Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce in the Slow Cooker

This hearty pasta sauce is full of flavor.  Slices of sweet Italian sausage links, combine with bell peppers, onions and garlic in thick tomato sauce.

I like for most slow cooker recipes to not need any kind of browning or cooking on the stove, but this one does require some pre-cooking.  Thankfully, it only takes a few minutes to get everything into the crockpot.  I made this on a Sunday morning before church.  The hands-on prep only took about 15 minutes.

You could also continue cooking it on the stove, but I like the convenience of the crockpot.  No need to stir or tend the pot and you can leave the house while it’s cooking.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Serves: 8-10 servings

  • 1½ lbs. sweet Italian sausage links
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs. oregano
  • 1 Tbs. basil
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • ⅛ tsp. sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brown sausage links in a non-stick skillet.
  2. Add ½ cup water to the skillet and continue to cook sausage over medium heat for 5-7 more minutes.
  3. Remove sausage from skillet and slice into rounds. It's okay if it's not cooked all the way through. It will finish cooking in the slow cooker.
  4. Add peppers, onion, and garlic to skillet. Cook till tender-crisp.
  5. Put sausage, veggies and remaining ingredients into slow cooker.
  6. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  7. Serve over hot, cooked pasta.
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  1. It is not quite 7am, but that plate of pasta looks good enough to eat right now!

  2. Could you make this into a freezer meal for the crockpot? How?

    • Yes, you can either cook the sausage and veggies as instructed in the recipe, then add that with the other ingredients to the freezer bag. Or you can add all the ingredients to the freezer bag raw and let the slow cooker do all the cooking.

  3. Shelley Parnell says:

    I leave at about 7:30 a.m. and get home about 6 p.m. Do you think any/most of these can be left in a slow cooker on low for that long? I don’t work close to home, so can’t run back at lunch unfortunately!

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