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If you make this crock pot marinara sauce, I’m almost positive that you’ll never buy a jar of sauce ever again, if you have a choice in the matter. It’s free of any added sugars or oils, which makes it extremely calorie and weight watchers friendly.
It’s huge on flavor! Nothing against anyone who uses a jar of sauce, I used jarred sauces of all different varieties for years and years. I never even thought making homemade sauce was a thing that normal people did until I did a Whole 30 Challenge two years ago.
Now jarred sauces are a thing of the past in this house. I made this into a bulk freezer recipe because like most people, I don’t have time to make a fresh pot of sauce every single time I need some.
I simply measure out about two cups into quart freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible, lay them flat, and stack them in the freezer. This recipe makes about 5 freezer bags with 2 cups of sauce in each bag.
If you like your sauce chunky, blend it less.
However, I like it to be more smooth, so it goes a little farther and is a little more versatile. So I either run it through a blender, or use the immersion blender when it’s fairly cool.
I use this in almost all recipes that require a sauce, and also for pizzas! Since it’s really just tomatoes and spices, It’s ZERO smart points for as much as you want!
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
- 3 cans 28 oz crushed tomatoes preferably a higher quality brand. I use Cento (big yellow can) (you may also use diced or whole tomatoes even tomato sauce if that's all you can find- drain extra liquid if using diced/whole tomatoes)
- 2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes drained
- 8 garlic cloves minced
- 1 yellow large onion diced
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes more or less depending on the level of spice you’d like
- 1-½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 bay leaves (optional)
- Stir all of your ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours to really get all of those lovely flavors to mingle and fall in love with each other. Salt and Pepper to taste when finished.
- For smoother sauce: use an immersion hand blender, or put in a blender. Blend on low until desired consistency.For thicker sauce: tilt the lid off of the crockpot and cook on high for about 30-60 minutes. This will reduce the sauce some so that it's thicker. Depending on the canned tomatoes sometimes the sauce can be a bit more "water-y". Reheating after freezing: You can add sauce to your favorite recipe. If you think it seems a bit "water-y" this is normal and can happen depending on the actual tomatoes after they were picked and canned. You can put sauce in a pot on the stove without a cover and heat over medium-low heat reducing it until you reach desired consistency. *If using a blender make sure the sauce is cool or blend in small batches*
- Freezing instructions: Let cool completely. I usually add about 2 cups to each freezer bag, press as much air out as possible, close the bag, and then stack on top of eachother in the freezer to save space.