Slow-Simmering Pasta Sauce Recipe
Slow-Simmering Pasta Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Slow-Simmering Pasta Sauce Recipe

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Spaghetti with sauce is my kids' favorite dinner, so through trial and error, I came up with my own recipe. This is the winning result. I love that it's made in a slow cooker.—Samantha Vicars, Kenosha, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6 hours
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil, divided
  • Hot cooked pasta

Nutritional Facts

1 cup (calculated without pasta): 327 calories, 20g fat (8g saturated fat), 53mg cholesterol, 1392mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 4g fiber), 17g protein .


  1. In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, bay leaves, oregano, dried basil, salt and thyme. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Discard bay leaves; stir in half of the fresh basil. Serve with pasta. Top with remaining basil. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Slow-Simmering Pasta Sauce in Taste of Home Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes Annual 2013, p53

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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Jarvisfamily 248064
Reviewed May. 10, 2016

"This sauce is now the only sauce I use. I mix up the meat I use in it from sweet to hot ground Italian sausage or meatballs. Love this! Never using jar sauce again. I usually simmer it on the stove instead of cooking in the slow cooker."

Joan2001 225312
Reviewed Apr. 23, 2015

"This sauce is excellent. I only used half the amount of oregano but other than that didn't change anything."

kimbarron 224654
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"This is a copy-cat recipe from Iowa Girl Eats."

soossy 214274
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2014

"very good."

Sue Zappa 134285
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2014

"My family thought it was terrific. I will reduce the amount of bay leaves next time, though. Also thought it was better made a day before serving. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe because I wanted leftovers to use in mostaccioli for my husband's birthday. It was stupendous in that recipe!"

fatoldlady 118211
Reviewed Nov. 17, 2014

"Prego is better & less expensive to make."

cakedeco 185224
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2014

"This is a great recipe! I leave out the brown sugar for less sweetness. It also good for lasagna sauce too."

SimpleFoods 150715
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2014

"This is almost exactly the recipe I've used for years - the one pasta sauce I go to anymore! The Italian sausage rather than plain ground beef does it for me. Thanks for reminding me, Samantha Vicars - it's time to make this again!"

terrym5253 118208
Reviewed Nov. 14, 2014

"wonderful taste from Italy"

jaime1103 212656
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2014

"I enjoyed this recipe. I did not add the brown sugar and tasted great."

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