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Save time and money by making your own Homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce – a favorite of ours for over a decade! With only 10 ingredients, it’s full of dried herbs and spices plus ground turkey sausage and is freezer friendly too.
Why We Love This Recipe
I could eat spaghetti and meat sauce every day! It’s been a favorite of mine since I was a kid so now I share it with my family, too. So, when I came across a recipe for Homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce I knew I had to try it!
I tweaked the original recipe over a decade ago and made it our own. What’s great about this version is that it’s the ultimate make ahead recipe.
I love that I can throw all the ingredients together in my slow cooker in the morning, set it to cook and it’s ready at dinner time. Then, all I need to do is boil up some pasta, add a salad and we’re good to go for dinner! It’s also great to use in other recipes.
A few years ago I got a programmable slow cooker (affiliate link) when I replaced my much older one. I especially like it because when the cooking is done, it automatically switches to “Warm” so it’s less likely to overcook.
We also love this recipe because it makes A LOT of sauce! It makes enough to freeze at least enough for two more dinners and sometimes a little more. I prefer to freeze the extra sauce in my SouperCubes (affiliate link). This allows me to easily freeze in easy-to-use portions to use in other recipes later. Plus, the frozen cubes store easily in my freezer.
Sometimes I leave out the ground sausage that’s called for to make a vegetarian version. Then it’s easy to freeze and use in other recipes that call for a spaghetti style tomato sauce. Some of our favorites are these Pepperoni Pizza Bites, Skillet Stovetop Lasagna or Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas.
Ingredient Tips To Make This Sauce
Making your own spaghetti sauce is SO easy! And when you make it yourself YOU get to control the salt and sugar that goes into it! While this recipe includes some sugar to cut the acidity, you can adjust it for your family’s preference.
My Homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce recipe has only a dozen ingredients, easily found at the grocery store. I’ve got a couple of notes about what types of ingredients I choose to save money, too.
Ground Italian Turkey Sausage – This can usually be found near the ground beef in the meat section of the store. The brand I buy comes in a bulk sausage. If you can’t find it in that style, purchase the sausage links and squeeze out the ground turkey from the casing. Then follow the instructions from there.
Onions and Green Bell Peppers – I always have a package or two of frozen onions in my freezer. They are so handy to use sauces like this and other recipes like soups or chili. If I’m using a fresh onion or bell peppers, I will use my Handheld Food Chopper (affiliate link) to make chopping them easier (and with fewer tears!)
Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Paste – This recipe calls for a large can of petite diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Depending on your preference, you can use swap out one or the other to have a chunkier sauce or smoother sauce.
The tomato paste helps thinking everything up. I almost always buy store brand canned tomatoes as they cost much less than the name brand and we can’t tell any difference!
Italian Herb Blend – Look for this in the herb and spice aisle of the grocery store. It will be near the dried oregano and basil. Yes, this recipe calls for all of those plus garlic and regular salt. But those extra teaspoons of oregano and basil just adds to the delicious flavor of this homemade spaghetti meat sauce.
How to Make This Homemade Sauce
Have I told you how easy this recipe is?!? The prep can be done in less than 10 minutes and if you are using frozen onions and bell peppers, even quicker!
We have a manual can opener (affiliate link) that is super easy to use too. I received it as a gift and I’m mentioning is it because it is one of the best I’ve ever had! Years ago, we had an electric one but it quit working so I replaced it with a manual one. I like that it takes up less space in my kitchen, too!
To assemble this sauce, just add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker (affiliate link) (1) and stir.
Stir everything together (2) and set it to cook per the instructions in the recipe card below. Depending on your time constraints you can cook it the on LOW or HIGH setting.
Make Ahead Preparation Tips
Since this Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is made in the slow cooker, it is naturally made ahead. But since it makes a large batch, it’s great to have on hand for other recipes too.
And here’s my extra sneaky tip. I’ve made this overnight before. Yep, I put all the ingredients in the slow cooker before I go to bed then turn it on and it’s ready when I wake up. This is especially nice when you want to make some up just to stock your freezer or plan to use it in another recipe the next day like lasagna or Parmesan chicken or eggplant. Bonus!
Homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage browned & drained
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 28 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- 24 ounces canned tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Italian herb blend You can find this in the spice aisle of the grocery store
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups water
- In large skillet brown the ground turkey sausage until no longer pink. Drain off grease and add to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients – onion, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, Italian herb blend, salt, basil, oregano and garlic salt. Stir to combine.
- Add water and stir again until well mixed. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- When done, serve over pasta or portion out into freezer safe containers.
- If freezing, label and date your containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
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Originally posted in April 2012 and updated in January 2021 with new photos, content and video.
24 ozs of tomato paste? Is that a typo?
Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)
Nope. This makes a lot of sauce. 🙂 Your slowcooker will be nearly full while it simmers.