My grandmother made the world's best spaghetti sauce and we were lucky enough to almost always have some waiting in the freezer packed to the brim with homemade meatballs, sausage, or whatever meat she was trying to use up that week. And every time I make my own spaghetti sauce, I wished I had learned her recipe, even though it was different every time she made it, because I have never had a sauce that tasted quite as good. Lately I have been thinking about her and dreaming about her famous spaghetti sauce. Although today's recipe isn't one she would have made, spinach doesn't belong in spaghetti sauce, it was definitely inspired by her.
In terms of this sauce, it is quickly becoming one of our favorites to have in the freezer for a quick dinner. Packed with fire roasted tomatoes, sausage, garlic, onion, carrots for sweetness, and herbs - this sauce has tons of flavor. If you can't find crushed fire roasted tomatoes, you could use diced tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes. Just crush them up using your hand when you add them to the sauce. One more note, because I love my pasta or spaghetti squash with lots of sauce, the serving is pretty large. You could easily just use half a cup and then it is just 3 points and 118 calories per serving.
Spinach and Sausage Spaghetti Sauce (Stovetop or Slow Cooker)
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- 1.5 lbs. lean turkey sausage (links or ground, raw)
- 2 U carrots, diced
- 1 U onion, diced
- 8 U garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 56 oz. canned fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 U bay leaves
- 2.5 tsp. dried basil
- 2.5 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 lb. spinach
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Add the sausage, carrot, onion, and garlic to a hot sauce pan. Cook for 8-10 minutes until sausage is browned and onions are tender and beginning to brown.
Add the vinegar and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, parsley, bay leaves, basil, and oregano. Season well with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes on low. Stir in spinach and cook for 4-5 minutes until fully wilted.
If cooking in a slow cooker, add the browned sausage and vegetables to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes, parsley, bay leaves, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 4 hours. Stir in spinach and let cook for 5-10 more minutes until wilted.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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