Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce

I had a 6 pound can of peeled whole tomatoes in my pantry.  Don’t ask questions… It’s a long story that involves a trip to a price club store and lots of exclamations like “Wow, that’s a huge can of tuna!” or “Check out the size of that bag of chips!” Long story short, the 6 pound can of tomatoes was purchased for the sole purpose of making my hubby laugh when he saw the giant can of tomatoes hanging out in the pantry with the regular-sized cans. I guess you had to be there.

This is where my recipe for slow cooked tomato sauce comes in.  After the giant can of tomatoes joke started to wear off, I was left with a giant can of tomatoes in my pantry, taking up half of the shelf. I couldn’t just let it sit there any longer, so I decided to make a giant batch of tomato sauce. I picked up a bunch of mushrooms and peppers at the store and decided to make a chunky sauce to go with some pasta.  I was reminded of the sauce from a chicken cacciatore recipe I made a while ago that calls for curry powder. It seemed like a strange ingredient, but I remembered liking the flavor it added to the sauce.  So, I threw a bit of curry powder in my sauce, as well. Call me crazy!

Since I had a meeting at work, I decided to prep the sauce one evening and let it cook in my slow cooker the next day.  I threw in some Italian sausage and let that simmer in the sauce during the afternoon and served it over some whole wheat pasta.

The best part is that we have plenty of leftover sauce! Some will go in the freezer and some will be used in a few leftover recipes in the next few days! Perhaps I’ll even share a few of them with you… I guess it depends on how they turn out.

Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 – 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 pounds sweet peppers, diced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 pounds of canned and peeled whole tomatoes, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the garlic, onions, and peppers and cook until tender.  Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional minute or two.

Add the tomato paste and seasonings, liberally seasoning with Kosher salt.  Stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated to make a thick base for the sauce.

Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes to the bowl of a large slow cooker, breaking them up with your fingers or a wooden spoon. You don’t really need to chop the tomatoes because they will cook down as the sauce cooks.  Stir in the vegetable mixture.

Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.  Adjust seasonings to taste prior to serving.

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23 Responses to Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce
  1. the wicked noodle
    March 11, 2010 | 9:09 am

    Slow-cooked anything – especially if it includes tomatoes – is a winner in my book!

  2. Sara
    March 11, 2010 | 9:16 am

    Jen, love the recipe for this slow-cooked sauce in a slow cooker—-> Genius Idea! I will be trying this recipe in my slow-cooker which I never use! Also I totally understand buying all kind of stuff at those warehouse stores….I ended up buying a lifetime supply of canned pineapple just because if was on sale! :)

  3. Maria
    March 11, 2010 | 9:22 am

    We always make our own sauce, no jar stuff for us-eww! Yours look incredible!

  4. Jessica @ How Sweet
    March 11, 2010 | 10:32 am

    Not really a fan of tomato sauce, but love it when it’s homemade. I have never even considered slow cooking it. Awesome idea!

  5. pity
    March 11, 2010 | 10:40 am

    this dish is comfort food at its best, really delicious, well done, cheers from london

  6. BNDQ8
    March 11, 2010 | 10:45 am

    nice recipe.. will ty for sure …we always make our own sauce but we like experimenting all the time :)

  7. Bob
    March 11, 2010 | 11:15 am

    Heh, awesome. Giant food is just amusing, I’m not sure why. I love this tomato sauce too, slow cooked is definitely the way to go.

  8. Eliana
    March 11, 2010 | 1:35 pm

    I have been looking for an excuse to buy a slow cooker and I think I just found one :) This looks great.

  9. jenn
    March 11, 2010 | 1:53 pm

    Hahaha…I was tempted once to buy a 6-pound can of tomato sauce, too. Yummy sauce. Definitely good use of the sow cooker here. Prep and let it cook all day. I like it.

  10. Nutmeg Nanny
    March 11, 2010 | 2:34 pm

    This looks delicious! I love that you bought a 6lb. can of tomatoes just for a laugh. Sounds like you and your hubby have a great sense of humor. It’s going to be nice to have all that wonderful sauce hanging around.

  11. Nutmeg Nanny
    March 11, 2010 | 2:34 pm

    Oh btw your peppers look really tasty. I wish I could find produce that looked that great around here…

  12. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite
    March 11, 2010 | 3:34 pm

    Great recipe Jen – I saw your tweet about this and headed right over. Perfect for this cool, rainy-ish weather we are having. I love your story about the Costco experience (or wherever you were!). I get a bit like that in those stores too!

  13. Tracy
    March 11, 2010 | 3:45 pm

    Mmm, I can almost taste it! I love my slow-cooker so I definitely want to try this out!

  14. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best
    March 11, 2010 | 5:07 pm

    It’s a great idea to create a huge batch of sauce to keep in the freezer for those busy week days. This recipe looks delicious, and that six pound can of tomato wasn’t such a bad idea.

  15. Mags
    March 11, 2010 | 8:14 pm

    OMG, can I ever relate to buying something in huge quantities for whatever reason and then staring at it in my pantry wondering what to do with it…LOL!

    This sounds like a wonderful tomato sauce recipe!

  16. Michelle
    March 12, 2010 | 2:23 am

    I love the price clubs and we always try to time it on a Saturday when all the free samples are plentiful and we can have lunch while we shop! But you are right about the large can and bags of stuff but they are hard to resist!

  17. Draw For Joy
    March 12, 2010 | 2:24 am

    It looks so great! I love pasta recipes and tomato sauce!

  18. 5 Star Foodie
    March 12, 2010 | 11:52 am

    This sauce sounds amazing, I love the addition of peppers!

  19. Kitchen Butterfly
    March 13, 2010 | 9:56 am

    I’m convinced now, more than ever that I need a crockpot!!!!! And I’m also one to buy huge tins and cans of sauces….I do that with coconut milk and then I put it in little containers for the deep freezer. Love the look of that sauce…and the pasta

  20. Reeni
    March 14, 2010 | 9:17 pm

    What a great idea to cook up a big pot of sauce to have on hand! Curry powder in sauce is new to me – I’m curious and have to try it now. I bet it was great after simmering in the crock pot all day.

  21. [...] it a try.  After all, what could it hurt? There was nothing to lose other than a few eggs and some leftover pasta and tomato sauce (which may have died a slow death in my fridge anyway).  I also had some leftover chicken in the [...]

  22. Tracey
    March 15, 2010 | 11:52 pm

    I’m so glad you shared this one Jen! I can’t wait to give it a try. I would love to have a freezer stocked with homemade tomato sauce!

  23. [...] of my favorite uses for leftover tomato sauce (especially when it’s chunky sauce with lots of veggies!) is to use it in some pasta e [...]

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