Crockpot Spaghetti is slow-cooked in beef, marinara, onions, plus a medley of herbs and spices with shredded cheese on top. An easy recipe for family-friendly comfort food that always gets rave reviews!
Got a busy day ahead? Let your slow cooker take care of dinner for you! Come home to tasty pasta dishes like Crockpot Cheesy Rotini, Slow Cooker Lazy Lasagna, and Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Pasta, all ready and delicious with almost no effort!
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Casserole
Crockpot Spaghetti has all those classic Italian pasta flavors, except you barely have to lift a finger. It takes no time at all to whip up the sauce, assemble everything, and the crockpot takes it from there.
Because the spaghetti cooks right in the sauce, it absorbs every bit of flavor from the beef, marinara, herbs, and seasonings. Taking the sauce to the next level are the smoky, fire-roasted tomatoes we add in there, plus lots of shredded mozzarella and cheddar on top.
What you get is more of an incredibly cheesy, meaty spaghetti casserole — with no hot oven or a mountain of pots and pans to wash!
Can you use the crockpot to cook raw spaghetti?
Yes! No need to boil them either. The raw pasta will absorb all the sauces, broth, and seasonings you put in there, making them tender and super flavorful.
How much time does it take to cook spaghetti in the slow cooker?
On high, plan ahead for 3 hrs. of cooking, and about 4-5 hrs. on low.
What do you need for homemade crockpot spaghetti?
- Ground beef: Use lean, organic, grass-fed beef for the best flavor.
- Marinara sauce: We always have a jar of homemade marinara on-hand, but you can definitely use our favorite brand!
- Pasta: Break the spaghetti into thirds to fit into the crockpot.
- Aromatics: To build a flavorful base for the sauce, we’re sautéing fresh white onions and minced garlic.
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes: The smokiness in these roasted and charred tomatoes are a shortcut to huge flavor!
- Chicken broth: Gets absorbed into the pasta to make them perfectly tender.
- Seasonings: Worcestershire, kosher salt, some brown sugar, fresh-ground black pepper, and tomato paste for extra depth.
- Herbs: Measure out some dried basil, a little dried oregano and thyme, and some Italian seasoning.
- Cheese: Grate mozzarella and cheddar, and mix together.
How to cook homemade crockpot spaghetti from scratch?
- Sauté. Brown the beef and chopped onions together, crumbling well. Drain any excess fat. Add the fresh minced garlic, followed by all the herbs, seasonings, and marinara sauce plus broth. Mix them all up.
- Layer. Spoon the meaty marinara into your slow cooker, then put the broken pasta on top. Finish with a layer of shredded cheddar and mozzarella.
- Cook. Put the lid on and set your slow-cooker on low for 4 hrs.
- Serve. Enjoy hot with some grated parmesan cheese and parsley on top.
- Use other types of pasta: This will also work with fettucine, linguine, and even other shapes like penne or ziti.
- Use other meats: You can sub the beef with most ground meats, like pork, chicken, turkey, or lamb.
- Vegetarian: Use vegan meat and veggie stock.
- Include veggies: Toss some finely-chopped carrots, mushrooms, or bell pepper into the sauce. Baby spinach or kale are healthy additions, too!
- Spicy: Give this delicious pasta some kick with cayenne or dried chili flakes.
- Make it heartier: Add meatballs, chopped bacon, or diced sausage or ham. You can also mix in some crumbled sausage with the ground beef!
Can you make it in the Instant Pot?
Sure! Begin by browning your beef-onion combo first, then take out any excess grease. Add the broken pasta directly on top of the beef. Then, place the marinara sauce, broth, and all other ingredients on top. Make sure liquid completely covers the pasta. Cook on High for about 8 mins., then release the pressure quickly. Stir and enjoy!
How to serve?
Can’t beat this spaghetti with warm dinner rolls and a salad! You can also serve this pasta with main dishes like Baked Pork Chops and the juiciest Grilled Chicken, or more tasty sides like roasted brussels sprouts.
How to keep pasta warm in the crockpot?
Use the “Keep Warm” function. Don’t press High or Low to avoid cooking your pasta further!
Can you overcook pasta in the slow cooker?
Definitely. If you can’t turn off your slow cooker after 4 hours for this recipe, we recommend just adding the pasta at the end. Set the meat sauce to cook for 4 hours, then when you’re ready to cook the pasta, add it and set it on high for 45 mins to 1 hour.
How to store leftovers?
After they’ve cooled down, transfer the leftovers to an air-tight container, and store them in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can easily reheat in the microwave for a few minutes until hot.
How to freeze leftovers?
Transfer cooled leftovers to a container or freezer bags, then store these frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost first before reheating, then microwave until hot.
More Slow Cooker Recipes:
- Make sure to drain as much of the excess beef fat as you can, so you don’t end up with an oily pasta dish.
- Can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes? Use regular diced, and add a dash of smoked or regular paprika to the sauce.
- The brown sugar balances out the marinara and tomato’s acidity. You can swap it out with granulated or honey.
Crockpot Spaghetti Casserole
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 26 oz jar marinara sauce
- 15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (or beef broth)
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 8 oz dried spaghetti (broken into thirds)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Fresh parsley (chopped)
- Fresh basil (chopped)
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and juts a bit of oil and once hot add the ground beef and onion, cook 5-7 minutes, until beef is browned, breaking it down with a wooden spoon. Frain the grease.
- Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
- Transfer the mixture into a lightly greased 6-quart slow cooker.
- Top with the broken spaghetti and stir to combine.
- Top with shredded cheese, cover, and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
- Serve garnished with fresh parsley or basil and with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.