Make your own pasta sauce at home the easy way with this simple recipe for Slow Cooker 5-Ingredient Fire Roasted Marinara. You'll love the homemade flavor, how easy it is to prepare, and that there's none of the processed stuff!
I think homemade marinara is one of those gateway recipes. It's something that many people buy pre-made, in a jar, and perhaps seems difficult or time consuming to make. But truth is, it's probably one of the easiest recipes to make, ever.
And once you make it yourself, you'll never go back to the jarred stuff.
It's simply a matter of cooking some garlic, onions, and tomatoes together, low and slow. The long cooking process mellows the acidity of the tomatoes and melds the flavor of the garlic and onion all together into one beautiful sauce.
Of course, it's the low and slow part the trips most people up. I first learned to make marinara when Andrew and I were first married. Since I worked as a teacher's assistant in a special education classroom at the time, I was home on the early side of the evening, leaving plenty of time to get the sauce going and to let it simmer.
These days there's no one home early to get the sauce going, so I've been playing around with making our favorite marinara in the slow cooker. The beauty is that you can basically just chop the ingredients, drop them in, hit start, and let the slow cooker simmer the sauce all day.
The addition of fire roasted tomatoes adds a subtle smokey flavor to the sauce, as does a dash of smoked paprika. It's perfect over whole wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, zoodles, or with baked chicken or fish.
I like to make a double batch and freeze the leftovers so we always have sauce ready to go for nights when I don't feel like cooking. It's also amazing with sausage, meatballs, or just about anything you'd put red sauce on. You really can't go wrong. Now, let's make some slow cooker fire roasted marinara!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | While the smoked paprika adds a depth of flavor to this sauce, you may omit it if you don't have it on hand.
2 | Serve the fire roasted marinara over whole wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, zoodles, or as a sauce for fish or chicken.
3 | Store leftovers of the sauce in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Paleo and Whole30 Friendly
Slow Cooker 5-Ingredient Fire Roasted Marinara
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
2 28-oz cans crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes*
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided (optional)
½-1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, stir together the onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, and salt.
2. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
3. Add an additional ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt if you like.
* For a chunkier texture, use 1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and 1 28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes.