Easy Crockpot Spaghetti Casserole
Make dinner with barely any effort with this easy crockpot spaghetti casserole. With plenty of bold Italian flavors, the pasta cooks in the slow cooker with the meat sauce, making it tender and incredibly tasty!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
- 2 lbs ground chuck (80/20 is what I use)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 5-7 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (26 oz) jar of marinara sauce, your favorite brand
- 1 (15 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 - 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 - 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- pinch of sugar, to counteract the acidity of the canned tomatoes
- 8 oz dried spaghetti pasta, broken into thirds
- 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- fresh parsley or basil, minced, for garnish
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Heat a large skillet over MED to MED-HIGH heat with a small drizzle of oil. Add ground beef and onion and cook 5-6 minutes, until beef is cooked through, crumbling as you cook. Drain meat/onion mixture and return to skillet.
Reduce heat to MED-LOW, add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, thyme, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir to combine well.
Spoon meat mixture into lightly greased 6 quart slow cooker. Top with broken spaghetti and stir together. Top with shredded cheese, cover and cook on LOW 4 hours.
Serve garnished with fresh parsley or basil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
NEED TO COOK THIS CASSEROLE LONGER?
I get it, some days you won't be home for a long time and a 3-4 hour cooking time just doesn't work for you right? Try this variation:
- Make meat sauce as directed and add to slow cooker. DON'T add pasta. Cook on LOW for anywhere from 4-8 hours.
- Open lid and stir in broken, uncooked spaghetti. Mix together well, top with cheese, then cover and cook on HIGH for 30-40 minutes. Check spaghetti for doneness, and cook a bit longer if needed.