at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

The Easiest Homemade Tomato Sauce. Ever.

There's really only one reason I always hope for extra tomatoes in my garden. Okay, make that two. One is salsa. Two is homemade tomato sauce. I don't usually have much of a bumper crop, so I've only tried the tomato sauce thing once or twice before. This year, between my garden and our CSA, I did have an overabundance of tomatoes, and I was on a mission. You see, I wanted to make homemade tomato sauce that I could use in lasagna and spaghetti and other Italian dishes, but I wanted it to be simple. The recipes I had tried before involved boiling the tomatoes in hot water, followed by a cold water bath so you could remove the skins, and then removal of the seeds...just to then put it all back on the stove to cook for an extended period of time, only to end up with water, soupy sauce, unless I added extra tomato paste. Whew. After some thought and some research, I began to wonder about using my Crock Pot and immersion blender to make tomato sauce, without peeling and de-seeding. I figured if I blended it up, I wouldn't care if the tomato skins were in there, and I don't notice any off-flavor from the seeds. The results of the experiment were delicious, and the method was unbeatably simple!


  • Enough tomatoes to fill a Crock Pot -- I used multiple varieties, including large and small heirloom, as well some cherry tomatoes
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • Garlic (whole cloves, and/or dried garlic powder)
  • Onion powder
  • Basil (fresh or dried)
  • Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Add a small amount of olive oil to the bottom of the Crock Pot -- just enough to cover the bottom. Add the diced onions and fill the Crock Pot with washed whole tomatoes. Season to taste with garlic, onion powder, basil, oregano salt and pepper. Cook on low for 8 hours with the lid a little bit cracked to allow some of the steam out. Puree with an immersion blender.

Olive oil & onions added to Crock Pot -- then piled in the tomatoes! I guess I did chop a couple in half to fit :)

I had some fresh basil, but the other herbs and spices I used were all dried.

I was surprised to find the tomatoes mostly still in tact after 8 hours in the slow cooker.

If you don't have an immersion blender, got buy one. Now. These things are amazing. I call it my Magic Want in the kitchen.

Voila! It turned out fairly orange colored, likely due to the mix of tomatoes I used. 
Tom ended up using some of the sauce that night in his famous manicotti!
I have just a couple of tips and notes after making this once. One, I did have to add more seasonings after I blended up the sauce and tasted it. I like a lot of flavor, but add to your own taste. The sauce still turned out a little bit runny, but I think letting some of the steam vent and pureeing the skins into the sauce helped. Tom took a little bit out and boiled on the stove for just a few minutes and the sauce thickened up nicely. You may also be able to cook on high for a couple hours in the Crock Pot and/or leave more room for venting to have a thicker sauce to begin with. With the onions being the only actual "prepped" ingredient, I thought this ended up being incredibly simple and it tasted great! I portioned off whatever we didn't immediately use and froze it for another night. If you try it out, let me know what adjustments you make and how it turned out! 

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!