Crockpot spaghetti sauce is slow cooked and easy to make with simple pantry ingredients like ground beef and crushed tomatoes, perfect over any shape of pasta, and simmers away all day in the slow cooker for amazing flavor without much effort!

close up of a pasta with red tomato sauce on top on a white plate

about this healthy crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe

This healthy crockpot spaghetti sauce is made with simple, real ingredients without any fillers or preservatives.

Making this slow cooker recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight or weekend at home.

Since it has just a few ingredients, it’s also a very economical way to feed a crowd.

I have tested this recipe without browning the meat first, and while the sauce still tastes very good, I personally do not enjoy the texture. 

However, if you don’t mind the texture, feel free to skip the browning step for even easier prep!

table of contents

Click on each category below to go straight to that section:

how to make meatless spaghetti sauce

instructions for spaghetti sauce with sausage

make this spaghetti sauce with meatballs instead

how to add red wine to your sauce

ways to use this slow cooker spaghetti sauce

black slow cooker filled with tomato sauce and spices and ground beef

crockpot spaghetti sauce with no meat

It’s easy to make this crockpot spaghetti sauce meatless! 

Simply substitute 2 pounds of chopped cremini mushrooms for the ground beef.

Saute the mushrooms, just like you would the beef, prior to adding to the slow cooker.

If you’re looking for meatless sauce options, you’ll love this creamy tomato pasta sauce recipe.

instructions for spaghetti sauce with sausage

You can also make this spaghetti sauce with sausage in place of the ground beef.

Simply swap ½ pound bulk Italian sausage for ½ pound ground beef.

make this spaghetti sauce with meatballs instead

To make crockpot spaghetti sauce with meatballs, substitute 1 pound prepared meatballs for the ground beef and onion mixture. 

Then add the meatballs to the slow cooker with the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and spices, and cook according to recipe directions.

how to add red wine to this spaghetti sauce

If you’d like to add red wine to this spaghetti sauce, add ¼ cup to the pan after the ground beef has browned.

Allow the wine to reduce slightly.

Then add the mixture to the slow cooker and proceed with the recipe as written.

black slow cooker pot filled with tomato sauce with a wooden spoon

ingredients & modifications

Ground beef: The type of ground beef is up to you, either a 95% lean ground beef or traditional 80% lean ground beef will work. The extra fat from an 80% lean ground beef will lend extra flavor, but if you prefer leaner the long, slow cook time will still yield a delicious, tender result.

Ground turkey can also be used in place of the beef in this recipe — we recommend using 93% lean for the best flavor.

Onion: The onion adds so much flavor to homemade tomato sauce. But if you don’t like or can’t eat onions, feel free to skip them in this recipe.

Tomato paste: Don’t skip the tomato paste, it’s what allows the sauce to thicken in the slow cooker.

Olive oil: I like the flavor of olive oil best in this recipe. But any neutral oil will work in this soup, such as avocado oil, vegetable oil or canola.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Honey: The natural sweetness of the honey can balance out the acidity of the tomatoes for an extra delicious sauce. You can skip it if you want to keep this recipe vegan and whole30 friendly.

If you prefer the convenience of using a jar of spaghetti sauce in this recipe, you can use 1 24-oz jar of premade sauce in place of the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, herbs and spices.

spoonful of crockpot spaghetti sauce with beef in a black slow cooker pot

how to use slow cooker spaghetti sauce

Serve over spaghetti or any other shape of pasta you like.

Also works great for a low carb option, like ladling it over zoodles or cooked spaghetti squash.

You can also use any extra sauce to make an easy lasagna!

how to store & freeze leftovers

Homemade tomato sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.

This sauce also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziplock bag, or individually in mason jars.

You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.

close up of crockpot spaghetti sauce on top of pasta and a white plate

more slow cooker ground beef recipes

Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef

Crock Pot Taco Meat

Spicy Cabbage Soup

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup

Beef Minestrone Soup with Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Instructions

Slow Cooker Easy Beef and Bean Chili

this recipe is…

I hope you’ll make this healthy Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce recipe soon.

If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

spoonful of crockpot spaghetti sauce with beef in a black slow cooker pot
5 stars (2 ratings)

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

This crockpot spaghetti sauce works with any pasta! It's slow cooked & easy to make with simple ingredients like ground beef & crushed tomatoes. Can be easily made vegan or whole30 with simple swaps!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon no-salt added Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

To add at the end

  • 1 tablespoon honey , (omit for whole30)

Instructions 

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • To a large pan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the beef, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to break the meat apart. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Optional: Drain off excess fat and discard.
  • Add the cooked meat and onion mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Do not remove the lid during the cooking process.
  • Uncover and add the honey if using. Stir and taste, adding additional salt if desired.
  • Serve over pasta of choice.

Stovetop Instructions

  • To a large pan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the beef, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to break the meat apart. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on low for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Uncover and add the honey if using. Stir and taste, adding additional salt if desired.
  • Serve over pasta of choice.

Notes

This recipe makes enough sauce for about 1 pound dried, cooked pasta.
This sauce will thicken up even more when allowed to cool for 20-30 minutes.
I have tested this recipe without browning the meat first, and while the sauce still tastes very good, I personally do not enjoy the texture, however, if you don’t mind the texture, feel free to skip the browning step.
Nutrition information calculated with honey for the sauce only (without pasta).
Omit the honey for a whole30 friendly recipe.
See recipe above for adding mushrooms in place of beef for vegetarian friendly option.
For more ingredients & substitutions, see blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 230kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 635mg, Potassium: 232mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 9IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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