Linda’s Old Fashioned Spaghetti (Crock Pot)

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Linda's Old Fashioned Spaghetti (Crock Pot)

Linda’s Old Fashioned Spaghetti is my mother in law’s signature dish and one we always look forward to whenever we visit them in Georgia. A meaty spaghetti with a sauce that is definitely a step up from your typical store bought canned sauce and far more flavorful than what most folks are used to. Linda usually makes it on the stovetop, setting aside hours for it to simmer and cook down. Last time we visited she mentioned that she would like to have a slow cooker version so that she could put it in the crock pot in the morning and not have to fuss over it throughout the day.

Well all she had to do was tell me she wanted it! I came home and immediately set out to adapt the recipe for the slow cooker. Now we can all have this bold and flavorful meat sauce spaghetti just by tossing in the ingredients and walking away.

One of my favorite features of a slow cooker is that it’s the closest I’ll ever come to having kitchen staff 🙂

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Linda's Old Fashioned Spaghetti (Crock Pot)

 You’ll need: Browned ground beef, Garlic powder, a jar of mushrooms, tomato paste, basil, rosemary, a pinch of cayenne pepper (it isn’t spicy, I promise!), bay leaves, and salt. Oh and some water. I’m gonna assume you have that. Isn’t it nice to have water readily available? Lots of folks don’t.

Linda's Old Fashioned Spaghetti (Crock Pot)

Brown your meat and drain the grease. Place in 5-6 quart slow cooker. Add in Basil, Rosemary, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne (just a tiny pinch, don’t freak out!), tomato paste, and water. Stir that up real good. Hint: This is easier to mix if you use hot water.

Drain mushrooms and gently stir those in.

Add Bay leaves and don’t stir (because they will break up), just spoon some sauce over them. Fish those out later, before serving.

Linda's Old Fashioned Spaghetti (Crock Pot)

Eat it up!

Linda's Spaghetti

This old fashioned crock pot spaghetti is my mother in law's signature dish and one we always look forward to whenever we visit!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spaghetti
Servings: 4
Calories: 210kcal


  • 2 -3 pounds lean ground beef or ground chuck
  • 1 large can tomato paste 12 oz.
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 ½ Tbs. Basil
  • 1 ½ Tbs. Rosemary
  • heaping teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • Pinch red cayenne pepper
  • 1 jar of sliced mushrooms 6 oz.
  • 3 Bay leaves remove after cooking


  • In large skillet, cook ground beef until browned and fully cooked, drain and place in slow cooker.
  • Brown your meat and drain the grease. Place in 5-6 quart slow cooker. Add in Basil, Rosemary, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, tomato paste, and water. Stir that up real good.
  • Drain mushrooms and gently stir those in.
  • Add Bay leaves and don't stir (because they will break up), just spoon some sauce over them.
  • Cover and cook on low, 7-9 hours, or high, 3-4 hours. Before serving, remove bay leaves. Serve over fresh cooked noodles.


Calories: 210kcal
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  1. I hate to be one of those annoying people asking annoying questions, but do you know how much pasta this recipe requires. I usually don’t keep recipes if there isn’t a pasta amount because it hurts my brain to try and guess…maybe it’s because I usually cook for one! ME!!! sorry=(

    1. This recipe doesn’t require any set amount of pasta. You just make the sauce and make as much pasta as you want to eat, then add as much sauce as you want. Leftover sauce can be frozen beautifully and you could even make your life easier by freezing it in individual servings (perhaps one cup bags). 😀

        1. Another tip I learned in Disney about pasta. Make it according to the package directions but undercook it just a bit (a few minutes), then drain, rinse with cold water, and put in a plastic bag in the fridge or bowl. This reheats really well so you can get exactly the amount you want.

  2. Hi Christy , Today I made our Shrimp Pasta Salad recipe. Oh was it good . I had a few people over tonight. They really loved t . It was very good. I will be making this again .

  3. In the instructions you write “Add…Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, tomato paste”, but you do not list black pepper in the ingredients, nor is it in the photo (camera shy?). So when you write pepper and then cayenne I’m guessing you mean just the cayenne? I’m making it now so I am going to assume that is the case and not put in any black pepper.

  4. Oh my goodness! I wondered how a spaghetti sauce could possibly taste good without any ONION in it??? LOL, joking , of course. Like you always say, Christy, food is all about your personal taste. Anyway, except for the bay leaves that I leave out and a few other ingredients I put in, this looks like and is almost the same as the spaghetti sauce I make. I would add about a Tablespoon of Italian seasoning (to taste), 4 large minced cloves of garlic, instead of the dry garlic, plus one 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, and “at least” one, very large Vidalia onion, chopped, and 2 medium bell peppers chopped. I just brown my meat, add the onions and peppers to cook for a few minutes in my meat with a bit of salt and pepper, then dump that whole thing in my slow cooker, plus all the other stuff and I don’t even bother to drain the mushrooms. Stir it around. Then turn it on and let ‘er rip! Comes out thick like in your pictures but quite a bit more red with the tomato stuff in it. I used to do this all day on the stove top, stirring it from time to time and it does get thicker on the stove. So if you do want a bit thicker sauce and you are using a slow cooker, just take the top off and turn the heat up for the last half hour or so and let it cook down. Another thing I like to do is make a LOT of extra sauce, maybe 3 or 4 quarts extra. I freeze the left over sauce in quart freezer zip bags. This way I always have a great sauce for a quick spaghetti dinner anytime.

  5. It’s back to school time and crazy busy around here once again. Having this for dinner tonight with a salad and garlic bread. The house smells wonderful. So thankful for your crockpot recipes!

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