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Slow Cooker Marinara on Pasta

Slow Cooker Butter Marinara Sauce

December 01, 2016
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As the weather cools off I really crave Italian food. Specifically, pasta and slow simmered sauces. I first learned to make one of my favorite tomato sauces from a classic Italian recipe.

Slow Cooker Marinara - Step 1
One issue though: The sauce does require about an hour, at least, of simmering. For some, that would place this recipe solidly in the not-ready-for-weekday category. So, I thought I would adapt this bad boy for a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Marinara - Step 2
The nice thing about using the slow cooker for this classic tomato sauce is the tomatoes break down while the onion and garlic slowly cook into an almost sweet flavor. It's pretty out of control.

Slow Cooker Marinara - Step 3
Then there's the butter which is the real treat of this recipe. It gives the sauce an almost creamy decadence, but it still has the bright red color of a classic marinara sauce.

Slow Cooker Marinara - Step 4
Do yourself and your family a favor this fall and stick these easy ingredients in a slow cooker. Enjoy a real Italian sauce.

Slow Cooker Marinara Close Up

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

Serves 6.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours (inactive)


  • 2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 large white onion, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano
  • 1 pound spaghetti, for serving



  1. Roughly crush canned whole tomatoes with your hands and add them to a slow cooker with all the other ingredients except the spaghetti.
  2. Turn on slow cooker and cook on low, covered, for 8 hours.
  3. When you're ready to eat, remove garlic cloves, onion, and oregano sprig from slow cooker. Use a potato masher or large fork to mash up sauce until it's mostly smooth.
  4. Cook pasta according to directions until it's al dente. Serve spaghetti with big spoonfuls of sauce on top, garnished with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Slow Cooker Marinara - Final

Macheesmo has partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Land O Lakes® Butter. This blog post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes.

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My family likes my Tomatoes sauce chunky. Instead of whole tomatoes, I use 1 can (28oz.) Of crushed tomatoes, 1 can 28oz. Tomato puree, and 2 (6oz) tomatoes paste. Enough H2O to stir in until it's mixed but still thick. Onion cut in small pieces (not minced) 2 shakes of oregano, sugar to taste, 2 bay leafs, and 1 shake of basil. I also cook my meatballs in the sauce. The meat flavor adds to the sauce. Never tried the butter but will next time. Sounds yummy! Thanks

Posted January 04, 2017 by Cathy