sauces, marinades, condiments

Homemade Tomato Sauce

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Never buy jarred tomato sauce again! This easy recipe comes together quickly thanks to a base of canned tomatoes. It’s perfect tossed with pasta and sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese, spread onto pizza, or as a dipping sauce to arancini or mozzarella sticks. 

Recipe & Photo by Maren Ellingboe


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes (or 3 lbs fresh tomatoes)
  • ½ c chopped packed fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp ground pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Then, add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. 
  2. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat until flavors have blended about 30 minutes. Stir in butter. 
  3. If you prefer a smooth tomato sauce, puree using an immersion blender, or in batches with a blender. For a chunkier tomato sauce, serve as-is.  

Tomato Sauce Notes and Variations

  • If you’ve got fresh tomatoes from your garden, the farmers market, or Imperfect, you can absolutely use those instead of canned tomatoes. This recipe calls for about 3 pounds of tomatoes, as a reference.
  • This tomato sauce freezes beautifully, so make a big batch and freeze for future weeknight meals like this Impossible Spaghetti and Meatballs.

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