Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Homemade Turkey Sausage

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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:

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 Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Kid-Friendly, Slow Cooker
Servings: 8
Calories: 381kcal
Author: SkinnyMs.


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

Ingredients to Make Turkey Sausage

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp 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.


Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 304IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 3mg
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 7

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Last updated November 3rd, 2018

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80 Comments on "Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Homemade Turkey Sausage"

  1. Linsey Ralston  October 16, 2012

    how many servings does this make?

  2. Skinny Ms.  October 17, 2012

    Linsey, It makes about six.

  3. Jolene  November 4, 2012

    This sounds yummy – it will be on our menu this week!

  4. Amy Jenkins  November 4, 2012

    Making this tonight!

  5. Marla G  December 8, 2012

    My entire family loved this, which is a rarity! Great recipe!

  6. Sarah Macdonald Raym  December 14, 2012

    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!

  7. Nicole  January 7, 2013

    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!

  8. Merideth  February 6, 2013

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

    • Skinny Ms.  February 7, 2013

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

      • Donna H  March 9, 2013

        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!!!

      • guest  January 31, 2015

        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.

        • SkinnyMs  February 2, 2015

          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."

  9. SusieQ  February 17, 2013

    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!

  10. Jane  February 20, 2013

    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

    • Skinny Ms.  February 24, 2013

      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.

  11. Donna H  March 9, 2013

    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!!!

  12. Skinny Ms.  March 12, 2013

    Stephanie, So sorry to hear that. This is a popular recipe on the site. 🙁

    • Traci A.  September 4, 2014

      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?

      • SkinnyMs  September 5, 2014

        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:).

        • Becky  September 7, 2014

          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

          • SkinnyMs  September 8, 2014

            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:).

          • Becky  September 8, 2014

            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!

          • SkinnyMs  September 9, 2014

            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;).

        • Traci A.  September 9, 2014

          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.

      • Chyloe  May 23, 2019

        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.

        • Gale Compton  May 24, 2019

          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. 🙂

  13. Heather  March 17, 2013

    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.

    • Skinny Ms.  March 18, 2013

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

  14. Danielle  April 27, 2013

    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!

    • Skinny Ms.  April 28, 2013

      Danielle, I think that sounds like a good idea. Anything to make life a little easier!!! 🙂

  15. Karen  May 20, 2013

    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!

  16. Jaynee  June 2, 2013

    Ever try this with spaghetti squash?

  17. yuare7  July 5, 2013

    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

    • Skinny Ms.  July 6, 2013

      Can’t say for certain, but they should work the same.

  18. Bdud09  July 10, 2013

    If I double the recipe, how long should I cook it in the crock pot??

    • Skinny Ms.  July 10, 2013

      Test for doneness after 30 additional minutes of cooking.

  19. Lynn  July 14, 2013

    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!

  20. Skinny Ms.  July 25, 2013

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

  21. Christine  August 5, 2013

    Has anyone tried this with Rice Pasta? Did it turn out alright, or mushy?

  22. H Reyn  August 8, 2013

    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!

  23. Shelli  October 21, 2013

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

    • Skinny Ms.  October 22, 2013

      Shelli, Yes, I would recommend one cup serving size if you’re using portion control.

  24. SkinnyMs  March 3, 2014

    Wait and give it the 3 hours.

  25. Marianne  April 25, 2014

    I ask again. Where can you purchase sugar free spaghetti sauce?

    • SkinnyMs  April 25, 2014

      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:)

  26. Johlene  May 18, 2014

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

  27. Shannon  May 28, 2014

    Wholesome Goodness pasta sauces have no sugar added as well.

  28. Alicyn Falanga  September 3, 2014

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

  29. Becky  January 3, 2015

    I wanted to know if there are any different cooking times/guides for making this meatless?

    • SkinnyMs  January 5, 2015

      Becky, You can shorten the cook time by an hour or so if making it meatless.

  30. Colleen  January 27, 2015

    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!

    • SkinnyMs  January 28, 2015

      Colleen, That should work. Let us know how it turns out.

      • Colleen  January 28, 2015

        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

        • SkinnyMs  January 28, 2015

          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.

  31. Dave & Amy  February 16, 2015

    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.

    • SkinnyMs  February 17, 2015

      Dave & Amy, Thanks for noticing. We have now recalculated this nutrition information.

  32. Kathleen  March 1, 2015

    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.

    • SkinnyMs  March 2, 2015

      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.

  33. Jill  September 24, 2015

    So you add the pasta UNCOOKED? Making this tonight and want to make sure! Thanks!

    • SkinnyMs  September 24, 2015

      Yes, the pasta cooks in the slow cooker.

  34. Stacey  April 15, 2016

    Can I freeze leftovers? Still good after frozen? I meal prep but too much for just myself. Thanks 🙂

  35. Tabitha  October 4, 2016

    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.

    • Gale Compton  October 8, 2016

      Tabitha, Yes, you can cook on high. How did it turn out?

  36. MackDarrin  December 31, 2016

    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.

  37. Annette  February 7, 2017

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

    • Gale Compton  February 7, 2017

      Anette, Try using Ricotta cheese instead. 🙂

  38. Sarah Meyer  February 12, 2017

    Looks delicious!! Do I put the spaghetti in raw or do I cook it first?

    • Gale Compton  February 12, 2017

      Sarah, After two hours add the broken “raw” spaghetti. 🙂

      • Sarah Meyer  February 12, 2017

        Thank so much! 🙂

  39. Lucy  December 17, 2017

    We loved this but will use less cheese next time. I broke the spaghetti in half and it was not mushy.

  40. Melissa  March 18, 2019

    Could this be made in the instant pot?

    • Nichole Furlong  March 21, 2019

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

  41. Chyloe  May 22, 2019

    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 ?

  42. Kim  July 10, 2020

    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.


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