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Crock-Pot Meaty Pasta Sauce

Making a few recipes on Saturday or Sunday to store in the fridge or freezer means a lot less cooking to do during the week when life gets overwhelming. This recipe is quick and easy, and uses your best friend—the Crock Pot. Make it a family affair: Younger kids can help wash the veggies, an older child can help you chop, sauté the meat, and then everyone can help toss the ingredients into the pot. At the end of your day, dinner is all ready, with plenty left over for the week ahead. Double the recipe and freeze what you don’t eat in dated single or multiple-serving containers. On busy school nights, simply remove a container, defrost, reheat, and your homemade meal is ready in minutes.

Crock-Pot Meaty Pasta Sauce
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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 28-ounce can diced tomato
  • 15-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • pasta (sauce will be served on top)

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and sauté onions for 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and 1 teaspoon of salt and sauté for 4 more minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  2. Add the sautéed meat and onions to the Crock-Pot.
  3. Whisk 2 tablespoons of tomato paste in 1 cup of water until the paste dissolves.
  4. Add the tomato paste mixture to the pot along with the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Serve over pasta.

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