My crockpot is one of my favorite kitchen appliances, especially in the summer. Now people tend to think pot roasts when they hear crockpot, which feels more like a fall/winter dish. But I use my crockpot the most in the summer since it helps me avoid turning on the oven.
Like most people, I enjoy lighter dishes when the weather turns warm, but I still crave hearty meals, preferably ones that don’t turn my apartment into a sauna. And that, my friends, is when I turn to my crockpot.
This week has been boiling hot (and yes, I am baby) so I’ve been enjoying refreshing smoothies and salads, but wanted something more substantial for dinner that didn’t require my oven. Thankfully, I remembered this spaghetti sauce. Years ago I discovered this treasure in one of my Mom’s old Taste of Home magazines. This is one of my all-time favorite recipes.
I used mild italian sausage in mine, but you could easily substitute hot italian sausage or even ground beef or turkey. Choose whatever your family will eat or what’s on sale! Mushrooms are a must for me, but if you’re not fan of them, go ahead and omit them. We can still be friends!
This spaghetti sauce also freezes well, so don’t hesitate to double the recipe. You’ll love being able to grab a container of this yummy sauce out of your freezer on a busy day. Additionally, you can prepare everything the night before (browning the meat and veggies) so all you have to do is throw everything together in the crockpot and turn it on before you leave home. 🙂
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Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
Adapted from Taste of Home
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild or hot)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Red pepper flakes to taste (optional—will add some heat to sauce)
- 1 (8 ounces) container sliced fresh mushrooms
- Spaghetti and grated parmesan cheese for topping
- In a large skillet, cook ground sausage, green pepper and onion until meat is fully cooked and veggies are tender; drain any excess fat.
- Coat a 3-quart crockpot with non-stick spray. Add meat and veggie mixture and the remaining ingredients, minus the sliced mushrooms and spaghetti. Stir together, then cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Add mushrooms and cook for another 1-2 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaf before serving
- Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan cheese for topping.