This is another delicious vegetarian slow cooker recipe that I can make in bulk and freeze – though I don’t think it’s going to last me as long as my bean and vegetable chili! This is spicy and just the right consistency; the suggestion for ridged noodles to help scoop up the sauce is a great one. I call my version ‘spicy’ vegetarian spaghetti sauce, but the slow cooker helps mellow out the taste considerably.
Spicy Vegetarian Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Storage Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours from cutting board to freezer shelf
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, chopped thinly
- 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
- 8 oz. can of pitted black olives, roughly chopped
- 3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
- 2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained; I used preseasoned varieties – 1 “italian herbs” & 1 “basil & garlic”
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- Cook onions and garlic in oil in large nonstick pan over medium heat. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender. If you’re allergic to onions (like I am), this is a good time to take out any if you think maybe it’s “too much.”
- Add carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, jalapeno, olives, and bell pepper. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Place vegetables into bottom of 6-7 quart slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients into the slow cooker. I took a few minutes to spread the sauces evenly over the vegetables; the added step of mixing everything together before layering them over seems unnecessary, and I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Uncover, stir thoroughly, then leave cover off and turn heat to high. Cook, uncovered, for 1 more hour to thicken sauce.
- At this point the sauce can be frozen. Divide into smaller portions and cool in refrigerator. Wrap, label, and freeze the sauce up to 3 months.
- To thaw and reheat, thaw sauce overnight in refrigerator. Pour into skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 15-20 minutes or until sauce bubbles and is thoroughly heated.
I took the original of this recipe off about.com’s “Busy Cook” section, but I made several changes to the original recipe to make it more to my tastes. I added a jalapeno pepper, tons of olives, a fresh tomato, and a little bit more canned sauce to the recipe, calling for a slightly larger crock pot size. The original can be found here: Vegetarian Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce.