If I would have known how easy and cheap it is to make your own marinara sauce in the crock pot, I would have started doing this years ago! Instead I’ve been spending money on expensive jars of Prego and other brands.
All I had to do was cook some onions and then dump all the ingredients into my slow cooker for a few hours. Not only did it make the house smell good but I ended up with 14 cups of red sauce that can be used for tons of recipes like our Baked Beef Ravioli, Meatball Subs, or Chicken Parmesan.
After letting the sauce cool and then chill in the fridge, I bagged up two cups per freezer bag and froze them for later use.
It was so easy!
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
(Recipe from Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 1 tbls chopped garlic
- *4 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 cups water (mine turned out a little watery so I would use less than a cup of water)
- 1 tbls salt
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tbls dried basil (I subbed a tbls of thyme since I ran out of basil)
- 3 Tbls chopped fresh parsley or 1 tbls dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I used a little less than this because I don’t like spicy food)
- (I also added a little bit of garlic salt because we like garlic around our house)
In large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add onions and the rest of the ingredients into slow cooker (no smaller than 5-quart) and cook on low for at least 4 hours. Adjust seasonings to taste.
*Research is telling us more and more that we should avoid canned tomatoes. Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.
Happy red sauce making!