Spaghetti Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Spaghetti Sauce in the Slow Cooker – a delicious and hearty homemade meat sauce recipe made in a crock-pot!

Spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker served over butter spaghetti noodles in a bowl

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is great for freezer meal prepping! I love to make this in October and freeze it. That way I can defrost it in December when life is crazy for an easy dinner.

Or for serving a crowd in the colder month. Especially if you work and don’t have time to spend all day making a meal. You can throw everything in a crockpot in the morning. Then dinner will be ready by the time you get home from work.

Our secret ingredients:

I use store bought marinara in this recipe. Then we doctor it up. It’s best way to get an extra pack of flavor without extra work.

The Italians are going to hate me for this one, But I add instant coffee to the sauce. It gives the sauce a great depth of roasted flavor. The coffee dissolves while cooking. You can’t even tell it’s in there. Just make sure to not put too much! I only do one teaspoon per batch!

Can I double this slow cooker spaghetti sauce?

Yes, if you have an 8-quart size slow cooker or larger!

You can do a double batch in a 7-quart slow cooker. But know that it will be very full!

You could also 1 1/2 times this recipe. I would do 1 lb ground beef and 2 lbs of Italian sausage if you want to use full packages of meat!

Recipe modifications:

I recently started tossing my noodles with melted butter and garlic powder. Then you put the sauce on top. It adds a richness that’s so delicious! But you can skip that step if you want!

I like ground beef and italian sausage for a meaty spaghetti sauce. But you could do some fresh sliced mushrooms for a vegetarian version!

spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker with a laddle

What to serve with this:

This caesar salad is loaded with fresh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, raw corn, pickled onions, and pesto vinaigrette! It pairs with spaghetti perfectly!

These chocolate chips cookies are the best way to end a comforting and cozy dinner!

Watch the recipe video here:

How to freeze this spaghetti sauce:

Portion the cooked spaghetti sauce into your desired serving size in airtight containers. Transfer to the freezer and store for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw spaghetti sauce in the fridge or briefly under warm water to help loosen it from the containers. From there you can also reheat on the stove or in the slow cooker! Or you can reheat from frozen in the microwave.

Spaghetti Sauce in the Slow Cooker

A double batch will barely fit in 7-quart slow cooker!
Print Pin Rate
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 (makes 3.5 quarts of liquid)


  • 1 lb mild Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 (24 oz) jars Classico Four Cheese Marinara Sauce
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup non-alcoholic dry red wine (I like cabernet savingan or red blend, you can use alcoholic wine if not serving to kids or pregnant adults)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 lbs spaghetti noodles


  • In a large skillet (or in your slow cooker if you have the saute function), add the sausage and ground beef. Cook and crumble the meat using a spatula or meat masher. Drain the fat if desired.
  • If using a skillet, transfer the ground meat to your slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the spaghetti). Cover and cook on high heat for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Serve sauce over pasta.
If you make this recipe I'd love to hear in the comments!
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