Slow-cooked spaghetti and meatballs that melt in your mouth

Are you looking for a classic Italian dish that is both hearty and savory? Look no further than this Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe made in your trusty crock pot. This flavorful one-pot meal is perfect for feeding a hungry crowd or meal prepping for the week ahead.

Cooking spaghetti and meatballs in a crock pot may seem unconventional, but let me assure you – it’s a game-changer. Not only does it allow for effortless cooking, but the slow simmering ensures that every bite is packed with flavor. Plus, it frees up your stove space and minimizes clean-up.

This recipe combines the deliciousness of slow-cooked meatballs with perfectly cooked spaghetti in one easy-to-make dish. Whether it’s a rainy day or you’re looking forward to hosting a dinner party, this one-pot spaghetti and meatballs recipe will satisfy your taste buds and simplify your life. So let’s dive in and get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs (Crock Pot)
Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs (Crock Pot)

Picture this: you walk in the door after a long day of work, and you’re greeted by the mouth-watering aroma of slow-simmered spaghetti and meatballs. You take one bite, and suddenly all your worries melt away. That’s the magic of this Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe.

Firstly, who doesn’t love spaghetti? It’s a classic dish that is comforting and always satisfying. And with this recipe, you don’t need to spend all evening in the kitchen to get that perfect sauce – just let it simmer away in your trusty crockpot.

But it’s not just about convenience; the taste is out of this world. The sauce is packed full of flavour from the garlic, onion, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. The meatballs are tender and juicy, thanks to being cooked low and slow alongside the spaghetti.

And let’s not forget about the cheese! This recipe calls for grated parmesan cheese as a finishing touch – adding an extra layer of richness that takes this dish to another level entirely.

But don’t just take my word for it – give it a try for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 Nothing beats the aroma of homemade spaghetti and meatballs!
Nothing beats the aroma of homemade spaghetti and meatballs!

Before diving into crafting mouth-watering spaghetti and meatballs, gather these essential ingredients:

– 1 ½ lb ground beef
– ½ cup bread crumbs
– 1 egg
– ½ onion, finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– ½ tsp salt
– ¼ tsp black pepper

Spaghetti Sauce:
– 24 oz jarred spaghetti sauce (best quality)
– 15 oz can diced tomatoes
– 2 cups beef broth
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 small onion, finely chopped

– 1 lb spaghetti

For serving:
– Parmesan cheese, grated

The Recipe How-To

 This classic Italian dish is made easier with the help of a crockpot.
This classic Italian dish is made easier with the help of a crockpot.

Now it’s time to get cooking! This slow simmered spaghetti and meatballs recipe is quite simple to prepare, especially since you’ll be using a slow cooker. Follow these steps for the perfect meal:


  • 24 oz diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz jarred spaghetti sauce (I recommend using the best one you can find)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

For the meatballs:

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

For the meatballs:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, garlic, onion, grated parmesan cheese, and pepper.
  2. Mix well by hand and form into small meatballs.
  3. Layer the frozen meatballs on the bottom of a slow cooker.

For the sauce:

  1. In another mixing bowl, mix together the diced tomatoes, jarred spaghetti sauce (pouring in only half to begin with), beef broth and remaining seasonings.
  2. Add sauce mix to crock pot over meatballs.
  3. Cook for eight hours on low, stirring occasionally.

To Serve:

Serve your delicious spaghetti and meatballs hot over cooked spaghetti pasta topped with grated parmesan cheese.


For an extra flavorful twist try using homemade marinara sauce or even tomato sauce for your recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 You won't have to spend hours in the kitchen to enjoy a delicious Italian meal.
You won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to enjoy a delicious Italian meal.

The Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs is a recipe that you can easily customize to suit your taste buds. Here are some suggestions for substitutions and variations:

– Ground Beef: Instead of ground beef use ground turkey for a leaner meal. You can also swap out the beef for Italian sausage for a rich, flavorful twist.

– Meatballs: If you’re short on time, you can substitute frozen meatballs for the homemade ones. Feel free to use your favorite frozen meatball brand or even make your own ahead of time and store them in the freezer until ready to use.

– Sauce: If you’re not keen on jarred spaghetti sauce, try marinara sauce or tomato sauce instead. You could even mix different pasta sauces to create a unique flavor.

– Pasta: While spaghetti is classic in this dish and should always be placed at the bottom of the slow cooker, you could also use penne pasta to create a more filling meal. Plus, they will absorb more flavor as they cook.

– Homemade Meatballs: Indulge yourself by making homemade meatballs. This requires assembling freshly ground meat with bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, onion, garlic and eggs to hold it all together. It takes a little more work but is so worth it!

Whatever substitutions or variations you choose, the Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe will still be delicious!

Serving and Pairing

 My secret to making the perfect meatball? A blend of ground beef, pork and veal!
My secret to making the perfect meatball? A blend of ground beef, pork and veal!

You won’t need anything extravagant to complement the flavors of this Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs dish. The dish itself is the star of the show, with a harmonious blend of savory meatballs, rich marinara sauce, and perfectly cooked spaghetti.

Serve this dish hot and topped with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of dried oregano on top for an authentic Italian taste experience. This meal pairs well with a side salad drizzled with olive oil and vinegar or garlic bread to sop up any extra sauce.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing this meal with a glass of Chianti or Malbec wine, which will enhance the meaty flavors in the dish. Alternatively, try enjoying it with a cold beer like an amber ale or lager.

Overall, serving and pairing this pasta masterpiece is a breeze. Just let its warm and comforting flavors take center stage, and you’re bound to have a crowd-pleasing meal that everyone will love!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The longer you let the sauce simmer, the richer the flavors will be.
The longer you let the sauce simmer, the richer the flavors will be.

One of the greatest benefits of this slow-simmered spaghetti and meatballs recipe is that it can be prepared in advance, reheated, and still tastes just as delicious as the day it was prepared. Whether you’re cooking for a busy weeknight, an upcoming gathering with friends and family, or simply want easy leftovers, this dish has got you covered.

To make-ahead, assemble the ingredients according to the recipe instructions, but stop before turning on the slow cooker. Once everything is layered in the crockpot and sauce has been added, cover and store it in your refrigerator for up to 24 hours until you’re ready to cook. This is a wonderful time-saving hack that allows you to prep all the ingredients ahead of time so that when it comes time to cook, you can simply turn on your slow cooker without any additional steps.

Once the dish has been cooked, storing leftovers is straightforward. Transfer any remaining spaghetti and meatballs into an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for later use. When storing in the fridge, it’s best to consume within three days; however, if you choose to freeze your leftovers instead, they will last up to three months.

To reheat the dish, place leftovers in a microwave-safe dish or stovetop pot with a splash of water or beef broth if needed. Gently warm until heated through on medium heat for around two to three minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent any clumping. If using a microwave, cover the dish with cling wrap or a microwave-safe lid and heat in 30-second increments until heated through completely.

In summary, this slow-simmered spaghetti and meatballs recipe is perfect for those who enjoy meal prepping or require make-ahead options. The ability to store leftovers conveniently refrigerates (up to three days) or freezes (up to three months) makes it an excellent addition to any busy household’s menu rotation. Reheating is also straightforward, allowing for easy meals throughout the week without much effort involved.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't worry about making too much, leftovers make for the perfect lunch.
Don’t worry about making too much, leftovers make for the perfect lunch.

To make the perfect Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs in your crockpot, there are some tips that can help you achieve a delicious meal. As a scribe for a home chef who loves throwing parties, I have collected some tips to help you get the best results when making this dish. Here are some tricks and recommendations to guide you in achieving perfect results when preparing this classic recipe:

1. Sauté the onions and garlic before adding them to the meat mixture: Although it’s tempting to toss all of the ingredients into your crockpot without processing them, sautéing the onions and garlic beforehand will intensify their flavors and make the meat mixture more flavorful.

2. Don’t overcrowd the slow cooker: To make sure that the spaghetti and meatballs cook evenly, it’s important not to overfill your crock pot. A 6-quart oval slow cooker is recommended for this recipe.

3. Add enough liquid: The liquid in the crockpot helps create steam that will cook your spaghetti and meatballs evenly while keeping them moist. In this recipe, beef broth is used to infuse more flavor into the dish.

4. Layer the frozen meatballs at the bottom of the slow cooker: By placing them at the bottom of your crockpot first, you can ensure they get cooked thoroughly.

5. Use a jarred spaghetti sauce: While you may opt for homemade tomato sauce, for convenience jarred spaghetti sauce is recommended because they already have additional seasonings that will certainly give your dish an extra boost of flavor.

6. Add grated Parmesan cheese towards serving time: To elevate your Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs’ flavor profile add grated parmesan cheese towards serving time as it adds a touch of salty umami.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to creating delicious Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs that everyone will enjoy!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this slow simmered spaghetti and meatballs recipe is undoubtedly a must-try for any food lover. It is straightforward and easy to make while also being a delicious, hearty meal that your guests will love. By using a crock pot or slow cooker, you can set it and forget it, allowing you time to focus on other party preparations.

This recipe’s versatility makes it the ideal meal for any occasion, be it a family gathering or an event with friends. For an extra kick of flavor, parmesan cheese and garlic are added to the mix. The layers of tomato sauce and meatballs create an aroma that will whet your appetite before you even take the first bite.

Moreover, you can customize the recipe by substituting ingredients or adding your twist on it. Whether you choose to use ground beef, turkey meatballs, or homemade meatballs, this dish will always be delicious.

Finally, the recipe’s easy preparation process and make-ahead feature make it very convenient for those who are short on time. While chilling out with friends or family during a party setting, all you need to do is serve up this tasty treat with some pasta or bread on the side.

We highly recommend making this spaghetti and meatballs recipe. With its savory flavors and ease of preparation, you’ll never have to worry about what’s cooking for dinner again!

Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs (Crock Pot)

Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs (Crock Pot) Recipe

This was one of those serendipitous happenings that continue to amaze/amuse me. My DS called me on a Wednesday evening around suppertime to ask if it would be alright to come visit for the weekend, bringing his boys. They would arrive Friday at suppertime. Since I knew that DD and her family would want to be included for dinner to give her more time to visit w/ her brother over the weekend... I suddenly went from "just me" for dinner to "eight" for dinner! What to fix at the last minute like this??? A while later I was reading the paper and came across this recipe in the food section and thought: AH HA! Dinner! I bought the ingredients after work on Thursday and, Friday morning, everything went into the crock pot (I made a double batch). When I got home after work, I made a salad, wrapped bakery Italian bread in foil to heat in the oven, and started the water boiling for the spaghetti. Everyone LOVED it, as I did too, and the leftovers were scarfed up by the grand kids the next day for lunch. Age ranges of diners were 18 months up to ... well, let's just say I'm a grandmother of five! This will definitely be a repeater at my house! (Recipe courtesy of B. Mills & A. Ross of "Desperation Dinners" column in the Raleigh NC News & Observer.)
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 7 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 293.8 kcal


  • 1 (26 ounce) jar of red spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, for 1 c chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 24 frozen meatballs, approx 3/4 pound
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  • olive oil (optional)


  • Pour spaghetti sauce and tomatoes with juice into a slow cooker.
  • Add chopped onion, garlic, and Italian seasonings; mix well.
  • Add still-frozen meatballs; stirring to mix well. Make sure meatballs are covered with sauce.
  • Cover the slow cooker, turn to LOW heat; cook 7-8 hours.
  • Just before serving, cook spaghetti according to package directions. (This can be done ahead of time, noodles drained and tossed w/ olive oil, and refrigerated. Reheat noodles in the microwave before serving.).
  • Serve sauce and meatballs over spaghetti. Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.
  • NOTE: Any style tomato-based (marinara style) spaghetti sauce can be used. The jar sizes may vary from brand to brand but this is okay.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 219gCalories: 293.8kcalCarbohydrates: 57.2gProtein: 9.6gFat: 2.8gSaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 1.3mgSodium: 281mgFiber: 4.8gSugar: 10.3g
Keyword Beginner Cook, Easy, Meat, Spaghetti
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