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Crock Pot Marinara Sauce: Mom’s Way

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TGIF! I am definitely glad it is Friday!

This weekend is my son’s 1st birthday party and we have a whole bunch of out of town guests coming for it. I can’t wait to see them all and celebrate!  On a different note…this past weekend I made a big batch of Crock Pot Marinara Sauce and was able to freeze a good amount of leftovers (bonus).

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce - Crock Pot Marinara Sauce

As a working Mom I always like days when I can do that! I don’t know about you but I love Italian food, especially pasta with a rich, tasty marinara sauce.

Crock Pot Marinara Sauce - Mom's Way

I have been using my Mom’s Crock Pot Marinara Sauce recipe for years. I grew up loving her marinara’s still one of my favorite meals that she makes. Her meatballs are also delicious, but that’s for another post.

Crock Pot Marinara Sauce

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

Crock Pot Marinara Sauce: Mom’s Way

  • Author: Julia // A Cedar Spoon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 7-8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


A quick, easy and flavorful marinara sauce. Make a big batch of this and freeze some for later.



  • 1lb ground beef (optional)
  • 1 medium white sweet onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 15oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (dried or fresh)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper (optional for spice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you want to add meat to the sauce warm a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the meat until there is no red and it is cooked through.
  2. Drain the meat if there is fat and put the meat in the crockpot.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to crock pot and stir. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  4. Remove bay leaves before serving. Serve over cooked pasta, with warm garlic bread.


This marinara sauce freezes very well. Make sure you completely cool the sauce before freezing it.

This Crock Pot Marinara Sauce is my go-to recipe that I make on a Sunday and freeze for the future (of course it is always better fresh).

I hope you like it as much as we do!

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Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops - A Cedar Spoon

Thursday 23rd of June 2022

[…] Or how about making your own sauce, that way you know there are no added preservatives. Try my Crock Pot Marinara Sauce and you’ll see just how easy it is to make at […]

Crock Pot Lasagna Recipe - A Cedar Spoon

Tuesday 24th of December 2019

[…] recipe requires six ingredients:: a jar of tomato sauce {or you can use a homemade version}, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, the meat and the noodles. So simple! You […]

Liz K

Wednesday 30th of July 2014

What kind of bouillon? Chicken?


Wednesday 30th of July 2014

Yes! Hope you like it!


Saturday 8th of February 2014

About how many cups of sauce will this make?


Sunday 9th of February 2014

It serves about 7-8 people and makes a lot of sauce. I usually feed my husband and myself a meal and have two meals to freeze. I would say about 10 cups maybe? Sorry I do not know the exact amount of cups but it does make a lot so you can freeze some for later.


Saturday 8th of February 2014

Also, can you use crushed tomatoes instead of diced? Sorry if that is a dumb question, but I have never made my own sauce before and this looks like something I can do!

Cheryl Newton

Wednesday 2nd of October 2013

Hello! This is definitely a keeper. But I have 1 question: the ingredients list an 18 oz. can tomato sauce and a can of water from 16 oz. tomato sauce can. Should these amounts match, and if so, is the correct amount 18 or 16? Thanks so much, Cheryl


Wednesday 2nd of October 2013

You can really do either depending on the consistency that you want--I usually do 18oz which I will correct on the recipe. Some people like their sauce a little thinner than others so it is up to you. Thanks for pointing that out!