Weight Watchers Recipe of the Day: Skinny Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauce is one of my favorite ingredients to have on hand for quick and easy meals.
When you don’t have the time to cook tomato sauce from scratch, jarred marinara sauce is life-saver. I always have a jar or two in the pantry.
But I’ve learned to read the ingredient and nutritional labels to avoid unnecessary extra sugar, fat and calories.
As a Weight Watcher, I’m always on the lookout for a brand that tastes good for the fewest SmartPoints and a reasonable price.
I like Classico Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce. A good value, a jar usually costs $3 or less and each 1/2 cup serving has just 2 WW SmartPoints.
Making homemade marinara is almost as easy as jarred, especially when you use your slow cooker. And because it has less sugar, each serving of this easy healthy marinara has just 1 WW SmartPoint.
This simple skinny slow cooker marinara sauce is perfect for busy days since the longer it simmers the better it is.
I used my new favorite slow cooker, my Instant Pot, to whip up a batch recently.
I love that I can saute and slow cook all in the same pot. Leftovers can be portioned out and frozen for future quick and easy meals.
Skinny on Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
This simple slow cooker marinara sauce can be used so many ways – over pasta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, to top homemade pizza or chicken parmesan, in your favorite lasagna or as a dipping sauce for pepperoni pizza muffins or crispy baked zucchini sticks.
It’s a great basic recipe that can be adapted to suit your tastes. I’ve included some of my favorite ideas for embellishing it. Enjoy!
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Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce Recipe Variations
zestier – add dried spices such as oregano, basil, Italian Seasoning, fennel seed, more garlic, capers, chopped anchovies, balsamic vinegar (at the end)
chunkier – use 1 can crushed tomatoes and 1 can diced tomatoes
meaty – add cooked crumbled ground beef, pork, turkey, chicken or sausage
more veg – add chopped zucchini, sliced mushrooms, sliced olives, chopped spinach, etc
fishy – stir in tuna, anchovies, shrimp, scallops, etc (at the end)
cheesy – stir in grated Parmesan (at the end)
creamy – stir in a bit of cream or evaporated milk (at the end)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cans (28-ounces each) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Ideal Slow Cooker Size: 4 Quart
- Place oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to prevent it from burning.
- Scrape the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes and sugar. Stir well to combine.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
- Remove cover and stir well.
- Cook on HIGH uncovered for 1 hour for a thicker marinara sauce.
Source: adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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