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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

By Angie McGowan |

I have a confession to make. I hardly ever use my slow cooker. It sits on a shelf above my washer. It collects dust, so much I have to wash it before I use it. But I’m here to say today that all that’s all going to change. My crock pot is getting a new home, on my kitchen counter. I’m going to put it in easy reach so I remember to use it more often.

Slow cookers make things so much easier. I was reminded of that yesterday when I really wanted good, slow simmered spaghetti sauce, but just didn’t have the time. Between laundry, cleaning the house, taking my son on a play date to the pool, and errands, my day had little time left. Compound those events with a few more unexpected ones thrown in, and there would have been no time for the typical slow simmered spaghetti sauce I usually make.

Around lunchtime, I placed all my ingredients in my slow cooker for my spaghetti sauce. I set it to low, and forgot about it. Later that evening when we were ready to eat, I quickly cooked the noodles, and the sauce was perfectly cooked and thick. I made a quick and easy Italian salad with lots of olives and dinner was done.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce


2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 bell pepper, chopped finely
1 carrot chopped finely in the food processor
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 cup red wine
2 – 28 oz cans Italian whole tomatoes, San Marzano is preferred
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 small can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt to taste
4 servings spaghetti


1. Preheat a large skillet. Add ground beef, carrots, onions, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook until beef is browned.

2. Add beef and vegetable mix to slow cooker. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, spices and garlic. Add wine and salt to taste.

3. Turn to low and cook for 6 – 8 hours.

Tip: If you don’t use San Marzano tomatoes, you may have to add a teaspoon or two of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

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About Angie McGowan


Angie McGowan

Angie McGowan was a contributing blogger to Babble’s Family Kitchen, a daily food blog with recipes from her kitchen. She currently creates fun recipes for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and many other companies. You can find more of her recipes on her personal blog, Eclectic Recipes.

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2 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

  1. Dan Oliver says:

    Looks like a nice recipe, but here is how I would tweak it:

    1. I would use 1 pound of ground chuck and one pound of ground pork shoulder (pork butt….the butt end of the shoulder); you can always skim off some of the fat….but not all.

    2. I would leave out the oregano. It is a bitter spice. Basil is sweet. I would not add more basil however. 1 tsp is enough.

    3. Spanish onions are a good choice. They have a nice onion flavor, but cook up sweet. They are big….so 1/2 would be plenty.

    4. The bell pepper is better if it is red….sweeter.

    5. The wine should be worthy of drinking.

  2. Tracy says:

    I was drawn to the simplicity of your recipe and made it today. It has been in the slow cooker for 4 hours now and is VERY watery. Were the tomatoes supposed to be drained or pureed or something? Should it be cooked longer? Shorter? I really wanted something thick like in the picture.

    And commenter Dan – not all of us want the entirety of our spaghetti sauce to be sweet. Contrast in flavors is not a bad thing.

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