Make Spaghetti and Meatballs in the Slow Cooker

Slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs

The Spruce

 

Ratings (55)
  • Total: 6 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
441 Calories
20g Fat
49g Carbs
18g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This fabulous five-ingredient recipe for slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs tastes like something from a restaurant. It's perfect to serve to your family and comforting and delicious enough to serve to guests. The best part is it's so easy and is made completely in the slow cooker. 

Be sure that all of the pasta is completely covered with liquid when you put it into the slow cooker so it softens in the crockpot's heat and moisture. Any pasta that sticks out of the liquid will not cook properly and will be too tough and hard. Note that when the spaghetti is added, the dish will need to cook for an additional 15 to 25 minutes.

You can use plain spaghetti or whole grain pasta in this recipe. Just cook it until the pasta is al dente, or "to the tooth." That means the pasta is tender, but still firm. The center of each thin strand should be opaque, not white, and the pasta should taste cooked.

This recipe is perfect as-is, but you could add more veggies to the sauce if you'd like. Some chopped bell peppers, grated carrots, or garlic would be delicious and healthy additions. 

Serve this dish with some toasted garlic bread and a green salad tossed with tomatoes and mushrooms.  A glass of red wine would also be wonderful. For dessert, serve some wonderful brownies or chocolate chip cookies for an easy and complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen fully cooked meatballs (can be thawed)
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 handfuls spaghetti pasta (about 8 ounces, broken into pieces)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a 4 to 5-quart slow cooker, place the onions (and any other vegetables you'd like to add, if you are using others) in the bottom of the cooker. Top the vegetables with the meatballs and​ diced undrained tomatoes.

  2. Add the spaghetti sauce to the mixture in the crockpot and stir gently. Rinse out the spaghetti sauce jar with the water and add it to the crockpot.

  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 3 1/2 hours, until the onions are tender and the meatballs are hot.

  4. Stir the spaghetti sauce mixture well, then add the broken spaghetti. Stir and make sure that all of the spaghetti is separated and is completely covered by the sauce.

  5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the spaghetti is al dente (tender to the bite, but with a slight firmness in the center). You have to taste the pasta to make sure it is properly cooked.

  6. Stir and serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.