Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce with OMG Garlic Bread


Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce is an easy crock pot recipe that’s hearty and delicious. Serve with buttery, garlic-herb OMG Garlic Bread on the side!


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!)

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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.

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Finally, add zee spices that will flavor the sauce: 2 teaspoons each dried oregano and basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme,

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2 small bay leaves, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, and 3/4 teaspoons salt.

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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…

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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

Serves 6-8


Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce is an easy crock pot recipe that's hearty and delicious. Serve with buttery, garlic-herb OMG Garlic Bread on the side!


  • 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
      • Melted butter
      • Garlic salt
      • Italian seasoning


    1. 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.
    2. 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.


    Sauce slightly adapted from

    This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


    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!



    What are some of your favorite crock pot recipes? Always looking for new ones to try!

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    1. brandy 08.22.2012


    2. Casey 08.22.2012

      This looks awesome Kristin! I usually am gone at least 8 hours a day though, sometimes 9. Is that too long to cook it? This is always my problem with crock pot recipes!

      • Iowa Girl Eats 08.23.2012

        It might burn, but what you could do is double the recipe which I know would be fine if left on low for 8 hours!

        • Lisa 08.30.2012

          I made this yesterday, except I “quad”ed the recipe (is that a word?) Anyhow, 4x. I was trying to use up a HUGE can of crushed tomatoes. I only cooked it on low for 5 hours and the new crockpot started browning a little on the bottom and my old crockpot did not. So each crock had a double sized recipe in it. Darn those new hotter crockpots!
          – Wondering, is using margarine OK for the sauce too? I didn’t know if true “butter” was needed. I will be adding that when I reheat the sauce (which is in the freezer now).

    3. Sarah 08.22.2012

      This looks amazing!! I don’t eat meat – surely this would be okay to make the same way sans meat, right?

      Also – love seeing the Hy-Vee items in your blog. ;)

    4. Good crock pot recipes are hard to find but this one looks like an exception. And you also gave us a bonus with the OMG bread. Looks totally delicious!

    5. Lauren 08.22.2012

      totally relate to being forced to drink warm milk at the end of dinner as a kid! I swear I didn’t even like the stuff until I got to college and realized how delicious it was cold.

    6. I am so ready to bust out the crock pot! Confession: I have only ever used store-bought sauce with spaghetti. Sad, I know. This is going to change that!

    7. aria 08.22.2012

      I recently found your blog and I LOVE it! Great pictures, yummy recipes and best (worst!) of all I am also married to an onion hater. BOO! Thanks for the onion modifications – my husband appreciates it.

    8. Heather 08.22.2012

      My 18 month old son just saw the spaghetti, stopped playing, & went “ooooooooo” guess I shld add it to next weeks meal plan!

    9. I just posted a tomato sauce recipe today! Wish I had used a Crockpot, things wouldn’t have gotten so hot in the kitchen! :)

    10. Brittney 08.22.2012

      I just made this last night (got it off Pinterest) and it’s amazing! I served mine over quinoa, my fiance had his inside of burrito shells, and it’d be a super easy dip with tortilla chips for Hawkeye tailgating :)

    11. Kris Beaver 08.22.2012

      I can’t wait to make this! It looks so good!

    12. I’ve never made sauce in the crockpot. I usually take the easy way out and use jarred. I’m sure this is MUCH better and that garlic bread looks deeeelicious!

    13. Mark 08.22.2012

      I might have to buy a crock pot now…

    14. Jeri 08.22.2012

      I do the same thing for my garlic bread, only I visit the day old section @ Wal-Mart and get the large Italian loaves for $.96. I cut them into 3 sections, each section gets us 5 slices, which is perfect for supper and a couple leftover for…leftovers. I just did this the other day and I have 6 meals worth of bread already pre-sliced & frozen!

    15. Kristin B. 08.22.2012

      This looks so good. I just made your crockpot tortilla soup and it was amazing.

    16. Love crock pot meals! I’m moving to a new apartment in just over a week, and when my mom asked me what I needed I had a crock pot at the top of the list. :-)

    17. Your pictures and dinner look WONDERFUL!

      I love using the slow cooker for BBQ Chicken, Salsa Chicken, Veggie Bean Chili… There are so many possibilities!

    18. Eve P 08.22.2012

      Totally can relate to the warm a$$ milk. To this day I do not drink white milk because of it. I’m trying really hard now at age 34 because my boys are starting to catch on that its chocolate not white milk in mommy’s cup. oops.

    19. Tonya L 08.22.2012

      This looks wonderful! I think we’ll have to try this Friday!

    20. Lori P 08.22.2012

      I love it that your picture has a glass of wine instead of milk :) We never had milk with dinner because we had too many kids and milk was expensive. Lucky for me since I was a milk hater until I became an adult. I still don’t put milk in my cereal but will drink it on the side.

      I am ready to pull out the crock pot again because it does make dinner much easier. This recipe will be added to the list!

    21. Lauren T 08.22.2012

      I love this recipe and I can’t wait to try it!!! I love throwing a little turkey (I like the butterball ones best) with cut up potatoes, carrots and onions in the crock pot and letting it slow cook alllll day :) I’m kindof excited for crock pot weather, if only it didn’t have to turn into down winter coat weather *sigh*

    22. Margaret 08.22.2012

      Just curious if garlic salt actually makes this bread better (vs. garlic powder) or if you just used it here because that’s what you buy. I try to not use salt in/on things that don’t need it, so in all my years of cooking, I have never actually purchased garlic salt — always garlic powder.

      • Iowa Girl Eats 08.23.2012

        I like my garlic bread on the salty side, but garlic powder would totally work too!

    23. Chris 08.22.2012

      This is definitely going on my list of things to do! Looks great!

    24. Lisa 08.22.2012

      Interesting to see the difference in brands from where you are the the west coast. I hope this recipe can sit in the pot on low for 8-10 hours as that is my typical work day.

    25. Sara 08.23.2012

      I just discovered your blog a couple of days ago and I am so enjoying your playful and comprehensible way of describing food. I get inspired, hungry and laugh every time I come here. Thanks for sharing these recipes and your enthusiasm!

    26. Awesome sauce! Have you ever made the sauce starting with raw meat? I know, random.

      • Iowa Girl Eats 08.23.2012

        I haven’t – I don’t think the crock pot would get everything cooked through and to a safe eating temp!

    27. Emilie 08.23.2012

      This looks SO good. I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.

    28. Rachel 08.23.2012

      omg wow that garlic bread looks so good!!

    29. Alice 08.23.2012

      I love crock pot recipes and I especially love your HOT PINK BREAD KNIFE!!!! Where did you find that?

    30. Samantha 08.23.2012

      Mmm looks good, might have to try this one. My favorite crock pot recipes are pulled pork, pot roast, and chili taco chicken from Skinnytaste. SOO good!

    31. Madeleine 08.23.2012

      Spaghetti sauce is hands down my favorite thing to make. There’s just something so comforting about the cooking process to me. I’m always looking for new recipes to try, so I’ll have to give this one a go! Have you ever added red wine to it?

      I also usually like to shred a zucchini and add it in too for extra volume and veggie goodness. You can’t even tell it’s there!

    32. Sara 08.23.2012

      Love coming home from work to have dinner already made! Just the other day I made Pepsi roast in the crockpot…it was just 3 or 4 ingredients and was super good and so tender! Plus we used the drippings to make gravy and stuck them in ziplock baggies in the freezer. Can’t wait for some mashed potatoes and gravy :)

    33. M 08.23.2012

      TOTALLY know what you’re talking about with having to finish your milk. YUCK!

    34. Ann 08.23.2012

      This is almost identical to my mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe! I used to walk in the door from school and smell the sauce, spaghetti was my favorite meal, I wish we had it every Monday! I make this sauce for my family now but usually don’t have time for the crock pot so it cooks on the stove while I’m cooking the noodles and garlic bread. The only difference is that I use white sugar, no red pepper flakes (Dad didn’t like spicy food) and I cook a few cloves of garlic with my beef/onion. I also never heard of adding butter at the end, how could it not be good with that? I’ll try it next time. YUM! I think I’ll make it this weekend, it’ll bring back great memories of mom’s kitchen! Thanks!

    35. The smell of spaghetti reminds me of family too! Mom would simmer her spaghetti sauce for HOURS, but it be easier to do that in a crockpot.

      You’re a genius.

      I will definitely be trying this out and those memories of Mom are sure to rush back…. except now I can have wine with my spaghetti.
      Yay for being an adult!

    36. Hannah 08.23.2012

      Hi Kristin, I was just wondering what size crock pot you use/what size crock pot would be appropriate for this recipe?

    37. Sally 08.23.2012

      I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thank you!

    38. julia 08.23.2012

      hey kristin!

      first of all, this looks delish and i am definitely going to try it asap! second of all, a lot of times when i make spaghetti the sauce gets watery once its on the plate with the pasta … does this ever happen to you and do you have any tips for how to avoid it ? i can’t tell if its the pasta not being drained well enough, or the sauce being too liquidy …

      thanks so much!

      xo julia,

      • Iowa Girl Eats 08.24.2012

        I find it’s usually the pasta (especially the kind I used – the water gets trapped in the curls.) I just make sure to drain it really really well!

    39. Garlic Geeks 08.23.2012

      Anything with OMG and garlic bread is good in my book. Great pics as well!

    40. Kelly Ratliff 08.27.2012

      Made this yesterday on the stove-top and simmered on low for about 1.5 hours in a huge pot…it was delicious! I am watching calories so I used 96% lean Angus beef from TJ’s and halved the sugar and butter to save some calories. It was excellent! Hooray for leftovers today…

      • Iowa Girl Eats 08.31.2012

        I’m sure it’d be fine! I use butter because I like the taste and how creamy it is, but I’m sure margarine would work fine! :)

    41. […] Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce with OMG Garlic Bread. I’m spreading the obsession. Every since I read this recipe, I’ve had it on my […]

    42. Tricia H 09.04.2012

      I have tried many crock pot sauce recipes and this is the BEST! My family loved it!
      Thanks, I have found “my” sauce recipe :-)

    43. Kristin 09.05.2012

      I made this the other night and am still enjoying the leftovers – even better the next day! I just wanted to post and say that this recipe is pretty fool proof and forgiving. I was throwing this together on a really busy day, and I was about to walk out the door when I realized I didn’t add the garlic! I just threw in a few whole cloves – my mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe is simmered with whole cloves that are removed at the end – and it worked great. I left it on for 8 hours because I was gone, and I didn’t have trouble with burning. I did, however, forget the onion also! I cut one in half and put it in for the last few hours, and again, still tasted great. Last but not least, I realized way later that I forgot the sugar (where was my brain that morning?!?). While I think the little bit of sugar would have been a nice addition to cut acidity, I still thought the sauce was great without it. Then again, I love all things tomato-y.. :)
      Loved this over macaroni noodles, reminded me of goulash!
      OH! One more thing. I threw raw sliced mushrooms in there to cook with everything and wasn’t sure how it would work since they release a good amount of liquid, but the sauce still turned out thick and delish :)
      Thank you for a great quick recipe!

    44. […] Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce – adapted from Iowa Girl Eats […]

    45. Lacy 09.21.2012

      Do you think this sauce would freeze well? I’d love to make a big batch and save it!

    46. […] dinner is Crock Pot spaghetti courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats. The smell of meat browning in the morning kind of makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little but […]

    47. Mary S. 10.12.2012

      sounds & looks so good!

    48. kim 10.17.2012

      just made this tonight and it was delish!!!!

    49. Jennifer R 10.22.2012

      Love this sauce!!! I also added 8 oz of beef stock a little wine, and a palm full of chili powder for some spice!!! This is delish!!

    50. […] Pot Spaghetti Sauce @ Iowa Girl Eats Tweet#call_to_action h4{padding:0px 5px;} div#social-essentials{ margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: […]

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