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The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

Lean in closely as we share our secret to the Best Homemade Tomato Sauce—a bold, flavorful recipe everyone needs in their culinary repertoire.

The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe featured image above

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

If you’re anything like me, you’re no stranger to the kind of magic that happens when drop-dead yummy flavors start hanging out in a pot together. That’s what happened with this amazing Homemade Tomato Sauce recipe. It’s basic, but not boring, really big on flavor, and kinda hard to resist.

I took a few leaves out of some classics, like granny’s Italian marinara (nothing beats it, right?) and that French tomato concassé. Tied them together and what we got was this homemade tomato sauce that was both familiar and still its own thing. It’s a real workhorse with stuff like gnocchi, lasagna, baked spaghetti, or ratatouille, but let me tell you, this sauce packs so much flavor it can shine all by itself; just scoop some up with a piece of crusty bread and you’ll be in food heaven.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. ripe tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, in the peel
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF
  • Lay the tomatoes, onions, and garlic out on a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe step 2
  • Place the tray into the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until everything is soft and a little browned.
The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe step 3
  • Put the roasted vegetables in the blender and add the herbs. Blend until it reaches the desired consistency.
The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe step 4

Tips & Tricks

  • Choose quality tomatoes, preferably from your own garden or a farmers’ market (i.e., tomatoes that haven’t spent a long time in the back of a truck).
  • Give the tomatoes and onions time to roast. If you rush them by turning up the heat, you’ll end up with subpar product.
  • For Italian herbs, turn to basil and oregano. Fresh is best, but dried herbs will do the trick in a pinch. Just remember dried herbs are usually more potent so adjust the amount as necessary.
  • Garlic is integral to this recipe. Without it, you won’t achieve that deep, robust flavor you’re after. In fact, add an extra clove or two, if you really like the stuff.
  • The question of the best consistency is unanswerable. It’s totally up to personal taste. Give it a few pulses to keep the ingredients largely intact or keep the blender running until it’s smooth. Your call.

FAQs

Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones?

Yup, though try to find fresh ones; they pack a punchy, summery twist. But if canned tomatoes are your only option, use whole, peeled tomatoes to maintain that taste.

Can I make this sauce without garlic?

I recommend you don’t, but if garlic isn’t your thing then by all means, use less or do away with it altogether.  

The recipe calls for blenders, can I still make tomato sauce without one?

You sure can; you just might need a bit of elbow grease. Slice and dice your veggies as fine as possible before sliding them into the oven. After the roast, use a masher or stick blender to reach that sought-after consistency.

Which types of tomatoes should I use?

Plum tomatoes, such as San Marzano, have a rich taste and not a lot of water (which is a good thing for this sauce). Roma tomatoes are also a good option.

Do I need to peel the tomatoes?

While peeling the tomatoes will probably result in a smoother sauce, the extra steps aren’t worth it to me. If you want to try it, etch a small ‘X’ in the bottom of the tomato then blanch them. After the ice bath, the skin should come off without much fuss.

The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe featured image below

Serving Suggestions

This tomato sauce can be incorporated into a number of dishes, mostly of the Italian variety. Drape it over al dente pasta, use it as the sauce for a homemade pizza, or build a Shakshuka around it. For a protein-based meal, you can use it for your Veal Parmesan, a Chicken Parmesan soup, or Eggplant Parmesan, if you’re vegetarian.

Variations

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce: Add a couple of red bell peppers and roast with the rest of the vegetables.

See Also

Spicy Tomato Sauce: A teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes should provide a kick.

Creamy Tomato Sauce: A scoop of cream cheese or a splash of heavy cream is all you need for a velvet-smooth finish.

Herby Tomato Sauce: If you want to build on the herbs I’ve included, reach for rosemary, thyme, or dill.

Wine-infused Tomato Sauce: A splash of red wine will enrich the sauce’s flavor (but save the fancy stuff for your glass!)

How to Prep and Store Your Tomato Sauce

One of the great things about this sauce is that it improves with age (well, within reason). The next day its flavor will have been enhanced by the alone time. Leftovers (or sauce that you have prepped for future use) can go in an airtight container (a mason jar works well) then stored in the fridge for up to a week. If you’ve made enough to feed all of Naples, you might want to freeze it for up to three months. Just thaw it overnight in the fridge then warm it through on LOW heat on the stove, stirring occasionally.

The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe featured image below

The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

About a Mom
Lean in closely as we share our secret to the Best Homemade Tomato Sauce—a bold, flavorful recipe everyone needs in their culinary repertoire.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 138 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lb. ripe tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic in the peel
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF
  • Lay the tomatoes, onions, and garlic out on a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe step 2
  • Place the tray into the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until everything is soft and a little browned.
    The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe step 3
  • Put the roasted vegetables in the blender and add the herbs. Blend until it reaches the desired consistency.
    The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe step 4

Notes

  • Give the tomatoes and onions time to roast. If you rush them by turning up the heat, you’ll end up with subpar product.
  • For Italian herbs, turn to basil and oregano. Fresh are best, but dried herbs will do the trick in a pinch. Just remember dried herbs are usually more potent so adjust the amount as necessary.
  • Garlic is integral to this recipe. Without it, you won’t achieve that deep, robust flavor you’re after. In fact, add an extra clove or two, if you really like the stuff.

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 19mgPotassium: 868mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 3001IUVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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