This simple and delicious pasta recipe only takes mere minutes of prep work, and only as little as two hours to cook in your slow cooker. Learning how to make this flavorful easy Crock Pot Spaghetti with jar sauce is the key to making an otherwise busy day that much more manageable. I know that I can personally use all of the extra help that I can get in that department (as a single mom of four that works two jobs), so I am hoping this will help some of you out just as much by slow cooking your Spaghetti too.
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About This Recipe
This recipe is actually my most popular recipe of all time on my website…and the reason for that is because it simplifies dinner as much as possible, & is super tasty too.
This Spaghetti is super YUM!
I don’t know what is different about cooking your Spaghetti in Crock Pot, but I am here to tell you that it tastes SO MUCH BETTER!
I’m guessing it is because all of the flavors get to simmer together for a longer amount of time? At least that is my theory.
Though somehow even the noodles seem to taste better when they are cooked this way.
When you make Spaghetti in a Crock Pot, it creates way less dishes to wash (SCORE!), it is super easy to make, and is my go-to recipe if I don’t have much time to prep or cook a meal, but still need the convenience of a slow cooker.
Which means that we are eating WAY less fast food, and saving quite a bit of money by not eating that fast food.
This recipe literally takes five minutes, or less, to prep and only takes as little as two hours to cook.
Obviously you are welcome to switch things up to suit your tastes, but I wanted to share with you my basic recipe for this dish.
Though if a red sauce dish doesn’t sound like a good meal tonight, my Easy Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo recipe could be a good fit too…both recipes use hardly any dishes in the preparation process.
- To see all of my main dish recipes, go here.
- To see all of my kitchen / food related tips, go here.
How to pre-cook ground beef in bulk
You may be wondering how I am able to prep my spaghetti in five minutes and that is because of a little life hack that I do with my ground beef.
I absolutely hate scrubbing pots and pans…which is the understatement of the century by the way…lol!
In order to not have to scrub anywhere nearly as many pans, and one thing that I have done to simplify my life a bit, is to buy my ground beef in bulk AND cook it in bulk to freeze so it’s ready when I need it.
I do this, not just for Spaghetti, but for any meal throughout the month that requires ground beef…so for those of you fellow meal planners out there, this tip is especially helpful for you.
What I do is buy anywhere from four to six pounds of ground beef at a time.
Put it on the stove in my fifteen inch cast iron skillet.
Mince it, brown it, and then let it cool.
Then divide it as evenly as I can into the same number of pounds of beef that I started out with.
This way, when I plan out my meals for the week, I just pull however many I need out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost so they are ready to go when I need them.
It saves me so much time and dishes it is absurd!
Before I even think about making a recipe, I like to see the ingredients all laid out so that I can see if it looks even remotely like something I would like to cook.
It’s also handy to just be able take a peek and see if there will be any allergens to worry about, so that being said, here is what is in this recipe. So that’s why I’m sharing.
- Hot Water
- Canned Mushrooms (pieces and stems)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Canned/Jarred Spaghetti Sauce
- Pre-cooked Ground Beef
- Italian Seasoning
- Spaghetti Noodles
It’s very simple, and the use of basic kitchen staple items are one of the main benefits to making this version of this dish.
It’s also super easy to use this recipe as a base, and then tweak things however you desire to make it suit your preferred tastes.
How to save money when making this recipe
To save the most money when making this recipe, I mostly just recommend trying to buy your items in bulk as often as possible (making sure to check that the price per ounce is actually cheaper of course).
Many stores have “case-lot” sales and if this recipe becomes a staple in your meal rotation it is a good idea to take advantage of those sales and stock up on the ingredients as much as you are able.
Also, finding a local source to buy your beef in bulk (such as buying half a cow at a time) is another great way to cut the cost when making this.
If you need a bit more guidance about buying in bulk, you should check out my guide for buying in bulk to save money, found here.
What it looks like served
How to make spaghetti in a Crock Pot (recipe card found here with photo & video tutorials)
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Hot Water
- 1 (24 oz) Jar Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 (8 oz) Can Mushrooms Pieces & Stems (drained)
- 1 Pound Browned Hamburger Meat
- 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 (16 or 17 oz) Package Spaghetti Noodles
- Optional Garnish (parmesan cheese, parsley, red pepper flakes, or any you desire)
- Using the olive oil, to grease your crock insert along the bottom and up the sides several inches.
- Add all the ingredients to the crock, except the noodles.
- Mix well.
- Cover with the lid and set your slow cooker on High heat and cook for one hour.
- Remove the lid, and stir well. Break noodles in half (they cook more evenly that way), add them to Crock, and try to cover them with the sauce mixture (by pushing them down). Cover and let cook 1 hour or so, stirring occasionally (every 15-20 minutes, replacing the lid after each time, for the full hour).
- Stir well and dish out to serve. Garnish as desired.
*Depending on what brand of noodles you use, more water is sometimes needed. If you find your noodles need more water, add up to 2 or so Cups HOT(so you don't break your Crock) water between stirring (I do this in ½ cup increments and just see how much is needed).
**If it's too runny, leave the lid off for a while and stir every few minutes, this will evaporate any extra liquid.
***If the pasta hasn't set up, you may need to add more water, stir, put your lid back on and check it again in 15 minutes... this is the basics to cooking pasta in a Slow Cooker.*
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HOMEST Slow Cooker Bag for Crock-Pot 6-8 Quart, Insulated Travel Carrier with Easy to Clean Lining, Carry Case with Top Zip Compartment and Accessory Pocket
Crock-Pot 7 Quart Slower Cooker, Food Warmer, Charcoal (SCV700-KC)
Lodge 15 Inch Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned Skillet – Signature Teardrop Handle - Use in the Oven, on the Stove, on the Grill, or Over a Campfire, Black
Farberware 5211438 Professional Heat Resistant Nylon Meat and Potato Masher, Safe for Non-Stick Cookware, 10-Inch, Black
Barilla Spaghetti Pasta, 16 oz. Box (Pack of 8) - Non-GMO Pasta Made with Durum Wheat Semolina - Kosher Certified Pasta
McCormick Italian Seasoning, 6.25 oz
Prego Hidden Super Veggies Traditional Pasta Sauce, 24 Oz Jar (Case of 6)
Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold Pressed, Mild and Delicate Flavor, Perfect for Sauteing and Stir-Frying, Naturally Gluten Free, Non-Allergenic, Non-GMO, 68 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Del Monte® Mushrooms Stems and Pieces 8 oz. Can, 12 Pack
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 147Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 34mgSodium 85mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 11g
These caloric amounts are automatically estimated by a plugin on my site, and should be used as an estimation only.
You’ll know it is done when the pasta is al dente.
That is literally all that you do and you have a quick and easy, home-cooked meal to feed your family.
I usually pair this spaghetti with green beans or a green salad, but do it however you like!
Salt and pepper to taste, and you can change things up a bit by switching over to Italian Sausage or you could even add cream cheese to this Spaghetti.
I always used to wondered why my parents would mix the sauce into the noodles and it wasn’t until I was a parent too, trying to stretch the meal, that I found that it makes the meal stretch WAY more and saves a bunch of money.
I particularly like it because it is simple comfort food that is made with less than thirty minutes total effort.
Slow cooker spaghetti FAQ’s
For this particular recipe I prefer to use a 7 quart Crock Pot.
I don’t recommend using anything smaller than a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker though, just because you are going to need lots of head space (room) available so that it’s not a sloppy, overfilled, mess when you are trying to mix it.
You sure can, in fact, that’s the type of noodles I used when developing this recipe.
Both standard spaghetti noodles, and whole wheat noodles should work just fine for this recipe.
I do not recommend freezing this recipe. It turns kinda funky if you do.
I honestly haven’t tried using a gluten-free option of noodle to make this.
However, I would love to hear about your results if you do try it with this recipe so that I can share the information with others.
I recommend storing this crock pot spaghetti using jar sauce in an airtight container, refrigerated, for no longer than five days.
If you do need to reheat it, you may want to add a little water and stir as needed.
The plain and simple answer, spaghetti noodles are really long and it is actually really hard to push them down into the liquid/sauce mixture if you don’t break them.
In order for them to soak up the moisture and become the yummy al-dente noodles that you want, the noodles need to just be small enough that you can push them down so they can soak and cook properly.
In conclusion, embracing the convenience and delightful flavors of Crock Pot Spaghetti opens up a world of culinary possibilities that cater to busy lifestyles without compromising on taste.
As we’ve explored throughout this article, the art of slow cooking transforms simple ingredients into a symphony of flavors, all harmonizing together over time to create a truly satisfying and comforting dish.
By harnessing the power of your slow cooker, you not only save precious time but also infuse your crock-pot spaghetti with a rich depth of flavors that simply just can’t be replicated through traditional cooking methods.
The gradual simmering of the sauce allows the ingredients to meld together, resulting in a sauce that’s rich, flavorful, and utterly irresistible.
The beauty of using jar sauce for this recipe lies not only in its simplicity. but also in its adaptability.
Whether you’re a meat lover, vegetarian, or seeking to incorporate healthier options, this base recipe provides a canvas to experiment with various ingredients, spices, and textures.
From adding a medley of colorful vegetables to exploring alternative protein sources, your Spaghetti becomes a customizable masterpiece that suits your unique preferences and dietary needs.
Moreover, this method of cooking resonates with the concept of balance—balancing your busy schedule with the need for nourishing, home-cooked meals.
By preparing your Spaghetti on those busy days, you’re striking that perfect equilibrium between convenience and quality.
It’s a testament to the idea that good food doesn’t require constant attention; sometimes, all it takes is a little patience and trust in the slow-cooking process.
So, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, this simple slow cooker spaghetti recipe opens the doors to a world of culinary delight. It’s more than just a meal; it’s an experience that transforms the mundane into the extraordinary.
As you savor each bite of tender pasta coated in a robust sauce, remember that you’ve mastered the art of slow cooking—one that brings families together, creates cherished memories, and celebrates the joy of good food.
Embrace the slow cooker revolution, and let your culinary journey unfold in the most delicious and convenient way possible.
Anyway, I hope you like it. We love this at my house. It’s my personal fave for those busy days/or nights!
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Check out my other related articles
- To see all of my kitchen / food related tips, go here.
- To see all of my main dish recipes, go here.
Otherwise, here are direct links to several of my other food related posts that you’re also going to love:
Other slow cooker related articles
Other main dish recipes
Various kitchen helpers/tips
Other good resources for spaghetti in the crock pot
Maybe you don’t like my version of this recipe, and that’s totally ok, we all have different taste…if that’s the case, here are some other good reputable resources that you could try instead:
*Reposts: This recipe article was originally posted to this website on 05/21/2015, but it was in great need of a refresh (aka complete overhaul) so it now is more user friendly/shareable, has better photography, and a free printable recipe card.
**Please note that I do try my hardest to provide factual, but easy to understand, information about each topic. If you notice a discrepancy in my methods, facts, or see something that you deem “misinformation/incorrect” please make sure to notify me about it. I would prefer that you send me an email with a link to a more reputable resource on that subject, so that I can correct it as soon as possible. Thanks so much for helping this site become the best that it can be!