Have a garden full of fresh tomatoes and wish you could put them away for the winter without pulling out the finicky canning equipment? Here’s a fun and simple homemade pizza sauce recipe that will let you tuck away your garden harvest, no mason jars needed!
I’ve got the 411 on how to make a rich tomato sauce that’s so good, it’ll rival your Italian grandmother’s recipe. Once cooked overnight, puree your slow cooked tomatoes into a smooth sauce, then spoon into freezer bags for later use. Whenever you’re ready to make pizza (or even spaghetti and meatballs) you’ll have a fresh-made batch of sauce ready to thaw and use.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this easy-peasy homemade pizza sauce.
Need tips to grow those big, juicy reds? Check out our tomato growing guide! Once your harvest is complete, use your pizza sauce on one of these homemade pizza recipes or in one of these delicious pasta bakes.
Step 1: Chop your veggies
This recipe is such a great way to use bushels and bushels of fresh tomatoes. Pick up to 10 pounds of fresh tomatoes, clean, dice into 1-inch pieces, and place in a slow cooker. Do the same with a green bell pepper, a red pepper, and a purple onion. Toss a few spices into your crockpot, as well. Check the recipe below for specifics.
Step 2: Cook in the slow cooker
Cover your slow cooker and set to low. Cook for 8-10 hours, stirring once or twice to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn around the edges. Once cooked, remove the lid and allow your sauce to cool. It will be piping hot and may need up to 30 minutes to cool.
Step 3: Puree & Freeze
Time to turn those veggies into a delicious pizza sauce! Grab a hand blender and puree the mixture until smooth. If the mixture is still hot, allow it to come to room temperature before freezing.
Step 4: Freeze
From here, there are two great ways to freeze your sauce. If you tend to make large, family-style meals, you’ll want to pour 1-2 cups of sauce into quart-sized freezer bags. Press any air out, and zip the bags closed to seal. Lay the packets flat in the freezer to create compact little sauce packs. Once frozen, you can store them upright in your freezer to save space, if needed.
If you tend to need small amounts of pizza sauce (we always open one bottle and use just a few spoonfuls, so this is our family’s favorite technique), spoon 1/4-1/2 cup of sauce into silicone muffin cups and freeze. Once frozen, you can pop the sauce out of the silicone cups, then store it in a large plastic bag. When it’s time to make pizza, just pull one of the frozen pizza sauce blocks from the bag and thaw. You’ll have just enough sauce for a personal-sized pizza!
When stored properly, your sauce should last in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Other ways to use your sauce
Though this sauce is thick enough to spread on homemade pizza, it’s also great to use as you would spaghetti or marinara sauce. Top meatloaf, toss it over pasta, or use it to make lasagna. This delicious sauce is a simple way to use up all of those garden tomatoes, allowing you to savor the flavor of summer all season long!
Homemade Pizza Sauce
Yield: About 10 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 8 hours 10 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8-10 pounds heirloom tomatoes, diced
- 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 purple onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons honey or sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Spray a 6-8 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, peppers, vinegar, honey, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper inside the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook for 8-12 hours on low. Allow to cool slightly before pureeing.
- Use a hand blender to puree the mixture.
- Allow mixture to cool completely before placing in plastic freezer bags. Or, spoon 1/2-cup servings of the sauce into silicone cupcake wrappers and freeze. Store cubes in large bags for grab-and-go one serving sauces.