Slow Simmered Spaghetti and Meatballs (Crock Pot)

Total Time
7hrs 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 7 hrs

This was one of those serendipitous happenings that continue to amaze/amuse me. My DS called me on a Wednesday evening around suppertime to ask if it would be alright to come visit for the weekend, bringing his boys. They would arrive Friday at suppertime. Since I knew that DD and her family would want to be included for dinner to give her more time to visit w/ her brother over the weekend... I suddenly went from "just me" for dinner to "eight" for dinner! What to fix at the last minute like this??? A while later I was reading the paper and came across this recipe in the food section and thought: AH HA! Dinner! I bought the ingredients after work on Thursday and, Friday morning, everything went into the crock pot (I made a double batch). When I got home after work, I made a salad, wrapped bakery Italian bread in foil to heat in the oven, and started the water boiling for the spaghetti. Everyone LOVED it, as I did too, and the leftovers were scarfed up by the grand kids the next day for lunch. Age ranges of diners were 18 months up to ... well, let's just say I'm a grandmother of five! This will definitely be a repeater at my house! (Recipe courtesy of B. Mills & A. Ross of "Desperation Dinners" column in the Raleigh NC News & Observer.)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (26 ounce) jarof red spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, for 1 c chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 12 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 24 frozen meatballs, approx 3/4 pound
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  • olive oil (optional)


  1. Pour spaghetti sauce and tomatoes with juice into a slow cooker.
  2. Add chopped onion, garlic, and Italian seasonings; mix well.
  3. Add still-frozen meatballs; stirring to mix well. Make sure meatballs are covered with sauce.
  4. Cover the slow cooker, turn to LOW heat; cook 7-8 hours.
  5. Just before serving, cook spaghetti according to package directions. (This can be done ahead of time, noodles drained and tossed w/ olive oil, and refrigerated. Reheat noodles in the microwave before serving.).
  6. Serve sauce and meatballs over spaghetti. Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.
  7. NOTE: Any style tomato-based (marinara style) spaghetti sauce can be used. The jar sizes may vary from brand to brand but this is okay.
Most Helpful

Very quick and easy! DH loved it, and we had leftovers the next night. One change I may make next time is to saute the onion before adding to the crock-pot, but it's definitely a keeper!

Chef Jodi Town September 28, 2009

I loved how easy this was to throw together in the morning and come home to a house that smelled SO good! I did make just a couple of changes for my family's tastes. Instead of diced tomatoes I used a second can of Hunt's Traditional Spaghetti sauce and used onion powder instead of onion. We like our sauce a bit sweeter so I added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. My almost 3-year old twin granddaughters ate adult portions of this meal and everyone loved it!

Sooz Cooks August 06, 2009

Not sure what it was, but I did not find this anything but jar sauce with frozen meatballs. Other than having the meatballs already done for you, why not make the sauce from scratch. Guess I am an Italian at heart. Love the home made sauce! Just not my kind of recipe, sorry.

Chef Nonie39 June 20, 2009