Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
Crockpot spaghetti sauce is the easiest way to make homemade marinara that tastes like it’s from Nonna’s kitchen. This hearty slow cooker spaghetti sauce is a reader favorite from the Yummy Mummy Kitchen cookbook!
Friends have been requesting more slow cooker/crockpot and Instant pot recipes lately. I totally get it – it’s a busy time of year, but we still want to eat well and have comforting homemade meals. One friend recently mentioned that she and her family love my recipe for crockpot spaghetti sauce in the Yummy Mummy Kitchen cookbook. So naturally, I wanted to share this recipe with you.
One of my most popular recipes here on the blog is my Fresh Tomato Marinara (actually that ties with my salsa). I love making our Italian spaghetti sauce with homegrown or farmers market tomatoes, but that’s just not realistic year-round. I almost always have all the ingredients for crockpot spaghetti sauce in the pantry and fridge.
If you have your own copy of the Yummy Mummy Kitchen cookbook, you can head over to page 137 for the recipe. If you don’t have a copy and would like this recipe in a hardback book form, you can get the book at your local bookstore. Amazon is an easy place to get it as well. Full disclosure, this is an affiliate link below, which means I make a small commission.
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Nutrition
While there’s something special about homemade Italian spaghetti sauce, I do use store-bought jars in a pinch. Those, however, often have added fat and sugar, so it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients. When you make marinara at home in the slow cooker (or Instant Pot), there’s no need to add fat or sugar. The veggies themselves add any needed sweetness.
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients
I add lots of fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, and bell pepper to this Italian sauce. They give it a deeper flavor and are and easy way to get more vitamins and minerals into our kids’ diets. If you have mushrooms or zucchini you’d like to use up, feel free to toss those in too.
I roughly chop the veggies and toss them in the slow cooker. They will be pureed at the end, so it doesn’t matter what they look like. In fact, one of the tips in my book is that you can chop these ingredients in a food processor (helpful if you have a toddler on your hip like I did when creating the recipe).
For the most authentic Italian sauce flavor I like to use whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes. They most often come in large cans, but you can sometimes find them in jars too. I crush them up the old fashioned way – with my hands. A fun albeit messy job for little ones to help with.
How to Make Spaghetti Sauce in the Crockpot
Making crockpot spaghetti sauce is as simple as tossing the ingredients in the pot and setting it for 6 hours. Once all the veggies are tender, let the sauce cool a bit so that that you aren’t burned by any splatters. Then use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. A splash of red wine or balsamic is a nice flavor addition as well.
Instant Pot Instructions
As you can see in this image above, I used my Instant Pot on the slow cook setting. I found that this has lower heat then my crockpot slow cooker, so it wasn’t quite ready after 6 hours. If you want to use your Instant Pot, you can slow cook, and then cook on high pressure for 5 minutes to finish. I like this method because then you can toss your favorite meatballs (I used Gardien meatless meatballs) in on simmer after blending at the end. You can also pressure cook this sauce for 20 minutes on manual mode, then 5 minutes natural pressure release. If you love the Instant Pot, check out a few of these favorites: Instant Pot Lentil Soup, Instant Pot Minestrone, and Instant Pot Veggie Chili.
How to Serve Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
While spaghetti is the obvious answer, it’s not the only option. Spaghetti Squash, Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Vegan Lasagna, and Lasagna Soup would all be wonderful with this sauce. Or try adding Veggie Lentil Meatballs or a dollop of Vegan Ricotta on top!
More Easy Crockpot Recipes to Love
- Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Minestrone Soup
- Veggie Chili
- Split Pea Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Black Beans
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 (28 oz.) containers whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained and crushed with your hands*
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Place all the prepped ingredients in the slow cooker crockpot or Instant Pot.
- Set the slow cooker crock pot to low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
- For the Instant Pot, set to manual for 20 minutes with the valve sealing, then natural pressure release for 5 minutes before carefully removing the lid.
- Let the chunky sauce cool enough so that you wouldn't be burned by any splatters. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce, or carefully blend in an upright blender in batches. Add salt and pepper to taste. A splash of balsamic vinegar is a nice flavor addition as well.
- Serve over your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles, or in lasagna.
*I drain most of the juice/sauce from the tomatoes but keep some so that the tomatoes are still juicy. Just a quick drain of most of the liquid is sufficient. Nutrition information is approximate and calculated by a third party app.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74 Carbohydrates: 17g Protein: 3g