Delicious Homemade Slow-Cooker Tomato Sauce

The last time my mother in law visited she brought with her a huge sack of tomatoes from her garden.  They were delicious!

img_4995

 

There is just no comparing home grown tomatoes to store bought ones.  There just isn’t.

That week happened to be a really busy week.  We had a lot going on.  My step-daughter started middle school this year!  Say it isn’t so!  It was hard enough living through middle school the first time.

I didn’t want to let the tomatoes go to waste, even though we were so busy; so I decided to make a batch of tomato sauce.

And Slow-Cooker Tomato Sauce is what I came up with.  I chose the slow cooker because it was a pretty hectic week and I wanted to be able to walk away while the slow cooker did its thing.

And I have to say…it turned out pretty amazing.

This Slow-Cooker Tomato Sauce is a great way to use up your harvest of tomatoes from the garden.

Part 1:  Prepare the Tomatoes

First things first, prepare the tomatoes for slow cooking.  If they are homegrown or organic tomatoes you can just cut out the core.  If they are store bought tomatoes you will want to also blanch the tomatoes to remove the peels before cooking in the slow cooker.

Cut crosses in bottom of Tomatoes

Preparing Tomatoes for Blanching

I also chose to quarter the tomatoes.  This makes it a little easier to smash them with the potato masher later on.

image

Part 2:  Add the Garlic and Onion

Next, Chop up the onion and garlic into small pieces and add to the slow-cooker.

Chopped Onion

Chopped Onion

Garlic Cloves

Garlic Cloves

Now, combine the following ingredients together in a bowl – olive oil, sugar, tomato paste, pepper balsamic vinegar, a bay leaf, and fish sauce.  Whisk these ingredients together.

Why fish sauce?

If you are feeling courageous, consider adding the fish sauce.  I highly recommend it.  After reading this article in Cooking Light a few months ago I have started using it frequently and don’t regret it.

It doesn’t make your food taste like fish at all, it just heightens others flavors in the recipe.

We found ours at a local Oriental Food Market, but you can also find it online.

Fish Sauce on Amazon

fish sauce.jpg

Part 3:  Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker

Now, drop 1 to 2 drops of Oregano essential oil into slow-cooker.

Next, add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6.  I did try once to speed this up on high because I was short on time.  And while it was still really good, it is amazing when it is cooked slow and low.

Using Oregano Essential Oil

I used Oregano essential oil, because in my mind it would disperse a little better than dried oregano.  Oregano essential oil is very powerful, so you do have to be careful about not using too much.  For this recipe I did use two drops, but it was okay because of the large amount of tomatoes.  For a smaller recipe I would start with a toothpicks worth and possible increase that up to one drop.

If you are not comfortable using essential oils in your cooking –

1 drop of oregano essential oil = 1 to 2 Tablespoons of dried oregano

or

1 drop of oregano essential oil = 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh oregano

Want to learn more about essential oils?  Check out my post 3 Easy Ways to Use Essential Oils.

Part 4:  Combine with Potato Masher

At the two hour mark, open up the slow-cooker and stir the ingredients.  If the tomatoes are still looking whole, use a potato masher to squish them.

I use a potato masher that looks something like this –

Potato Masher on Amazon

potato-masher

Part 5a:  Add Ground Beef or Italian Sausage (Optional)

At this two hour mark

If I am making it for a meal that same day, I add a pound of browned ground beef for spaghetti or mild Italian sausage for lasagna.

This is an optional step for people who prefer a vegetarian sauce.

Cook for an additional four hours, for a total of 6 hours.

Part 5b:  Freeze or Add Ground Beef or Italian Sausage (Optional)

If I am making this ahead of time for another meal, I will cook it for the full six hours.

Then, I will let it cool.  And then freeze in freezer safe containers for future meals.

I hope you enjoy!  If you have any questions let me know.

Servings 1 cup

Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce

30 minPrep Time

6 hrCook Time

6 hr, 30 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

    for the Sauce
  • 2 quarts tomatoes
  • ½ medium onion (approx. 3/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1-2 drops Oregano essential oil
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 pound ground beef or mild Italian sausage

Instructions

    for Sauce
  1. Chop off stems and questionable spots of tomatoes.
  2. Blanch tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Chop onion into small pieces.
  4. Mince garlic.
  5. Put tomatoes, onion, and garlic in slow-cooker and stir.
  6. Drop 1 to 2 drops of Oregano essential oil into slow-cooker. Essential oil can be replaced with 1-2 Tbsp of dried oregano or 1-2 tsp of fresh oregano.
  7. Put ingredients from olive oil to balsamic vinegar in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  8. Add 1 tsp of fish sauce to mixing bowl if desired. Although this step is highly recommended.
  9. Add ingredients in mixing bowl to slow-cooker.
  10. Cook on low for a total of approximately 6 hours.
  11. At the two hour mark brown 1 pound of ground beef and add drained meat to sauce.
  12. Mix sauce well to combine ingredients.
  13. Use a potato masher to help squash tomatoes.
  14. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Cuisine: Pasta | Recipe Type: Dinner

Notes

Freeze for future meals.

7.6.3
3
https://creativityintheclouds.com/slow-cooker-tomato-sauce/

Katie

Leave a Reply