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Slow Cooker Meat Sauce for Spaghetti


Slow Cooker Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

Meaty Pasta Sauce

Photo of Slow Cooker Meat Sauce for Spaghetti © Diana Rattray
Purchased spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, and fresh chopped vegetables add extra flavor to this delicious meaty pasta sauce. I add a little bacon to this sauce, but feel free to use bacon drippings, pancetta, or substitute a few teaspoons of butter or more olive oil.

Serve this sauce over spaghetti or as a sauce for lasagna, along with crusty Italian bread or rolls and a Caesar salad.


Yield: Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 slices bacon, diced*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped or shredded
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 85% to 90%
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • 1 large jar (about 32 ounces) spaghetti sauce, your favorite
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


*Feel free to omit the bacon; replace the bacon drippings with a few teaspoons of butter or a little more olive oil.

In a large saute pan or skillet, saute the diced bacon until almost crisp and fat has been rendered . With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain. Add onions, celery, and carrot to the skillet and cook, stirring, until onion is tender. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until browned. Drain off excess grease.

Transfer the ground beef mixture to the slow cooker and stir in the garlic, basil, spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, and tomato paste.

Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or on LOW for 6 to 7 hours. Add the parsley and Parmesan and continue cooking for 10 minutes longer.

Use this delicious pasta sauce as a topping for spaghetti, or as a sauce for layered lasagna. Serve with more Parmesan cheese and crusty bread or rolls, along with a Caesar salad or simple tossed salad.

Serves 6 to 8.

Out of tomato paste? Make it from tomato sauce or canned tomatoes: How to Make Tomato Paste

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