Crock Pot Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

I was in the produce aisle searching everywhere for a piece of ginger and I happened upon an amazing sale on organic tomatoes. Normally I don’t can tomato sauce until the fall when tomatoes are super cheap. I usually buy 200 lbs at a time and can for a few weekends in a row until I have them all done. I don’t know why these were on sale, or where they came from, but I ended up talking to the manager and got a 25 lb box of organic tomatoes for $9.00. That is pretty awesome for Michigan in May right? So anyway, now I’m home and the tomato sauce is boiling away in the canning pot, so I thought I would post about how to do this. Most of you will have to bookmark this recipe until the fall, because tomatoes are definitely not cheap in the spring 🙂

If you don’t have a crock pot, any very large stock pot will do. If you don’t want to can it, it freezes very well. In fact, I have frozen several batches of this on purpose previously because you can add the meat! That makes dinner ready in 5 minutes. This recipe makes one batch, in case you just want to throw this in for dinner or something. I am crazy and make every thing in army size portions.

Crock Pot Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

1 cup finely chopped celery

2 cups finely chopped onions

2 large, green bell peppers, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

8-10 tomatoes scalded & peeled

2 cans tomato paste

6 ounces fresh mushrooms

Pinch of each: Italian seasoning, garlic salt, parsley, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper.

You can also add 1 lb ground beef, venison, pork etc. But only if you plan to eat it right away, or freeze it. You can also add meat if you have a pressure canner (which I do not)

To prepare tomatoes: dunk tomato in boiling water for 1 minute, then immediately immerse in ice water. The skin will slide right off. Cut tomato in 1/2 and squeeze out the seeds (don’t worry about getting every last seed). No need to chop, they will break down as they cook.

Cook onion & celery in a pan 4-5 minutes (with meat if you are  using meat). Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and simmer on low for 8-10 hours. Taste and season as needed. Eat dinner now, freeze now, or continue with the canning steps below.

Meanwhile gather all of your canning materials, and sterilize your jars and lids. Get your large pot of water boiling. Fill hot jars with hot tomato sauce leaving 1 inch of head space. Place lids and rings on jars. Do not over tighten. Place jars in boiled water (using tongs) and process at a full boil for 35-40 minutes. There should be at least 2 inches of water covering the jars. Remove from water (with tongs) and place on a folded towel. As the jars cool, they will seal and you will hear a POP.

My 25 lb box of tomatoes made 7 pints of pasta sauce at 1.28 per jar. Not too shabby considering I don’t have a vegetable garden this year. If you never have to buy produce, you don’t know how lucky you are!

P.S I will post a complete canning tutorial in the fall, and also recipes for tomato paste, so you don’t have to buy that ever again.

I also wanted to remind everyone that if you ever see a great deal on tomatoes, you can freeze them! You just wash and place in a freezer back and freeze them flat, so you can stack the bags. Then the next time you need whole tomatoes in a recipe voila!

tomatoes ready to freeze


  1. momgonepaleo said,

    May 1, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    I’ve never made my sauce in a crock pot before. I’ll have to give it a shot!

  2. May 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I will have to tuck this away! My husband is growing a monumental number of tomato plants this year. I’m looking forward to doing this and some sun-dried (ok, really dehumidifier dried) tomatoes.

  3. May 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Hello Heather! You’ve got a great blog here that I enjoy so I nominated you for The Sunshine Award! Here are the details:

  4. Brandi said,

    May 2, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I LOVE your homemade sauce. I make this, can it and use it for pizza sauce as well. I also like a little kick with some red wine. Ymmmmy and so inexpensive.

  5. May 7, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    […] Pasta Sauce (make it myself) […]

  6. ThriftyNut said,

    May 7, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Great starting recipe for my first time canning this year… BOOKMARKED!!!! Thank you!

  7. May 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    […] Crock Pot Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes ( […]

  8. May 12, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    […] Crock Pot Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes ( Share this:TwitterPinterestEmailPrintTumblrStumbleUponFacebookRedditLinkedInDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Categories:Water-Bath Canning RecipesTags:About This Recipe Celery Cook Home Quart Recipe Tomato Victorio […]

  9. Nicole said,

    July 27, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I made and processed my sauce according to your directions. Now I am reading that tomato sauce needs lemon juice to store safely. Have you had any problems storing your sauce without using the lemon juice?

    • September 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      I have never had a problem before. It couldn’t hurt to throw in a Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar for acidity but I never do.

  10. Linda Christensen said,

    August 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Can I make this tomato sauce up, put it in glass jars and freeze it?

  11. November 15, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    I have read in a few places that we should NOT buy any tomato products in cans. I see your recipe uses tomato paste, which I assume is canned.

    • January 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      Darillyn, We usually can our own tomato paste in the fall. I guess I’ll have to write a post about that huh? 🙂

  12. Andrea said,

    March 23, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    How does this spaghetti sauce taste? I tried to make my own (not with this recipe) and it was…well…sour. Am I just used to loads of sugar dumped in my tomato sauce, or did I do something wrong?

  13. September 2, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    […] via A Real Food Lover […]

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