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 MILK!
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 slice 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!
Scoop over cooked pasta then dig in to this easy, comforting spaghetti supper!
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Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce
Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce is an easy crock pot recipe that's hearty and delicious. This slow cooker beef recipe will become your new go-to!
- For the Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce:
- 1lb ground beef
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 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
- Season ground beef with salt and pepper then brown with 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.
Sauce slightly adapted from Food.com
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
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.
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!