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Marinara Sauce a la Seaton

If there is one thing you can save money on and cut back on the processed ingredients, it’s marinara sauce. It’s simple, easy and adaptable to your taste. I never use a recipe when making my sauce, it’s my creative escape. I finally wrote it down and made it work for you, hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Marinara Sauce a la Seaton


Kelly @ onceamonthmeals.com


  • 5.5 cups diced tomatoes, organic canned
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


1) Place all ingredients into crock pot, and cook on low and uncovered, for 8 hours.

2) Once finished, blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Or place small batches into a regular blender and blend until smooth.

3) Place into a bowl and set aside until use.

Freezing Directions:

After cooking, let cool and place in freezer ready containers or a plastic bag, let the air out, and freeze until ready. To serve, simply re-heat on the stovetop for use with your favorite Italian dishes.

Servings: 6 Cups

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48 Responses to “Marinara Sauce a la Seaton”

  1. Mmmmm homemade sauce is the best. The hubs makes ours all the time, but we’ve never tried it in the crock pot. Great idea – thanks :)

    • Kelly says:

      Leila – I usually do it in a stock pot all day, but the crock works just the same overnight! Having the lid off is key though, so it doesn’t get too watery.

  2. […] last summer, so I became creative in finding new ways to serve. You can also serve this with some marinara sauce if you prefer. […]

  3. Doreen says:

    I have about 30 garden tomatoes I need to preserve and was thinking I would make sauce with them. If I used them in place of the canned diced tomatoes, should I skin and seed them first?

    • Kelly says:

      Most definitely Doreen!! It’s exactly what I do when I have them in season. This posted when tomatoes weren’t in their peak so I had to be honest about where you could get your tomatoes. I just blanch them to get the skins off.

  4. Our family loved this so much, I’ve featured the recipe link on our site’s “In the Kitchen” page.

  5. Melissa Mulvaney says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. I will never buy spaghetti sauce again!!!! This is amazing!!!!

  6. […] pizza is a staple at our house, so I was really excited to try this marinara sauce recipe from Once a Month Mom. Since it’s freezer friendly, you can make a bunch of it and freeze it for […]

  7. Stacey says:

    This has now become a staple in our house. I make it once or twice a month & my teens beg for it. Thank you!

  8. Clara says:

    Do you drain the tomatoes or include all the liquid from the can? Thanks

  9. Clara says:

    what did I do wrong this was soooo spicy and I cut the crushed peppers in half? the ones I used was the Wal-Mart brand crushed red pepper flakes. Was this the wrong kind? Does any one know how to tone down the spice? I have tried adding another batch( with out the pepper), adding brown sugar, adding honey but still has a good kick to it. Any help will be grateful. Thank you

  10. Sammy says:

    How long does the sauce keep for in the freezer?

  11. Elisabeth says:

    I loved the flavor of the sauce, except for the crushed red pepper. I only put 1/2 teaspoon in and it was SMOKIN. Next time I make it, I will omit the red pepper.

  12. Rachael Abedraboh says:

    Does anyone know if this would be any different using canned tomato sauce vs diced tomatoes?

  13. Michelle says:

    Ok, I doubled the recipe as I was trying to be economical with my time and was going to can the sauce for later meals but…IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY SPICY!! When I doubled I only put half a teaspoon of red pepper. My husband, who likes spice, said this was too spicy for him. I have put tomato juice in it and a can of paste hoping to tone it down. Big disappointment in this recipe.

  14. Amanda says:

    I’m new to OAMM so I’m still trying to figure all this out! If I freeze this can defrost in the microwave or do I need to let it. Thaw in the fridge or does it matter?
    Recipe looks great can’t wait to try it!

  15. Ken says:

    I have ground rosemary (instead of dried or cracked).. A tablespoon seems to be way too much. Any advice?

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Ken! Yes ground is way more potent. I would just try a 1/2 teaspoon to start and taste as you go and see what you think.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I cannot wait to try this with our garden tomatoes. I am thinking of putting in shredded carrots and zucchini too to sneak in just a few more veggies on the kids and hubby. What they don’t know wont hurt them – hehe.

    • Kelly says:

      Elizabeth yes it’s fantastic with fresh tomatoes. My friend’s grandmother used to add carrots to her sauces too they give it a little sweetness apparently. And I’m a fan of packing veggies where you can!

  17. Kim says:

    I like spicy, but this sauce is too spicy! I read all of the comments above before making it, but thought the people who complained about it being too spicy did something wrong or were just wimps (SORRY!). I used part of it in the Meaty Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe which helped tone down the spiciness. I will look for more recipes to use the rest of the sauce (the recipe made about 6 cups)as I don’t think we can eat it “straight up.”

  18. Chrysti says:

    How many cans of tomato do you end up using? I am working in metric, so I can’t figure out how many cans ‘5.5 cups’ is…

  19. Sharon says:

    Can fresh grape tomatoes be used in the crock pot method? I thought I had read somewhere that grape/cherry tomatoes are good for a quick cook sauce and that regular and Roma tomatoes were good for slower/longer cooking sauces. So I’m wondering if you know whether grape tomatoes would come out okay. I know that I would not be peeling them so I would have to puree the sauce to smooth it out and break down the skins/seeds.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    • Lisa says:

      Sharon – Yes, grape tomatoes will work fine for this sauce. I would halve them before putting them in the crockpot. If you want to go an extra step, roasting them in the oven with a little olive oil adds a delicious flavor to the sauce as well.

  20. Kim says:

    I can’t wait to try this! In the photos, it looks like you added a bay leaf. Do you usually add a bay leaf to this recipe?

  21. Rachel Bolin says:

    I’m going to weigh in on the “holy crud, really spicy!” side. I also like spice, my husband really likes spice, so I’m really curious about the variations in feedback. Wonder what it is that leads to such different experiences? I’m not the cook that can answer that, but I will start without the crushed red pepper flakes next time I try this.

    • Katie says:

      One guess I have Rachel could be the freshness of your red pepper flakes. The fresher, the spicier generally so maybe? Let us know how your experience turns out! I made it myself a few weeks ago with the red pepper and enjoyed the spice but I’m in Texas so we eat LOTS of spice here. :)

  22. Nerissa says:

    Is there a difference between crushed red pepper and red pepper flakes? Thanks!

  23. nicole says:

    Hello just wondering if this recipe could be canned instead of freezing? I would like to be able to keep it somewhere other than my freezer and have been looking for a good recipe for quite some time. I will freeze if needed but would prefer to can it? Thanks so much.

  24. lisasg says:

    Can you do this sauce in a pressure cooker? Thanks in advance!

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