Start this delicious spaghetti bolognese in the morning and finish it off when you get home!
Spaghetti In The Crock Pot? You Betcha!
Here’s a meal that’s easy to make whether you’re at home all day or if you are gone all day at work.
The secret to it’s success is the sauce cooks first. You add the pasta in the last 30-60 minutes of cooking. This is a boon because the pasta will not get mushy!
So if you’re home, you can cook the sauce on high making it a relatively quick slow cooker meal, but if you work outside the home, cook the sauce on low and add the spaghetti when you get home from work.
Nothing could be easier!
Spaghetti Bolognese Is Easy On The Budget
This delicious family meal is very easy on the budget too.
It uses inexpensive ingredients that most people have on hand and it doesn’t use any fancy pasta. Plain old spaghetti is all you need.
When it comes to spaghetti, I’m partial to number 8 which is marketed simply as “spaghetti.” You can also use number 9, which is marketed as “thin spaghetti.” The number 9 will cook a little faster, so keep that in mind. Shy away from pastas such as angel hair and fettucine. The former is too thin for the hearty sauce and the latter will take way too long to cook.
Sauce Base: Tomato Juice
Believe it or not, tomato juice forms the base for this sauce.
The sauce is intentionally thin. The reason for this is it gives the spaghetti enough liquid to cook properly.
In the end, the sauce has a good consistency due to a lot of the liquid being absorbed by the spaghetti and the starch that is released by the pasta. If you didn’t know tomato juice was the major ingredient, you’d never guess it just seeing the finished product!
Kiddo Friendly Too
This is a meal that will please not only grown ups, but the kiddos as well.
The sauce has no overwhelming flavors or heat so it’s sure to please youngsters. I don’t mean to imply that it’s mild or bland, the sauce has a wonderful comforting flavor.
Now it you or your family like a bolder sauce, then doubling up on the herbs, onions and garlic powder will give you the taste you want. I do suggest starting out with the recommended amounts. You can always add any additional herbs before you add the pasta to the pot. So make sure to taste it at that point so you can make any seasoning corrections.
If the family likes a bit of heat, a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes will be a nice addition too!
- 2 lbs ground beef, cooked and drained
- 46 oz (1 large can/bottle) tomato juice
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms, fresh or canned (drain the can)
- 2 tbs dried minced onion
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbs brown sugar (optional) (see NOTES)
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 8 oz (1/2 box) spaghetti, broken in half -OR- 8 oz (1/2 box) “pot-size” spaghetti
- In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the beef, tomato juice, tomato sauce, mushrooms and seasonings. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, low 8-10
- Stir in spaghetti. Turn cooker to high if you originally cooked on low setting.
- Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until spaghetti is tender.