Crock pot and freezer— sounds like an oxymoron, but together they produce a convenient savory red sauce for all your 15-minute meals. Using both will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. I’ve got a versatile marinara that I use for pasta, pizza, calzones, sandwiches and more.
I begin with three 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes. My absolute favorite is Muier Glen crushed tomatoes with Basil. You can see the quality difference when you open the can and smell it. I like to stock up when it goes on sale and pair it with a coupon. You can join the Muir Glen Club and print two coupons by hitting the back arrow slowly three times. Using coupons allows me to buy it at the same price as conventional crushed tomatoes. However, if no coupon is within reach. Regular crushed tomatoes will work just as well by adding a teaspoon of basil.
This is so easy. Open all the cans and empty into your crock pot. Add the seasonings. I told you it was easy. Cover and cook on low for four or more hours if desired.
Allow it to cool completely, about 2 hours without a lid, stirring as you pass by. Pour into labeled quart or pint size freezer bags in 1 or 2 cup portions. I use my 1 cup measuring spoon to pour in an upright bag, stabilized with a glass measuring cup.
I’ve portioned the large bags with 3 cups of marinara for pasta meals, like spaghetti and meatballs. The rest are 1 cup portions for pizza, meatballs subs, stromboli and calzones. Use your own discretion and decide how you will freeze. You can always thaw 1 cup portions easily the day of an a whim in a bowl of cool water. The large bags thaw best overnight.
I stack mine on a level surface to transport to the freezer and lie flat. I’m using the lid of my plastic shoebox. I’ll remove it once they are frozen solid.
Freezer Marinara Sauce
Yield: 10 cups
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, pressed
3 cans (28 0z). crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen with basil)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste*
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Add 1-1/2 tsp. sweet basil if you’re not using Muir Glen tomatoes.
*Kitchen tip: If you still have an old-fashioned can opener, open both sides and remove the bottom. Push the top lid through the entire can emptying out the can. Even though I acquired a newer style can opener, I hang onto this kitchen tool for this specific action.
Cook on low for 4 hours or more if desired. Cool completely. Freeze flat in quart size bags in 1 or 2 cup portions. Thaw 24 hours before using or thaw in a bowl of cool water.
This is linked to It’s a Keeper recipes. What will you use your freezer marinara for?