Crockpot (or slow cooker) recipes are real life savers when time is tight. While it’s easy to fall into a routine of burrito bowls and quick stir fries, the honest truth is these meals require some prep ahead of time in order to be quickly made, and the clean up is always larger than you expect. That’s why this slow cooker pasta sauce is such a life-saver come mid week. Throw a bunch of vegetables, meat, tomato sauce and spices into a slow cooker and come home to a comforting, healthy, delicious meal.
In this recipe, you serve the slow cooker pasta sauce over roasted spaghetti squash “noodles”. However, you could definitely substitute these for whole wheat pasta, rice, Banza (chickpea) noodles, or any other vegetable noodle you’d like. In order to make spaghetti squash noodles, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, cut long ways in half and deseed the squash, and roast with skin up until easily pierced with a pairing knife. Then, allow to cool so you can hold the squash, and use a fork to pull “noodles” from the flesh. It is extremely easy, and a delicious way to reduce carbohydrate intake while increasing those important micronutrients.
Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce Ingredients:
- 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 2, 14 oz. cans tomato sauce
- 2 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 T Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp each: oregano, parsley, and basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Red chili flake to taste (optional but recommended)
Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce Steps:
- In a skillet, brown the turkey, and add to the slow cooker.
- In the same skillet, brown the zucchini, onion, and bell pepper with a pinch of salt, until the onion is just translucent. Add to the slow cooker.
- Pour in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and all the spices. Stir to combine.
- Grate in the four cloves of garlic, and stir the sauce to combine one more time.
- Close the slow cooker, and allow the slow cooker pasta sauce to cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over your choice of noodles, and enjoy!