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Amazing Homemade Marinara Sauce and Roasted Chicken Tortellini

Updated on April 19, 2021
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As an athlete and mother of two young children, Lani is always looking for new ways to present her family with tasty and nutritious meals.

Homemade Garden Marinara before blending
Homemade Garden Marinara before blending | Source

A little Story:

Having a variety of tomatoes is a staple of my garden, and every year I find myself inundated with pounds of tomatoes. Ultimately I end up eating cherry tomatoes as snacks for a week. Or I bring some to work for colleague foraging and grazing or give a few pounds away to friends and family. This year has been a little different. I have decided to venture deeper into my canning journey and include a homemade marinara sauce made from tomatoes grown in my garden.

I mostly have cherry and Roma tomatoes coming in, but the Cherokee tomatoes are working their way from green to red. This recipe does not call for a specific tomato variety, use whatever you have, including store-bought. The same goes for herbs and spices. I grew thyme, oregano, basil, arugula, and garlic chives this year, so that is what I used.

Fresh picked tomatoes and herbs
Fresh picked tomatoes and herbs | Source

Cooking time:

Approximately 3 hours

You will need:

1 slow cooker
1 blender (Optional)


About 3 lbs fresh uncut, unpeeled tomatoes
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup red wine
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, olive, canola, etc.)
2/3 cup chopped thyme, parsley, oregano, basil, arugula and garlic chives
1 tbsp dried basil, onion powder, parsley, garlic powder,
italian blend, tumeric, Worcestershire sauce, and cumin

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Preparing marinaraVariety of picked tomatoes and herbsSome of my favorite dried herbs for pasta dishesTomato PasteGarlic and chopped onions
Preparing marinara
Preparing marinara | Source
Variety of picked tomatoes and herbs
Variety of picked tomatoes and herbs | Source
Some of my favorite dried herbs for pasta dishes
Some of my favorite dried herbs for pasta dishes | Source
Tomato Paste
Tomato Paste | Source
Garlic and chopped onions
Garlic and chopped onions | Source

Let's do it:

  1. With your slow cooker on low add oil onions and as many tomatoes as can fit under a completely closed lid. Allow tomatoes to cook for 30 to 40 mins.
  2. Remove lid and with a potato masher push down on tomatoes until none remain whole. The first round of mashing will produce a good amount of liquid and tomato peels, add white vinegar and red wine.
  3. Add remaining tomatoes and all herbs and spices. Continue to add and mash tomatoes until you have a full pot.
  4. Once the pot is full, let the sauce simmer for at least 2 hours (no more than 4). Stir the sauce every 30 to 40 mins. Add tomato paste and mix thoroughly.
  5. Optional. Blend the finished sauce for a consistent texture.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Blended homemade garden marinara Processing and sealing jars Tortellini
Blended homemade garden marinara
Blended homemade garden marinara | Source
Processing and sealing jars
Processing and sealing jars

What to do next?

Suggestion 1: Can your sauce for later. My article on homemade plum jam provides basic canning instructions.

Suggestion 2: Use the marinara sauce with my veggie starter mix for a nutritious and robust spaghetti sauce.

Suggestion 3: Roasted chicken and cheese tortellini (my new favorite dish!). I shop at Costco, but any pulled chicken and stuffed pasta will do.

Roasted chicken and tortellini in homemade marinara sauce
Roasted chicken and tortellini in homemade marinara sauce | Source


1 pkg Kirkland roasted chicken (already pulled and parted)
1 pkg Kirkland brand cheese tortellini
2/3 cup oil (vegetable, olive, canola, etc.)
And, your fresh cooked garden marinara sauce

Let's get started:

  1. In a large saucepan heat oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken. Let saute for 10 mins, repeatedly stir to avoid charring.
  3. In a separate pot, add water and bring to a boil for tortellini. Boil pasta for 10 mins.
  4. Add tortellini to chicken in the saucepan and mix well. Add as much of your homemade marinara sauce as you'd like and mix thoroughly. Then? Bon Apetit!

This sauce was a hit for my mother and my two young boys. The dinner table was silent after everyone's first bite. In the end, I was able to use half of the sauce for Chicken tortellini, and the other half I canned for the next culinary expedition. I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as me and mine. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions. Thanks so much for reading!

Cookbooks for every kitchen

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor
The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor
My all-time favorite cookbook since becoming more conscious about my eating and especially since becoming a mother. This cookbook is not only beautifully done, but it is informative and engaging. It does not present a huge number of new recipes but does an excellent job of showcasing how to modify your favorites to be healthier without losing flavor or the joy of enjoying a meal you have always loved.
Around the World in 450 Recipes
Around the World in 450 Recipes
I have had this cookbook for almost 20 years, and it is so much fun — one of the easiest and cheapest ways to experience other regions and different cultures. Food is one of the most tangible and relevant representations of culture, and this cookbook gives the average household the opportunity to experience the world through its food.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Lani Morris


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