New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Super Easy CrockPot Spaghetti Sauce

Day 185.

I have no idea why I waited so long to make this. It is so terribly easy, and I was able to get 3 very nice-sized plastic containers of sauce, which now live in the freezer. There isn't anything wrong with jarred sauce---I use it quite often, but there isn't much to brag about when you open a jar.

This? This you can brag about. "oh yes. Of course I make my own pasta sauce."

I kept this simple, and did not add a lot of spices, or even onion and garlic. I usually throw in onion and garlic whenever I make something using marinara, anyhow, and prefer the crunch when added freshly. But like a lot of what I do: There are NO rules. Throw in your favorite spices, and customize how you see fit. There are also no rules about the tomatoes. I used what I happened to have in the pantry at the time. Buy what's on sale, and have at it!

The Ingredients.

--1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
--1 15oz can of tomato sauce
--1 12.5 oz Italian flavored diced tomatoes.
--16 oz fresh mushrooms
--1 T Italian seasoning (and a bit more to taste when cooking is done)
--1 lb super lean ground turkey meat

The Directions.

Add the thawed (or fresh) turkey meat to the crockpot. Dump in all the cans of tomatoes, and break the ground meat up with a large spoon. Stir in the spices and mushrooms.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When done cooking, break up the ground meat a bit more and season to taste. Jarred pasta sauce is awfully salty; I didn't add any salt, but your tongue might desperately want to.

Serve right away, or package for freezing.

The Verdict.

This is very tasty. I shared a bunch with my grandparents, who enjoyed it also. It has been rather warm, so I let this cook overnight on the counter in front of an open window. I'm sure the neighborhood dogs were quite happy!

The kids and I had a small bowl for breakfast. I loved that I didn't need to brown the meat, and that turkey meat is so lean that there was very little fat that floated to the top during cooking. If you decide to use a different type of meat, you can chill the sauce, and scrape off the collected fat.
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Anonymous said...

I make this all the time with the following midification:

2 cans crushed tomato
basil and minced garlic to taste
large pinch of sugar
1+ lbs frozen italian sausage (links)

Cook on low all day and the YUM!!!

sometimes we add chopped peppers and onions and a pinch of crushed perrers and then serve sausage and pepper sanwiches on long rolls.


david santos said...

Great menu and good food.
Happy day

Kristine said...

Wow - I've never seen a recipe using the raw ground beef. Looks fabulous!

Sarah said...

For breakfast? That's too funny.

Excited to try it out, maybe even for breakfast!

Cheryl B. said...

I converted to turkey Italian bulk sausage that is in a "chub" 1 pound pack, can't remember the brand and I just used the last one from my freezer yesterday.

DH requested the short ribs again last night! I told him no way, I was making the stuffed peppers first!

sara said...

Just wanted you to know i made your orange chipotle ribs yesterday and it was a HUGE hit!! All five of my family loved it....hard to do! :)

I think I will try this sauce on a "pork" tenderloin.....I think it would be wonderful!!! I'll let you know!

Thanks for all the great recipes!!!

Carolyn said...

My mom has a great sauce recipe, but it calls for browning the meat first and the lazy-girl in me hates to do the extra step.

but really, you can do raw ground turkey (or beef)? and the comment about the raw sausage...really? why is this such a big secret?

Hippie Housewife said...

This is one of my favourite crock pot recipes, I make it all the time. So good.

Stretch Mark Mama said...

Never thought of putting meat in it!

I have a sauce recipe that takes just two cans and other ingredients that are lying around the house:

lucy said...

I made this yesterday with turkey meatballs and it was delicious! Even better today for lunch! This will be how I make sauce from now on! Thanks again, Steph!!

Tara said...

This is in my crockpot right now. I opened the lid to stir it & my 9 year old came running. "What smells soooooooo good?" LOL It really does smell good!

I am also making your stuffed peppers & black bean soup this week :)

chet said...

OMG this recipe sure is easy! I have to try it since my foodie kids are just so obsessed with spaghetti :)

Jessica said...

Hey Steph!

I was not feeling well today and the hubbster asked for spaghetti, so I did it the lazy way!

I dumped in a bag of frozen meat balls, a jar of sauce and a jar of water, to swish the good stuff out of the jar. I turned it on low and slept most of the day. He called me an hour before he was to come home and I added some spaghetti I had broke in half and pushed it all down under the sauce. When he got home I stirred it up and it was all ready to go!

I love that I did not waste a gallon of water or better boiling away the nutrients in the pasta and waste all that energy to boil water! Oh yeah, and clean up was a breeze!

Thanks again for your wonderful blog, without it I would never have discovered how wonderful my crockpot is!

Jess in SC

trucksr4gurls said...

oh this brings back memories. mom used to make sauce in the crockpot every thursday (busy day). we didn't consider it 'done' till a wooden spoon would stand up, handle down in the

graceling said...

I love how easy this was- I dumped in a pound of ground turkey, 2 16oz cans of tomato sauce (cooked tomato chunks gross me out, wierd, I know), and some seasonings and came home to spaghetti sauce after work. Sooooo easy! When we make this again, I think I will add some chopped onion and garlic. Our family can't get enough garlic and onion:)

This was even better re-heated for leftovers the next day at lunch!

Jennilee said...

I've done something similar without the meat and used a ton of veggies. Usually bell peppers (red, yellow and green), zucchini, red onion, fresh garlic, and spiniach. I chop of all those veggies and then I chop about 6 large fresh tomatoes. I saute the spinach, onion, and garlic in some olive oil, then throw everything into my crock and add a can of no-salt-added tomato paste (we're a low-sodium household so I never cook with salt)

I let it cook on high for 1 hour then I add basil, parsley, oregano, paprika, and black pepper and turn it on low to cook for like 6 hours. If I want to add meat I usually brown it later and add it once it's ready, but I don't always do this.

Sarah said...

I made a batch of this about 6 months ago and froze three containers. I added some garlic salt and minced onion, but only a bit for a little extra flavor. We just ate the last one after not having any for a while and I admit, when I had a spoonful it was still DELICIOUS. I think I probably ate half the container before I even put it on my pasta! I have all my ingredients lined up and I can't wait to make another batch tomorrow. After making this, the jarred stuff just doesn't cut it.

Big Jim said...

I have been making pasta gravy in my slow cooker for years. I use many different variations from meat sauce to shin meat and bones to sausage. I never brown the meat first.
One can even place meatballs in raw. AS far as recipes go use your imagination and taste buds anything goes from cheese to garlic to basil yes even mushrooms and wine [NOT COOKING WINE] PERFECT RESULTS EVERY TIME

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