Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

One of my goals this year is to make more homemade items again. Several years ago, I was doing this quite a bit. Before I learned how to take pictures and upload them to my blog to show everyone. Since our boys love spaghetti, the one item I knew I could easily make myself is spaghetti sauce.

But, I didn't just set out to find a recipe online. One of the other things I'm trying to do is to eliminate sugar from my diet (and in turn, their diets). And, just about every recipe I found online has some form of sugar included (whether it's the processed stuff, or with honey). So, I literally looked at the back of one of my favorite spaghetti sauce jars that doesn't include sugar and went from there with what I had in my pantry (which is the Costco Kirkland brand in case you're wondering).

You should know this about me: I'm not even close to Martha or Betty. I have made so many recipes that were complete flops. I truly keep it simple in the kitchen. Despite my flops, I continue to try to experiment with recipes in hopes that they turn out.

I'm happy to say that this turned out fabulous! The only thing I will do next time is add more garlic (you can never have enough garlic) and use less meat. I'll stick with this recipe as written below when I make this again (and I'll have to at least once a month).

We purchased 1/2 cow last year (that is pasture-fed and organic). I forgot the ground beef packages were 1.5 pounds each since that's typically what our family of 5 uses in a meal that calls for ground beef. I had 3 pounds of meat in our spaghetti. Next time, I'll be using 2 pounds or maybe even less. 

Did I mention this is a crockpot friendly recipe? That's a BIG bonus, right?!

This made enough for 4 servings for our family. There is only three shown in the picture because, well, as any good cook woud do, I ate some of it to make sure it was picture-worthy. It was. And it's a new addition to our homemade pantry staples.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

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Buy It

  • Crushed Tomatoes – (2) 28-ounce cans
  • Tomato Paste – (1) 6-ounce can
  • Onion – (1) Medium size
  • Garlic – (5) Cloves (or more if you like garlic, like me)
  • Dry Basil – 2 Tablespoons
  • Dry Oregano – 3 Tablespoons
  • Salt & Pepper – 1 Tablespoon (each)
  • Red Pepper Flakes – 2 Tablespoons

Make It

  1. Dice the onion and place in slow cooker.
  2. Mince the garlic and throw that in too.
  3. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste.
  4. Give it a swirl.
  5. Add all of your dry ingredients EXCEPT the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  6. Let it strew for about 4-6 hours on low.
  7. While this is cooking, brown your ground beef and set to the side.
  8. In the last hour of crockin', add the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
    Don't try to taste it to see if it's spicy since it'll be hot and may numb your tastebuds thus making you think it's not spicy and you may add more. Trust me on this one.
  9. When it's finished, add the ground beef.
  10. Let it cool completely. I just set it in the crockpot in the fridge covered overnight.
  11. Place in freezer containers.

Cost Breakdown

We eat spaghetti (or a version of spaghetti) at least once a week in our home. I got the majority of the ingredients at either Costco (in bulk, so I already had on hand) or Aldi where things are just cheaper in general.

Purchasing a package of three jars at Costco is around $8 (32-ounces each). I spent around $3 on the ingredients for 4 servings. So, not only am I saving $5 on the ingredients alone, I'm also getting an additional serving from my homemade version.

Next time I make this, I'll purchase the large can of crushed tomatos at Costco. I thought I had some to make this recipe but couldn't find them. I mean, where can a huge can of tomatoes be hiding?


Let me know if you make this recipe and if you have any homemade recipes you make versus purchasing to save, I'd love to hear from you! Please email me at [email protected] so I can share the recipe!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on January 07, 2013


  • Gina - January 07, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

    Andrea I am so happy you shared your recipe. I am also doing my best to go healthy and homemade this year and reduce our sugar intake. I am a little confused about one thing though-you said it makes enough for 4 servings and yet you are freezing it. Are you doubling the recipe then? Because then you mention making it once a month? Sorry maybe I am not reading something correctly,but maybe you can clarify for me.

    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea - January 08, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

      Gina, yes, I am freezing it and we will likely have spaghetti once a week (so use all 4 servings). The next time I make this, I will likely double the recipe and will update it above when I do (that will be the double portion recipe). Until then, I’ll use it as is and just make it once a month. Hopefully that made sense.

  • Patricia - January 08, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    It sounds wonderful. I am going to make more homemade stuff this year too and try to lower my grocery bill by making my own whenever I have time (working 6 days a week cuts into my time). I wish I could try this but both my brothers can’t or won’t eat tomatoes. No more spaghetti (except chicken spaghetti) in my house unforchanantly.

    I can’t wait to try making my own sauces. Wanted to try dry beans this year too but one of my brothers won’t eat beans (not even green beans). Ha!

    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea - January 08, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

      Patricia, a good white sauce would be one to figure out too. Maybe I’ll add that one to my list! The white sauces tend to curdle when frozen though so that’s my hesitation. I do love a good cream sauce though so I have to figure out a way to make it a wee bit healthier without compromising the taste. If you come across anything let me know!

  • Cheryl - January 09, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    Sounds yummy & I will be making some later this week & you are right I’ll be adding more garlic (the vampires will never come to my house!!! LOL) But probably less pepper flakes.
    Where did you buy the cow? I’m looking into finding ways to get beef cheaper.


    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea - January 09, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

      Cheryl, we purchased from Providence Farms in Indiana. They were one of the few places that actually had beef to sell in bulk. Many of the local (Cincinnati) farmers weren’t selling in bulk given the drought. They were great to work with! I’d order from them again in a heartbeat!


  • Cheryl - January 09, 2013 @ 1:00 am

    This is my starter white sauce recipe (SO yummy!) But not very healthy so I’ve changed it up a bit.
    With the cottage cheese included the calorie count is only 235 calories per serving

    I swap out half the butter with oil olive (tell myself it’s at least a healthy fat)
    I use 2% milk instead of whole (or if I have whole milk I use half water & half whole milk)
    If I want it cheesy I add some cottage cheese at the end & cook it on low to let the cheese melt or if my boys want it REALLY cheesy I add a piece of string cheese
    Also the recipe says it only makes 4 servings & I easily get 6 out of it
    It has separated when frozen so I tend to make it as I use it, or make a batch on Sunday to use later in the week; once you get the hang of it it’s really easy!
    The fresh grated nutmeg is what really makes it yummy; I tried using the canned ground nutmeg once & it was yucky!


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