I consider pesto to be a special treat. We don’t have it very often, but I just love it. That’s why I was really intrigued by this recipe for Pesto Meat Sauce when it popped up on What’s Cookin’ Chicago? I couldn’t wait to try it.
This sauce was really flavorful. The pesto was definitely prevalent, but not overpowering by any means. It’s very meaty, too, which makes for a very thick sauce. If you like your pasta sauce a bit thinner, adding in another half can of crushed tomatoes probably wouldn’t hurt. I might do that next time.
I used my 3.5 qt. crockpot and it filled it to the brim! I was really nervous that it wouldn’t fit once I started adding ingredients, but it all worked out ok. Thanks to my mother-in-law giving me a bunch of mason jars for Christmas, I was able to freeze a bunch for easy dinners down the road. (Now that we have a new upright freezer, I’ve been kind of obsessed with making freezer meals.) I froze seven 12 oz. jars of sauce, in addition to what we ate on the day it was made.
Pesto Meat Sauce
1.5 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup pesto sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
In a large skillet, add the ground beef and pesto. Once the beef is browned, drain and then add to the crockpot.
Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6-8 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!