Slow Cooker Fresh Tomato Sauce
This is the easiest (and laziest) way to preserve summer tomatoes. And it’s also soooooo delicious! This Slow Cooker Fresh Tomato Sauce should inspire you to put up some end of summer tomatoes. You’ll thank me this winter!
I was gifted some fresh garden tomatoes from not only one but two friends a few weeks ago. I’d also overbought at the farmers market so needless to say I had a TON of tomatoes on my counter. I knew we wouldn’t get through all of them before they went bad and I just didn’t have it in me to can them. This Slow Cooker Fresh Tomato Sauce was the perfect solution. It’s a very forgiving recipe, you don’t have to babysit a pot on the stove, and the end result is amaze-balls.
These first few weeks of school have kicked. my. ass. I’m usually over the moon when the kids go back to school and find that I’m super productive tackling all the projects that didn’t get done over summer break. But this year? I haven’t had the energy to do anything. I’m doing the bare minimum at work and for whatever reason, I find the days fly by and I’m not really getting anything done. I usually do a ton of canning this time of year but I haven’t put up a darn thing this year.
I’m kind of (and by kind of, I mean totally) doing the bare minimum at life and taking all the shortcuts I can. Survival mode- mountain mama stye- at it’s finest. Hence the Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce. It’s the cheater version of canning and I’m pretty thrilled with the results. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll go back to the tedious process of putting up tomatoes anytime soon. Definitely not this year anyway.
This recipe is one that requires time but it doesn’t require any real work. You cook the sauce twice- hence the time- but otherwise it’s a little bit of prep and nothing else. You cook the sauce twice- before and after pureeing. It’s the perfect lazy saturday recipe. Or a recipe to do when you’re home anyway doing other house stuff because you don’t have to babysit it! You could easily split the cooking time between two days if that’s easier for you.
The recipe makes exactly 3 quarts of sauce. The’ll last in the fridge for a few weeks otherwise the sauce freezes beautifully. I froze half the sauce and know will come in handy this winter when I need a quick dinner asap. The sauce as is is wonderful over pasta. It would also be awesome in a slow cooker with a pot roast. It would make a wonderful base to a thick stew or chili and it’s easily doctored if you want to make a tomato soup out of it. Soooooooo versatile!
photos by Kellie Hatcher/ recipe by Mountain MamaCooksPrint
An easy way to make tomato sauce using fresh tomatoes and the slow cooker!
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 heaping cups)
- 8 lb tomatoes, washed, cored, and quartered (about 16 cups)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup, packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- kosher salt to taste
- In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, clean, core, and quarter the tomatoes. I live the skins on- the natural pectin in the skin will help thicken the sauce. I don’t worry about removing seeds as they don’t bother me after I puree the sauce but feel free to remove if you’d like!
- Add the quartered tomatoes to the base of the slow cooker. Add the sautéed onions and garlic, tomato paste, fresh basil, sugar, and Italian seasoning.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. After 4 hours, the tomatoes will be falling part and lots of juice will have accumulated. In batches, transfer tomato mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return pureed tomatoes (now sauce!) back to the slow cooker and cover. Cook again on low for 3-4 hours until sauce has reduced a bit and the flavors are concentrated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Store tomato sauce in glass jars or freeze in ziplock or other freezer friendly container. The sauce will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. This is amazing on it’s own or it’s a great starter for a soup. I used the sauce over pasta, as a topping on stuffed zucchini and I finished off the last bit in some turkey chili. It’s super versatile!