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Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs is a family favorite dinner that is so simple to make thanks to frozen meatballs, canned stewed tomatoes, jarred pasta sauce, and dried seasonings. It’s a dump & go slow cooker recipe that is perfect for pasta night. 

We love this with my Cheesy Garlic Bread and a chopped Caesar salad mix.

Plate of spaghetti noodles with meatballs and sauce. Fork on the plate.

Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Anytime pasta is involved with dinner then it’s a guaranteed hit with my kids. Which is exactly why I’ve made this easy slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs recipes countless times. My kids eat it with no complaining. 

Yes, it’s not homemade-from scratch but it’s good food that is so simple to throw in the slow cooker in the morning and I guarantee the family will love it. And sometimes you just need a dinner like that! I also love that there are so many ways to switch up this recipe. Read below for all my tips and learn how to make easy spaghetti and meatballs in your own kitchen. 

A fork twirling some spaghetti in it with meatballs.

Ingredients Needed

Here is the list of ingredients that you will need to make this recipe, with my tips and suggestions. 

  • Frozen Meatballs – You can use either homestyle meatballs, Italian style meatballs, or Turkey meatballs. I prefer to use the frozen meatballs from Costco. If you are using meatballs from a large bag (like the Costco one) then count out 60 meatballs. 
  • Spaghetti Sauce – This is where you can switch up this recipe. You can use any spaghetti sauce you want! I prefer to use a basic one like tomato & basil but there are lots of options at the store. 
  • Italian Stewed Tomatoes – Stewed tomatoes have so much flavor to them which is what gives the sauce lots of Italian flavor. They are chunky which is why you want to throw them in the blender before adding them. 
  • Tomato Paste – This helps thicken the sauce.
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Dried Basil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Sugar – Don’t skip this! You need setting to balance all the acid from the tomato based products. 
  • Spaghetti Noodles + Parmesan Cheese – This is for serving. My family loves thin spaghetti noodles with these meatballs. 

Ingredients needed to make spaghetti and meatballs with each one labeled with the what it is.

How to Make Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs with Frozen Meatballs

It’s easy to make spaghetti and meatballs in the crock pot. Be sure and scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions, along with all my tips. 

Step One : Dump the frozen meatballs into the insert of the slow cooker. Pour the jar of spaghetti sauce over top. 

Step Two : In a blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Dump this over the meatballs and stir everything together until combined and all the meatballs are covered in sauce. 

Step Three : Cover with the lid and cook on Low heat for 5-6 hours. Serve over spaghetti noodles and top with parmesan cheese of your choice. 

How to make spaghetti and meatballs in the slow cooker with step by step picture collages.

How to make spaghetti and meatballs in the slow cooker with step by step picture collages.

How to make spaghetti and meatballs in the slow cooker with step by step picture collages.

Tips For Success

Here are my tips for this recipe that will hopefully make it a family favorite in your own home. 

  • Meatballs : Use meatballs that you love! I think the Kirkland Signature brand of frozen meatballs (from Costco) are the absolute best. The bag comes with enough to make this meal at least twice and they’re cheaper than the ones in the store. If you are using meatballs from a larger pack then you will need to count out 60 meatball. Otherwise, a 32 oz bag of frozen meatballs from the store will work just fine too. 
  • Pasta Sauce : Use any flavor you want! Just make sure it’s a 24 ounce jar which is called for in the recipe. 
  • Blend Stewed Tomatoes : The stewed tomatoes have so much more flavor to them but they are in large chunks. My kids would never eat it which is why I blend it up in t blender beforehand. If you want the chunks then feel free to skip the blending part and just add the cans right in. 
  • Warm Setting : This does really well on the warm setting on your slow cooker. So no need to worry if you’re not home right away, just set it to the warm setting when it’s done, and it will stay good for several hours like that. 

Variation & Substitution Ideas

Here are some ways that you can switch this recipe up if wanted. 

  • Pasta Sauce : Use any variety or flavor you want. You could probably even try this recipe with a jar of Alfredo sauce for a different flavor. The mini meatball pasta sauce is a great option for even more meatballs. I usually stick with a basic tomato & basil flavor. 
  • Tomato Paste : For some added flavor use Italian tomato paste (tomato paste with Italian herbs). I have done this lots of times and it’s really good. 
  • Meatballs : Use any style of meatballs you like. Turkey, beef, Italian style, homestyle, and even plant-based meatballs. 
  • Pasta : Use any shape of pasta for serving! 

Slow cooker with a bowl of meatballs and spaghetti sauce in a white bowl in front of it.

Spaghetti and Meatballs FAQs

  • Can I Freeze Spaghetti & Meatballs?
    • Yes, these spaghetti and meatballs freeze perfectly for another dinner or as a freezer meal. 
    • Let the leftovers cool to a warm room temperature and then out it inside a freezer-safe gallon size Ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 2 month. When ready to serve, simply let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm it up on the stove top or crock pot. 
    • If you want to make a freezer meal out of this, add the frozen meatballs + spaghetti sauce into a freezer-safe bag or container, blend up the remaining ingredients and pour it into the bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. You can throw the frozen meal into the slow cooker or let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then cook it in the crock pot. 
  • Serving Suggestions
    • I love serving this with my cheesy garlic bread, or you can make these Easy Garlic Parmesan Knots or try making Homemade French Bread
    • Spaghetti is aways good served alongside a salad mix. My family likes the chopped Caesar salad mix that you can buy at the grocery store. 
    • For low-carb, serve over some zucchini noodles. You can also serve this over gluten-free spaghetti noodles or some other type of pasta like protein pasta, chickpea pasta, or whole grain pasta. 
  • How to Store Leftovers
    • Leftovers store well in an air-tight container, in the fridge, for 4-5 days. 

Bowl of pasta noodles with sauce and meatballs, and parmesan cheese.

More Spaghetti Recipes You’ll Love 

Easy Homemade Spaghetti Recipe – This is a homemade ground beef spaghetti sauce made in one pot. Cook up some noodles in a different pot and then add them to the sauce. So flavorful and one of the most requested dinner recipes from my kids. 

Baked Spaghetti Casserole – Everything you love about spaghetti but in a cheesy baked casserole. I love that this recipe uses cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese! This is a great recipe to make for company because everyone loves spaghetti and it’s not as messy.

Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce – One of my very favorites when I have lots of time to let it simmer for an hour. This has so much flavor and tastes better than any restaurant spaghetti sauce. 

Slow Cooker Ground Beef & Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce – A delicious combo of ground Italian sausage and ground beef. This makes a lot of spaghetti sauce so it’s perfect to freeze for another pasta night or use it in any recipes that calls for spaghetti sauce. 

Easy Spaghetti Sauce – With some convenient ingredients, like tomato soup and crushed tomatoes, this spaghetti sauce packs a punch of flavor with little time. This is probably the spaghetti sauce I make the most often in my house. 

 

Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs | Spaghetti Meatballs Recipe | Dinner Recipes | Classic spaghetti meatballs that happen to be so easy to make right in a slow cooker! Frozen meatballs, pasta sauce, stewed tomatoes, and spices simmer all day for an at home restaurant taste. #spaghetti #dinner #meatballs #italianfood #recipeoftheday #dinnerrecipes #easydinnerrecipes
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Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs


Author Jessica
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10 people (6 meatballs each)
Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs is so easy to make thanks to frozen meatballs, canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, and seasonings. This cooks in the slow cooker all day and it does really well on the warm setting too. Serve over noodles with parmesan cheese.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bag (32 oz) frozen meatballs (about 60 meatballs)
  • 1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz each) Italian Recipe Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • cooked pasta & parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • Spray the insert of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Put the frozen meatballs into the slow cooker. Dump the can of spaghetti sauce over the meatballs.
  • In a blender, combine the undrained cans of stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined well. Pour into the slow cooker. Stir everything together until the meatballs are coated in sauce.
  • Cook on LOW heat for 6-7 hours. It does really well on the WARM setting once the cook time is done, if needed.
  • Serve over hot cooked pasta and garnish with parmesan cheese.

Notes

Tomato Paste : The small 6 oz can of tomato paste is plenty for the 1/4 cup. There will be a tad bit extra in the can. 
Nutrition Information : Calorie count is for 6 meatballs + serving of the sauce. It does not include pasta. To reduce calories use spiraled zucchini pasta or serve over garlic cauliflower rice ( I find this in the frozen vegetable section and it cooks real quick in the microwave).

Nutrition

Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 970mg | Potassium: 800mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 620IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg

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Pictures and post have been updated in April 2022. Recipe is the same. Original photo below.

meatballs and pasta sauce garnished with parmesan cheese

 

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight and it was so good! So easy to throw in the crock pot in the morning and the flavors were perfect. It will definitely become regular meal for us!

  2. natalie karns says:

    5 stars
    Sounds great, but in my situation of getting up at 4 am and usually cooking on slow for 10 hours, how many hours does this recipe take to get done.

    Thanks in advance for your response

    1. Together As Family says:

      If your slow cooker automatically goes to the ‘warm’ function after the cook time (most do) then this would be fine staying on the warm setting until you get home. It only needs 6-7 hours to cook but will do just fine on the warm setting. That’s what I would do. Hope that helps.