This simple crockpot tomato sauce takes little effort. It is easy to fill the crockpot up with fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic and let it simmer all day.
This crockpot tomato sauce is something that I rely on often during the peak of the tomato harvest. While the majority of the tomatoes from the garden are preserved in large batches for winter food storage. The crockpot is perfect for making smaller batch for fresh eating.
It takes little effort to fill the crockpot up with all the ingredients and let it simmer all day. You can even break up the process over a few days if you are crunched for time by cooling and refrigerating the sauce part way through and start cooking again the next day.
Tips for Making Crockpot Tomato Sauce
Select meaty, plumb or paste tomatoes for a thick and flavorful sauce. My favorites are Roma, San Marzano, Amish Paste, and Juliet. Paste tomatoes have very little water content. You can still use other types of tomatoes, but it will take longer for the sauce to thicken.
Cooking the tomatoes with the skins and seeds helps to thicken the sauce with the fruit’s natural pectin.
Run the cooked sauce through a food strainer to remove seeds and skins. After the sauce has simmered for a while and the ingredients have softened, run though a through a food strainer or food mill to remove skins, seeds, and to smooth out the sauce. If you don’t mind the seeds and skins, you can use an immersion hand blender to smooth out your sauce.
Using fresh herbs: I like using fresh herbs because they are readily available from the garden during the summer, but dried herbs are better for slow cooking because the flavor doesn’t diminish from cooking. If you are using fresh herbs, add extra at the end of the cooking time.
This homemade crockpot tomato sauce pairs perfectly with Ricotta Gnocchi, Homemade Egg Noodles, Zucchini Lasagna, spiralized veggies, spaghetti squash, and as a pizza topping. Since you are not canning this tomato sauce, feel free to add other ingredients such as precooked mushrooms, green peppers, sausage, or meatballs.
Crockpot Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
- 5-6 pounds paste tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red cooking wine optional
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- honey to sweeten if needed
- Prepare your tomatoes by washing in plain water. Cut them in half or quarters and add to the crockpot. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and herbs. Drizzle the wine and olive oil. Cover and turn crockpot to low and cook for 2-4 hours stirring occasionally.
- After the sauce has simmered for a while and tomatoes have released their juices and the vegetables are soft, turn off crockpot and allow the sauce to cool.
- Run the cooled tomato sauce through a Food Strainer or Food Mill to remove skins, seeds, and to smooth out the sauce. If you are crunched for time, you can pop the cooled sauce into the refrigerator and begin again the following day.
- Return the strained tomato sauce to the crockpot to cook down further to thicken the sauce. Turn the crockpot to low and vent the cover so excess moisture evaporates. Cook until your desired thickness, 4-6 hours or longer, stirring occasionally.
- Once the tomato sauce is nice and thick, taste it. Add salt and pepper and stir to mix in. Taste again. Adjust seasoning if needed. If the flavor is sharp and acidic, add a little honey and taste again.
- If you are including additional ingredients such as mushrooms, green peppers, sausage, or meatballs, precook these and add to the crockpot and cook on low for an additional 1-2 hours.
Depending on the water content of your tomatoes and how long you cook down the tomato sauce, this will yield around 4 cups. Store extra in the fridge for leftovers for 2-3 days or freeze for a later meal.
This is not a safe canning recipe: If you have a lot of tomatoes and want to can them for food storage, check out this safe canning recipe: Seasoned Tomato Sauce Recipe for Home Canning
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