Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Homemade Turkey Sausage

4.07 from 82 votes

Clean eating spaghetti that's easy to make and amazingly delish!

Made with 100% clean ingredients, our twist on classic spaghetti combines spicy homemade turkey sausage with whole wheat pasta and zesty sauce. Perfect for a cool fall or winter evening, this yummy slow cooker spaghetti recipe will leave your taste buds craving seconds, without the guilt!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Turkey Sausage

Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Homemade Sausage

Serve our Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Turkey Sausage with one of our fresh salad recipes, such as:

4.07 from 82 votes

Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Turkey Sausage

This yummy spaghetti recipe takes a known classic and turns it into an easy slow cooker meal. Make your spaghetti the clean eating way!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 1.25 cups
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Author SkinnyMs.


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey sausage see recipe below
  • 24 ounces spaghetti sauce jar, no sugar added
  • 8 ounces 100% whole wheat spaghetti uncooked, break into small pieces before adding to meat mixture (about 2/3 of a 13.25 oz box)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese low-fat
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese skim, shredded
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese low-fat
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil fresh, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Ingredients to Make Turkey Sausage

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  • Add all the sausage ingredients a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Cook ground turkey sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking into small pieces while cooking. Ensure the turkey loses its pink color before removing from heat. Drain, discard any fat and set aside. Combine meat with marinara.
  • In a medium bowl combine cooked turkey sausage with the remaining ingredients, add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 2-3 hours or until cheese is bubbly and pasta al dente.
  • Serve and sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 732IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 3mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 7
Keywords High Protein, Kid-Friendly, Slow Cooker

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Last updated November 3rd, 2018

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. I have made this recipe multiple times and it was a huge success. My kids and their friends could not get enough and it has become our family's favourite slow cooker meal. It has all the feel of that comfort food you crave in the colder months but still manages to give me the right amount of carbs and protein I need for my workouts. The recipe is also easily converted to gluten free. Love that added bonus! And really, who doesn't love cheese??! Yum!

  2. Hi Macy! From my experience with WW, if you only had ONE cup of the pasta then it shouldn't be any where near 15 points. Hope that helps!

  3. This looks great but turkey sausage is an actual different meat as opposed to ground turky with spices added.

    1. Merideth, Not sure what your point is? We make, what we call, turkey sausage with ground turkey and spices.

      1. I totally agree Skinny Ms. Store bought turkey sausage has tons of nitrates in it and much more fat. I appreciate the fact that you could give me a great, low fat, alternative!!!

      2. The point is that people who are trying to make this recipe will be confused as to whether they should buy ground turkey or turkey sausage as the meat ingredient.

        1. Guest, I changed the title to Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Homemade Sausage so that should help. Also, in the ingredients, I changed the wording to "To Make Turkey Sausage."

  4. Another one of my favorites. Turned out perfectly. Even my picky nephew liked it and he hates spaghetti with red sauce. Next time I'll make a double batch of the turkey sausage. I bet it would taste amazing in some scrambled egg whites for breakfast too!

  5. Could someone help me with the putting together instructions. Do you just mix everything together? I found it hard to mix in the small pieces of spaghetti, but maybe that is the way it is. Thanks

    1. Jane, Yes, mix everything together. Just toss the spaghetti in and gently toss to coat. I would recommend breaking the spaghetti into about 4 pieces each.

  6. I plan to make this recipe this next week to see if my dinner group would like it!! Thank you so much for such a nutritious meal alternative with pasta. I was wondering if I used brown rice pasta, how much difference the caloric value would be. I have started using lost of brown rice pasta because it cooks so well and is such a healthy alternative…. but I still like 100% whole wheat pasta also!!! Thank you so much for so many healthy alternatives to "regular" meals!!!

    1. Same thing happened to me. I made it in the morning and did not cook until the afternoon. Is that why is turned to mush. Spaghetti seemed to already be tender by just sitting with the other ingredients. Should it be cooked as soon as it is all mixed together?

      1. Traci A., Another method for more al dente pasta is to add the spaghetti for the last hour of cooktime. If the sauce looks thick add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water along with your noodles and stir so that all of the noodles are submerged. I am going to make a note about this method on the recipe shortly. Thanks so much for letting us know:).

        1. Also got the mush 🙁 No discernible noodles after cooking and very glue-ey. Not sure what happened, but I'm sure it was on my end based on all the other reviews, will try again without adding noodles until the end

          1. Becky, We're sorry about that. Some readers raved about the recipe as is, but due to many complaints of the noodles too mushy, we are changing the recipe to only add the noodles an hour prior to the end. Thanks for your feedback. It is valued:).

          2. I'm sure it was my fault (or my crockpot's goofy temperature)since it worked out for so many people. Really love your site and have had success with all other recipes I've tried! Will definitely be trying this one again. Thanks so much!

          3. Becky, That's great! You're welcome. A lot of people have commented about the pasta overcooking. I'll test it again but I definitely thing adding it the end will be the best method. You should try our Skinny Slow Cooker Lasagna- the noodles don't get too soft at all in that one. It turns out excellent;).

        2. Thanks so much for the suggestions. Loved the taste, just not how it all ended up mushed together. I will try this way next time since my family loves all things italian.

      2. Ok, this is weird. I have been making this for at least 5 years and ALWAYS added the pasta with the other ingredients and cooked for the full 3 hours. It has always turned out perfectly!
        Last night I made it, exactly as I always have and noticed afterward that the instructions now say to to add the pasta 2 hours into cooking and then cook for one hour.
        This concerned me but then I figured that I’d always cooked it the other way and never had a problem, I’d be fine. Besides what could I do at this point?
        SO WEIRD, my pasta turned to mush! There is no trace or sign that there was ever pasta in my crock pot! Aside from an occasional bite with a starchy consistency.
        I did cook it this time in my InstaPot on the slow cooker setting. Maybe that was it?
        I forgot my crock pot in our travel trailer so I had to make do.

        1. Chyloe, Is it possible this is the recipe you previously made ? Cooking in the Instant Pot may have caused the pasta to over cook…can’t say for certain. However, early this morning I decided to remake the recipe using the Skinny Spaghetti method in which all ingredients were added at the same time. It turned out perfectly after 2 hours and 50 minutes. It could have gone the full 3 hours. Dinner is done!
          Hope this helps. 🙂

  7. Can you use quinoa pasta? Any thoughts on that? Or would it work to just leave out the pasta and cook only the sauce & turkey sausage. I could just make the quinoa pasta separately to be sure it didn't turn to mush.

    1. Heather, I’ve had different with quinoa pasta. Probably cook it separately and serve over the pasta. That sounds yummy! 🙂

  8. Do you think I could cook the sausage ingredients, cool, then freeze with the other ingredients (except the pasta) to throw in the slow cooker at another time? I run night shift with EMS, and am looking for new options to leave for the babysitter. She can boil pasta (we use quinoa pasta, and I saw another comment about keeping it separate so as not to turn to mush), and then just serve the sauce over top. Thanks for the yummy, healthy recipes!

  9. Due to bad planning I made a couple changes. I forgot the ricotta, so doubled the cottage cheese. I didn't have time for the crockpot, so just did it stove top. I cooked the pasta separately, mixed it in at the end, and let it warm for a few minutes. It was WONDERFUL! I'll definitely be making this again. Thanks!

    1. I just did the same thing. I used all the cheeses, but I cooked it on the stove and mixed the spaghetti in. It’s delicious. I want to add a tad more salt, but I’m trying to cut back, so I know the recipe has enough.

  10. I have store bought veggie noodles which look like regular noodles but are made with corn squash zucchini and other veggies I think… do you think they would do good in this recipe

  11. This sounds so yummy. I saw a post about the ww points, I worked it out and it is 7, not sure what they were figuring. I love the fact that I can toss this in the crockpot and 2-3 hours later it's done, without heating up my kitchen (I live in Georgia, so we are always looking for good crockpot recipes). Also, thanks for the turkey sausage recipe, no nitrates or other icky stuff!! I am definately signing up for your emails, I found this on pinterest!

  12. Christi, How did it turn out? There should have been enough liquid with the marinara sauce + cheese.

  13. Donna, my crock pot seems to cook at way too high a heat. Sometimes I cook a meal on the "keep warm" setting and it turns out perfect. I have to adjust and watch my pot 🙁 Thinking about writing the company and also getting a new crock pot!

  14. It says serving size 1 cup without sausage but what about if you are using sausage? Still a 1-cup serving size?

    1. Marianne, Classico Basil and Tomato has no sugar added, and many of the Newman's Own sauces do not have sugar as well. Hunt's also has a no sugar tomato sauce. I think the grocery store Whole Foods may carry their own brand of sugar free sauce, and Costco has a brand called Moms:)

  15. same happened to me! It had a great flavor so I am going to try it again and just make the noodles by itself!

  16. Rao's Arrabbiata's sauce would probably be really delicious in this recipe. Only 4 grams of sugar per serving.

  17. I couldn't figure out how to do this on a work night with no crock pot timer. I have done everything up until the last hour and now I will put in refrig til after work tomorrow, add the spaghetti and water; crossing my fingers!

      1. It was awful! I don't know what I did wrong but all of the textures were weird. Not the flavoring at all…and the turkey sausage was spot on. 🙁 I have loved may other recipes from this site, but not a fan of how I did this! Live and learn

        1. Colleen, We are actually changing the recipe now to cook the pasta separately (not in the slow cooker) and then combine it with the sauce after it is cooked. That should fix it.

  18. I know this post is very old, but I'm with you. I just made this using Brookshire brand (Super 1 foods) stuff and the sauce with turkey sausage alone was 10-11 points per cup, without pasta. Not sure where the 7 came from. We made it with Zucchini Spaghetti (0 points) and it was delicious, but a much higher point value that expected.

  19. I've made this many times now and my family loves it. I used to put everything in the crockpot including the spaghetti but now I see I was supposed to add it a little later. Still turns out great though.

    1. Kathleen, You can add the spaghetti in the beginning. Some readers have said they would prefer a more al dente spaghetti so we modified the recipe to add it at the end.

  20. Can I cook on high? I’m running short on time and it’s been over an hour and my cheese isn’t bubbling yet.

  21. I made with spiraled zucchini instead of spaghetti & came out delicious. Btw no need to add extra water with the zucchini since it does not absorb liquid the way spaghetti pasta does.

  22. For this recipe “Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Homemade Sausage”, can I just omit or substitute the cottage cheese? Thank You.

    1. Hi Melissa, this is one slow cooker recipe that I would recommend not being made in the Instant Pot.

  23. I have been making this recipe for at least 5 years and I’ve always added the pasta at the beginning, never any problems with the texture. I’m gonna knock on wood right now because I have a batch in my slow cooker as I type.
    This is the first time I noticed the instructions say to add the pasta after it’s been cooking for 2 hours and then cook for an hour more. Have the instructions been changed? I swear this isn’t what it always instructed.
    Now I’m worried about my current batch ?

  24. Love this recipe! Just made it today for the first time. I added diced onion and green pepper . Next time I will add mushrooms too.

  25. Nice flavor, but gave it 3 stars because it was mushy and had a pasty texture even after reading reviews to add spaghetti noodles last hour. Might try recipe again using No Bake lasagna noodles and layer.3 stars

  26. i will be making this tonight but make sure you add the water when you add the pasta: that step is covered in the video but not in the instructions

  27. I tried this recipe and it was great. I froze some of the sauce for meal prep. Great! My only question is about the calorie count. Does the calorie count given include the pasta? Or is it just for the turkey sausage and sauce?5 stars

  28. I make this all the time. It’s a staple in the house. Everyone loves it and it’s so easy. Freezes well too so we’re able to meal prep. My fiancé is picky and this is some we can both agree on

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