Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

Crockpot Marinara www.BlueCrabMartini.comThere is marinara, and then there is this MARINARA- the one that I have spent the last two summers perfecting. It took a lot of trial and error, but this is by far the tastiest sauce to ever land on our dinner plates. It’s tangy, slightly sweet, and bursting with the flavor of fresh tomatoes. Want to know the best part? It cooks in a Crock-Pot! Just add the ingredients and let everything simmer together for 3 hours. That’s it. It’s really that simple, and it’s really that g-o-o-d.

Crockpot Marinara


The story behind this marinara:

Every year we grow more tomatoes in our garden than we can possibly eat. We’ve grown everything from Santorini, Campari, Cherry, and even Heirloom tomatoes, but the Roma’s are my favorite. They are sweet, hearty, and have just a little zest to them- so delicious. We had them on salads, on sandwiches, and in every other possible way imaginable but there were always dozens of tomatoes hanging on the vine.

SlowCooker Marainara from

A glimpse of our garden from last summer. Look at that GIANT zucchini!

Finally, I decided that the solution was to make marinara sauce. Some people have their great-grandmother’s sauce recipe that has been passed down for generations. Unfortunately we are 0% Italian; we don’t have a top-secret family recipe. So instead, some creative trial and error took place. It took two full summers of messes and successes before this sauce was perfected.

Right now I’m looking out my kitchen window at the spot where our garden grows every summer. It’s covered in snow. Sigh. I cannot wait until the warmer weather arrives and we can once again grow tomatoes by the bushel basket! I know spring has to get here eventually, but until then, the fresh tomatoes in this marinara sauce will give us a taste of the sunny days ahead. We hope you enjoy it too!

Crockpot Marinara


Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce


6 ripe organic Roma tomatoes, seeds removed, cut into quarters
1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 cup high quality, extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tbsp. organic tomato paste
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp cumin
¼ ground coriander
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
¼ tsp caraway seeds
Pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. Combine all ingredients in Crock-Pot and gently stir to mix.
  2. Set Crock-Pot to high for 3 hours. (It smells amazing, and you will be tempted, but do not remove the lid while the sauce is cooking!)
  3. Carefully pulse in blender until desired texture is reached.
  4. Enjoy with pasta, on pizza, as a dipping sauce, on sandwiches, or by itself.

Crockpot Marinara


About bluecrabmartini

I'm a veggie growing, wine drinking, Maryland mom, with a passion for real food and life by the Chesapeake Bay. Check out my blog:
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16 Responses to Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

  1. Christin, this marinara sauce looks delicious. I don’t have an old family recipe for marinara, either, so I may have to adopt yours! I want a big plate of this (over pasta) and a side of those beautiful parmesan basil biscuits of yours. I’m not very good at growing tomatoes, but I can grow the heck out of basil! 😀

    • Hi Joy! It is really tasty with a big bowl of angel hair pasta and some fresh basil on top 🙂 Our summers here in Maryland can be really humid, so some varieties of tomatoes do better than others. I’ve found that the Roma’s and Cherry’s are pretty indestructible. We’ve been growing them for the past few years and they seem to always do well. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Marisa says:

    I’ve been thinking about doing something like this when cooking for a big group! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  3. Inspire Me Heather says:

    Oh that looks sooo good, thanks for the recipe!

  4. Yum, this looks so fresh! I will have to try this, thanks for sharing!

  5. Gentle Joy says:

    I love marinara sauce and would like to make my own. Thank you for the recipe. Gentle Joy

  6. My family loves marinara sauce and I have really been getting into making all of our stuff homemade. This recipe looks awesome. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Pingback: Chicken Parmesan Sliders | Blue Crab Martini

  8. This looks good, I love making my own sauce! I am hosting a giveaway on my page this week (posted Monday) and I would love if you would stop by and check it out!

  9. I can’t wait to make this….I love my slow cooker. This is being featured today; thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday 🙂

  10. I love how this sauce has some unexpected ingredients. Thanks for sharing at the My Favorite Things party. Theresa @DearCreatives

  11. ctrochelman says:

    OH my goodness….you can tell so much about a marinara just by looking at it and I LOVE the look of yours! Pinning!! Thanks for sharing at SNF:)

  12. Pingback: Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash with Creamy [HEALTHY] Peanut Sauce | Blue Crab Martini

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