Delicious tomato sauce you can make in your crock pot

June 7 | Guest post by Heather Baker
Damask patterned crock pot optional.
Damask patterned crock pot optional.
This is my Crock Pot Tomato Sauce. I adapted it from a recipe I saw online somewhere forever ago. My nearly three-year-old daughter loves it and it's hearty enough that my carnivorous hubby-to-be doesn't notice when it doesn't have meat. But you can totally add meat to it later, especially if cooking for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

And it is SUPER easy. Most of the prep can be done the night before so you can get up and dump everything in the crock. Feel free to customize as needed or wanted.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large(ish) carrots, chopped
  • 4 large(ish) celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium(ish) green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons(or so) olive oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 6 ounces(or so) of liquid(your choice, it's for deglazing)
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning

Instructions:

  1. Sauté all the veg in the olive oil until soft.
  2. Add tomato paste and cook for a little while.
  3. Deglaze with liquid (I've used wine, beef broth, water, and veggie stock)
  4. Simmer until thick and bubbly.
  5. While that simmers, put tomatoes and seasonings in the crock pot.
  6. Add veg mix and cook on low for six hours.

We take out the bay leaves and puree it before serving. But if you like a chunkier sauce, just leave it. Meat can be cooked separately and added as needed/wanted.

After dinner, let it cool to room temperature and bag it up to freeze. It can be used for pasta, pizza, lasagna, or anything that needs a tomato sauce really.

  1. This sounds delicious! One question though…for the diced and stewed tomatoes, are you using the standard cans (14oz) or the big 28oz ones?

    1 agrees
  2. I read "6 ounces(or so) of liquid(your choice, it's for deglazing)" and immediately thought: How can I make this with beer?
    I am a beer lover and would love a "beer" pasta sauce. I'm thinking a dry stout? Something like Guinness Foreign Extra. Or possibly an herbal beer — I'm in Austria right now, and they have herb-flavored brews.

    2 agree
    • While wine is traditional I don't see why you couldn't use beer. I'd think something malty like Newcastle Brown. Then add something like a teaspoon of lemon juice just to brighten it back up a little.

      In either case, I'd use something alcoholic to deglaze the pan. Pull up some of those nice alcohol-soluble flavor elements.

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  3. Mmm, thank you for this! How should I modify it if using fresh tomatoes? (I'm already THAT optimistic about my gardening abilities this year…)

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    • I'd recommend a less juicy tomato (plum types, such as Roma or Plum Regal tend to be good for this, and I think Oxheart is pretty good, too) for making sauce — otherwise, you'll wind up with very runny sauce, especially if you don't buy tomato paste to thicken it.

      If you find your sauce is too juicy once cooked, you can ladle off some of the liquid (before pureeing the sauce), and I find that pre-seasoned tomato juice makes a lovely start to a pot of minestrone (which, by the way, you can also make in the crock pot!).

      Tomatoes can be peeled either by blanching briefly (I think about 30 seconds) in boiling water, then running under cold water, or by freezing and then running under hot water — either way, the skins should just slip off.

      14 fl. oz. is about two cups, so you'll probably want around 10 cups of tomatoes (I'd probably just use a 3-litre basket of them, because I wouldn't feel like measuring).

      You can probably get away without the tomato paste, if you have a good paste tomato, since you're not adding all the juice that tomatoes are canned in. My guess is that it would work best to throw at least a couple of the tomatoes, chopped, into the pan when the tomato paste is supposed to go in. This will let them cook a bit, get some of the juices out, and get some sauce-action started.

      You'll likely need to add some salt, since usually that would come from the canned tomatoes.

      1 agrees
  4. How long do and which setting is this cooked with? I would imagine low for a longer time to help get rid of acidity maybe since that's the way it's done on the stove.

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    • About 6 hours on low is what I've always done.

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  5. This sounds amazingly delicious! I've never tried tomato sauce in the crockpot before, only on the stove. I do love to add a little nutmeg to the seasoning, and then throw in a handful or 2 of frozen chopped spinach near the end for some extra iron and texture. Can't wait to try this!

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    • I've snuck spinach into this before because hubby hates it but has a pretty bad iron deficiency. He never knew, until after dinner.

      4 agree
        • I've also put beets, broccoli, green beans, and peas in this. I make some for my mom every month for my brother. He is developmentally delayed and autistic, he has problems with the textures of most veg. So we mix them in his spaghetti with this sauce.

          Word of warning: different veg do give it a different flavor and texture.

          0 agree

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