Made with pantry ingredients, this Slow Cooker Meat Sauce is super flavorful and simple to prepare. Serve over your choice of pasta, zoodles or spaghetti squash. Sprinkle a little freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese on top for one delicious dinner!
Making a quick meat sauce on the stove is great and all, but letting it simmer away for a few hours helps to really develop those delicious flavors. The only problem is you can’t just leave the house when you do that. So, that’s where the crockpot comes in handy. You can get this into the slow cooker, go do what you need to do for a few hours and come back to a tasty homemade meat sauce!
I really like the flavor of fire roasted tomatoes in my Slow Cooker Meat Sauce, so that’s what I call for in my recipe. If you aren’t a fan, you could just use regular crushed tomatoes. The addition of the red pepper also adds a nice depth of flavor. Instead of sugar, I use some finely grated carrot to add a hint of sweetness and help balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. You can’t even tell it’s in there, so it’s a good way to sneak an extra veggie into your sauce.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been serving mine over some of my Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash lately. You could toss this with your favorite pasta or zoodles (zucchini noodles) if you like.
*One thing I need to mention is what to do if your sauce looks a little too watery at the end of the cook time. Moisture doesn’t evaporate in the slow cooker like it does on the stovetop. If your meat sauce looks a little too watery at the end, take the lid off, set it to high and let it cook off some of the excess liquid. Just keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t reduce too much.
Slow Cooker Meat Sauce
Made with pantry ingredients, this super simple Slow Cooker Meat Sauce is super flavorful and simple to prepare. Serve over your choice of pasta, zoodles or spaghetti squash.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 lb bulk Italian chicken sausage (if using links, remove from casing before cooking)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated (optional)
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans of fire roasted crushed tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt to taste
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausage, onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Let cook, crumbling the sausage as it cooks, until browned.
Place meat/veggie mixture into crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
1.Moisture doesn't evaporate in the slow cooker like it does on the stovetop. If your meat sauce looks a little too watery at the end of cook time, take the lid off, set it to high and let it cook off some of the excess liquid. Just keep an eye on it, so it doesn't reduce too much.
2.Ingredients vary from brand to brand of chicken sausage. I use pasture-raised chicken sausage from my butcher, which doesn't have nutrition info. The estimates below were based on Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Italian Chicken Sausage.
Estimated Nutrition Facts: