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Crock Pot Spaghetti is an easy dinner recipe that’s ready when you need it! Perfect for busy weeknights or potluck crowds, the slow cooker pasta is combined with Italian sausage, beef or turkey in a rich tomato sauce for a satisfying meal that the whole family will love.

Close up shot of bowl of Crock Pot Spaghetti on a wooden surface

Yes, you can cook pasta in a Crock Pot! This simple, prep-ahead supper is a convenient option when you have hungry mouths to feed — but not a lot of time!

The uncooked noodles go straight into the slow cooker, so you don’t even have to boil them first. Just brown the meat in advance, stir everything together, and let the Crock Pot do the work!

Front shot of spaghetti with meat sauce in slow cooker

How to fix Crock Pot Spaghetti:

First, brown the meat in a large skillet with mushrooms, onion, garlic and salt. I used Italian sausage here, but you can also use ground beef or ground turkey.

Beef and sausage mixture for spaghetti sauce in a skillet

Drain the fat off the skillet and then stir in a can of drained diced tomatoes.

Adding tomatoes to spaghetti sauce in skillet

Pour water and one jar of pasta sauce into the bottom of a slow cooker. Break dry spaghetti noodles in half and place them on top of the sauce.

Uncooked spaghetti noodles in slow cooker

Add the cooked meat mixture to the Crock Pot, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and pour the second jar of pasta sauce over top.

Ingredients in slow cooker for spaghetti

Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 – 3 hours or on LOW for 4-6 hours. If possible, it’s best to stir the pasta occasionally, which helps prevent the noodles from sticking together.

Overhead shot of crock pot spaghetti with italian sausage in a slow cooker

What to serve with Crock Pot Spaghetti:

This Italian-inspired dinner goes well with any of the following easy sides:

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • Remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the pasta is best when cooked on HIGH for exactly 2 hours or on LOW for 4 hours. Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly. You want to be sure to keep an eye on your pasta, stirring regularly, the first time you make it so that you know how long it takes in your slow cooker. Overcooked pasta will get gummy and mushy — not ideal!
  • I like the flavor that ground Italian sausage adds to this dish; however, you can substitute with 1 lb. of ground beef (hamburger) or ground turkey, if you prefer.
  • If possible, it’s best to stir the pasta occasionally, which helps prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  • For a creamier sauce, make Crock Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese. Stir softened cream cheese into your slow cooker during the final 5-10 minutes (just until the cheese has time to melt).
  • For a vegetarian dinner, make Crock Pot Spaghetti with no meat. Just add an extra 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and the remaining 1/2 onion instead.
  • This recipe will work well for Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs, too. Simply omit the ground sausage and add frozen, fully-cooked, thawed meatballs to the slow cooker (at the same time that you add the noodles).
  • If you’d like to try this recipe using whole wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta, you will likely need to decrease the cooking time (because these types of pasta tend to have a shorter cooking time called for on the box). I have not tested the recipe with either whole wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta, so let me know if you give it a shot!
Close up overhead shot of a bowl of slow cooker spaghetti with fresh herbs

More easy Crock Pot dinners that you might enjoy:

Close up shot of bowl of Crock Pot Spaghetti on a wooden surface

Crock Pot Spaghetti

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
0 minutes
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 485.8 kcal
Crock Pot Spaghetti is an easy dinner recipe that's ready when you need it!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage, ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • ½ of an onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 jars (24 ounces each) spaghetti sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 lb. dry spaghetti noodles
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat, mushrooms, onion, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat, until no longer pink (about 5-7 minutes). Drain off fat. Stir in the diced tomatoes.
  • Pour one jar of the spaghetti sauce and the water in the bottom of a slow cooker. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and place them on top of the sauce.
  • Add the cooked meat mixture to the slow cooker, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and pour second jar of sauce over top. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 ½ -3 hours or on LOW for 4-6 hours, stirring periodically (if possible). Toss all of the ingredients together and serve.

Notes

  • Remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the pasta is best when cooked on HIGH for exactly 2 hours or on LOW for 4 hours. Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly. You want to be sure to keep an eye on your pasta, stirring regularly, the first time you make it so that you know how long it takes in your slow cooker. Overcooked pasta will get gummy and mushy — not ideal!
  • I like the flavor that ground Italian sausage adds to this dish; however, you can substitute with 1 lb. of ground beef (hamburger) or ground turkey, if you prefer.
  • If possible, it’s best to stir the pasta occasionally, which helps prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  • For a creamier sauce, make Crock Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese. Stir softened cream cheese into your slow cooker during the final 5-10 minutes (just until the cheese has time to melt).
  • For a vegetarian dinner, make Crock Pot Spaghetti with no meat. Just add an extra 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and the remaining 1/2 onion instead.
  • This recipe will work well for Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs, too. Simply omit the ground sausage and add frozen, fully-cooked, thawed meatballs to the slow cooker (at the same time that you add the noodles).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the recipe with sausageCalories: 485.8kcalCarbohydrates: 57.9gProtein: 22.4gFat: 18.5gSaturated Fat: 5.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.7gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 1215.9mgPotassium: 43.6mgFiber: 4.4gSugar: 10.5gVitamin A: 15.2IUVitamin C: 13.6mg
Keyword: crock pot spaghetti, slow cooker spaghetti
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. I tried this on low and when I went to stir about 2 hours after , my spaghetti basically disintegrated. So now I just have very thick sauce. It looks creamy but I didn’t add any cream cheese. It’s all mushy pasta. What did a do wrong?

    1. Hi, Sarah! I honestly have no idea — it sounds like your slow cooker runs at a very high temperature? Have you found that to be the case with other recipes as well (that it cooks faster than expected)? My Crock Pot cooks at a relatively high temp, but not that high. 🙂 And you put the pasta in the pot uncooked, right? Using regular pasta (not gluten-free, whole grain, or some other blend)? Those are the only factors that come to mind that could have affected the cooking time.

      1. I had the same trouble. I cooked on low and within 2 hours it was just all mush. Too funny……I was going to surprise my wife after work!! Needles to say, she was not impressed. Any ideas would be appreciated. Many thanks –

        1. Hi, Bill! I’m sorry that it didn’t work. 🙁 Pasta is much more sensitive to cooking times than something like pulled pork (which can sit in the Crock Pot all day and not get overdone). It sounds like you have a slow cooker that runs at a relatively high temperature, so 2 hours was just too long for the spaghetti to be in there. If you try it again, I would keep an eye on the noodles starting at 1 hour. It will likely be done between 1 hour and 90 minutes in your pot. Again, sorry that it was a disappointment last night!

          1. I did exactly 2 hours with Bucatini pasta and it was perfect not mushy at all. I think regular spaghetti doesn’t work well.

    2. 5 stars
      I made this recipe exactly how you said and it turned out amazing I cooked it on high for 2 hrs and it came out just the right consistancy. I love how the sauce soaks into the noodles!

  2. Well…I tried this tonight for supper. I sure do wish the part about the whole wheat pasta would have been nearer to the top and possibly in neon flashing lights. I put mine on high with THIN wheat pasta and went back to stir 45 minutes later to find mush. Granted, it’s very tasty mush but we still had to eat a bigger salad and omit the garlic bread.
    I’ll try this again but it will definitely be with the pasta in regular thickness and on LOW.

  3. 5 stars
    I just cook my noodles the normal way and the add the sauce to the noodles afterwards. After all it only takes about 10 minutes to cook noodles.

    1. Terry, I think I will do the same & cook my noodles on the stove. Did you omit the 1 1/4 cup of water in the crockpot though? Or did you still use it? I was thinking it was for the noodles or maybe not? Thanks! ☺️

  4. 5 stars
    Greetings from Virginia!
    I would not normally use my crock pot for pasta recipes, because the noodles would be too soft, but my stove is broken and my daughter wanted spaghetti last night.
    I used the Ronzoni Smart Taste thin spaghetti noodles and cooked it on low for about 4 hours, and the noodles were perfect.
    I also added a tiny bit of water to the sauce jars to get all the sauce out and then poured it in the pot. I probably should have added more, because it was a bit thick at the end. But overall it was a success. My youngest even loved it and I get complaints from her whenever I even mention spaghetti for dinner.