Today I have a fun sauce recipe to share with you. Crockpot Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce.
Let’s talk about spaghetti sauce for a minute. I love it…I don’t love how much salt is usually in it. A few years ago I started buying no-salt-added crushed tomatoes and adding my own garlic and herbs to make spaghetti sauce. It’s super easy and much healthier!
Another one of my favorite tricks for making sauce healthier is to add extra veggies. Usually I just chop them up, saute them and mix them into my sauce with some lentils and then serve over noodles. This weekend, however, I was in the mood for a less chunky sauce. So I turned to my crockpot.
Let’s back up a minute. Did you know you can roast veggies in your crockpot? It’s so easy. Just chop up some veggies of your choice, toss lightly with olive oil and spices of your choice and roast in the crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or on low for longer. The veggies will get a little softer than when you roast them in the oven and not as “blackened”, but the flavor is still great. I still have a slight preference for oven roasted veggies…but using the crockpot is a fun way to change it up.
Ok, moving on. I decided to use some crockpot roasted veggies to kick my spaghetti sauce up a notch. Here’s what I did:
- Chopped up some veggies I had on hand and some garlic.
- Tossed in olive oil and roasted in the crockpot on high for 3 hours, stirring every hour.
- Added 2- 28oz can of whole tomatoes, one with liquid and one drained (you could also use 4- 14.5 oz cans of no salt added diced tomatoes, or even crushed)
- Pureed the mixture using my immersion blender.
- Added some spices and fresh herbs.
- Let simmer for a couple more hours.
Voila! Roasted Veggie Sauce. The best part is you can freeze this sauce….so use some now and freeze the rest. When you need more, just pull it out and defrost it! There isn’t an exact recipe for this sauce but here’s the general idea:
- 2-3 cups chopped vegetables
- 2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes
- 2-3 tsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- Peel and roughly chop the vegetables. Use whatever you have on hand. I used a sweet potato, a red pepper, 2 leeks, a handful of mushrooms and 3-4 carrots.
- Toss lightly in olive oil and add to the crockpot with the garlic.
- Roast on high for 3-4 hours or until soft, stirring every hour.
- Add one can of tomatoes with liquid, the drain the second can and add it without the liquid.
- Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Add spices (adjust to your tastebuds- add parsley or other italian seasonings if desired).
- Let simmer 1-2 hours more on warm.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze.
You won’t outright taste the veggies, but it’s awesome knowing that they’re in there…and I think it adds a nice flavor to the sauce if you’re looking for it. Try to find no-salt-added tomatoes if you can! If you can’t, look at several brands to find the one with the lowest amount, and rinse off the tomatoes from the can you drain the liquid from!
Serve this sauce over noodles or spaghetti sauce and add your favorite protein. I usually add lentils or white beans…but you could also add chicken or ground turkey. And if you’re feeling extra “saucy”, add a dollop of pesto for some extra flavor!
Let’s chat: Do you add extra veggies to your sauce?