Chunky Tomato Sauce Main

This marinara sauce is hearty, full flavored, and reminds me of summer time. This was a whole day event, but since we did it in the crockpot, it was a breeze, and our house smelled wonderful. Paleo friendly, gluten free, and vegan.

Chunky Tomato Sauce
A hearty vegan friendly paleo friendly tomato sauce. Yields 2QTS
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
12 hr
Total Time
14 hr
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
12 hr
Total Time
14 hr
  1. 6 lbs ripe tomatoes with skin and seeds (we used Roma)
  2. 4 large sweet onions
  3. 2 cups fresh basil loosely ripped or chopped stems removed
  4. 6-7 cloves of garlic depending on size
  5. 6 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1/2 tsp red peper flakes
  7. Sea Salt and Peper to taste
  1. You'll want to do much of your prep first. Start by washing your tomatoes, then cutting them into fours. If you have some smaller tomatoes, just cut them in half. Leave the skin on and seeds in. Set them aside in a big bowl, you wont need them for a little while.
  2. Prep your onions next by largely dicing them and setting aside.
  3. Take 4 of your garlic cloves and mince them. Use a knife, not a garlic press. The rest of the garlic should be sliced.
  4. It can be a little difficult to measure out basil, so I threw it in a measuring cup until I had roughly 2 cups not pressed down. Now your ready to start cooking.
Phase 1
  1. Turn your crockpot on low and get a pan up to medium heat on your stove. Put 2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan, and 2 tbsp in the crockpot.
  2. Put about 2 1/2 onions in your pan and put about 1/2 an onion in the crockpot.
  3. Cook the pan onions for about 15 minutes, then add 2 cloves minced garlic to the pan, and your sliced garlic cloves to the crock pot.
  4. Salt both the pan onions and crock pot onions with just a few shakes of salt. How many shakes is up to you, it's a taste preference, fyi we did about 3 on each.
  5. Place about 1/2 cup of basil on the bottom of the crock pot, and a 1 cup in the pan and cook it down. You'll want to cook the onions until they start to brown a little and turn translucent. This was about 25 minutes for us.
  6. Once then onions are cooked enough, add about half of your tomatoes to the crock pot.
  7. Take half of the pan mixture and put it on top of the crockpot tomatoes, spread it out evenly.
  8. Add the rest of the tomatoes, then the rest of the pan mixture.
  9. Top with the rest of the basil, cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.
Phase 2
  1. After about 5 hours your tomato sauce should be starting to cook down and make you ravenously hungry with the wonderful scent. For the next six hours, you'll want to turn it on high with the cover lid on to get it to a nice boil, then remove the lid and turn it back to low to let some of the moisture cook out. Do this about 1-2 times an hour.
  2. In the last two hours of cooking, add the remaining minced garlic, olive oil, onion, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, and about 1 tsp sea salt.
  1. Turn your crockpot off after 12 hours of cooking and let your mixture cool. This makes roughly 2 pints of sauce. You have a couple options to preserve. You can can it, or freeze it with freezer bags. If you use freezer bags, we recommend letting the sauce cool completely before freezing. Better yet, after the crockpot has cooled enough, stick the entire pot in your fridge overnight and freeze in the morning.
  2. We go through pasta sauce fairly quick, so we put 1 pint in a mason jar unsealed, and decided to freeze the other pint.
  1. Remember, organic ingredients taste better!
The Honest Dish
Chunky Tomato Sauce 1Our lovely tomatoes

Chunky Tomato Sauce 2The Basil before we ripped it 

Chunky Tomato Sauce 4This alone tasted awesome, it was hard to not eat it all!

Chunky Tomato Sauce 6Layering the tomatoes…

Chunky Tomato Sauce 7


Chunky Tomato Sauce 8After 5 hours of cooking.

Chunky Marinara Sauce MainEnjoy!