$4.40 RECIPE / $0.63 PER CUP
Over the years, I’ve made a few different pasta sauces, but this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is by far my favorite.
The lengthy, steady boil caramelizes the sugars in the tomatoes, giving them an unparalleled depth of taste.
Plus, what could be better than throwing a few ingredients in a pot, forgetting about it for 8 hours, and returning to a rich, wonderful homemade slow cooker spaghetti sauce?
You can then split the sauce into portions, freeze them, and have wonderful homemade pasta sauce on hand for busy midweek dinners.
WHY MAKE SPAGHETTI SAUCE FROM SCRAP?
Pasta sauce may be purchased readymade for a very low price, thus I believe that in many circumstances it is better to just buy a jar and use it.
This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce, on the other hand, is a terrific alternative if you want a little more control over the quality and components of your pasta sauce while still keeping expenses reasonable.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE SLOW COOKER TO USE?
Because this recipe yields around 2 quarts of sauce, I recommend using a slow cooker with a capacity of 3 quarts or more. You only need a very basic slow cooker with basic functions such as warm, low, and hot.
Slow cookers with a thick ceramic insert (or “crock”) cook considerably more evenly than metal inserts, such as those used in the Instant Pot’s slow cooker feature.
WHY DO WE USE BALSAMIC VINEGAR?
In this dish, balsamic vinegar gives a subtle depth and brightness to the sauce. It may appear overpowering at first, but as the sauce cooks, it becomes more subtle.
If you don’t like balsamic vinegar or don’t have any on hand, this recipe will still turn out delicious.
CAN I INCLUDE MEAT IN MY RECIPE?
I’ve tried this sauce with ground beef before and found the cooking time to be far too long, so if you want to add meat, brown it separately and then incorporate it into the sauce after it’s finished cooking.
For a quick and tasty meat sauce, try my Weeknight Pasta Sauce.
PASTA SAUCE FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS
This recipe yields roughly 7 cups of liquid. Before freezing, divide the sauce into two or three cup sections so you may thaw just enough for one recipe at a time.
Allow the spaghetti sauce to cool completely before freezing it in freezer-safe containers. The sauce will keep in the freezer for around three months, but this may vary depending on your freezer’s conditions.
When you use quart-sized freezer bags and set them flat in the freezer, they stack beautifully without taking up much space.
You may either thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator or simply cut the bag from the frozen sauce, pour it into a saucepot, and simmer over medium-low heat until it’s warmed through (stir occasionally).
This sauce is fantastic with Homemade Meatballs (which may also be frozen)!
SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Servings: 7 cups
- 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
- 4 cloves of garlic ($0.32)
- 2 28oz. cans crushed tomatoes ($2.00)
- 1 6oz. can tomato paste ($0.69)
- 1 Tbsp dried basil ($0.30)
- 1.5 tsp dried oregano ($0.15)
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar ($0.03)
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar ($0.14)
- 4 Tbsp. butter ($0.40)
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.05)
- The onion should be diced, and the garlic should be minced. Place both in a slow cooker with a capacity of 3 quarts or more.
- In a slow cooker, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and butter. Toss everything together thoroughly.
- Cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours with the lid on the slow cooker.
- After it has finished cooking, give it a thorough toss and season with salt to taste. Start with 12 teaspoons of salt and add more if necessary (I added 1 tsp). Use the sauce right now, or keep it refrigerated or frozen for later.
NUTRITION IN SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI SAUCE
- Serving: 1 cup
- Calories: 77 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Fat: 7 g
- Sodium: 393 mg
- Fiber: 1 g
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI SAUCE
- 1 yellow onion, diced and 4 garlic cloves, minced Combine the two ingredients in a slow cooker with a capacity of 3 quarts or more.
- Fill the slow cooker with two 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes and one 6-ounce can of tomato paste.
- In the slow cooker, combine 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 4 tablespoons butter.
- Stir everything together until it’s completely combined.
- Cook for four hours on high or eight hours on low with the lid on the slow cooker. It will resemble the image above after it has been cooked (the white is just the milk fats from the butter). Stir it well.
- Taste the sauce and season it with salt if needed. Begin with 1/2 teaspoon and gradually increase the amount until the tastes are vibrant. In the end, I only used a teaspoon.
- Refrigerate and freeze the slow cooker spaghetti sauce for long-term storage.