Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Sausage is hearty, robust and filled with ground Italian sausage, diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings.
Even though it is homemade and not bottled, it is fast to make. It is heated in a crockpot for a few hours, but you can also just cook it on your stovetop if you don’t have the time to heat it in your crockpot.
The Sausage for Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Sausage
For this Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Sausage you will need cooked ground sausage. I use an Italian flavored sausage that just adds more flavor to the sauce. A plain ground sausage works great! A spicy sausage is actually really tasty if you prefer a kick of heat!
Other options for meat are cooked ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey. Just make sure you cook/brown the meat ahead of time!
No Meat Option
If you don’t like meat or just don’t want to add meat, you can skip the ground sausage or meat. This sauce is delicious meat-free.
You can also some fresh veggies to this sauce. Squashes, egg plants, mushrooms, broccoli/broccolini all will give it some substance and add a nice fresh flavor!
I would recommend adding the veggies at the end of cooking time so they don’t get overly soggy and mushy.
Making The Sauce for Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Sausage
This Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Sausage is full of flavor! The Italian Sausage brings great flavor.
You will need some cooked/browned Italian Sausage and some canned tomatoes. I use a mix of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano and regular diced tomatoes. A can of tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano is also added to create the perfect flavor for this sauce.
A diced yellow onion is needed, along with some minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, and dried parsley (optional). To round out the flavor you will add some white sugar, garlic powder, ground oregano, salt and pepper.
Just dump all of the ingredients in to your slow cooker along with the cooked sausage (or whatever meat you have cooked) and mix it all together!
Let the sauce heat in your slow cooker on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours. The meat is already cooked, so the sauce just needs heated through!
You can also heat this sauce on your stove top over medium heat!
Want a Thicker Sauce?
I don’t mind a thinner spaghetti sauce, especially if it is full of diced tomatoes and ground sausage. But if you do want it thicker, you can make a cornstarch slurry (equal parts of cornstarch and cold water) and add it at the end of cooking time.
This will cook in the bubbly sauce and thicken in about 15-20 minutes! You can repeat this as many times as you like until it is as thick as you want.
The Tomatoes (options)
Like I mentioned I add a can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano and regular diced tomatoes. This does make the spaghetti sauce chunky. If you are against tomato chunks you can use crushed tomatoes. You can also throw the tomatoes in your blender so they are smooth.
Another option for chunk free sauce, is to use tomato sauce in place of the diced tomatoes. The texture will be more smooth but the flavor may need some adjusting since tomato sauce has a different flavor than diced tomatoes. So adjust the flavor as needed!
For the pasta I usually use regular spaghetti noodles. Penne or Ziti works great too. Penne and Ziti is a wider pasta noodle with more of a surface for the sauce to stick to. Ziti and Penne is also easier to eat!
I cook my pasta ahead of time. When it is done cooking, I rinse it under cold water and toss it in some olive oil (a little goes a long way).
Then, I put it in a zip top bag and into the fridge for later.
When we are ready to eat, I put the pasta in a strainer and let hot water run over it for a few minutes. Easy peasy! The pasta is heated to the perfect temperature.
Just add your Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Sausage over the heated pasta and enjoy!
Make it Ahead of Time
This Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is perfect to make ahead of time and then just turn on your slow cooker a few hours before you are ready to eat!
Just make the sauce the night before or in the morning and put it in your fridge. When you are ready to eat, put it in your slow cooker and let it heat fully.
The Spaghetti Sauce will heat in a few hours on low or even less time on high.
Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce makes the perfect freezer meal.
Make the spaghetti sauce and place it in a freezer zip top bag, or in a freezer friendly container. Freeze it for up to 6 months.
You can let the sauce thaw before adding it your slow cooker. Or just throw the frozen sauce in to your slow cooker and let it heat slowly on low until it is fully thawed and heated (or on high if you want it done faster).
The sauce will keep in your fridge for 3-4 days.
What to Serve with Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Sausage
We love a warm fresh loaf of French Bread with Basil-Garlic Parmesan Butter Spread.
You can also try my easy Homemade Breadsticks, Garlic Knots, or my Easy No Fail Dinner Rolls.
A side salad is always great with a plate of pasta! Try my Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing or try my Homemade Parmesan Vinaigrette Dressing!
Hope you enjoy!
Here are some products I used to make this recipe!
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Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Sausage
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. ground Italian Sausage, browned *see notes
- 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano *see notes
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes *see notes
- 2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano *see notes
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced fine
- 2 1/2 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp minced garlic in the bottle, or 4 fresh cloves minced
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, or more to taste
- 1 pkg spaghetti noodles, cooked *or pasta of your choice
- Cook your pasta according to the package, set aside. See blog post above for cooking it ahead of time.
- Brown your ground Italian Sausage. Make sure it is fully cooked.
- In your crockpot, mix the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and all the other ingredients. Mix to together.
- Add your ground Italian Sausage to the sauce and mix well.
- Cook the sauce in your slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours. The sauce just needs heated through.
- After it has heated through and you are ready to serve it, give it a good stir to make sure the flavors are mixed well. See noted below if you want to thicken your sauce.
- Serve over spaghetti noodles or your favorite pasta.