Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 hours
  • Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 28 servings (or about 14 cups) 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian


Homemade marinara sauce that is slow cooked in a 6 quart crock pot with just a few ingredients!


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Make It Now:

  1. In large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic for about 30-60 seconds, until fragrant. 
  2. Add the onion/garlic mixture and the rest of the ingredients into a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on LOW for 9-11 hours (or on HIGH for 5-7 hours).
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.

Freeze For Later: Cook the sauce and let it cool completely. Portion into to freezer bags, freezer containers, or mason jars, being careful to leave at least 1 inch of head room at the top for expansion. 

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw the sauce using one of these safe thawing methods. Warm over medium-low to low heat on the stove, or use the microwave.


  • Cut this recipe in half for 3 quart slow cookers and for 6 quart Instant Pots (because you need head room at the top to build pressure).