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Slow-Cooked Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

I first sampled this spaghetti sauce at my sister-in-law's and had to have the recipe. After all these years, I still think it's about the best I've ever tasted. —Jackie Grant, Vanderhoof, British Columbia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 hours
  • Makes
    20 servings (about 4-1/2 quarts)


  • 1 cup finely chopped onion, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 can (46 ounces) tomato juice
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Hot cooked spaghetti, cut into bite-size pieces


  • In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup onion, salt and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs with remaining onion.
  • Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker; add the tomato juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, bay leaves, garlic and Italian seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaves. Serve with spaghetti.
Editor's Note
  • Based on reader feedback we took this recipe back to the Test Kitchen and decided it makes a much better soup than a pasta dish. Enjoy!
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    Average Rating:
    • Angel182009
      Jan 5, 2015

      My family really enjoyed this meal. My husband who doesn't like spaghetti at all loved it and he thought the meatballs were great in it. The only thing I did differently was I used garlic powder in place of the minced garlic.

    • homemadewithlove
      Dec 5, 2013

      Lacked flavor and I even added an egg and Italian seasoning. Husband said it needed sugar, kids did not like. I will not make this again. Good thing I halved the recipe.

    • KayMack71
      Aug 24, 2012

      No comment left