Make a flavorful marinara sauce in your slow cooker. This recipe makes a huge batch, enough for using all week or freezing for later. You won’t want to buy marinara sauce after making this! We use this for spaghetti pizza and more.
Why this recipe works
The flavorful sauce simmers all day without needing any extra attention. Cooking on low for eight hours will make enough for 12 servings or eight larger servings, depending on how much marinara sauce you like on your dishes.
This recipe is easy to add to the crockpot so you can start your day and tackle other tasks knowing dinner is handled.
How to make marinara sauce in the crock pot
- Crushed tomatoes -While you can certainly use and cook fresh tomatoes for this recipe, I prefer meals I can quickly prepare. In the interest of quick and easy, we’re using canned tomatoes in our recipe.
- Diced tomatoes – These will add texture to your sauce
- White onion – Dice your onion small if you have picky eaters.
- Garlic cloves – minced (add as much as you like! We love lots of garlic)
- Seasonings – Dried oregano, dried basil, salt, pepper, sugar, and onion powder.
Step by Step Directions
Step 1 – Add everything to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir.
Step 2 – Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, without opening the lid during the cooking time. You can do 5 hours on high if you are in a hurry.
Step 3 – After the sauce is done cooking, uncover and let cool for about an hour before storing.
How to freeze
- Cool the sauce completely before ladling it into storage bags. Freeze for no longer than 3 months for the best taste.
- You can also store it in plastic or glass jars, leaving room at the top for the sauce to expand. Just remember that not all jars are made for the freezer, so check yours before you use them.
- When you’re ready to use the frozen sauce, place the bag or jar of sauce in the fridge to thaw the day before it’s needed.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
You can always use fresh herbs if you have them on hand. I prefer to stick with dried spices because they store better and are less expensive. Feel free to add up to two teaspoons of your favorite herb or spice such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, or basil at the same time that you add in the onion powder and salt.
I recommend eight hours on low, this delicious recipe really works best when you give it the whole 8 hours to simmer and let the spices really incorporate with the tomatoes for a rich flavor. You can do five hours on high if you are in a pinch.
Canning tomatoes needs a special formula of acidity. This recipe was not created for canning, it’s great for freezing though!
You can put it over anything from a meatball sub sandwich to eggplant parmesan. Use it as a dipping sauce for pizza rolls or garlic bread, or over-baked chicken with a bit of goat cheese on top. I like to use it for homemade pizza and lasagna. It’s also great with spaghetti squash or zoodles if you’re trying to avoid gluten!
With how easy it is to make this marinara sauce, there’s no reason why anyone should be without some delicious tomato sauce in their fridge or freezer. Plus, the peace of mind knowing you can defrost sauce quickly for a night when you need a quick meal is priceless!
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
- Slow Cooker- 6 quart or larger
- 84 oz. crushed tomatoes (three 28 oz. cans)
- 29 oz. diced tomatoes (two 14.5 oz. cans)
- 1 large white onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. sea salt standard table salt works fine
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- Add everything to the slow cooker, stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours, without opening the lid during the cooking time.
- After the sauce is done cooking you can use right away. Or, uncover and let cool for about an hour before ladling into freezer storage bags. Plastic or glass jars can be used, the same way you would with freezer jam, leaving room at the top for the sauce to expand.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- To use, place the bag of sauce in the fridge to thaw the day before the sauce is needed.