Garlic Lover’s Slow-Cooked Meat Sauce

Garlic Lover’s Slow-Cooked Meat Sauce | Food & Nutrition Magazine | Volume 9, Issue 4
Photography by David Raine | Food styling by Breana Moeller | Prop styling by Brooke Doyle

Your slow cooker does most of the work to make this rich garlic meat sauce.

SERVING SIZE: 1⅓ cup sauce (376 grams)
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 4 to 8 hours


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (28 milliliters) olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 12 peeled garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ pounds 96% lean ground beef
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 28-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes with juice
  • 15-ounce (444 milliliters) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 12-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon (18 milliliters) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until melted.
  2. Add onion and garlic and sauté 2 minutes, stirring often. Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. In the same skillet, add ground beef and sausage and cook over medium-high heat until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain fat, then place meat mixture in slow cooker.
  4. In the slow cooker, add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, sugar, Italian seasoning, pepper and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  5. Remove bay leaves and top sauce with parsley. Serve over your favorite pasta noodles.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 316 calories, 15g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 73mg cholesterol, 649mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 13g sugar, 25g protein, NA potassium, NA phosphorus

Jen Plaggemars on Instagram
Jen Plaggemars
Jen Plaggemars is a registered dietitian and private chef based in Holland, MI, and owner of Chef Jen LLC. She blogs at