Enjoy a rich, bright sauce that tastes like it’s been simmering all day when you make Crockpot Express Spaghetti Sauce!
I am not Italian. I didn’t spend a year abroad, eating my way through the Tuscan countryside. I mean, that sounds like something I’d LOVE to do someday, but I haven’t yet. 🙂 For me, spaghetti sauce usually comes in a jar that you buy at the grocery store. *gasp* However, when you can make homemade Crockpot Express Spaghetti Sauce in less than an hour it’s hard to justify buying the jarred sauce. Homemade just tastes so much better.
What exactly is Crockpot Express Spaghetti Sauce?
This sauce can be made with or without meat. I started with a simple sauce without meat to get the flavors just right. It’s bright, tangy and rich all at the same time. Some people call it Marinara Sauce.
Technically, marinara is all about the tomatoes. It’s supposed to be just briefly cooked and have bright flavors without a lot of ingredients. This is more like a Tomato Sauce-it’s more complex than marinara and tastes like it’s been cooked for a long time. Bolognese Sauce is basically a meat sauce with tomato flavor, so I used the same recipe but cooked it with the meat for a rich, meaty flavor! (See why it was easier to just call it Crockpot Express Spaghetti Sauce?) 😉
Can I make this sauce with fresh tomatoes?
You can make spaghetti sauce with either canned or fresh tomatoes. Most people prefer canned not only because it’s easier, but the flavor is a bit stronger. Depending on the season (and where you live) fresh tomatoes can be a bit bland and tasteless. If you have homegrown tomatoes that are bursting with flavor, by all means, use those! I’ve included instructions for both in the recipe.
How do you store Crockpot Express Spaghetti Sauce?
The plain tomato sauce (no meat) fills up two pint jars with a little left over. I store mine in jars with these reusable plastic lids (which are also great for storing yogurt!)
You can also store the sauce (with or without meat) in the freezer. I like to store my CPE recipes in round freezer safe containers like these because it makes it very easy to put the food back into the Crockpot Express for reheating later! They even come with lids and are microwave and dishwasher safe! When it’s time to reheat, just put the whole frozen lump in the pot and set to Steam for 5 minutes or so. It will defrost and reheat right there in the pot.
Crockpot Express Spaghetti Sauce
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes -OR- 4 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 6 large tomatoes)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (juice squeezed from 1/2 small lemon)
- 1 bay leaf
For plain tomato sauce
- Press Brown/Saute and then Start/Stop to begin heating the pot. Add the oil and saute the onion for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Press Start/Stop to turn off the heat.
- Add all the other ingredients to the pot, stirring to combine. Close and lock the lid, turning the steam release valve to closed.
- Press Beans/Chili to cook on high for 20 minutes. Allow at least 10 minutes of natural pressure release time when the cooking cycle is done.
- Release any remaining pressure and then open the lid to stir and remove the bay leaf. Leave on Keep Warm until ready to serve over your favorite pasta!
For meat sauce
- Press Brown/Saute and then Start/Stop to begin heating the pot. Brown the meat, onion and garlic together. Drain any excess fat and return to the pot.
- Follow the above instructions to finish.
If you decide to cook the meat sauce, you can see that’s it’s quite thick and chunky. Make sure you use a strong pasta to hold up to all that meat! Regular spaghetti will do, but this sauce pairs better with broad, flat shaped pasta or larger tubed pastas.
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to save for later! Whether you choose plain sauce or meat sauce, you’re going to love the rich flavors of homemade Crockpot Express Spaghetti Sauce! Try it with my Crockpot Express Spaghetti for a delicious one-pot meal!