Pour the jars of sauce in to the slow cooker. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, brown the meat and onions together. After the meat is browned add the garlic, cook for a minute a longer. Drain the fat. Add the salt, pepper, oregano and basil and stir. Pour the meat onto the sauce in the slow cooker and stir.
Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
After the cooking time is up, cook the noodles as directed on the package in boiling water on the stove-top. I cooked my noodles for exactly 8 minutes after adding them to the boiling water. The noodles will cook a bit more after adding them to the slow cooker.
Drain the noodles and add them to the meat sauce in the slow cooker. Stir, then flatten the noodles in an even layer.
In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, ricotta and salt. The cream cheese will be in small chunks, but that is fine.
Dollop the cream cheese/ricotta mixture over the spaghetti, then use a spatula to even it out over the spaghetti. Add the mozzarella cheese.
Cover and cook for an extra 20 minutes on LOW.
Serve and enjoy!
What can I use instead of ground beef?
Ground Turkey - For a healthier version of baked spaghetti use ground turkey. You may want to add extra seasonings for more flavor.
Ground Italian Sausage - For more Italian flavor, cook and crumble Italian sausage instead, you can use sweet or spicy.
Soy Crumbles - Looking for a vegetarian version? Just add bagged soy crumbles instead of the beef.
Can I bake this instead?Yes! Though slow cooking the sauce really makes the dish, you can do this in the oven instead. Add your sauce to the cooked meat and pour over the spaghetti in a 9x13 pan. Add the creamy mixture and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, uncovered.Can I freeze the leftovers?Yes, this recipe freezes well. Place the leftovers in freezer-safe containers or freezer ziplock bags. Freeze for up to three months.Can I put raw noodles into a crockpot?The slow cooker doesn't get hot enough to cook pasta properly, instead of cooking properly it turns into a chalky mess.What can I use instead of ricotta cheese?Some do not like ricotta. You can use more cream cheese instead or use cottage cheese and you'll still have a wonderful meal.