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Slow-Cooked Spaghetti and Meatball Soup Recipe

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 YIELD:20 servings


  • 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
  • Hot cooked spaghetti


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; add the tomato juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, bay leaves and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 20 servings (about 4-1/2 quarts).

Recipe Note

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!
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 each: 135 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 550mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 13g protein.

    Reviews for Slow-Cooked Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

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    Reviewed Jan. 5, 2015 Edited Mar. 2, 2017

    "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."

    Reviewed 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."

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