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Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce (with fresh tomatoes)

This crockpot spaghetti sauce recipe is the perfect way to use up summer tomatoes. Homemade pasta sauce is easy to prepare, uses clean ingredients and fresh herbs, and can be canned or frozen for future use.

Garden Fresh Pasta Sauce

For gardeners, the end of summer means a bounty of homegrown tomatoes waiting to be preserved. This year was my first year with a robust garden. In true novice fashion, I miscalculated and ended up with 16 thriving tomato plants!

As I am the only person in my house who will actually eat a tomato, I knew early into the summer that I was going to need to get busy in the kitchen when all of these tomatoes ripened.

Sure enough, I’ve grown a substantial amount of Roma tomatoes this summer but that is in no way a complaint.

I make some variation of spaghetti every week so I knew that these tomatoes would become homemade pasta sauce.

With it averaging 100 degrees F on a good day (115 on most!), slow roasting the tomatoes in the oven was not an option I was willing to consider. By 3pm the A/C units are struggling to keep the house cool (Southerners know) and adding heat from the oven does not help!

That is why I decided to make a crockpot spaghetti sauce with all of my fresh tomatoes! Of course, you don’t have to grow your own tomatoes to make this sauce. Pick up some bushels from your local farmer’s market or produce stand and get to cookin’!

Ingredients for Spaghetti Sauce

My homemade tomato sauce recipe is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that yields a large amount of sauce.

Using fresh herbs (from your garden if you can), fresh tomatoes, and a few other basic ingredients you too can make this incredible crockpot marinara sauce!

You will need:

  • Fresh tomatoes (Roma and San Marzano work best)
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Garlic
  • Bell Pepper
  • Spicy Pepper (such as banana)
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Tomato Paste (this is optional but adds an extra richness to the flavor)
  • Crockpot
  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Ball Jars or Weck Jars with lids

How To Make Spaghetti Sauce

After acquiring all of your ingredients, prepare the vegetables by washing them and removing any stems or leaves. Quarter the onion, chop the carrot, and smash the garlic cloves to release the allicin (garlic’s best kept secret). Put it all in the crockpot.

I find it best to cut the tomatoes in half for even cooking. Put them on top of the other vegetables.

If you’re using fresh herbs, remove the stems and any flowers that may have bolted. You do not need to chop them before cooking. They may go into the crockpot whole as they will get blended into the sauce at the end.

Because the tomatoes will release liquid as they cook down, you will not need to add liquid to the crockpot.

Add all of your herbs and spices and toss everything together so that the vegetables are somewhat evenly coated. If you’re using tomato paste, you’ll also want to mix that in a little bit as well.

Let your homemade spaghetti sauce sauce cook all day in your slow cooker. I like to do 7 hours on HIGH but you could also do 8-10 hours on LOW. Be prepared for your house to smell intoxicatingly delicious.

(disclaimer: The Fruitful Homemaker is not responsible for any charges related to flights to Italy booked during the cook time)

Processing and Storing Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Once the sauce is finished cooking, it’s time to process it. For this, you will need either a food processor or blender. I prefer the latter.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop out ALL of the tomatoes, herbs, vegetables, and goodness from the crockpot. Leave the liquid in the pot as much as possible- we’ll come back to it.

Puree everything until it reaches a consistency you desire. I prefer mine fairly smooth. You should have 9 to 10 cups of sauce at this point.

The liquid remaining in the crockpot may be used to thin out the sauce or frozen and saved for later use. I’m thinking future tomato basil soup for grilled cheeses this winter!

Portion out the sauce into jars. I used Weck jars because I’m storing my sauce in the fridge but if you’re familiar with canning, you can do that too.

You may also let the sauce cool completely and portion out the jars into ziplock bags, freeze them flat, and use them in the future. This would be my second favorite choice because I haven’t ventured into canning yet!

Lastly, but most importantly, eat what you make and thank the Lord for His bounty that made possible your homegrown meal!

Fruitful In The Kitchen

In this summer growing season, I’ve quite literally “tasted and seen that the Lord is good” (Psalms 34:8). Watching the Lord knit together these tomatoes and using His yield to feed my loved ones brought more joy to my heart than I was prepared to receive.

Read this post for finding joy in your kitchen

Whether you grew the tomatoes for your sauce or a local farmer did, praise God for His handiwork! Meditate on His perfect design that yields sustenance for us.

As you’re slicing tomatoes in preparation for their slow cook, thank God for the physical fruit He bears and ask Him to bear more fruit in you.

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:8

Yield: 10 cups

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

Garden fresh tomato and basil shine in this rich and herbacious spaghetti sauce.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes


  • 2.5 to 3 lbs Roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 spicy peppers, roughly chopped (such as banana)
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar (depending on preference)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaf
  • large handful fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1 can tomato paste (optional)


  1. Prepare tomatoes by washing and removing leaves and stems.
  2. Slice all the tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to the crockpot.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients. Toss to coat.
  4. Cook on high for 7 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
  5. Let the sauce cool slightly then use a slotted spoon to transfer all of the contents to a blender, leaving the liquid in the pot.
  6. Process until desired smoothness is acheived. Thin out with liquid in pot, if desired.
  7. Transfer to jars for canning or storage. Or, let cool and portion out into ziplock bags for freezing.
  8. Save the leftover liquid for future soups, chilis, or stews.


If using all fresh herbs, add slighlty more than noted.

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