How to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (2024)

Learn How to Make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe that is so good you will want to put it on everything. It’s very delicious and made with onions, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, bay leaves, and seasonings.

I originally shared this Basic Tomato Sauce recipe back in 2014, and it has since become one of the most popular recipes on the blog. In fact, this was one of the first recipes I posted, so I decided to update it by adding more information to the recipe, including new photos too.

This is a very easy and tasty homemade tomato sauce recipe that you can keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. It’s always great to have a homemade tomato sauce on hand since it is the foundation for so many wonderful dishes. Also, you can easily add ground meat, if you want, to make a meat sauce instead.

How to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (1)

What kind of tomatoes should I use to make this homemade tomato sauce even better?

You can use whole canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes to make this recipe. However, in my opinion, the best tomatoes to make homemade tomato sauce are the San Marzano tomatoes, which grow in the rich volcanic soil of the Sarno River valley in Italy. Well, it’s not only me who thinks San Marzano tomatoes are the best to make tomato sauce. I always hear top chefs talking about these tomatoes as the high standard for taste.

I’ve made this recipe many and many times using all different types of tomatoes and the best results came from San Marzano tomatoes. But what’s so great about these tomatoes? Well, they have a sweet flavor with low acidity and are meatier than other tomatoes. Also, it’s easier to remove the skin, and they have a low seed count, which are all good qualities for making a good and juicy sauce.

It’s good that you can find these tomatoes everywhere from local grocery stores to Amazon. I actually like to buy from Amazon because you can find a variety of San Marzano tomato cans from different brands and prices. My favourite is this one from La San Marzano. The tomatoes are peeled already and come with a basil leaf. But there are lots of other brands to choose from.

What are the ingredients to make this basic tomato sauce?

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Bay leaves
  • Seasonings

These are all ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, right? You will be very pleased with how this sauce will end up. Let the sauce simmer for about 20-30 minutes. But if you have more time to prepare your dish, let the sauce simmer for over an hour because the more you cook it the more flavourful it will become. However, it will be great cooking only for 20 minutes as well. Of course, I don’t think I even need to mention the juicier the tomatoes the better the sauce will be.

How to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (2)

How to use this Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe:

You will want to put this basic tomato sauce on almost everything. But my favourite ways to use it are with an Eggplant Lasagna, Zucchini Lasagna, Vegetable Lasagna Roll-ups, Lasagna Rolls, Slow Cooker Zucchini Lasagna, Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna Skillet, Spaghetti, Meatballs, Zucchini Noodles, Cauliflower Pizza, Pizza, and the list goes on and on.

How to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (3)

Recipes to make with tomato sauce:

  • Italian SausageTomato Sauce: It is loaded with tomatoes, spices, and fresh sausages. It’s great over zucchini noodles, pasta, mashed cauliflower, lasagna, and even on its own.

  • 4-ingredient Chicken Zucchini Rolls: It is amazing because it’s healthy, gluten-free, and low-carb. And last but not least, it’s so D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.

  • Spinachand Zucchini Lasagna: This lasagna is vegetarian, low-carb, and gluten-free. It is made with tomato sauce, skinny ricotta, mozzarella, and zucchini noodles.

See below for how to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe Video:

Bring Homemade Tomato Sauce into your life. Want to browse all of my healthy recipe posts? Follow myPrimavera Kitchen board on Pinterest!!! I also have great Pinterest boards such asHealthy Dinner,Healthy Slow Cooker Meals, and Soups and Stews. I hope you enjoy all the delicious and healthy recipes I have there!!

Watch the Basic Tomato Sauce Web Stories.

How to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (7)

3.46 from 125 votes

How to make Basic Tomato Sauce

Learn How to Make a Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe that is so good you will want to put it on everything. It's very delicious and made with onions, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, bay leaves, and seasonings.

Prep: 10 minutes minutes

Cook: 30 minutes minutes

Total: 40 minutes minutes

Servings: 6 Small Mason Jars





  • In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

  • Add onions and cook 4-5 minutes until they are soft and golden.

  • Add garlic and sauté, being careful not to burn.

  • Add tomato paste, and stir well. Add crushed tomatoes, including the juice in case you are using canned tomatoes.

  • Add brown sugar,dried oregano, dried bay leaves, salt, and pepper.

  • Cover and bring to a low simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  • Finally, remove from the heat, add fresh basil, and stir well. Remove the bay leaves.

  • Adjust the seasoning if you think it is necessary. You can use this delicious sauce in your favorite recipes, or you can pour the sauce into a mason jar and keep it in the fridge for about 3 or 4 days, or you can freeze for months.


  • This sauce is perfect for lots of dishes, but my favourites are 5-Ingredient Chicken Zucchini Boats, saucy Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna Skillet, and low-carbGround Turkey Skillet with Green Beans. Mm... All these dishes will make everyone around the table smile 😉
  • If the tomato sauce is bitter, add a pinch of baking soda to help neutralize the acidity.
  • Another alternative to the diced tomatoes is peeled plum tomatoes or passata sauce.
  • To store: Store the tomato sauce in an airtight container for 3 days in the fridge.
  • To reheat:Reheat the sauce in the microwave or stovetop until hot.
  • To freeze: Once cooled, you can freeze the tomato sauce for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1/6 Calories: 91kcal (5%) Carbohydrates: 12g (4%) Protein: 2.4g (5%) Fat: 4g (6%) Sugar: 8.8g (10%)

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.

© Author: Olivia Ribas

Similar Recipes:

  • Zucchini noodles with Tomato Sauce and Shrimp

  • Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • Zucchini Lasagna Roll Recipe

  • Zucchini Casserole Recipe

If you like this basic Tomato Sauce recipe, please share it with your friends and family. Do you want to taste more? Subscribe to my newsletter, and follow Primavera Kitchen on Twitter, Pinterest,Instagram, and Facebook for all delicious recipe updates. As always, I really appreciate you stopping by.

As a memory, I kept the original photo from 2014!

How to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (12)

How to make Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (2024)


What are the basic ingredients of a sauce? ›

Sauces are the melding of ingredients, including stocks, wine, aromatics, herbs, and dairy, into a harmonious taste. Most small sauces are based on the principle of reduction, cooking down various liquids with aromatics, wine, and herbs to meld, concentrate, and balance the flavor and consistency.

What is the secret to good tomato sauce? ›

Starting with good quality tomatoes and crushing them by hand offers great flavor and texture later on. The combination of butter and oil releases fat-soluble aromatics and gives the sauce a creamy texture. Slowly cooking the sauce in the oven creates rich caramelization without burning.

How do you make regular tomato sauce better? ›

Everything tastes better with some sautéed garlic and onions. Sauté finely chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and golden, then add the sauce and let it simmer so the flavors can meld together.

How to make a tomato sauce? ›

Put tomato pulp in a low wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer. Reduce the sauce by almost half, stirring occasionally, to produce about 2½ cups medium-thick sauce, 10 to 15 minutes.

What to add to basic tomato sauce? ›

Olives and capers add a punch of briny goodness and give tomato sauce some real personality. Toss in some chopped or whole, pitted olives and/or a handful of drained capers after heating the sauce for several minutes. Or, if you're adding garlic or sautéed vegetables, add to the sauté just before you pour in the sauce.

What are the three basic ingredients in most sauces? ›

Sauces are flavorful liquids used to enhance the taste and appearance of other foods. There are three basic kinds of ingredients in most sauces: a liquid, a thickening agent, and other flavoring and seasonings.

What is the most basic sauce? ›

Béchamel sauce is probably the simplest of the mother sauces because it doesn't require making stock. If you have milk, flour, and butter you can make a very basic béchamel. Béchamel is made by thickening hot milk with a simple white roux.

How do you make a good sauce? ›

9 Essential tips for making better sauces
  1. Start with fresh ingredients. ...
  2. Make your own stock. ...
  3. But don't kill yourself over it. ...
  4. Thicken with starch. ...
  5. Thicken without starch. ...
  6. Master pan sauces. ...
  7. Create an emulsion. ...
  8. Taste as you go.
Dec 29, 2015

What makes tomato sauce taste better? ›

Pungent fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and marjoram can liven up tomato sauce with their bold, distinctive flavors. Add 1 to 2 sprigs of one or more of them to your favorite sauce, cover, and simmer at least 5 minutes to allow them to infuse in the sauce. Remove the sprigs before serving.

Why do you put vinegar in tomato sauce? ›

Vinegar adds a bright, acidic flavor to spaghetti sauce, which helps to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. It can also help to reduce the acidity of the sauce and enhance the overall flavor.

What tomato makes the best tomato sauce? ›

Though you could use any tomato, Roma and other paste tomatoes — with meaty texture with little to no seeds — are said to develop the best flavor when cooked down into a delicious sauce. Keep clicking to see our top tomato contenders and also see our guide to growing the best tomatoes ever.

What does adding butter to tomato sauce do? ›

Similar to creamy sauces like Alfredo, or meaty sauces like ragu, tomato sauce is naturally low in fat, and as a result, sometimes becomes too thick and too starchy when it's been tossed with pasta. The addition of butter helps to loosen and emulsify the sauce, making it smooth and creamy.

Why does my homemade tomato sauce taste bitter? ›

Leaf states that this can be due to burning the sauce in the pot or simply dealing with a batch of produce that are overly acidic or metallic from canning or cooking. This can also come from under-ripe or low-quality tomatoes, as well as stirring in a hefty amount of tomato paste, per Boss The Kitchen.

What is a basic tomato sauce called? ›

Sugo di Pomodoro

If you think about a standard, simple, smooth tomato sauce, chances are you're thinking about pomodoro (Italian for tomato) sauce. Sugo di Pomodoro typically features minced or crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt.

What is the main ingredient of tomato sauce and ketchup? ›

Tomato sauce is often made with only tomatoes, seasonings, onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Ketchup, on the other hand, typically has additional sugar, which contributes to its sweeter flavour. The sugar also thickens the ketchup, making it thicker and stickier than tomato sauce.

What are 3 derivatives of tomato sauce? ›

Some of the derivatives of Tomato sauce are:
  • Provençale – Fennel seeds, fresh thyme, rosemary, and basil.
  • Algerian – Sautéed bell peppers, ground cumin, coriander, and chili flakes.
  • Portuguese – Tomato concassé, sautéed onions and garlic, and chopped fresh parsley.

What ingredients are in store bought tomato sauce? ›

Ingredients: Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste from Vine-Ripened Tomatoes), Water, Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, *Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Dehydrated Bell Pepper.

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