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Slow-Simmering Pasta Sauce Recipe

Slow-Simmering Pasta Sauce Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

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.

Reviews for Slow-Simmering Pasta Sauce

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Jarvisfamily User ID: 6054418 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 User ID: 7444807 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 User ID: 8131252 224654
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

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

soossy User ID: 8093301 214274
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2014

"very good."

Sue Zappa User ID: 1094741 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 User ID: 8053985 118211
Reviewed Nov. 17, 2014

"Prego is better & less expensive to make."

cakedeco User ID: 4819309 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 User ID: 7160373 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 User ID: 1818141 118208
Reviewed Nov. 14, 2014

"wonderful taste from Italy"

jaime1103 User ID: 4076548 212656
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2014

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

lorettalib User ID: 4493956 178769
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2014

"This a very good recipe. My husband is from Italy. He does not care for the sweetness of American pasta sauce, so I was concerned about the tablespoon of brown sugar. My concern was needless the sauce had the right amount savory and sweetness. I won't be making any changes in this recipe. It is perfect. It is easy. It is delicious."

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