Colleen’s Lighter Slow Cooker Version of Mom’s Meat Sauce
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 14-16
Weight Watchers Info: 6 PointsPlus per serving (when a full 16-serving doubled quantity, or a full 8-serving halved quantity)
  • 2 pounds ground beef (I use 15% fat or leaner)
  • 2 pounds lean Italian turkey sausage (hot and sweet)
  • 5 ribs celery
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 – 29 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons low-cal sugar substitute
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 Bay leaves
  1. Brown the ground beef and sausage with the celery, pepper, onion and garlic. Drain any fat. Add this mixture and all remaining ingredients to a slower cooker and cook on low for at least 6 hours.
  2. If you opt to make this full recipe — the quantity that can feed an army — split the sauce up between two slower cookers. This quantity is too much for a single slow cooker.
  3. Can also be done in a large covered pan or pot and simmered on the stove for as little as 1-2 hours.
Easily feeds 14-16. Cut in half it provides 7-8 servings.

This quantity feeds an army. That’s because mom and I both always make enough sauce to freeze half of it for a second meal — be it spaghetti or lasagna or ziti. For a single meal, cut the quantities in half.

Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves before serving.
Recipe by The Taste Place at