we get our grass-fed beef.)
  • 1/2 pound mild ground Italian sausage or Italian turkey sausage (I get my Italian sausage from ButcherBox, because it’s hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and has no icky additives.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 (approx. 24-ounce) jars marinara sauce (or 6 cups of Homemade Marinara Sauce)
  • Optional, for serving: whole-grain pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or quinoa, and Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Make It Now:

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring in the garlic the last 30 to 60 seconds of cooking. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning lightly with the red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper while it cooks. Drain the grease from the pan. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

2. Transfer the meat mixture to the slow cooker and stir in the marinara sauce. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. If the edges start to burn a little, just give it a stir.

3. Serve the sauce over whole-grain pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or quinoa, topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Freeze For Later:

Follow step 1. Let the meat mixture cool, then transfer it to a gallon-size freezer bag or container and pour in the marinara. Seal, gently toss to combine, and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen:

(Note: You will need to have cooked whole-grain pasta, zoodles, or quinoa and (optional) Parmesan on hand to complete this meal.) Thaw. Transfer the sauce to the slow cooker and follow steps 3 and 4.


Notes

We recommend buying an organic or all-natural brand of marinara sauce to avoid additives and preservatives. One of our favorites is Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce or Newman’s Own Organic Marinara Sauce.

You can fully cook and freeze this meal, too. After slow cooking the sauce, let it cool. You can divide it into small containers and put in the fridge to cool off faster. Then, freeze the sauce. When you’re ready to use it, thaw using one of these methods and warm in the microwave, stove top or slow cooker.