This Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce is an easy, lighter twist on a classic Italian staple. The slow cooker does all the work to make a rich + delicious crockpot tomato sauce that goes perfectly with meatballs + a big bowl of pasta! This sauce is whole30 friendly, paleo and gluten free.
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When I did a poll on Instagram stories the other day asking how many people bought jarred sauces vs making their own.. I was SHOCKED… Like.. floored! I don’t know if it’s just because I grew up pretty much only eating homemade sauce (yes, I’m spoiled) but up about 2 years ago.. I hadn’t tried jarred sauce. When I saw the results of the poll – it looks like you guys typically opt for jarred over homemade, but that’s all going to change with this Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce recipe, I promise!
Being Italian, sauce and pasta are staple dishes in my family. When I started eating healthier, I wasn’t willing to give these things up, but knowing that gluten typically hurts my stomach – I knew I needed to figure something out. Sauce in itself is typically gluten free/whole 30/paleo – but some people do tend to add wine or sugar to it. I like adding a little red wine to my sauce, but for the purposes of making it whole30 – I left it out. Over the years I’ve subbed in gluten free pasta, or zucchini noodles. Occasionally, I’ll eat the gluten-filled, delicious classic pasta, but for the most part, I make my substitutions + am totally happy with that!
(This is Modern Table Meals Lentil Pasta which I LOVE! Not sponsored, but their pasta is one of the few lentil based ones that tastes amazing and holds up! Note – this pasta is not whole 30. The only whole30 compliant ‘pasta’ is veggie noodles… so grab a spiralizer for that!)
Sauce is easy to make on the stovetop, but when you allow your crockpot to do the work – it’s even better. Traditionally, Italian’s start their sauce Saturday and cook it basically all day, and then turn it back on to cook for even longer on Sunday before finally eating it for dinner.. Unfortunately… I’m usually running around too much to watch my sauce on the stove for days, but the crockpot is a lifesaver. I had never even thought to cook sauce in the crockpot until I saw Tyler’s parents do it. They would start their sauces on the stove, let it cook there for a few hours, and then transfer it… I literally only cook my onions/garlic on the stove + then let the crockpot do it’s thing!
I think the flavor of this Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce is just as good as any sauce that’s cooked over the stove. The crockpot is great for making really rich, slow cooked foods – and it does an amazing job of making yummy tomato sauce! If you have literally 10 minutes to spare.. you can make this for dinner tonight. Just plan ahead and you’ll be golden! If you’re heading to work + want the best pasta sauce ever for dinner- the night before go ahead and sauté the onion/garlic, mix all the ingredients + put it in the fridge. In the morning, take it out of the fridge, put it in the crockpot, turn it on + walk out the door. Then when you get home all you have to do is get your pasta (or pasta substitute) ready!
The other thing I always do with my sauce is add my Healthy Turkey Meatballs or sausage to it to cook. I’ll bake the meatballs the day before I’m going to make sauce and then just put the completely cooked meatballs right into the sauce while it cooks in the crockpot. It makes the meatballs SO tender.. they literally fall apart! It’s hard to find Whole30 sausage from the store that is good for sauce.. I’d check with a local grocer/farmer if you can because they typically don’t add fillers/funky ingredients to their meat. Whether you add meat or stick to meatless, this Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce is LOADED with flavor and super easy to make. Here’s the recipe.
Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce
This Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce is an easy, lighter twist on a classic Italian staple. The slow cooker does all the work to make a rich + delicious crockpot tomato sauce that goes perfectly with meatballs + a big bowl of pasta!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 tbsp 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp fresh or dried chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp fresh or dried basil
- 1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1/2 tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tbsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
In a pan, heat olive oil. Sauté onions + garlic until translucent, approximately 5-10 minutes.
Combine olive oil mixture with all ingredients in the crockpot + stir until combined. Set crockpot to low for 8-10 hours.
Serve over pasta or zoodles! You can also add cooked meatballs/sausage to the sauce for extra flavor + for a full meal. I like to bake my meatballs in the oven + then add them to the sauce to cook for even longer. It makes them SO tender!
Tips for Healthy Crockpot Tomato Sauce
-This does make a good amount of sauce. If you’re just one or two people, I recommend making the full recipe + freezing half of it. I store my sauce in containers and just pop it in the freezer.. then when I need a fast dinner or lunch, I will take it out of the freezer the night before, defrost + cook
-I love this Healthy Turkey Meatballs recipe for adding into the sauce!
-Use fresh herbs if you can.. they just taste 100x better and give SO much flavor!
I’m seriously getting hungry just thinking about this as I write. We usually have sauce once a week, and I never get sick of it. It’s delicious, comforting + easy to make – all the qualifications of a perfect dinner!
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You can get the nutrition facts for this recipe here.