This Gal Cooks

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce is great for pasta, pizza and as a dipping sauce for bread sticks and fried cheese because it’s thick and full of flavor. No pots to watch over – just place the ingredients in your slow cooker and let the slow cooker do the cooking.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce. Great for pasta and pizza!

Original post 9/3/13.

Did you enjoy the nice long weekend? I sure did. It’s the calm before the storm. Work is going to be crazy for the next few weeks. With this week being a short week and the implementation of a new accounts payable system next week, we definitely won’t run out of things to do. Not that we ever do. But it will be exceptionally busy for a while.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce. Great for pasta and pizza!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Updated 10/31/16.

About this super simple sauce. You may know that all slow cookers do not cook the same. Some get hotter than others. My old 6.5 quart slow cooker ran hot. When I set my old slow cooker on low, it got hot enough to boil liquids. Boiling spaghetti sauce for multiple hours isn’t a good thing because the sauce can become burnt tasting or lose its flavor; the sauce should simmer. To cook this sauce in my old slow cooker, I set the slow cooker to low while I was getting ready for work and then before I left for work, I turned the setting to warm. Since there isn’t any meat in this sauce, cooking it on low worked perfectly.

My new 3.5 quart slow cooker cooks normally – low setting cooks low, high setting cooks high and warm setting keeps the food warm after it’s done cooking. To cook the sauce in my new slow cooker, I set the slow cooker to low for 4-5 hours.

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 15oz can of diced spicy red pepper tomatoes
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste


  1. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into the slow cooker. Coat the sides and bottom of the slow cooker with the oil.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the salt, and mix well.
  3. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on low.


You may freeze unused portions of this sauce for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce. Great for pasta and pizza!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce. Great for pasta and pizza!

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34 comments on “Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce”

  1. Oh yum Julie! I love making my own sauce! How fantastic to be able to just throw everything in the slow cooker! I like your picture Julie!

  2. I’ve been looking to do something like this. Nothing beats a sauce simmering all day. Delicious!

  3. This is a great, time saving way to make spaghetti sauce, which is a must this busy time of year! I will make double and freeze half. Pinning!

  4. I love this recipe!! I’m thinking about scrounging in my cabinets to see if I can make it tonight. YUM!!!

  5. I love shortcuts in the kitchen, especially when it means pulling out the slow cooker- this spaghetti sauce looks delicious!

  6. Hi Julie- My sauce is similar to yours, and I try to use fresh, chopped tomatoes when I can. I have not used my crock pot for sauce, but will try your recipe. Thanks! :-)

  7. Boy was it stormy here too this weekend. Both days, it poured and grilling plans were foiled. But we did have a good weekend inside as well. The sauce looks so delicious and I love the ease of preparation.
    PS: Love the new picture :)

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  9. This looks so great and easy! My old slow cooker got really hot too. Now I have a nice, new one that seems better. I will give this a try. I usually just use jarred spaghetti sauce instead of making my own, but I bet this version would taste lots better!

  10. I bet making this sauce in the slow cooker gives it a deep and nice flavor! I can’t wait to receive my slow cooker and start playing with it. Your sauce is on my “to make” list!

  11. Homemade spaghetti sauce is the best! And yours sound really the best after cooking for 10 hours! I don’t think I’ve done slow cooking for that long (mine at most 2 hours? heehee). I can tell how delicious this is. I need pasta night with this sauce!

  12. Hi Julie,

    Your recipe sounds great. If you can’t get your hands on fresh basil or oregano can you substitute basil or oregano from the spice rack?

    • Hi William,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for the compliment. You could use the dried herbs but scale back on the amount used. I’ve used too much before in another crockpot recipe and they tend to taste funny and alter the texture of the dish. But I’ve also used just the right amount and had great success with them.

      I hope you enjoy this sauce! :)

  13. I made this recipe & it was a huge hit– we even freeze the sauce for future meals! I can’t buy jarred sauce again after tasting this, I swear! Thanks!

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  15. I am making your sauce now. I use “Original No Salt” due to high blood pressure, and I noticed that you didn’t mention when you should put the salt (or salt alternative) in. Would putting some in, in the beginning, cause a taste problem?

    • Hi Debra,

      I didn’t add any salt to my recipe, as noted in the instructions. You would just use the salt if you prefer it, according to your taste. Whenever I do add salt to something, I always add it at the end. So once the sauce is done cooking, do a taste test. If you think it needs salt, add a little, stir, then taste test. Continue this process until you reach your desired taste.

      Hope this helps! :)

  16. Hi Julie,
    I have made your sauce several times. I always make extra and freeze it! It is a big hit in our home. I am wondering though, how it might hold up with no sugar. Any idea how that might turn out or suggestions for substitute?

    • Hi Katrina,

      Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoy the recipe. You could leave the sugar out but the purpose of the sugar is to cut back on the acidity of the tomatoes. Of course, leaving out the sugar will also alter the flavor of the sauce. If you want to sub the sugar with another type of sweetener, you could try using coconut sugar or even maple syrup. I’ve never used either of those in the sauce so I’m not sure how the results would be. Hope this helps. :)

  17. What is “spicy red pepper tomatos”?

    • Hi Jacky,

      I use Hunts brand Spicy Red Pepper Diced Tomatoes. The diced tomatoes have spicy red pepper in them. If you cannot find them, you may use regular diced tomatoes. Hope this helps! :)

  18. A great weeknight dinner!! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned, yummed and tweeted!

  19. I never think of just doing my sauce in a slow cooker but, now I will. Thanks for joining the #InspirationSpotlight party. Shared

  20. Hi Julie, your sauce looks delicious and I cannot wait to try it. I do have a question, Have you ever tried browning some ground beef and adding it and letting it cook with the sauce? Well I may just have to try it, cause we like “Meat in our Sauce”. Thanks so much, I will try
    this. P.S. I will try yours first then I will try it with the ground beef. :) I gave it 4 stars Just because I have not tried it yet.

    • Hi Joann,

      I’ve never cooked the meat with this sauce but I’ve added cooked meat to other sauces I’ve made and it works well. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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  22. If I were to want to add mushrooms to this recipe, how many and would I add them are at start of cook or add latermm