I plan easy dinners on complicated nights. You have those nights too right? I’m talking about the nights that start with homework, dishes, a meeting, and then trying to fit bath time in all before 8pm. Let’s be honest, there are a minimum of 3 Lego arguments and 10 “don’t put that in your mouth” instances somewhere in there too.
I almost called this “bath time pasta sauce” because I think every mom needs an easy dinner for nights when so many littles need to be bathed. Upon reflection though, I don’t want you to think this sauce is blue like bubbles, or made in the tub.😯 There’s nothing quite like the stress of trying to wash you kid’s hair when you realize the chicken has been cooking too long, your steamed veggies are probably mush, or worse the pizza in the oven is now burnt.
That’s why this sauce is a life saver and a time saver. I can put it together in 7 minutes, leave it in the crock pot all afternoon, and cook up some meat about 15 minutes before I want to eat.
Oodles of Noodles
We like our pasta with brown rice noodles or with zucchini noodles. I have a great tool called a Spiralizer for this. You can get one here. It’s incredibly easy to use and can guarantee your kids eating 10x more veggies in their meal than they usually do. My kids think veggie noodles are delicious and so do I!
Another reason this sauce wins, is you know everything that goes into it. No added sugar, preservatives, and quite frankly it’s cheaper than store-bought sauce too. I always plan for leftovers because that’s what we eat for lunch the following day so you may find this makes a lot of sauce. If you’re weird and don’t do left overs, cut half this recipe. Better yet, invite some friends over for dinner!
2 lb.s ground beef or turkey, cooked and lightly seasoned
4-6 zucchini for noodles or 2 lb.s brown rice noodles
Set your crock pot on the counter, and plug it in. (seems obvious but sometimes it needs to be said)
Pour in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes (with liquid).
Mince the 4 cloves of garlic and add in.
Either use a grinder for your Italian seasoning or the back of a spoon to crush it before adding it in. This really gets the flavor out.
Mix in the salt, pepper, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes.
Heat on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
Before serving, add in your cooked ground meat.
If serving over noodles, cook them 7-10 minutes before sauce is done.
If you want to make this quickly, use a big pot (like a dutch oven) on the stove top. Add your ingredients, bring the sauce to a rolling boil, and let simmer for 15-30 minutes before adding meat and serving.