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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yummmy, as Oslo loves to say. This is always a crowd pleaser!
Looking for other slow cooked fall recipes? Here are a few ideas:
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
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.
- 5 pounds bone in beef short ribs
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 2 cans (28 ounce) crushed san Marzano tomatoes
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 2 carrots, cut into large pieces
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup pickled jalapeños (optional, but recommend)
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon chili flakes
- parmesan rind, plus grated parmesan, for serving
- 1 head garlic, top portion trimmed off
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- pasta, plus fresh basil, for serving
- 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!
- 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!
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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.