Homemade Spaghettios and Meatballs

Homemade Spaghettios and Meatballs made in the slow cooker! It’s a childhood favorite that you’ll love any any age.

Everyone needs a few kid friendly recipes that adults will love, too. My Panera Macaroni and Cheese Recipe gets rave reviews from everyone who tries it! And of course a batch of easy Broccoli Cheese Soup is always a hit too.

Spaghettios and meatballs in a white slow cooker.

Why This Recipe Works

Put down the can. Make these homemade copycat spaghetti-o’s in the slow cooker instead!

  • This is an easy twist on classic spaghetti and meatballs.
  • Made with ditalini noodles, just like the original spaghettios.
  • No added sugar or preservatives!
  • You can use store bought meatballs, turkey meatballs, zucchini meatballs, or your favorite meatball recipe.
  • Only 5 minutes of prep time.
  • Let it cook all day long and sit down to a delicious meal at dinner time!

I recently tasted a bite of canned spaghetti-os for the first time in ages. I’d totally forgotten how downright SWEET they taste.

This homemade version is so much better. All the nostalgic qualities of the one I loved as a kid with just the natural sweet and tangy tomato flavor shining through.

A few dried herbs and seasonings are all you need to make the dish complete!

For more comfort food, be sure to try our chili mac recipe next!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make spaghettios and meatballs.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Here’s what you need to make perfect imitation spaghetti-os from scratch (well, almost from scratch).

  • Meatballs – I made my favorite turkey meatballs for this recipe. Frozen cooked meatballs work well too, so don’t sweat it if you’re in a hurry.
  • Tomato sauce – The plain, canned variety with no added flavorings or sugar.
  • Herbs – Dried basil, oregano and garlic salt add the perfect flavor to the tomato sauce.
  • Ditalini noodles – Small round noodles that resemble the “O” shape of “Spaghetti-Os”. If you can’t find them, just use any bite sized pasta variety.
Step by step photos showing how to make spaghettios and meatballs.

Tips and Tricks

  • Using frozen meatballs? No need to heat them first! Just add them to the slow cooker with the sauce and herbs.
  • Add the uncooked noodles to the slow cooker in the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Serve homemade spaghettios and meatballs with homemade olive garden breadsticks and an Olive Garden Salad.
Spaghettios and meatballs served in a white bowls.

Recipe FAQs

How can I make this vegetarian?

For a vegetarian option, omit the meatballs. Or use your favorite plant-based meatballs instead!

Can I add cheese?

Cheese is always a tasty topping for pasta! Grate fresh parmesan or mozzarella over each bowl of spaghetti-os before serving.

How do I store leftovers?

Transfer the leftover pasta and sauce to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 days.

What’s the difference between spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce?

Tomato sauce contains only tomatoes which have been cooked down to a liquid consistency (sometimes with added water). Spaghetti sauce is tomato sauce enhanced with added flavorings like herbs, garlic and spices.
I use plain tomato sauce in this crockpot recipe, then add my own seasonings!

Serving Suggestions

Looking for the perfect side dish for your meatball subs?

This simple Italian Salad with homemade Italian Dressing is our favorite weeknight side dish. It’s the perfect green salad.

Treat your dinner guests or potluck friends and family to an Easy Taffy Apple Salad recipe. Made with apples, pineapple, whipped cream, peanuts & more. 

Looking for a fresh bowl of homemade applesauce for dinner tonight? This Instant Pot Applesauce recipe is super quick and easy!

Spaghettios and meatballs with a spoon.

More Easy Dinner Ideas

Homemade Spaghettios and Meatballs

4.69 from 22 votes
By: Aimee
Homemade Spaghettios and Meatballs made in the slow cooker! It's a childhood favorite that you'll love any any age.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 40 cooked meatballs
  • 2 cans tomato sauce 15 ounce each
  • 32 ounce beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounce ditalini noodles dry


  • In a large slow cooker, add frozen (or fresh) cooked meatballs. Top with sauce, broth, oregano, garlic, basil and salt. Simmer on low, covered, for 5-6 hours.
  • Half hour before serving, add the noodles. Stir into the sauce, cover, and let cook.
  • Serve dinner with breadsticks and salad! ENJOY


  • Using frozen meatballs? No need to heat them first! Just add them to the slow cooker with the sauce and herbs.
  • Add the uncooked noodles to the slow cooker in the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Serve homemade spaghettios and meatballs with homemade olive garden breadsticks and a side salad.
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.


Calories: 127kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 1229mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Feel like a kid again with this easy slow cooker spaghettios recipe!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 15, 2023

Comments & Reviews

  1. Are you sure on the sodium level, it seems awfully high. Over one days worth of sodium. Also I use to buy the Chef Boy R Dee Spagetti O’s with mini meatballs in the 2010’s at Walmart. I loved it because it didn’t bloat me like other products with allum’s (garlic, onions, etc) That is why I don’t understand these copy cat recipes all have garlic powder in them.

  2. Everything was great – added meatballs frozen and pasta dry.. and voila. I might do two things differently next time though – slightly less salt (maybe just the garlic salt and no kosher salt on top) and slightly less oregano.

  3. This is fabulous. One of my daughters favorite meals and she keeps asking me to make it over and over again. 

  4. Sorry, I’m really confused now by the comment from Chelle and your reply. I thought the recipe was written to add the pasta dry, but your comment that it is a great tip has me wondering. Am I supposed to cook the noodles before hand? That seems to defeat the purpose of using the crockpot. Please help I was planning to make this tonight.

  5. I just made this last week and it was delicious. I actually found 15 oz cans of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce with Basil, Garlic, and Oregano (instead of just plain tomato sauce) then didn’t have to add additional spices as the recipe calls for. I used a whole bag of frozen meatballs and everything turned out delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  6. If you add another 15 oz of beef broth and a can of tomato sauce, you can add the uncooked pasta in the slow cooker. Saves the time of having to cook the pasta separately.

  7. Will be making this tomorrow!  FYI…I found little round ‘o’ pasta online from Walmart,  Creamette is the brand name.  Can’t wait, hoping the g-kids love it!!!!

  8. You didn’t specify wether it’s tomatoe sauce goya brand type or spaghetti tomato sauce. I️ just put spaghetti sauce in it and now it probably won’t turn out right ! I was hoping for a good dinner but from the looks of the instructions not being specified about “tomatoe sauce” it won’t turn out. 

  9. I’m a little confused, did you cook your homemade meatballs first, then put them in the crock pot or just put them straight into the crockpot to cook?

  10. When you say 2 cans of tomato sauce, is it plain with no seasoning? And not a jar? Do you have a specific one you like?

    1. It is plain sauce. I am all over the place with what I purchase, but I usually look for a low sodium, or organic option!

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