Last updated January 23, 2016

This slow cooker spaghetti sauce recipe is like having an Italian grandma in your kitchen preparing dinner for you all day. The fresh tomatoes and mushrooms simmer for hours with Italian sausage and fresh basil.

There’s no canned sauce, paste or veggies in this dish.

Garden-fresh Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce from Zestuous

When you come home after a busy day, the warm fragrant pot of sauce is ready for a final touch of Parmesan cheese to thicken the sauce and cooked pasta. Now that’s amore.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m in love with my Breville Fast-Slow Cooker. It has a sear setting on it, so I can brown the sausage and sauté the veggies. Then, I just add in the tomatoes, wine and spices and switch from sear to slow cook.

One pot = less dishes = happy cook!

How long you cook the sauce is up to you and your schedule. Since the sausage is cooked in advance, you could serve it up in an hour. But I recommend going with 6-8 hours on low for really blended, yet defined flavors.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, no problem. You can cook it in a large pot with a lid over medium-low heat…but you’ll need to be home to keep an eye on the stove…unless you happen to have an Italian grandma around who will take care of dinner for you.

Buon appetito!

Garden-fresh Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Yield: 6 servings

Garden-fresh Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce


  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 ozs. sliced mushrooms (portabella or crimini)
  • 12 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 13.25-oz. box spaghetti noodles

In a large pot, brown the sausage over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until tender, 2-5 minutes.

Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the sausage and vegetables into the pot of a slow cooker. Add in the tomatoes, basil, red wine, capers, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (You can serve it sooner, but the sauce will develop more flavor the longer you cook it.)

Just before dinner, cook the box of spaghetti noodles in salted water until al dente.

Open the slow cooker and stir in ¾ cup Parmesan cheese to thicken the sauce.

Drain the noodles and pour them into the sauce. Stir to combine thoroughly.

Spoon into a serving bowl and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.