I know store-bought spaghetti sauce goes on sale with coupon for under $1 quite often but there is something wholesome about making homemade spaghetti sauce. And it really is so easy. And frugal. And you can freeze it! This week I came across some manager markdown mushrooms for $0.99 – when this happens (which isn’t as often as I’d hope), I believe it is a divine message that I should make spaghetti sauce. You see, we like a lot of mushrooms in our sauce and at $3-4 a pound it can cost as much as the meat. So when I find mushrooms on sale that need a loving home – I adopt them for incredibly low prices and introduce them to some tomatoes and meat. Everyone is happy.
I’ve made this on the stovetop before – just as easily as the slow cooker. But I do like the ease of throwing it all in the crockpot!
2 1/2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey (I used moose meat from my dad in Alaska!)
1 – 2 onions, diced
3 cloves of garlic
2 – 28 oz cans of heavy tomato puree
You can use tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes depending on what’s available and what thickness you like your sauce
1 – 28 oz can of tomato sauce
16 – 24 ounces of fresh sliced mushrooms
We really like mushrooms in our sauce, so we add a lot. You can scale this back a lot, if you want.
1/3 cup dried Oregano
1/8 cup dried Sweet Basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
HOW TO PREPARE
1.) Dice onions. Saute in some olive oil in a saute pan on the stove until softened and slightly brown. Toss onions into slow cooker.
2.) Cook up your meat (ground beef or ground turkey) in a pan on the stove. Cook it until it’s completely browned. Drain any excess fat. Toss into slow cooker.
3.) Add the rest of your ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on medium for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. You can’t really mess up the cooking times. It’s all going to be cooked when you add it to the slow cooker, so it’s just a matter of flavors blending and it all coming together!
I usually make up a huge batch of this and then freeze it into meal-size servings using my Food Saver (see photo above from the last time I made some up for the freezer). Then when we want spaghetti or we need sauce for Eggplant Parmesan or lasagna, we’ll pull it out of the freezer. You just cut the bag open and dump it into the pot to heat it up! Super easy and you know exactly what’s in it.