Meaty Marinara Sauce in a shallow white dish with a wooden spoon scooping out sauce next to tomatoes and a jar of sauce (with logo overlay)

Meaty Marinara Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Use the slow cooker to make your own homemade marinara sauce with more flavor and texture than the store-bought alternative.

My parents have a slow cooker recipe book that is older than me, and it has a bunch of yummy recipes in there! Seriously, they’ve had it since they were married. I’ve made a few already, but had to try out the marinara sauce. Meals with pasta, red sauce, and cheese are some of my favorites!

The sauce took about 15 minutes to prep all of the ingredients, then I dumped it all in the slow cooker and let it do it’s thing. A few hours later, we had a delicious sauce ready to eat. I used it on our homemade pizza that evening, but it could be used on a variety of dishes.

The sauce was a bit thicker than marinara sauce that you would buy at the store, but it was good like that. There was more substance to the sauce. My only complaint was how prevalent the flavor of the sausage was, but I am not a big fan of sausage to begin with. Justin didn’t notice that more than anything else in there.

Because it was a meaty sauce I think it would work well for more than just a replacement for marinara. I would eat this on pasta and we already had it on our pizza.

The sauce will also freeze and reheat well. We had way more than we needed for one meal, so I split it up and froze the extra in glass jars. Just make sure you leave plenty of room for it to expand as it freezes. To reheat, let it thaw in the refrigerator, then warm in a saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to bubble.

Step by Step

In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef, sausage, chopped onion, and minced garlic until the meat is brown and the onion is tender. This should take about 10 minutes and make sure to stir occasionally so nothing sticks to the pan.

Meaty Marinara Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the vegetables by chopping the mushrooms and green pepper. Place the tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, and seasonings in the slow cooker.

Stir in the cooked meat mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

Let the sauce cool just a bit before using. Leftovers can be frozen once completely cooled.

Recipe

Meaty Marinara Sauce in a shallow white serving dish with a wooden spoon covered in sauce laying in front of it and to three tomatoes on a brown towel and a jar of more sauce to the side behind the dish all on a wooden surface

Meaty Marinara Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Use the slow cooker to make your own homemade marinara sauce with more flavor and texture than the store-bought alternative.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Course: Homemade Staple
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: ground beef, sauce, slow cooker, tomato
Servings: 4 cups
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 lb Italian sausage
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 10 white mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 16 oz diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef, sausage, chopped onion, and minced garlic until the meat is brown and the onion is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the vegetables by chopping the mushrooms and green pepper
  • Place the tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, and seasonings in the slow cooker
  • Stir in the cooked meat mixture
  • Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours
  • Let the sauce cool just a bit before using
  • Leftovers can be frozen once completely cooled
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Nutrition Facts
Meaty Marinara Sauce in the Slow Cooker
Amount Per Serving
Calories 312 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 927mg39%
Potassium 1044mg30%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 735IU15%
Vitamin C 45.3mg55%
Calcium 71mg7%
Iron 4.1mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Meaty Marinara Sauce in the Slow Cooker

20 thoughts on “Meaty Marinara Sauce in the Slow Cooker”

  1. We are huge pasta lovers so this is definitely going to come in handy! I love that you used a slow cooker! I love mine. Something about my house smelling like yummy food all day makes me happy.

    1. Oh my gosh, yes, the slow cooker is amazing. And I wasn’t a huge fan of the smell of the meats first thing in the morning to get it started, but the sauce smelled so good cooking all day.

  2. THIS SPEAKS TO ME. #1 I love meat. #2 I love tomato sauce. #3. I am hungry – hahahahaha! I would just eat this directly OUT OF the slow cooker, risking burning myself, because it looks that good!

  3. I will try this one. I have used my slow cooker only once to make a dip. This is the perfect dish to use it again.

  4. Mmmmmm! I love that this is a slow-cooker recipe. I never think to make pasta sauces in the slow cooker; I always simmer them for hours on the stove instead – which I am usually doing in the summer heat when our garden is shooting out tomatoes faster than we can eat them – which is not fun. Why I didn’t think of this no-brainer sooner, I dunno, but excited to try – and glad we can used canned tomato products to make this in the winter, too! 🙂

    1. I’ve done it both ways and the slow cooker is definitely easier. We planted some tomato seeds inside a few days ago and are getting sprouts. We’ve never had much luck growing them in the garden, but we are going to try again this year!

  5. This sauce does look like it would be so good. I am not really a fan of store bought because heating it on the stove is not the same as this!

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