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This Slow Cooker Spaghetti recipe lets you cook the pasta and sauce all together in your crockpot! Just brown up the meat then add everything to your slow cooker (including the uncooked noodles). Spaghetti night doesn’t get any easier! 

This crockpot spaghetti recipe is a filling meal on its own, but I love adding Homemade Garlic Breadsticks or Garlic Bread and a big Caesar Salad to round out the meal. 

Slow cooker with spaghetti noodles and sauce and a large serving spoon.
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Why I Love This Slow Cooker Spaghetti Recipe

I love when I can save a little time or effort in the kitchen. Spaghetti in the crockpot is always a favorite!

Whether you use jarred sauce or a homemade version, it is enhanced by the added herbs and spices and the ground beef and ground sausage are infused with the flavor of the sauce. But the best part is the flavorful noodles – they absorb the flavors of the sauce and become nice and tender.

  • Easy Prep – No chopping or dicing involved!
  • Crock Pot Does The Work – You don’t even need to boil the noodles, just cook the meat and add everything to the slow cooker.
  • Filling, Family Favorite – I don’t know about you, but spaghetti night is in our regular dinner rotation.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Spaghetti.
  • Ground Beef – I recommend a lean ground beef, like a 90/10. You’ll need to cook the meat before adding it to your slow cooker.
  • Ground Italian Sausage – You can use mild or hot Italian sausage. This also must be cooked before adding to the slow cooker.
  • Marinara Sauce – The easiest way to go is with jarred sauce. However, my marinara sauce recipe doesn’t take long to make if you want some homemade. My Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is also a winner.
  • Spices – Bay leaves, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt
  • Dry Spaghetti Noodles – I recommend a higher quality pasta for the best results. Use a whole package and make sure they are fully covered with sauce before you put the lid on.
  • Water – You’ll add the water to the crockpot with the uncooked spaghetti noodles and they’ll cook right in the slow cooker! For extra flavor, you can use low sodium chicken broth instead of water. Or sub in beef broth for half of the water.

How To Make Spaghetti in a Slow Cooker

All you need to do is cook up the meat and then add everything (including the uncooked pasta!) to your slow cooker and let your crockpot do all the work.

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Cooked groune beef and sausage in a skillet.

Cook Meat – Cook up the ground beef and sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Crumble the meat up as it cooks. Drain off the excess grease.

Slow Cooker pot with sauce and dry noodles.

Add To Slow Cooker – Pour one jar of sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with the meat and add the second jar, then pour in the water. Sprinkle the spices on top of the water – no need to stir! Place the dry spaghetti noodles on top and gently push them down so they are submerged.

Spaghetti sauce and spices in a crockpot.

Slow Cook – Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 2 ½ hours. Give the noodles a gentle stir halfway through to make sure they don’t clump together.

Spaghetti and meat sauce in a slow cooker.

Enjoy – The spaghetti is done when the noodles are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Spaghetti lifted from a crockpot with a large serving spoon.

Recipe FAQs

Can I put dry pasta in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can put dry, uncooked pasta in the slow cooker! In this recipe, you’ll add the water to the slow cooker that the noodles will cook in. As long as the pasta is fully submerged in liquid it will cook just fine.

Can I keep spaghetti warm in the slow cooker?

After the spaghetti is cooked, you can switch your slow cooker to the Warm setting until ready to serve. You can add a splash of water to keep it from drying out. I don’t recommend keeping it warm in the crockpot for more than an hour, because the noodles will get mushy.

What size of slow cooker should be used?

A large 6-7 quart slow cooker should be used for this recipe.

Variations

  • You can make it spicy! If you want to make a spicy spaghetti, use hot Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes with the other spices.
  • Add cheese – I love to serve the spaghetti with fresh grated parmesan, but you can also stir in shredded mozzarella or ricotta when the spaghetti is almost done cooking to make it cheesy and creamy.
  • Swap in broth for extra flavor – Instead of water, you can swap in low sodium chicken broth. Or you can replace 1 or 2 cups of the water with low sodium beef broth. Why the difference? Beef broth has a much stronger flavor than chicken broth.
  • Make it in the Instant Pot – If you don’t have time to wait for the slow cooker to do the work, you can also make Instant Pot Spaghetti.

Storage 

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can be reheated in the microwave until warmed.

While you technically can freeze this spaghetti, I don’t recommend it. Because the noodles are cooked in the sauce, the texture may get a little mushy as it thaws.

Spaghetti on plates iwth forks.

Helpful Tips

  • Follow the layering order – The layering order is important to ensure that the spaghetti noodles cook properly.
  • Brown the ground meat first – Browning the ground beef and sausage first is important to get the right texture. But this is a step that can be done a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to make the spaghetti.
  • Stir halfway through cooking – Giving the noodles a gentle stir about halfway through cooking helps make sure they don’t stick together in a giant clump.

More Crockpot Recipes

Recipe

Crockpot Spaghetti

5 from 3 votes
Slow Cooker Spaghetti has tender noodles and a flavorful sauce, all cooked together in the crockpot! It's a simple meal your family will love!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground Italian Sausage
  • 48 ounces Marinara sauce 6 cups
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces spaghetti noodles uncooked
  • 4 cups water or chicken/beef broth
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Instructions
 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground beef and sausage into the skillet and cook until no longer pink, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks. Drain as much grease as possible.
  • Pour one jar of sauce into a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Add the meat on top of the sauce.
  • Pour the remaining sauce over the meat, then pour in the water. Sprinkle the basil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder and onion powder over the top. No need to stir.
  • Place the noodles on top, gently pushing them down so they are covered with liquid.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 2 1/2-hours, stirring the noodles gently about halfway through to make sure they aren’t sticking together.
  • Check for doneness – the noodles should be soft and most of the liquid should be absorbed.

Notes

Don’t skip cooking the meat.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
While you technically can freeze this spaghetti, I don’t recommend it. Because the noodles are cooked in the sauce, the texture may get a little mushy as it thaws.

Nutrition

Calories: 661kcalCarbohydrates: 83gProtein: 30gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1900mgPotassium: 1279mgFiber: 7gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1190IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 6mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    Pasta is mushy. Not a success for me.

  2. Nancy says:

    Great recipe. Was done exactly on time. I did add a 15 oz. Can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic and another 15 oz. Can of Tomato and Basil pasta sauce. I like everything a little wetter. Thanks

    1. Kristin says:

      Your so welcome Nancy! Thanks for stopping by.