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Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

Here's a thick, hearty sauce that turns ordinary spaghetti and garlic bread into a filling feast. When I'm in a hurry, I make this slow cooker recipe in an electric frying pan instead. —Mary Tallman, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 8 hours
  • Makes
    9 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked spaghetti


  • In a large skillet, cook beef and sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  • Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, green pepper, onion, carrots, water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti.
    Freeze option: Do not cook spaghetti. Freeze meat sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Place sauce in a large skillet; heat through, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Serve over spaghetti.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 286 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 767mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Adele
    Oct 20, 2020

    I confess that I made a couple of changes. I used red wine instead of water, and I left out the carrots because I don't like the combination of carrots and tomatoes. Otherwise, delicious sauce! Great slow-cooker recipe!

  • Sandra
    Apr 4, 2020

    I did try this recipe, and I only changed 1 thing - I substituted Swanson's Chicken Broth for the water. It was excellent!!

  • raindropnnyc
    Mar 23, 2018

    No comment left

  • hbaseley
    Jul 6, 2017

    This was good, but I probably wont make again. To be fair, my kids strongly prefer meatballs, so they are tough critics. My husband and liked this, but prefer TOH Three-Meat spaghetti sauce recipe. I liked the slow cooker convenience and that it made enough for at least two meals for our family of four. It reheats well and is a solid recipe, despite not being our top sauce.

  • Erin
    Jan 17, 2017

    Great recipe! I use 1 lb ground turkey and 1 lb hot turkey Italian sausage instead of beef. Also, instead of water, I use red wine. This is our favorite recipe for spaghetti with meat sauce. :)

  • theresahill
    Nov 3, 2016

    Very good... My family loved it and very convenient to have ready after a long day of work. Will definitely make again.

  • GStaelens
    Aug 31, 2015


  • angela32
    Jul 10, 2015

    Very good...the family loved it. I added a tad more sugar to cut the tomato acid, but that's it and that was just to suite a couple sensitive tummies :)

  • jsgoldn
    Oct 26, 2013

    Very good.

  • lloyd_d1
    Apr 15, 2013

    No comment left