Imagine your favorite spaghetti bolognese sauce, simmered and seasoned to perfection, rich and flavorful… and all done conveniently in the slow cooker!
Your new favorite way to enjoy a bolognese-style pasta sauce… made easily in the slow cooker! Rich, flavorful, and perfect for an easy weeknight dinner!
Spaghetti is such a classic meal. Is there anything better than a big plate full of perfectly cooked pasta, topped with a rich and meaty sauce, some grated Parmesan cheese and fresh minced basil? Not in my book!
Except maybe some cheesy semi-homemade garlic bread to go with it! Now picture this… you can have that fantastic-tasting, lip-smackingly good, slow-simmered tasting sauce, with hardly any effort? How, you say? In your slow cooker!
That’s right, your slow cooker comes to the rescue once again!
For me, my favorite spaghetti sauces all have meat in them. What can I say, I like meat 🙂 What about you? Do you prefer meat-free spaghetti sauce? A meat sauce? Meatballs?
Usually, to get a great tasting sauce, you have to let it simmer and let those flavors meld together for a while… like several hours, or more. Well I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have that kind of time most nights.
Now you can walk in the door and smell a FANTASTIC sauce simmering away in your slow cooker!
This recipe uses both ground beef and mild Italian sausage, but feel free to change it up to fit your family’s tastes. It could be all Italian sausage, all beef, or you could go for a hot Italian sausage if you want to get spicy.
All you need to do is brown your meats with the onion and garlic… making sure you crumble up the meat pretty well. For me, my best tool for that is my potato masher. I start with my wooden spoon to break it up into large chunks, then go to town mashing away with my potato masher. It crumbles up meat like a pro!
Once the meat is browned, drain it, then add it to the bottom of your slow cooker. Next, add in the remaining ingredients, pop the lid on, set it to low, and you’re done!
This sauce cooks for 8 hours, so you’re free to go about your day. Then come dinner time, all you have to do is boil your pasta! Simple enough right?
You deserve this sauce… treat yourself!
LOOKING FOR MORE ITALIAN DINNER IDEAS?
- Semi-homemade garlic bread
- Cheesy garlic crescent rolls
- Slow Cooker Shredded Italian Beef
- Meatball Parmesan Bake
- 20 Minute Tortellini Carbonara
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- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1 onion minced
- 2 carrots, very finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 3 - 14 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 - 24 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Newman's Own)
- 1 cup water
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tsp better than chicken bouillon
- 3 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp sugar (to taste)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and Italian sausage, cooking until browned, about 5-6 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef and sausage as it cooks. The last 2-3 minutes, add onion, carrot and garlic to beef and cook. Drain in a colander to remove excess grease.
- Place meat mixture into bottom of slow cooker. Add remaining sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
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The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.