This week I had a few spare hours (crazy, right??) and thought what better way to use up those precious minutes than by starting a batch of freezer cooking? I was having my in-laws over for dinner, so I thought I would try out a recipe from my new cookbook!I preordered Jessica Fisher's Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook, and it came in the mail last week!
I decided to try the Stuffed Chicken Parmesan and Easy Slow Cooker Red Sauce. They turned out so wonderfully that I thought I'd share them with you! I have made Jessica's red sauce recipe before, on one of my previous freezer cooking adventures. I knew it was a hit with our family, so I (with help from the hubs!) made up a big batch yesterday. The batch was big enough for our dinner plus FIVE more servings for the freezer! I'll share the stuffed chicken parmesan in my next post.
I wanted to make a healthy sauce that my family would love, but that had no extra sugars added. I bought canned tomatoes with no sugar added - which is surprisingly difficult!! Lots of the canned tomatoes on my local grocery shelf had sugar added - a few even had high fructose corn syrup! In tomatoes!!
Here is the recipe!!
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
Recipe adapted from Here
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 large carrots, grated
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 - 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (no sugar added)
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp italian seasoning
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook garlic and onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and grated carrots and cook for just a few more minutes. Transfer the onions/mushrooms/carrots into the bottom of a large crockpot.
Open the cans of tomatoes, and one can at a time, puree the contents in the blender. This step is optional, but as anyone with little kids can attest, it's much easier to get kids to eat sauce when there are no chunks of tomatoes in the sauce!!
Add the crushed tomatoes and seasonings and mix together until well combined. Cover and cook on LOW for at least four hours.
This sauce can be used as a base for a meat sauce (just brown your beef/pork and add to the sauce), as a vegetarian pasta sauce, in chili, in any number of delicious recipes!!
I used approximately two cups of sauce to top the Stuffed Chicken Parmesan (recipe will be posted tomorrow!). After the sauce in the crockpot cooled, transfer two cups at a time into medium ziploc freezer bags. Lay the bags in a dish and freeze flat. To defrost sit frozen sauce bag in warm water until it thaws, or let thaw in refrigerator.
I hope you like this recipe! It is honestly one of the easiest and most delicious recipes around, and it provides dinner after dinner for just pennies a serving!!