Slow Cooker Zoodles in Meat Sauce is a healthier alternative to a traditional pasta spaghetti meal. It’s a delicious low-carb version that substitutes zucchini noodles for pasta with a robust-flavored bolognese sauce.
You’ll love this easy way to prepare a family favorite “pasta” meal that’s actually healthy, so you can eat as much as you want! It’s a Whole30 meal that you can quickly add to your slow cooker to let it work its magic on the meat sauce and zucchini noodles.
The “noodles” soften perfectly since they’ll be sitting on top of the meat sauce so they won’t end up soggy. They’ll be nicely tender and will be flavored with Italian seasonings from the tomato-based meat sauce.
What are Zoodles?
Zoodles is a term that refers to zucchini that has been “spiralized” into noodles. These zucchini noodles are typically used to replace pasta-based noodles as a vegetable alternative. They work well in spaghetti meals as well as salads.
What does “spiralized” mean?
Spiralized refers to a kitchen device that easily slices vegetables and fruits into different shapes. For this recipe, the spiralizer easily converts a zucchini into long noodle shapes that are perfect to use as a spaghetti-style pasta substitute. Here’s a popular spiralizer that will be an indispensable tool in your kitchen. (Spiralizer )
Will this recipe work with regular uncooked pasta on top?
No, you will need to cook traditional pasta separately and add it to the meat sauce when ready to serve.
Slow cookers make the best meat sauce
The meat sauce portion of this recipe is a bolognese sauce, which is a meat-based sauce that’s cooked low and slow for the ultimate flavor. This recipe uses whole ingredients with no refined sugar added. You’ll see that there is a healthier sweetener, stevia, that you can add for a touch of sweetness.
You can also substitute real onion and garlic for the powdered versions here if you’re not in a hurry to use the dried versions for convenience. Also, consider adding chopped green peppers to further deepen the flavor.
While the recipe calls for ground chuck, you can certainly substitute ground turkey if you prefer. If you’re not concerned with sticking to a Whole30 plan, you could even add in sausage with the ground meat for a more robust flavor profile.
Meal planning and freezing with this slow cooker meat sauce
This meat sauce recipe is perfect for meal planning since it’s easily doubled. It’s freezable, too, after it’s been cooked and cooled. Just transfer it to freezer quart-size bags, taking care to press the air out of each bag before sealing. Lay flat and freeze in stacks.
4 medium zucchini, made into noodles
1 pound ground chuck, browned and drained well
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄8 teaspoon powdered stevia extract
1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on desired heat
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- In the bottom of the slow cooker crock, mix together browned meat, tomatoes, and
- Place noodled zucchini on top of the meat sauce. Sprinkle the zucchini lightly with
additional salt if desired.
- Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
- Remove the lid and toss the zoodles with meat sauce before serving.
This Slow Cooker Zoodles in Meat Sauce recipe is a simple way to make a family-favorite meal with the convenience of a slow cooker. The zucchini noodles that cook right along with the meat sauce are a healthy touch that’s far easier than boiling water, cooking the pasta, and then draining it. Plus, you’re getting veggies into your family, so that’s always a good thing!
Slow Cooker Zoodles in Meat Sauce is a healthier alternative to a traditional pasta spaghetti meal. It’s a delicious low carb version that substitutes zucchini noodles for pasta with a robust-flavored bolognese sauce.
- 4 medium zucchini, made into noodles
- 1 pound ground chuck, browned and drained well
- 1 (28 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon powdered stevia extract
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on desired heat
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In the bottom of the slow cooker crock, mix together browned meat, tomatoes, and seasonings.
- Place noodled zucchini on top of the meat sauce. Sprinkle the zucchini lightly with additional salt if desired.
- Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
- Remove lid and toss zoodles with meat sauce before serving.
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Badia Spices inc Spice, Crush Red Pepper, 12-Ounce
McCormick Sea Salt Grinder
SPLENDA Naturals Stevia Sweetener for Baking: No Calorie, All Natural Sugar Substitute w/ No Bitter Aftertaste. 7.8 oz. Granulated Resealable Bag
McCormick Onion Powder, 2.62 oz
Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Garlic, Granulated, 3.9 Ounces
McCormick Culinary Basil Leaves, 5 oz
Classic Provisions Spices Oregano, Mexican Whole, 3 Ounce
Hunt's Crushed Tomatoes, Keto Friendly, 28 oz
Organic Prairie Pasture Raised 85% Lean Organic Ground Beef, 1 lb
Crock-Pot SCV700SS Stainless Steel 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, 7 Quart
Amount Per Serving Calories 403Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 101mgSodium 431mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 4gSugar 5gProtein 36g