Crock Pot Spaghetti

When I was growing up you knew exactly what it meant when Mom said “we’re having spaghetti for dinner” or as I pronounced it “Pa-sketti” It wasn’t anything fancy like pasta with pesto, a carbonara, a long cooking bolognese, or served with lemon and toasted walnuts.

Crock Pot Spaghetti from weelicious.com

It was a classic rich red sauce coating every bite of a spaghetti noodle. My mom would take a simple jarred sauce and jazz it up with a myriad of ingredients, especially cooked ground turkey or beef.

Crock Pot Spaghetti from weelicious.com

With winter right upon us I’m moving back to using my slow cooker more and more. Never made spaghetti in a crock pot? Now is the time to start especially since it cuts down on the amount of pots you need to wash.

Crock Pot Spaghetti from weelicious.com

Crock Pot Spaghetti is the total jam and if you’re busy and wanting an easy dish this is for you!

Crock Pot Spaghetti from weelicious.com

Even better than the ease of making this dish, though, is the rich sauce that clings to every last strand of pasta. When I made this for Kenya and Chloe the first time they were begging for more and I was happy to oblige as it makes a good amount so there’s plenty to go around and hopefully a little leftover for the next day. Bake some crunchy Garlic Bread to dip in the red sauce and you're ready to go!

Crock Pot Spaghetti from weelicious.com

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Crock Pot Spaghetti (serves 8-10)

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 2 mins

egg free

nut free

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken
  • 1/2 Onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 26-ounce-jars pasta sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the oil, meat, onion, garlic powder and salt for about 5-7 minutes, until cooked through. Drain excess fat.

2. Pour one jar of pasta sauce and 1 cup of water in the bottom of the slow cooker.

3. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and place them on top of the sauce.

4. Add the cooked meat the crock pot, sprinkle with the cheese, and cover with the second jar of pasta sauce.

5. Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 2- 2 1/2 hours or low for 6 hours

6. Remove the lid, stir to combine and mix everything together.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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59 comments

  • Abigail

    thanks ! can you make without the parmesan?

    leave a comment

    • Me

      no absolutely not. that would not work at all.

      leave a comment

  • Ruth P

    Does this work better in a crock pot with a ceramic insert, or in a simple one-piece metal slow cooker? I have both... Thank you!

    leave a comment

  • Amy D

    What would be the recommendations for cutting this in half? Just splitting everything?

    leave a comment

  • Holly

    I've tried making pasta in the slow cooker and the pasta becomes mushy. I cooked it well less than the 6 hours on low that your recipe calls for. How did you prevent this from happening?

    leave a comment

  • Tempe

    Looks simple and delicious! What pasta sauce do you recommend? There are so many, and they differ greatly in taste and nutrition. I'm curios what you like to use. Thank you!!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      If I don't make my own, then I like Newman's Own or anything organic from Trader Joe's!

      leave a comment

  • FabDvaMommy

    Great recipe. Can this be made using whole wheat spaghetti? If so, what, if any, adjustments need to be made?

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      I haven't tested it with whole wheat spaghetti, but I think that would work just fine with no adjustments necessary!

      leave a comment

    • LadiiB

      I'm doing mine with the hidden veggies pasta, and I'm cooking it for 2 hours. I think that is all I need. One hour cooked the noodles and melted the cheese. I'm just heating it all up now.

      leave a comment

  • Claire R

    Made this last night and this is what I found...
    I cooked it on high for one hour and the spaghetti was mushy and some in inedible clumps. Couldn't imagine what would have happened if I left it on for 2 hours.
    The sauce was delicious though.
    My advice would be to cook the spaghetti separately. Then you won't risk it being mushy.

    leave a comment

    • Sarag

      We had the same problem with mushy, clumpy spaghetti noodles, which is what I was afraid of cooking pasta for so long. So if you're an \"al denta\" pasta lover like us, it might be worth a few minutes of steamy kitchen.

      It was also pretty bland (we like lots of sauce) so I like the idea of using a 3rd bottle of sauce.

      leave a comment

  • Kellee

    I was not sure I was going to like this recipe, but it seemed easy enough, so thought I would give it a try. I followed the recipe, and set it on low for 6 hours. I could not believe the amount of spaghetti that this made from one package! Wow! I'm sure it is because the noodles continue to absorb the liquid. I decided to add a 3rd bottle of sauce. We like things a little saucy in our house! My boys and husband scarfed it down and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I'm not a huge spaghetti lover and I finished my bowl too!

    leave a comment

  • Madiha

    Turned out awesome! So much and so good:)

    leave a comment

  • Alicia Bravo

    Can you do this without meat? Does it cut down on the time?

    leave a comment

  • Charmaine

    I like the ideas.

    leave a comment

  • Natalie Smith

    I put this in an older, rectangular West Bend slow cooker before we left for church this morning. I followed the instructions exactly and added a few extra spices, using the highest setting. Total cook time was @ 2 hours. It turned out pretty tasty, although I, also had some sticking issues. Next time, I'll try adding more sauce and drizzling some EVOO over the noodle layer and see if that does the trick. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    leave a comment

  • Ferguson

    I have this in the crockpot now and it smells amazing. Hoping it turns out awesome :-)

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  • Jordan

    How about remembering your password? Picking one you will remember? Don't blame your terrible memory on this excellent site.

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  • MK

    Made this but put spaghetti in at the last hour and it turned out perfectly!!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      Nice!

      leave a comment

  • Tirzah

    I added a tablespoon of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Note, not all crock pots are the same you can set it and mostly forget it but the first time watch your pot a little bit. It only took 45 min for my noodles to cook through. Then I just kept it on \"warm\". Fed 8 adults and two childRen and was a total hit! One pot cleanup was awesome. Don't be afraid to stir at the 45 minute mark then rust your instincts to avoid mush, the key I think was in her layers spot on to cook everything together. Loved this recipe will definately do it again. Oh and veggie peeps yes you can do it with meat substitutes but I would say season that in a pan before adding to the crock pot jist as you would meat so the flavour isn't one dimensional. If you have anyone that doesn't like the acidity of spaghetti sauce add a cup of cream of mushroom soup and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to mellow out the sauce and add some creasy richness. This is a good one folks, enjoy!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      Thanks for all the great tips!

      leave a comment

  • Teri

    Yes! I loved the story and that's what got me to try it!!!! I'm all about making memories for my children!!!

    leave a comment

  • Lisa Marie Acuna

    Trying crock pot spaghetti now......will let you know how my family likes it!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      I hope you all like it!

      leave a comment

  • Jacob

    Stories like this are a classic part of food blogs. It's all good. Let her be. You read what you want to. Geez.

    leave a comment

  • Shelly

    So totally tried this right now followed the directions even added beef broth and water and turns out I just wasted a meals worth of food and meat ...

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  • Sherri

    Sounds great

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  • Billy

    This recipe worked beautiful only had 24 ounce cans of sauce so ended up putting a extra quarter cup of water. Slight clumps of noodles but broke apart well

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      So glad you liked it!

      leave a comment

  • Petal Rose

    Try using whole wheat pasta like rotini. The whole wheat pasta doesn't break down as easy and rotini is a sturdier shape.

    leave a comment

  • Jack

    Noodles turned to gross muss!! :(

    leave a comment

  • Camilla

    I am kinda irritated that I didn't read the reviews and wasted italian sausage and a pound of ground sirloin on this disaster of a dish. it hasnt even been three hours on low and my spaghetti noodles are mushy gooey nastiness and there is absolutely no flavor. I am one mad pregnant lady.

    leave a comment

  • Debbie66

    Never been before I usally use ALLRICEPE.COM but saw this spaghetti in crock pot and had to try it as it is way to hot in house to cook on stove .I have used this method of cooking pasta quite often and one thing I can say is when using regular spaghetti noodles it will turn mushy if cooked six hours even on low mine are done way before that about an hour if I use high or two on low .I learned this from the macroni and cheese I make in my crock pot hope this helps.

    leave a comment

  • Dcw

    I'm wondering if the type/shape of crockpot is to blame for the wildly-differing reviews. Was this originally made in a long shallow crockpot or a more cylindrical/vertical one?

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      This is the crock pot I have and use! http://amzn.to/2c2ZOwh

      leave a comment

  • Melissa

    I made this followed the recipe step by step and it didn't turn out right. The noodles were mush! How do I prvent that from happening?

    leave a comment

  • Dcw

    Yum! Totally worked for me!! Did a few tweaks and one \"oops\".
    -Used my long shallow slow cooker instead of my circular one that looks like a bucket so there would be a thinner layer of pasta.
    -Closer to 1.25-1.5 lbs ground turkey because that's what I had and wasn't going to put a couple of spoonfuls of raw turkey back in the fridge, so there.
    -Threw a handful of coarsely chopped mushrooms into the turkey/onion mixture because YES I AM THAT PERSON WHO ADDS MUSHROOMS TO EVERYTHING.
    -Only had 22-oz cans of pasta sauce so added 1.25 cups water as one of the other folks here suggested.
    -Somebody else suggested cross-layering the pasta, so I alternated a layer of long-ways and a layer of cross-ways.
    -Used whole wheat spaghetti.
    -Followed someone else's suggestion of putting a drizzle of EVOO over the dry pasta.
    -Got into the habit of repeating myself and accidentally added another 1.25 cups of water after I added the final jar of pasta sauce.

    Set it on high and at 2 hours it was mostly cooked, but a little too al dente for my taste. Another 15 minutes and it was good enough to serve - if I hadn't been so hungry I would have given it another 15. I'd also try this again with regular pasta as the whole wheat does keep its shape very well but doesn't slurp up the sauce in the way that regular does that I love soooo much.

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    • McCord

      Thanks for all the tips!

      leave a comment

  • Julie

    my noodles clumped up and mushed :(

    leave a comment

  • Merlinda

    With all the reviews about 6 hours on low. I went w High and it all cooked to perfection in 1 1/2 hours. So good. Thank you.

    leave a comment

  • Jennifer

    What if I want to make this with meatballs instead of meat sauce? How do I modify the recipe?

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      The pasta cooks in the sauce so you need to leave that in there. You can omit the meat and add your favorite meatballs instead!

      leave a comment

  • Liz Potash

    How do I print just the recipe?

    leave a comment

  • Brenda Mathes

    Can't see the recipe because of the video. I don't want to see a video.

    leave a comment

  • Randy

    This recipe is a disaster. I have a crockpot full of spaghetti paste. It's a bland pile of mush. Don't do it!

    leave a comment

  • Jonathan Doster

    Pasta came out clumped, was really disappointed.

    leave a comment

  • Wanda

    I used thick spaghetti added meatballs and extra sauce and cooked on low in an oval crockpot. It turned out wonderful. So good today will be my 2nd time cooking it.

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    • McCord

      Score!

      leave a comment

  • Shay Riley

    I made this tonight and was very skeptical. I added a few ingredients to make it the way I like it and instead of just letting the spaghetti sit there and clump together. I actually stirred it in the beginning stage. It was delicious. I removed it from the base and it stopped cooking. It wasn't mushy at all. Thank you for this recipe!!

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    • McCord

      So glad you enjoyed it!

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  • Kelly Anne Sylvester

    Flavor was good but six hours on low is too long. Came out very dry with little sauce left. Will make again but with added extra sauce and cook time cut in half.

    leave a comment

  • Juli

    Can this be made without Parmesan? Or can I substitute it with cheddar or Mexican blend? Thanks.

    leave a comment

  • Michelle Pauling

    Wow - Let the woman Blog! No Haters! go to foodnetwork or epicurious or just SCROLL DOWN TO THE RECIPE!

    I like the stories, they make me think of when my kids were younger <3

    leave a comment

  • Linda Zopfi

    I want to try this spaghetti .but my family love pepperoni on top can I still do that . I make a spaghetti bake that bakes in the oven with pepperoni all over it .so was just checking to see if the pepperoni would be ok on top of the sauce in the crockpot

    leave a comment

  • Linda Zopfi

    I want to try this spaghetti .but my family love pepperoni on top can I still do that . I make a spaghetti bake that bakes in the oven with pepperoni all over it .so was just checking to see if the pepperoni would be ok on top of the sauce in the crockpot

    leave a comment

  • Belladonna

    I looooooobe this! I cooked it for 5.5 hour and it was perfect. I followed the recipe and had no issues' definitely a perfect go to meal that I can freeze and have for lunch during the month! N

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  • Nicki

    The texture of the spaghetti ends up more like Spaghetti O's. It was edible, but only the children were ok with the texture.

    leave a comment