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Our go-to Crockpot Sunday Sauce. Slow simmered Italian-style tomato sauce cooked with short ribs. If there’s one cozy fall and winter meal you need to be making, it’s this Sunday sauce. It’s a simple-to-put-together family-style meal that smells incredible while cooking away all day. Serve over hot pasta with freshly grated parmesan, basil, and a side of garlic bread. A hearty dinner that’s lovely on a Sunday, but equally great any night you decide to serve.

Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

It’s Monday, but we’re making Sunday sauce. This recipe is so special. Of course, you can make it any day of the week. But I find it best when slow-cooked all Sunday long. Because there really is nothing cozier on a Sunday, than an incredible smelling dinner cooking away.

Add to the ambiance with fresh garlic bread and a candle burning in the background. My ideal kind of fall night.

As I type this, I’m in New York and loving my time here. Fall is beautiful in this city and the chilly nights have had me craving slow-cooker meals. I think most of us are on the same page.

Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

With the weather officially cold and November just around the corner, it’s the time of year when we all start to stay in more, host casual dinners with friends, and embrace the cozy season. This sauce is the perfect recipe to have in your rotation of easy, special dinners to share with family and friends.

It’s an oldie-but-goodie recipe that I make throughout the fall and winter months, and one my family loves.

Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Here are the details

Start by searing the ribs in a nice big skillet. Or if using the oven method, a cocotte that’s oven safe. When the ribs are browned, pull them out and add them to the bowl of your crockpot/slow cooker (whatever you’d prefer to call it).

At this point, everything else goes in. The tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, red wine, carrots, onions, jalapeños, and Italian seasoning.

Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

I also add a parmesan rind for extra flavor, plus 1 whole head of garlic right on top of the sauce. Then, slow cook all day long. The more time the sauce has to really simmer away, the more flavor it will develop.

Just before the sauce is finished cooking, I pull out the head of garlic, then squash out the cloves.

Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Take the cloves and melt them together with salted butter on the stove. As the butter slowly melts, smash the cloves down and allow some of the garlic to get crispy as the butter begins to brown.

When the butter is browned, I pour the garlicky goodness right back into the sauce. Of course, this step is not crucial to the recipe. But it really adds a special richness to the sauce that’s very delicious.

Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

For serving

I always, always serve the sauce over hot pasta, topped with freshly grated parmesan and basil. Polenta could be another nice option if you’re looking for something other than pasta.

This sauce is also really great without the short ribs, just cook it up with your favorite meatballs.

Be sure to include some kind of bread, we love garlic bread or beer bread. A nice salad alongside is perfect too.

Yummmy, as Oslo loves to say. This is always a crowd pleaser!

Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other slow cooked fall recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Red Wine Cranberry Braised Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pasta

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Cider Braised Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions

Lastly, if you make this Crockpot Sunday Sauce, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Crockpot Sunday Sauce

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 1047 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

Crockpot

  • 1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat, sear the ribs on both sides. Place the ribs in the slow cooker.
    2. To the slow cooker, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, wine, carrots, onion, pickled jalapeños, Italian seasoning, and season generously with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Stir the sauce to combine.
    3. Place the parmesan rind in the sauce. Add the garlic head. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. During the last hour of cooking, remove the garlic.
    4. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins. Add both the butter and cloves to a skillet set over medium heat. Mash the garlic into the butter, allowing the butter to brown and some of the garlic to get crispy. Remove from the heat.
    5. Remove the parmesan rind. Shred the ribs and add them to the sauce. Stir the garlic butter into the sauce. Serve over pasta. Top with parmesan and basil. Enjoy!

Oven

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
    2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-safe Dutch Oven over high heat, sear the ribs on both sides.
    3. Reduce the heat to low. To the pot, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, wine, carrots, onion, pickled jalapeños, Italian seasoning, and season generously with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Stir the sauce to combine. Add the parmesan rind and garlic. Cover and roast in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone. During the last hour of cooking, remove the garlic.
    4. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins. Add both the butter and cloves to a skillet set over medium heat. Mash the garlic into the butter, allowing the butter to brown and some of the garlic to get crispy. Remove from the heat.
    5. Remove the parmesan rind. Shred the ribs and add them to the sauce. Stir the garlic butter into the sauce. Serve over pasta. Top with parmesan and basil. Enjoy!

Notes

Italian Seasoning: Mix 2 tablespoons dried basil, 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1 teaspoon dried sage. Store in a sealed container.
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Crockpot Sunday Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. One of the pictures shows fresh thyme and sage in the cooking liquid. Is this something you still do? I noticed that step was not included in your ingredients or instructions.

    1. Hi there,
      I would thaw the short ribs first:) I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  2. 5 stars
    SO amazing and easy to make!!!! Blown away at how good it was!!! I used beef chuck instead of short ribs – cheaper and leaner option. I am recommending this recipe to everyone I know!

    1. Hey Jackie,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Happy Tuesday! 🎄

    1. Hey Sarah,
      For sure, you can use beef broth in place of the wine:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  3. LITERALLY one of the best things I’ve ever made and eaten! My Italian husband said the same which is HUGE! I have now made four of your recipes already! Thank you T 🙏🏻🙏🏻😍

  4. Hi. Where can I find your original recipe? This one is slightly modified from the recipe I’ve been using for the past few years. Thanks!

    1. Hi Tracy,
      So sorry, I no longer have access to that recipe. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it’s delish! xx