Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce

I would’ve liked to have made this slow cooker tomato sauce using tomatoes from our garden. For some reason, our tomatoes just didn’t produce this year. Usually I have to worry about the raccoons stealing them but not this time. They just didn’t come out. So, Plan B, I picked up a big batch of ripe tomatoes at the grocery store. The end result came out very, very flavorful. Quite honestly, I had my sights set on using this sauce to make pizza sauce, but it’s so good by itself you could easily serve it as-is as tomato soup.
slow-cooker-tomato-sauceI used Roma tomatoes because I like how they taste. You can substitute any good tomato, just make sure they’re good and ripe. Do not use those hard-as-cardboard tomatoes you often find at your grocery store. If you’re lucky enough to be near a farmer’s market, it’s well worth the trip. When tomatoes are at peak you’ll want to make several batches of this slow cooker tomato sauce and freeze it for later.

5 from 1 reviews
Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 5-6 pounds of Roma tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Honey or sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rinse tomatoes and cut in half. Place into a large slow cooker.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, oil, bay leaf and parsley.
  3. Lightly grind the basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and pepper flakes using a mortar and pestle. Add to the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the tomatoes have softened, stirring occasionally.
  5. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Working in batches, transfer the tomato mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  7. Transfer the pureed liquid to a strainer and remove the pulp, seeds, etc, leaving the tomato sauce.
  8. If the sauce is too thin you can slowly simmer it in a sauce pan on the stove until thick.
  9. Add honey or sugar to sweeten the sauce if desired.

Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole

All the flavors of pizza in a casserole, made in a slow cooker. There’s plenty of cheese and pepperoni so you can overlook the lack of a crunchy crust. The perfect one-pot meal on a rainy, cool late winter evening. You can make it more ‘your way’ by adding Canadian bacon, mushrooms, different cheeses… whatever you prefer.
Slow Cooker Pizza CasseroleBe careful to not overcook the pasta. Pasta is not the most slow cooker-friendly item in the world. If you over cook the pasta it will become mushy. Not happy mushy either. So error on the side of caution and serve this slow cooker pizza casserole as soon as the pasta is cooked.

Also check out my slow cooker ravioli lasagna. It has all the flavors of lasagna in a simple slow cooker dish.

Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ounces sliced pepperoni, divided
  • 1 small green bell pepper., chopped
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded, divided (plus more for garnish if desired)
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta
  • Freshly chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan for garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Crumble in the sausage and cook until almost done.
  3. Add the onion and cook until the meat is completely done.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
  5. Transfer meat to a slow cooker set to low.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, water, all but 12 slices of the pepperoni, the oregano, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the cheese. Mix well.
  7. Add the pasta and stir.
  8. Top with the remaining pepperoni and cheese and cover.
  9. Cook for 5 hours and serve garnished with parsley, Parmesan and more mozzarella cheese.

Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna

As much as I prefer cooking outdoors, I still love cooking dishes inside in a slow cooker, specially on days when the weather is a bit questionable. Preparation is almost always simple, even though the final results can be quite fantastic. I went into making this slow cooker ravioli lasagna thinking it’d be ‘ok’. I came out thinking ‘wow, that was excellent’. All the flavors of a great lasagna, but done so easily with very little effort. The sauce was nice and tasty, the ravioli cooked up perfectly, and of course, there was ooey-gooey cheese.
Slow Cooker Ravioli LasagnaYou can substitute frozen raviolis if you like, but nothing beats the taste of fresh ravioli. Even though this is a quick not-much-from-scratch dish, there’s no reason to not add some fresh ingredients. Fresh ravioli are hidden in the pasta aisle in our local grocery store, far away from the main fridge section, in a tiny refrigerator.

It’s possible that I added a few pinches of red pepper flake to this lasagna because, well, I like a little kick in everything I make. I left it out of the recipe below.

Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (24 ounce) jars pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages fresh ravioli (I used one package of mushroom ravioli and one package of cheese ravioli)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Crumble in the sausage and cook until almost done.
  3. Add the garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook another minute.
  4. Add in the pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano.
  5. Add a layer of the meat mixture to a slow cooker.
  6. Top with some of the ravioli.
  7. Add another layer of meat followed by more ravioli. Continue until all of the meat and ravioli are used.
  8. Cook for 4 hours on low.
  9. Top with cheese and cook 1 more hour until the cheese is melted.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

It was a cold, rainy day. The kind of day that screams slow cooker. Since I work from home I get to enjoy the aroma of a great dish cooking all day long. By dinner time I’m starving and anticipating that first bite. I’d been wanting to make a beef stroganoff for a while. An easy version, in the slow cooker. This recipe fit the bill perfectly. The end result is creamy, beefy, and delicious.
Slow Cooker Beef StroganoffThis slow cooker beef stroganoff could not possibly be any easier to make. It is perfect over egg noodles.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cans condensed Golden Mushroom soup
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pounds cubed stew meat
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • Egg noodles, cooked, for serving
Instructions
  1. Add soup, onion, Worcestershire, water, garlic salt and paprika to the slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Add meat and stir. (Optional: brown the meat in a skillet with a splash of oil first. I prefer to do this).
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Increase heat to high.
  6. Add the cream cheese and stir to melt, about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Slow Cooker Spicy Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

I have a slow cooker (er, crockpot) for the same reasons everyone else does. I on occasion like a great, easy meal that I can toss into the pot and not have to fuss with. A Dutch oven over low heats works just as well, specially if you need to brown something first. For this spicy spaghetti and meatball soup it doesn’t matter whether you go low-and-slow in the crockpot or Dutch oven, the end result is great. It’s like having Campbell’s SpaghettiOs™ but with much better, richer flavor, and a nice kick. And really big meatballs. Who didn’t want more meatballs in their SpaghettiOs™ when they were a kid? Well, problem solved!
Slow Cooker Spicy Spaghetti and Meatball SoupI used packaged frozen meatballs for this slow cooker spicy spaghetti meatball soup, but our homemade Italian meatballs (made on the stovetop or in the Char-Broil Big Easy) would be great too. Outstanding, even.

You can leave out the red pepper flake, but I think you’ll want to add at least a little. And don’t be shy with the basil either.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try out my homemade SpaghettiOs. They’re fun to make and even more fun to eat.

Slow Cooker Spicy Spaghetti and Meatball Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except the pasta into a slow cooker. Add more basil or red pepper flake as desired.
  2. Cook on high for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set slow cooker to high and add the pasta. Cook for another 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with more Parmesan cheese as desired.

Slow Cooker Spicy Italian Beef Sandwiches

Anita and I definitely both agreed that these slow cooker spicy Italian beef sandwiches were absolutely fantastic. Besides tender, juicy beef, you get great Italian spice flavors, pepperoncini and Giardiniera, along with the kick of hot pepper and the pickling juice from the pepperoncini. All served on a sub bun with plenty of smoky provolone cheese. Every bite of this sandwich is perfect.
Slow Cooker Spicy Italian Beef SandwichesTo really kick up your sandwiches use hot pepperoncini and Giardiniera, and substitute habanero jack cheese for the provolone. You’ll have the perfect game-time sandwich.

You may or may not need all of the peppers and Giardiniera I listed for the sandwich build. It all depends on how much you like on your sandwiches. Me, I like pepperoncini, and lots of it, on top. I only used the Giardiniera in the slow cooker and didn’t add any to the sandwich. To each his own!

Slow Cooker Spicy Italian Beef Sandwiches
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
 
Ingredients
For the Italian beef
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can beef broth
  • 4 tablespoons my Italian Dressing Mix (or substitute 2 envelopes Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix)
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flake
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar pepperoncini pepper slices, plus some of the liquid from the jar
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar Giardiniera, drained
  • 3 pound chuck roast, trimmed
For the sandwiches
  • Hoagie or steak sandwich buns
  • Provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar pepperoncini pepper slices, drained
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar Giardiniera, drained, lightly chopped
Instructions
For the Italian beef
  1. Add beef broth to slow cooker set to high.
  2. Stir in the dressing seasoning and red pepper.
  3. Add the peppers and Giardiniera.
  4. Add meat and cover.
  5. Cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 10-11 hours until the meat can be shredded.
  6. Remove meat, shred, and return to the slow cooker and cook another hour.
For the sandwiches
  1. Open buns and add cheese slices. Make sure to cover the bread with the cheese - it'll help keep the buns from getting overly soggy.
  2. Add shredded meat. Top with pepperoncini and chopped Giardiniera as desired.

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The absolutely perfect, easy dish for a cold winter day. The sauce is not too thick, not too thin, with a little sweet and a little heat. The beef is incredibly tender. This slow cooker Mongolian beef was a big hit here, and is definitely going to end up on our dinner menu on a very regular basis.
Slow Cooker Mongolian BeefI added a bit of dried red pepper flake to offset the sweetness of the brown sugar and carrots. You can leave it out, of course, or substitute your favorite hot pepper, chopped. The dish is going to be great either way, that’s for sure!

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds chuck steak
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • Dried red pepper flake (I used about 1 teaspoon)
  • Rice, cooked, for serving
  • Green onions, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the chuck in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice.
  2. Slice beef thin and place into a resealable bag.
  3. Add the cornstarch and seal. Shake to coat.
  4. Add oil, garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, carrots and red pepper flake to taste to a slow cooker set to low. Stir.
  5. Add the coated meat and stir.
  6. Add lid and cook for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve over cooked rice garnished with green onion.

Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast

I’ve made my share of pot roasts. In the oven. In a crockpot. Heck, I’ve even smoked a pot roast (and boy, was it ever heavenly). There’s a 3-way tie on my list of my favorite things to make during the fall and winter: chili, gumbo, and pot roast. And when it comes to an easy-to-make pot roast, this Mississippi pot roast is the king. 6 ingredients and 8 hours and you’ll be enjoying an absolutely flavor-packed fall-apart roast.

Do not be tempted to add beef broth or any other liquid to the roast. It will make it’s own gravy just fine by itself. Add everything to the crockpot and go away. Leave it be.Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast

We had this roast over mashed cauliflower. Yes, cauliflower.

If you’re looking for a to-die-for pot roast sandwich, check out my copycat of the one from the Hobnob Corner Restaurant, in Nashville, Indiana. Cheese caramelized onions and horseradish compliment the pot roast perfectly.

Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the roast with the Cajun seasoning and add to the skillet. Brown on all sides, then transfer to a crockpot set on low.
  3. Sprinkle the top of the roast with the au jus and ranch dressing seasoning mixes.
  4. Place the stick of butter on top of the roast.
  5. Add the pepperoncinis to the crockpot and cover.
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove roast (be careful, it'll want to fall apart on you!) and chop or shred as desired.
  7. Return meat to the crockpot then serve over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, bread, on sandwiches, you name it!