slow cooker basil marinara

slow cooker marinara

While an anti inflammatory diet gives tomatoes the side eye, they are one of my favorites and sometimes I feel like indulging. I know – indulging? Yes. When you like marinara and the many foods that like to swim in it, this is a form of indulgence.

Don’t even get me started on summertime, when my garden has the most amazing fresh roma tomatoes. I can often be found standing in my yard, eating a tomato like an apple. Garden fresh is always the best, and tomatoes especially so.

During the summer, this recipe uses a few pounds of my fresh romas, rather than the fire roasted in the can.

slow cooker marinara

slow cooker basil marinara

inspired by this Cooking Light recipe

dairy, soy, and gluten free, vegan

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large cans (28 ounce) fire roasted tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
large bunch (3/4 cup) fresh basil, chiffonaded
2 tablespoons dried oregano
salt and pepper

In pan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Saute several minutes, until softened.

In slow cooker set to low heat, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook for 2 hours. After sauce is warmed through, smash tomatoes into smaller pieces (using a potato masher or large fork). Cover and cook on low for another 2-3 hours.

slow cooker marinara

Do you have a favorite food that doesn’t really agree with you?



  1. says

    Marinara is one of my most favorite things on earth – and I’ve got this slow cooker thing going right now πŸ˜‰ I could eat this by the spoonful.

  2. says

    I love tomatoes as long as they’re cooked or if they’re the really small grapes or cherries. I sure wish my garden had produced enough to jar or to do a sauce from scratch. Big spaghetti sauce fans around my house πŸ˜‰ Because of all the stuff I’ve been going through, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to acidic foods. Probably should pay more attention to inflammatory foods as well.

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      I always plant too many tomatoes. πŸ˜‰ well, someone’s definition of too many. you might want to look at them – the big ones are the nightshades – potato, tomato, and if I remember correctly, eggplant. oh. and peppers. *tear. that is one I often overdo.

  3. Leah says

    I just started an anti-inflammatory diet plan a few days ago.. I’m on the last day of the detox and will start “testing” foods tomorrow. I’m really hoping to be OK with tomatoes and bananas but we shall see! Today I get to try eggs. :)

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      good luck with it – I hope it all goes well and that if you find anything that doesn’t agree with you, it’s something you don’t love :)

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      not only is it dark (and cold!), but coming home to a wonderful smelling kitchen and a nearly complete dinner? yes, please!

  4. says

    I looooooove homemade sauce with fresh tomatoes!! I want to dive in and eat some right now!! And I SO can’t wait to have a house and a garden to make piles and piles of tomatoes and basil!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      tomato and basil are ALL I NEED in my garden. oh, well and peppers. and kale. and my paddle ball game. πŸ˜‰

  5. says

    Tomatoes and sauce are one of my favorites! I love the idea of using both the slow cooker, and the roasted tomatoes. The Muir Glen roasted tomatoes are the best!

    I’m glad you still get to enjoy a little tomato sauce.

    Thanks for sharing Kristina.]!

  6. says

    So SAD that you can’t indulge in this more often — there is nothing more comforting or homey than the smell of homemade marinara cooking on the stove — especially when it’s made from fresh from YOUR garden tomatoes. YUM.

  7. says

    I love tomatoes! They are among my favorite veggies. And I especially love how they get slightly sweet when you cook them for a long time.

    Why are tomatoes related to inflammation? Because they are nightshadows? And do you notice negative effects from eating tomatoes?

    Anyway, I’m really in the mood to make something like this! Not to be served with pasta though, but I bet legumes or brown rice would be great as well. :)

  8. says

    Mmm, glad I’m not the only one who stands in her garden and eats fresh tomatoes plain. Is it the middle of summer yet?

    And, oh, lentils, how my digestive system hates you, and how much my mouth and brain love you.

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      ha – oh good, you do this too? I know… I cannot wait for spring – it’s my favorite – and then summer, for all the garden fresh produce!

      oh, no! just lentils or other legumes too? I love lentils…

  9. Hannah A. says

    Two questions, if I may: 1) I have no fire-roasted tomatoes on hand; could I sub plain, old diced, and embellish with a bit of liquid smoke? 2) I’m assuming the canned tomatoes go into the crock juice and all? And 3) Have you had any luck freezing this marinara? Some tend to separate, per more unfortunate experience.

    Thank you, my thighs think you are SO GOOD to have posted this delicious-looking excuse to stuff them with more pasta. πŸ˜‰

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hi Hannah!

      sorry so late in reply – YES plain diced tomatoes will work just fine (the liquid smoke sounds like a fantastic addition!). I have not frozen this, we tend to enjoy it in recipes all week when I make it… let me know if you try? and… here’s MY honest question, is it bad if it separates while frozen? if you use it fairly quickly (within a month or two) will it not still taste good, when defrosted you can combine it all together again?

      enjoy, let me know if you try freezing!


      • Hannah A. says

        And when all is said and done, all I really need say is this:

        Thank you, thank you, “I have found the [marinara] whom my soul loves.” πŸ˜‰

        Yes, folks, it’s THAT good. I ended up using a combination of 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes and 3 14.5 oz. cans diced with juices, which resulted in a smidgen over 8 c. heavenly marinara after 4 hrs. on low heat. I skipped the caramelization step, therefore eliminating the extra calories from the olive oil (and with them, an extra step). My onions I chopped somewhat roughly, knowing in the end I would use an immersion blender to achieve the desired consistency. For the record: 1) I do not in the least bit regret making a grocery store run solely to buy fresh basil (for present want of my own garden plot or counter top canister); and 2) I am happy to report back this sauce freezes beautifully!

        Thank you again, Kristina! :)

        • Kristina Sloggett says

          aw, THANK YOU Hannah! :) I am so SO happy you liked this, and it’s very good to know it freezes well too! thanks for letting us know, and enjoy! XO

  10. heather says

    What size cans do you count as “big” cans? 28 oz? I went to find some today and could only find fire roasted tomatoes in 14.5 oz cans. Just wanted to know more I start. Thanks for your help; I’m very excited to try this recipe!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hi Heather, yes by big I mean 28 ounces, sorry – I will update the recipe to be more specific. so if you picked up four of those cans, you should be fine! :) enjoy!

      • heather says

        Thanks Katie! During the summer do you have an estimate of how many roma tomatoes you use? Or pounds?

        Also, do you ever blend your or keep in chunky? My first batch is cooking right now! Thanks for your help!


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