This slow cooker Parmesan meat sauce is slow cooked and full of flavor. Perfectly seasoned and goes great over fresh pasta. It can be easily frozen so you can have fresh sauce any day of the year!
Can we talk about my mad love for homemade meat sauce? Growing up my idea of homemade sauce was browning some meat and adding in a jar of store bought sauce. I don’t have anything against store-bought sauce BUT it’s hands down not as good as homemade. When I first moved to New York I was like a fish out of water when it came to Italian food. First of all, I pronounced Italian “eyetalian” which was 100% incorrect and is guaranteed to annoy just about everyone in New York. So as if my pronunciation of Italian wasn’t bad enough I also knew nothing about Italian food.
Luckily for me, my old boss made the BEST sauce! To this day, I can still mentally taste it when I think about it. It was filled with meat and slow roasted on the stove. Sweet baby J I could have eaten that sauce every single day if allowed. It was at that moment I realize homemade sauce is KING!
Now, while this slow cooker Parmesan meat sauce is not the same as my bosses it’s still pretty darn delicious. It’s packed full of meat, Parmesan cheese, mushrooms and just a touch of red pepper. I love that little hit of heat when it comes to homemade sauce. Then I let it simmer all day in the slow cooker and was rewarded with a damn fine sauce. It was perfect overtop homemade pasta and then I froze 2 containers. I didn’t really need all this sauce staring me in the face so now I have it sitting in my freezer for when I need a quick “OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO MAKE FOR DINNER?!” meal.
Now one thing that makes this sauce just a little different than typical meat sauce is the addition of mushrooms and lots of Parmesan cheese. I love the meatiness of mushrooms and it’s one of my favorite things to add to meat sauce. The Parmesan cheese just adds a nice bite and lots of rich cheesy flavor – you’ll love it!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
In a large skillet add olive oil over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot add in the ground beef, mushrooms, yellow onion, and garlic.
Cook until the meat is browned and the mushrooms and onions are soft.
Add meat mixture to a large slow cooker and add in the remaining ingredients.
Stir to combine and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours.
If the mixture gets too thick while cooking you can thin it out with a little more tomato sauce, stock, or wine.
Remove the bay leaves before serving over pasta or with garlic bread.