This creates a great, chunky, and very meaty spaghetti sauce. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes!

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
8 hrs 20 mins
total:
8 hrs 40 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions and Italian sausage until the sausage is browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage and onions to a slow cooker. In the same skillet, cook and stir the ground beef, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and marjoram, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ground beef into the slow cooker.

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  • Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, thyme, basil, oregano, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. Set the cooker on Low, and cook the sauce for 8 hours. About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the sugar. Serve hot.

Cook's Note

This sauce is not super sweet, and you may find that you want to add more sugar!

Nutrition Facts

264 calories; protein 15g 30% DV; carbohydrates 18.8g 6% DV; fat 14.8g 23% DV; cholesterol 45.2mg 15% DV; sodium 1025.1mg 41% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (391)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/21/2011
Recipe creator here! Personally, what I think really makes the recipe is the use of sweet Italian Sausage, not ground, but links. I remove the casing and cut them in to bite size pieces. I cook that in the olive oil with onions. After several hours in the sauce, the bite size pieces are tender and have absorbed tons of flavor. This truly creates the chunky sauce. You can certainly add green peppers and I often use mushrooms. I typically use it next day to make lasagna or chicken Parmesan. Edit: The sugar isn't necessary for the taste, but it isn't there for sweetness. Tomatoes contain a lot of acidity and the addition of a little sugar balances it and creates a "smoother" sauce (salt, carrots, and baking soda help as well). Also, a fairly standard size crock pot (5-7 quarts) will work just fine. *If you're having problems with burning, you've added the sugar too early/let it simmer too long with sugar in it. Hope that helps! Read More
(934)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/19/2010
Don't get me wrong-- I'm no health nut, I'm just a foodie. I enjoy baked goods and desserts, but they are the only place that I want to see sugar; not in a spaghetti sauce. The only other problem that I had with this recipe (after editing out the refined sugar) was that the size slow cooker necessary was omitted. Nowadays there are many sizes available, including 2-4-6 convertibles, and size recommendations would have been helpful. Read More
(95)
520 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 358
  • 4 star values: 127
  • 3 star values: 17
  • 2 star values: 12
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: 5 stars
03/21/2011
Recipe creator here! Personally, what I think really makes the recipe is the use of sweet Italian Sausage, not ground, but links. I remove the casing and cut them in to bite size pieces. I cook that in the olive oil with onions. After several hours in the sauce, the bite size pieces are tender and have absorbed tons of flavor. This truly creates the chunky sauce. You can certainly add green peppers and I often use mushrooms. I typically use it next day to make lasagna or chicken Parmesan. Edit: The sugar isn't necessary for the taste, but it isn't there for sweetness. Tomatoes contain a lot of acidity and the addition of a little sugar balances it and creates a "smoother" sauce (salt, carrots, and baking soda help as well). Also, a fairly standard size crock pot (5-7 quarts) will work just fine. *If you're having problems with burning, you've added the sugar too early/let it simmer too long with sugar in it. Hope that helps! Read More
(934)
Rating: 4 stars
03/04/2010
This is my go-to spaghetti sauce recipe. Only thing I do different is add in fresh veggies to really stretch the sauce (shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, chopped peppers, fresh sliced mushrooms, and spinach) and I double the sausage. This is great with turkey sausage and ground turkey or chicken. This also freezes well for those who like to make big batches and freeze to thaw out on busy days. Most of these ingredients can be bought cheaply at Aldi/Grocery Outlet for very little. NOTE: Using roasted canned tomatoes is a bonus added flavor, too. Also, if you pre-spray your plastic freezer containers with non-stick spray, they'll wipe clean when ready to wash and will not be stained. Read More
(676)
Rating: 5 stars
04/22/2010
To make dinner even quicker, prepare and freeze the pasta ahead of time. Thaw it in boiling water, and in less than 2 minutes it's ready to use. I always boil the whole package of pasta when I cook it then freeze leftoverrs. What a time saver. Read More
(384)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/22/2010
This sauce is fantastic. My husband ate every drop and is definitely not normally a spaghetti sauce fan. Some people were critical of the sugar in the recipe, but I don't know how you could call yourself a foodie and not be familiar with sugar as a part of a tomato based sauce, a very traditional preparation. It's a chemistry thing- all the acid in the tomatoes take on a smoother and more complex flavor with even just a little sugar. As others suggested I added some carrot in with the sauce, so decreased the sugar by just a smidge. My family loves garlic, so in addition to the first teaspoon of garlic powder I added several minced garlic cloves. Thank you for the recipe, it's delicious!~ Read More
(191)
Rating: 4 stars
03/22/2011
Sweet and savory often go together. Also, here's a tip for those who say the sauce was watery. Place a clean kitchen towel draped over the open crockpot and then place the lid on the pot. The towel will soak up the steam and evaporation and help with this. You can do this with other crock pot foods as well that tend to water down. In the case of this sauce, be prepared to stain the towel. Read More
(190)
Rating: 4 stars
03/21/2011
The issue to not use sugar because this sauce is too sweet is really not valid. Sugar is used in tomato based sauces to mellow the acidic bite. I personally use brown sugar rather than white because I like the added flavor I get from it. 1 tablespoon of sugar in that much sauce will truly not make it sweet. It's like adding salt to sweet dishes. It brings out the other flavors. Give it a try :-)! Read More
(108)
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Rating: 3 stars
04/19/2010
Don't get me wrong-- I'm no health nut, I'm just a foodie. I enjoy baked goods and desserts, but they are the only place that I want to see sugar; not in a spaghetti sauce. The only other problem that I had with this recipe (after editing out the refined sugar) was that the size slow cooker necessary was omitted. Nowadays there are many sizes available, including 2-4-6 convertibles, and size recommendations would have been helpful. Read More
(95)
Rating: 5 stars
04/26/2010
This is wonderful! I am upset at the one reviewer who discounted it because of the miniscule amount of sugar. I, too, am a foodie...and adding a little sugar to tomato dishes, as most foodies would know, is a great way to cut back on the acidity and blend the flavors. I did add more veggies to my sauce, but otherwise I wouldn't change anything! Read More
(91)
Rating: 4 stars
04/19/2010
This is a great recipe; very similar to something I have been using for years. Thanks also to the author for adding the bit about chunks of sausage versus ground - I wondered where the chunky bit was supposed to come in! You needn't worry about this amount of sugar in a crock pot full of healthy ingredients. There will be no noticeable"sweetness" it is more like a "smoothness" that would be missing without it. It's all about balance! Thanks for a terrific recipe!! Read More
(91)
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