Have you ever left a restaurant wishing you could make the perfect tomato sauce so you can have your own fine dining experience at home? This homemade tomato sauce recipe will blow you away with how easy and appetizing it can be.
There’s no need to stock up on cans or boxes of store-bought tomato sauce when you have this recipe in your folder.
Keep reading to learn how to make tomato sauce. You’ll be amazed at just how simple — and delicious — it is!
What is Tomato Sauce?
It’s important to know what tomato sauce is before you attempt to add it to a recipe. At its core, tomato sauce is thicker than tomato juice but not as thick as tomato puree. It can have anywhere from a smooth consistency to a slightly chunky texture, depending on your personal preference.
Tomato sauce is set apart from straight puree by the added spices and flavors it holds. It should be basic enough to be used as a base for tomato dishes or ladled over a dish like a gravy but also flavorful enough that additional spices or flavoring won’t need to be added.
Another important thing to note about tomato sauce is that it isn’t the same as spaghetti or pizza sauce.
Pizza Sauce has a greater concentration of tomato puree and is a thicker sauce that is uncooked prior to use. Spaghetti sauce is a slow-cooked sauce that has a variety of added herbs and flavors and has a lighter consistency than tomato sauce.
The Benefits of Making Your Own Tomato Sauce
There are several benefits of making your own tomato sauce at home.
Gardeners will find they can save money by using their home-grown tomatoes from their own backyard. Having the main ingredient on hand, you will only need a handful of other ingredients to keep stocked in your kitchen, so you won’t go over your budget.
Another benefit of making your own tomato sauce are the limited ingredients you will use, which means fewer processed ingredients from store-bought foods. Those with food allergies or health concerns can keep an eye on exactly what goes into their bodies for a healthier—and safer—lifestyle.
By choosing to keep these ingredients on hand, you’ll also be ready to prepare this sauce for any tomato-based dish you might need in a pinch. No one wants to make that extra trip to the grocery store for a single item!
Quality Ingredients to Make this Better than Store Bought
A healthy lifestyle is important to everyone. Assuring you have quality ingredients on hand to make this homemade tomato sauce recipe will put you one step ahead.
Visit your local farmers market or grocery store and scout out their freshest tomatoes you can find! A low-seed and low-water content tomato works best for making your own tomato sauce. For this reason, a Roma tomato is always a great pick. Roma tomatoes are usually found at most grocery stores, as well.
Or use your own home-grown tomatoes right from your backyard! You can’t get fresher than your own garden.
Best Tomatoes For a Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe
Looking to use only the best tomatoes in your sauce? Our blog post on 7 Tomatoes for Sauce highlights a few of the very best varieties of tomatoes that will make your sauce out of this world!
Other Important Ingredients
The good news is most of the ingredients needed for this recipe will be found right in your pantry. Grab your salt, pepper, sugar, and extra virgin olive oil, and get ready to make an amazing sauce you will love!
If you enjoy gardening, you might already have some fresh basil. This added bonus will make your homemade tomato sauce taste amazing.
The next time you’re at the store, stock up on some garlic cloves so you can spice up this delicious recipe.
How to Make Tomato Sauce at Home
Gather your Ingredients
To make this delicious recipe, you will need approximately 4 pounds of Roma tomatoes. In addition, head to the pantry and grab extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar. You’ll also need your 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed, and 2 tablespoons of fresh basil already chopped.
Prepare the Tomatoes
In a large pot, fill with enough water to cover the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water and ice cubes.
Using a knife, cut a large X on the bottom of each tomato.
Put the tomatoes in the pot of boiling water and cook until the edges of the tomato skin begin to peel or wrinkle. This should take 1-2 minutes but keep a close eye on the tomatoes, so they don’t become soft.
Drain the tomatoes and immediately place them into the bowl of ice water. Allow them to chill for several minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board and peel the skins off.
Dice the tomatoes into 1/2″-1″ pieces. Transfer the diced tomatoes, along with any juices caught on the cutting board, into a new large saucepan.
Simmer your Ingredients
Add 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the smashed garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and pepper to taste.
Cook on medium to high heat just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally to avoid burning. Feel free to mash the tomatoes to thicken the sauce as it cooks.
Finish the Process
Once the sauce has finished cooking, use a hand immersion blender and puree to the desired consistency. If a chunky consistency is preferred, use a spoon or potato masher to break the tomatoes up instead of using the blender.
Add additional salt and pepper according to taste. As it cools, add the chopped basil.
Storage Instructions For Homemade Tomato Sauce
Allow your sauce to come to room temperature before storing in an airtight or glass container. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Spice Up Your Sauce With These Variations!
Peel and halve an onion variety of your choice and add it to the pot to simmer. Before blending the sauce, scoop the onion chunks out with a slotted spoon.
Add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes during the simmering process to add an extra kick to your tomato sauce!
Experiment with some fresh herbs by sprinkling some fresh parsley or oregano into the pot once it’s finished cooking. The great thing about homemade tomato sauce is being able to customize it to your liking.
Additional Recipes to Make the Most of your Sauce!
One Pot Pizza Pasta Bake
Looking for an easy crowd-pleaser recipe? Search no further! This One Pot Pizza Pasta Bake is perfect for even the pickiest eaters. And with mini-pepperonis, it will be a hit with the kids!
The best part? It’s quick. And using only one pot means you’ll save time doing dishes. So you can get back to the important things in your life!
Authentic Mexican Rice
Another advantage of tomato sauce is that it’s not always the main ingredient of a recipe. Sometimes it takes the backseat and fills the dish with flavor!
This yummy Authentic Mexican Rice side dish will be a hit for Taco Tuesday night! With just a few ingredients, this recipe will save money and time when you add it to your menu.
Looking to curl up on a cold winter’s night with a bowl of soup? This vegetarian friendly Minestrone Soup will assure your kids get their daily serving of vegetables, all while making their taste buds happy!
This low-calorie meal is packed with vitamins and minerals. And with a cook time that clocks in at less than an hour from start to finish, this meal will fit perfectly with your busy lifestyle.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Interested in a recipe that you can throw together and forget about until suppertime? This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is exactly what you need!
With simple ingredients that marinate together in your crockpot, it’s guaranteed to please everyone. This is a great game-day recipe that will satisfy hearty appetites so you can cheer on your favorite sports team!
Dazzle Them With Homemade Tomato Sauce!
Grab some fresh tomatoes and other ingredients and whip up a pot of homemade tomato sauce this weekend. Now that you know how to make tomato sauce, we guarantee you’ll never go back to jar sauce in the grocery store again!
Visit our Tomato Plants page for everything you need to grow tomatoes for your sauce.
For an additional treat, browse the Recipes section on our website for more mouthwatering inspiration for things to make with your fruits and vegetables this year.
DIY Tomato Sauce
There's no need to stock up on cans or boxes of store-bought tomato sauce when you have this recipe in your folder. You'll be amazed at just how simple -- and delicious -- it is!
- 4 pounds Roma tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Pepper to taste
- In a large pot, fill with enough to cover tomatoes and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water and ice cubes.
- Using a knife, cut a large X on the bottom of each tomato. Put the tomatoes in the pot of boiling water and cook until the edges of the tomato skin begin to peel or wrinkle. This should take 1-2 minutes but keep a close eye on the tomatoes so don't become soft.
- Drain the tomatoes and immediately place them into the bowl of ice water. Allow them to chill for several minutes.
- Transfer to a cutting board and peel the skins off. Dice tomatoes into 1/2-1 inch pieces. Transfer the diced tomatoes, along with any juices caught on the cutting board, into a new large saucepan.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil, smashed garlic, salt, sugar and pepper. Cook on medium heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally to avoid burning. Feel free to mash the tomatoes to thicken the sauce as it cooks.
- Once the sauce has finished cooking, use a hand immersion blender and puree to desired consistency. Add additional salt and pepper according to taste. As it cools, add the chopped basil.