(Easy) Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce

November 11, 2019

(Easy) Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce

Let me introduce you to the marinara sauce recipe of my dreams. It’s everything that is good in this world: tomatoes, herbs, and garlic.
The flavors together are like Italy in a jar, the perfect combination of sweet and savory.
It can be a great base sauce for pizza or really anything that goes in the oven such as chicken parm or eggplant parm. But — needless to say it — it’s also great on pasta and you can even make it into a meat sauce with ground beef (not authentic Bolognese sauce but still pretty damn good.) I also use it to make poached eggs with marinara sauce for a simple brunch recipe.
Last but not least, it’s great as a dip for vegetables and mozzarella sticks. Actually mozza sticks with marinara is one of the best things in the whole world.

(Easy) Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce

The Crock-Pot simmers the marinara for a long time at a low temperature allowing the flavors to come together and marry. It works miracles.
Any Italian Nonna will tell you that the secret to good sauce is not only using the best ingredients but also a gentle and long simmer, which is exactly what the slow-cooker does.
One of my favorite things to do while it’s cooking, is to cut off a piece of bread and dunk it into the sauce. Yum.

(Easy) Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce

Before we move onto the recipe it’s worth mentioning that not all tomatoes are canned the same. Some are bitter while others are sweeter, meaning that you need to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
You also may want to use more or less garlic, depending on your palate. The same goes for red pepper flakes. I love a bit of a kick in my sauce but you can totally skip it.
The key is to let it simmer in the slow cooker to allow the flavors to blend. It may seem time consuming, but it’s really not.
Thank me later.

(Easy) Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce

(Easy) Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce                                                                                                      Print this recipe!

Makes about 6 cups of sauce

2 (28 oz.) cans, whole, peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
4 tablespoons oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar (or olive oil)


Add all ingredients to the bowl of a slow-cooker and give a good stir.
Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours (or on high 3 to 4 hours), stirring once or twice if possible.
Once cooked, use a potato masher (or the back of spoon) to break down the tomatoes. If you like a smoother sauce use an immersion blender to puree it (or transfer to a blender or food processor.)
Take a taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
If the sauce seems too thin, allow it to cook for a further 30 minutes on high with the lid off.
The sauce can be refrigerated up to 5 days.

Nutrition facts

One cup yields 186 calories, 12 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein.


  1. Would this recipe freeze well if I made a large batch of it and froze it in jars?

    1. Absolutely, I do it all the time.
      I use BPA-free plastic containers or resealable plastic freezer (using plastic bags is a snap when it comes to thawing; they also stack nicely). Sometimes I also freeze the sauce in silicone ice cube tray: whenever I need just a little tomato sauce, I have them right in the freezer ;)

  2. Made this and it was PHENOMENAL! Thank you!!!