A no-fuss, hands-off slow cooker tomato sauce made with simple ingredients.
Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
For many years my slow cooker languished in a dark cabinet because of my belief that nothing good comes from a slow cooker. I know, what was I thinking? That long held belief has been proven wrong over the past year after I rolled my sleeves up determined to make peace with the long neglected appliance. French onion soup, short rib sliders, and shredded BBQ chicken all did wonders to adjust my bad attitude so now find myself looking for ways to put it to better use in my kitchen.
Inspired by an oven tomato sauce I made a while back – a fun weekend project, but not something that is doable on a Tuesday – I wondered if I could use the some of the same ingredients and just toss them in the slow cooker without all steps required in the original. Spoiler alert: I did just that and four hands-off hours later I had a rich, flavorful slow cooker tomato sauce.
Some Ingredients You’ll Need
- 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
- Roughly chopped onion and garlic
- Vegetable stock
- Salt pork
- Italian seasoning
- Fresh herbs
The process is simple: roughly chop the vegetables and salt pork and add it all to the slow cooker with the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Cook it on high for about four hours later you have a rich tomato sauce perfect for all kinds of pasta dishes. This recipe makes a big batch which means there’s some for now and some for later, so freeze the extra to have on hand anytime you need some tomato sauce.
I still love weekend cooking projects that require lots of time and steps, but I’ve learned that my slow cooker is a great stand-in when time and energy is short and multiple steps and processes are a hassle. Which is basically every weeknight lately.
I’ve got a lot ideas rattling around for more warm and cozy slow cooker dinners, but, tell me, what’s your favorite slow cooker recipe? Let me know in the comments!
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Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
A no-fuss slow cooker tomato sauce.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 28-32
- Category: Sauces
- 2.5 ounce salt pork, chopped
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Combine everything except the parsley in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for four hours.
- Puree the sauce using an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the fresh herbs.
- Store the tomato sauce for up to a week in the refrigerator or store in the freezer for several months.
Because the sauce is pureed the vegetables just need a rough chop. If you like a chunkier sauce, chop the vegetables smaller and skip the pureeing step in the recipe. Look for salt pork near the meat counter at the grocery store.
The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of salt, but depending on how you use the sauce you may want to season it a little more. I left it a little under-seasoned since I use the sauce in different recipes that may have extra salt.
- Serving Size: 1/4-1/2 cup