This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce recipe is the perfect, slow cooked, thick, rich, flavorful meat sauce, and the crock pot does all the work for you!
Ok, time for some real talk. If I’m making spaghetti, 90% of the time I open a jar of pasta sauce, heat it, and stir in some browned ground beef. It’s easy, convenient, and there are some seriously delicious jarred sauces out there.
But, sometimes I want a little more – something a little different. Something with super bold, robust flavor that’s thick, rich, and filled with tons of meat. And that, my friends, is what this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is.
And, the reality is that all it really takes to make this is time. There’s no special skill required. You don’t need your Sicilian great-grandmother’s secret recipe – I’m looking at you, Sophia Petrillo. And there’s no carefully watching over a pot of sauce for 14 hours.
If you can open some cans and brown some ground beef, you’ve got this recipe whipped. The slow cooker makes this process so. dang. easy. And, the result is a super thick, rich, flavorful meat sauce that’s great for spaghetti, baked ziti, lasagna, you name it! You can even just eat it with a spoon.
How to thicken or thin out spaghetti sauce:
Adjusting the thickness of your spaghetti sauce is a simple process! If you find your sauce too thick or concentrated, adding water or beef broth to your crockpot is an effective way to thin it out. If you go the beef broth route, this not only adjusts the consistency but also adds additional flavor. Gradually add small amounts of liquid, stirring and tasting as you go until you achieve the desired thickness.
If your spaghetti sauce is too thin and you crave a thicker texture, you can use the cornstarch method. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold broth or water, creating a smooth paste. Add this mixture into the simmering sauce, stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Cover and increase the heat to high for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the cornstarch to work its magic and thicken the sauce.
Can I scale this spaghetti sauce recipe down?
This crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe makes a ton. You can seriously feed 8 to 10 people. And while most of us aren’t feeding that many folks for supper every night, I don’t recommend scaling this recipe down for a few reasons:
- To start, it freezes and reheats beautifully. Store any leftovers in a freezer-safe, airtight containers or bags, and you’ve got sauce done for another busy weeknight. Simply thaw and reheat!
- It’s also great for sharing with friends. This sauce is so decadent and delicious, you’ll want to show off your cooking prowess by packaging it up and sharing it with family and friends. And, you can even tell them it’s a secret recipe to make it sound super special. I won’t tell the truth.
- This recipe works great in perfect round numbers. You don’t have any half cans of ingredients or random onion pieces left over in the fridge. I love recipes like that. Scaling this one down would mean you’d have some extra stuff hanging around that you’d need to find something to do with.
- Lastly, this sauce is super versatile, like I said before. It’s spaghetti sauce one night and then makes a delicious lasagna or baked ziti later in the week.
So in conclusion, I guess you could scale down this crock pot spaghetti sauce, but I just don’t know why you would. If you do though, let me know how it goes!
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (18-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Brown the ground beef over medium high heat in a large skillet. Drain the grease away. Set aside.
- Lightly spray the crock of a 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Mix well. Add the sugar, dried basil, dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Add the ground beef and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours. Stir well and serve over cooked pasta.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.