When morning walks start requiring a hoodie (sob!), neighborhood trees begin to change color (seriously, stop it), and Halloween candy starts appearing on grocery store shelves (love me some fun-size Snickers, but come on – it’s not even September!) I know crock pot season has officially arrived!
Not to say you can’t use a crock pot in the summertime – I mean it’s perfect in that it doesn’t heat up the house – but I usually associate crock pots with a warm and hearty dinner, like Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce, which goes much better with the cooler temps that are inevitably heading our way.
We had “spaghetti night” every Monday when I was growing up, and this yummy tomato sauce simmered with herbs and ground beef all day totally took me back. Except now I’m not 12, kicking my brother under the table, and getting told NOBODY IS EXCUSED UNTIL THEIR PLATE IS LICKED CLEAN! INCLUDING YOUR WARM ASS MILK! Ok, not the warm ass milk part, but it was totally implied and enforced, and I can seriously still taste it. BLECH!
Now, normally I skip over crock pot recipes that require cooking outside the CP, but I made an exception for this spaghetti sauce. After all, it’s just browning 1lb ground beef in a skillet before draining and adding it to the crock pot with 1 medium onion. (FYI – you can mince up the onion and cook it with the ground beef, but since we’ve got an onion hater in da house, cough, Ben, I just sliced it in half and let it cook like that!)
To the beef and onion, add 28oz crushed tomatoes, 8oz tomato sauce, and 6oz tomato paste, which will cook down to create a fabulously rich and luscious tomato sauce.
Finally, add zee spices that will flavor the sauce: 2 teaspoons each dried oregano and basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme,
2 small bay leaves, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, and 3/4 teaspoons salt.
Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy kick (or leave it out – totally your call!) followed by 3 minced garlic cloves.
Mix everything up – then set it, and forget it, baby! That is to say, cook on low for 5-6 hours…
When time is up, stir in the magical ingredient that will take your sauce from good, to great: 2 Tablespoons butter. Don’t leave it out!
About 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat, cook some pasta then whip up a loaf of OMG Garlic Bread. Can’t have spaghetti without chewy bread to sop the sauce up with, and this bread is SO good it’ll make you say ‘OMG’!
No seriously, OMG Garlic Bread is the definition of stupid-good, and it’s really easy too. Start with a demi-loaf of french or Italian bread. Most every grocery store sells these nowadays, even Target.
Slice the loaf into 1/2″ slices being careful not to cut all the way through the bottom crust.
Next, get the OMG part ready. Melt a couple Tablespoons butter in a small dish then add in garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
Brush the seasoned, melted butter in between the slices to get everything nice and garlic-buttery.
Wrap the loaf in foil then bake at 350 for 15 minutes. This gives the bread a chance to warm through and make sure the garlic butter has permeated every nook and cranny. Muwahaha!
Unwrap, ladle up, and dig in to this easy, comforting spaghetti supper!
Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce with OMG Garlic Bread
Sauce slightly adapted from Food.com
For the Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce:
1lb ground beef (I used 90/10 ground sirloin)
salt & pepper
1 medium onion, minced (or cut in half)
28oz can crushed tomatoes
8oz can tomato sauce
6oz can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 bay leaf (or 2 small)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tablespoons butter
For the OMG Garlic Bread:
French or Italian loaf of bread
- For the Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce: Season ground beef with salt & pepper then brown with minced onion* in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain then add to a large crock pot. Add all the ingredients except for the butter, stir to combine, then cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir in butter, then serve over cooked pasta.
- For the OMG Garlic Bread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the loaf of bread into 1/2″ slices, being careful not to cut all the way through the bottom crust. Melt butter in a small bowl then season with garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Brush seasoned butter between slices, then wrap the entire loaf in foil and bake for 15 minutes to warm through.
*If you are serving to onion haters, slice the onion in half instead of mincing then nestle the halves into the sauce. Remove before serving.
I cannot praise crock pot meals enough. I usually add everything to the pot at night, then place it on the base and turn it on in the morning. Could. Not. Be. Easier.
Neither could this garlic bread, and seriously, OMG IT IS SO GOOD!
Some crock pot meals can be heavy and gloopy, but Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce is right on the money. Give it a try sometime!
More Crock Pot Meal Ideas
What are some of your favorite crock pot recipes? Always looking for new ones to try!