Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

I absolutely love making marinara sauce in the slow cooker – it’s so easy to pull together and it just makes tons and tons of sauce! Making homemade sauce can be such an ordeal and it’s so wonderful to do minimal prep work over the stove and then let the slow cooker do the rest; and the best part is that it yields several batches of sauce! You can easily store the additional batches in the freezer and pull out for another time. Or around the holidays I even make homemade sauce and give to friends and neighbors as a gift with a nice dried pasta and bottle of wine. You can jazz up the below recipe with some heat if you prefer more of a spicy red tomato sauce. To add a bit more heat to the sauce I add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and a minced jalapeno.

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • ¾ cup diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 5½ pounds plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); saute roughly 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
  2. Combine vegetable mixture and tomatoes in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Place 3 cups tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid; secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until smooth. Return tomato mixture to slow cooker. Add basil, salt, and black pepper. Cook, uncovered, on high 30 minutes.