This Slow-cooker Spaghetti Casserole Recipe Was Inspired by Southern Living Magazine by Jan Mostrom

This Slow-cooker Spaghetti Casserole Recipe Was Inspired by Southern Living Magazine

I'm always looking for easy comfort food recipes to make for groups of people. I loved this slow-cooker spaghetti casserole recipe inspired by Southern Living magazine, which I've changed a bit to make my own.

The ingredient list is short for this pasta recipe: ground beef, onions, fresh garlic, spaghetti noodles, your favorite jarred marinara, canned tomatoes, Italian seasoning and freshly grated cheese for the top. The simple ingredients combine to make a dinner to dive into. And if you're lucky, there will be leftovers for tomorrow!

You can try this slow-cooker recipe in the oven as well, just cook the pasta to al dente before assembling layers. In either case, you'll love how easy this spaghetti casserole is to make for friends and family.

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 to 4 hours 

Total Time: 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours
Servings: 8


  • 2 pounds ground beef (or 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound Italian sausage)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces
  • 1 jar (23 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes (regular or fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Turn the slow cooker on low heat. Cook the ground beef and chopped onion in a skillet. Use a paper towel to get rid of the excess fat from the mixture. Place half of the meat and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Add all the spaghetti pieces on top.
  3. Add the remaining meat and onions.
  4. Wipe the skillet off to get rid of the extra fat and then combine sauce, tomatoes, seasonings and 1/2 cup of water and pour over meat.
  5. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. Cover the slow cooker.
  7. Cook for 2 to 4 hours on low until the mixture is melted and warm. My slow cooker is quite warm and was done in just 2 1/2 hours.
  8. Transfer to bowls and serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan on top.

Photos courtesy of Jan Mostrom.

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Donna John
Southern Living is one of my favorite magazines. Love their recipes. This one is great! Thanks for sharing! Jan Mostrom
Jan Mostrom
Donna John It's so delicious! And incredibly easy!
Elisa Schmitz
What an amazing recipe to dive into, Jan Mostrom . My whole family will absolutely love this for dinner! 😍
Hi Jan Mostrom ! How long would you bake this for in the oven, & what size pan would you recommend? Thanks!
Jan Mostrom
Hi I would cook the pasta to al dente and then assemble with cooked meat and bake for about 1 hour on 350 (preheated) in 9x13 cake pan Terry If the cheese is bubbly on top it should be good to go! Let me know how it turns out!
Thanks so much Jan Mostrom ! Appreciate it, and have a great Monday!
Donna John
I would think a round casserole dish or 11x7-inch. What do you think, Jan Mostrom ? Terry
Jan Mostrom
Donna John I think smaller would make a deeper casserole and that would be great as well!
Jan Mostrom
Terry you are very welcome!

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