Crock-Pot Skinny Meat Sauce (Gluten-free)


This homemade sauce is fantastic…I know you’re going to LOVE it!!! The sauce is slow simmered to create a luxuriously rich flavor. It makes 8 servings and freezes great. I like this sauce over zucchini noodles, as shown in the photo. It’s so versatile, you can serve it over gluten free noodles, steamed spaghetti squash, broccoli slaw, a medley of steamed vegetables or stuffed in a baked potato. And if you’re not gluten free, it’s perfect over whole grain spaghetti. Each ¾ cup serving has only 135 calories, 3 grams of fat and 2 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints.

Prep Time: 20 minutes (including browning beef)

Cook Time: 4 hours on HIGH heat or 8 hours on LOW heat


2 cups chopped onion

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 pound extra lean ground beef or ground turkey, see shopping tips

¼ cup tomato paste

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ + ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, in tomato puree

1 cup tomato sauce (from a can), for gluten-free use one such as Del Monte or Contadina

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Zucchini pasta, optional

Parmesan cheese, grated for topping, optional


1. Add ground beef to a large nonstick pan. Cook beef until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan and pour into a colander in the sink to drain the fat. Blot beef with paper towels. Place beef in crock-pot and add all the remaining sauce ingredients up to oregano. Mix well.  Cover and cook on HIGH heat 4 hours or on LOW heat 8 hours.

2. My skinny facts and Weight Watchers points are just for the meat sauce. This sauce is gluten free. To keep gluten free, serve over steamed zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, broccoli slaw, steamed veggies, gluten free pasta or stuffed into a baked potato. If you’re not on a gluten free diet, this sauce taste terrific over whole grain pasta.

3. To make zucchini noodles: Use a  julienne peeler, mandoline or vegetable spiral, see shopping tips below. Place zucchini noodles in a large bowl and cook in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Drain liquid. To serve: Add 1-1½ cups cooked zucchini noodles to each plate. Top with ¾ cup sauce. Top each with 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

Makes 8 servings of meat sauce total. Each serving ¾ cup sauce

Shopping Tips

Happily most supermarkets sell lean ground beef. I used the 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s.

You’ll find many brands of spiral slicers to create zucchini noodles on both on and Here are two I like. Both are really easy to use. sells the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer.
Amazon sells both the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer and
Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints 2
Weight Watchers SmartPoints 
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 4

SKINNY FACTS: for ¾ cup serving of meat sauce
135 cal, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 25mg chol, 15g prot, 16g carbs, 4g fiber, 468mg sod, 5g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle Points
86 calories, 1g sat. fat, 12g protein, 3g sugar

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!