Best Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipes

Best Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipes

Top Rated Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipes

This recipe is a healthy-eating staple for anyone with a busy schedule; it can be made from scratch in just 5 minutes. And, because it’s made with fresh, raw produce, it’s a great source of vitamins and antioxidants.I love the flavor and bite of raw garlic so I used 3 large cloves in my sauce. For a milder garlic flavor, roast the cloves in the oven first. Or, add fewer.Click here to see more zucchini recipes.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 1/4 pounds unrefrigerated ripe tomatoes (preferably plum)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from 2 garlic cloves), plus more if desired
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Finely chop tomatoes, basil, parsley, and garlic, and mix together with oil (or pulse ingredients, including oil, in a food processor to blend).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and toss it in a serving bowl with the raw sauce. Transfer to 6 shallow bowls, and drizzle with oil. Serve with cheese.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • About 1 tsp. salt
  • 10 basil leaves

Core and halve tomatoes. Remove seeds (either scoop them out with a spoon or hold a half in your hand and squeeze out the seeds) and cut tomatoes into 1/2-in. dice. Set aside.

Thinly slice garlic. In a 10- to 12-in. frying pan over low heat, cook garlic in olive oil until it is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and 1 tsp. salt and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until tomatoes give off their liquid and start to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low or low, so the sauce gently simmers. Cook, uncovered and undisturbed, until oil separates from the sauce and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop basil. When sauce is done, stir in basil and add salt to taste.

Butter it up: Use unsalted butter in place of the olive oil and a chopped medium onion in place of the garlic.

Explore the herb patch: Try 1/2 to 1 tsp. minced fresh oregano, marjoram, rosemary, or thyme instead of the basil.

Add some heat: Toss in 2 or 3 dried whole arbol chiles with the garlic for a slightly spicy version. Remove chiles before serving.

Pick more produce: At the beginning of step 3, add one skinned and chopped medium eggplant and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, before adding the tomatoes.

Stop Buying Jarred Tomato Sauce Because Bobby’s Homemade Recipe Is the Only Thing You Need

The flavor difference is huge — and he'll teach you how to make it on Food Network Kitchen.

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This month, we're showing off some of the coolest recipes, tips and tricks we've learned from chefs in the all-new Food Network Kitchen app.

When it comes to food and cooking, I believe in several things very strongly: It’s better to over-salt than under-salt. The rarer the steak, the better. Never, ever walk away from nuts and spices as they’re toasting. And, don’t be a hero. That last one is crucial.

I am ALL for taking shortcuts in the kitchen. Using frozen fruit is a genius move when berries and peaches are out of season. Buying pre-cut peeled and butternut squash will give you back hours in your day. And don’t even get me started on store-bought puff pastry that stuff is always the way to go. Us home cooks should take advantage of everything we can to make our time in the kitchen a little easier and more enjoyable. Except — and you knew this was coming — jarred tomato sauce. Hear me out.

Recently Bobby Flay made Penne with Tomatoes and Basil in an on-demand cooking class on the Food Network Kitchen app, and his bright, savory sauce came together in just 20 minutes. That’s it! When you think of the time and tools it takes to make pasta with a jarred tomato sauce, it’s actually similar to whipping up the homemade version. Bobby’s sauce recipe calls for only three main ingredients (and I bet they’re things you already have in the fridge and pantry) and simmers in a single pan.

So you’re probably thinking, “Uh, Maria, if they’re the pretty much same thing, why bother with a homemade sauce?!” Because the flavor really is so much better.

When you make your own tomato sauce, you can control exactly what goes into it. Bobby likes canned Italian plum tomatoes, plus fragrant onions and garlic, and simple seasonings. If you’ve ever peeked at the ingredient list on a jar of sauce, you know that there can be some wonky stuff hiding in there. Once you master the base recipe, you can experiment with flavors and ingredients to get something new (vodka + cream for a vodka sauce, chile flakes for arrabiata sauce, etc.), and that’s ultimately what will keep things interesting.

I know that the temptation of a jarred tomato sauce lies in it being ready to go right when you need it. If you plan ahead, you can prep a big batch of homemade sauce and stash it in the fridge for a few days. It’s not shelf-stable like the jar, but if you whip it up on Sunday afternoon, it’ll indeed save the day when you get home late on Tuesday night and need dinner fast.

If you want to make Bobby’s Penne with Tomatoes and Basil — or any of his other weeknight-friendly recipes — you can find it on the all-new Food Network Kitchen app. You’ll be able to drop in to Bobby’s classes and learn all about cooking quick meals with big flavors and so much more.

The 65 Most Delish Ways To Eat Tomatoes

We're giving you totally amazing ways to use up all those summer tomatoes before the season ends. Get on it.

And if you need more ideas, try our amazing tomato salads.

Melty mozzarella and fresh tomatoes give basic garlic bread a MAJOR upgrade.

Is it, uh, bad form to chug it straight from the bowl? Cause this gazpacho that good.

Highly recommend 'em in a bowl of fettuccine alfredo.

These are the prettiest low-carb tacos you'll ever see.

Swordfish makes even the most mundane weeknight special.

Tomatoes cooked in balsamic vinegar are the perfect sweet-tart compliment to this cheesy chicken.

This bright, satisfying salad comes together in 10 minutes tops.

The crunchy croutons are everything.

This salad is the epitome of summer in a bowl.

Wrap up chicken and summer veggies for a fast and super-fresh meal.

It's like a portable garden.

You're going to be making this satisfying shrimp pasta all summer long.

Go ahead and top these babies off with crumbled feta, you deserve it.

There's Ranch dressing in there.

You've never had a sauce like this one before.

This will be your new favorite way to eat tortellini.

Everything is better with a bacon weave bun.

Pop as many of these juicy babies into your mouth as you want &mdash they're baked!

We want all Greek, all the time.

Bonus: Way cheaper than a trip to Italy.

Easy and healthy? Count us in.

We've all enjoyed a traditional Caprese salad with layered mozzarella and tomatoes, a hint of basil, and balsamic vinaigrette. You may think there is no improving on perfection, but this is a slightly new take, a hot one, in casserole form, and believe me when I tell you there is a time and place for both the traditional and this twist!


1) The quickest tomato sauce by Jamie Oliver

It doesn’t get much quicker than this 20 minute recipe by Jamie Oliver, which asks for tinned plum tomatoes to be brought to a boil with garlic and basil. The sauce is then passed through a sieve and boiled up again for about 5 minutes. Sounds too good to be true? Can this quick version also win in taste?

2) Tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes by TheKitchn

Did we include a version made with fresh tomatoes? Of course! ! For this recipe you should plan on spending more time in the kitchen: The tomatoes need to be blanched and peeled and then simmer for 60 to 90 minutes.

3) Tomato sauce made with tomato purée by The Spruce Eats

This sauce is made with tomato passata seasoned with shallots and basil. The sauce takes just about 10 minutes until it’s ready to serve, but you could also let it simmer on the stove for 20 – 30 minutes longer. You can find the recipe here.

4) Tomato sauce made with tomato paste by Tablespoon

We’re definitely not talking about tinned triple-concentrate tomato paste, but run-of-the-mill concentrate to carry over the taste of ripe tomatoes. This recipe by Tablespoon also takes garlic, olive oil, and a mix of Italian spices—which you can, alternatively, easily replace with the same amount of dried basil, oregano, tarragon, and thyme.

5) Three-ingredient tomato sauce by Marcella Hazan

Only three ingredients? Tinned tomatoes, onions, butter,that’s all? And is this actually THE tomato sauce everyone claims to be the best? Don’t be fooled: Its secret lies precisely in its simplicity. You don’t even have to chop or sauté the onions, just cut them in half, add them straight to the pot with the tomatoes and butter, and let the magic happen. After 45 minutes, the onions will be really tender and can be removed before serving or kept in for some added, silky texture. You can find the full recipe here.

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1/2 cup
  • Calories (kcal) : 70
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 35
  • Fat (g): 4
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 150
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 2
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Rinse the tomatoes in cold water. With a paring knife, cut an X into the bottom of each tomato. (This will make it easier to peel the tomatoes once they’re blanched.) Carefully lower about 10 tomatoes into the boiling water and leave them for 20 to 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to move them to a large bowl filled with ice water. Continue blanching the tomatoes in batches and transferring them to the ice water.
  • Use a paring knife and your fingers to remove the skin from the tomatoes—it should peel off easily. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters, core, and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and transfer them to a bowl.
  • Heat the oil and the garlic in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-low heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and very lightly browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium high and bring the tomatoes to a boil. Stir in the salt, reduce the heat to medium, and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and discard the garlic.

Make Ahead Tips

An easy dinner is guaranteed when you have a container’s worth of this simple tomato sauce on hand. Here’s how to keep it tasting great:

Big-Batch Fresh Tomato Sauce

Peel the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a paring knife, core each tomato and score a small X in the bottom. In batches, carefully add the tomatoes to the boiling water and leave in just until the skins begin to split, 15 to 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice bath. Peel the tomatoes and discard the skins.

Chop the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out and discard the seeds. Coarsely chop.

Prep the onions and garlic. Peel and chop the onions, and peel and slice the garlic.

Cook the sauce. Heat the oil in 2 large pots (at least 9 quarts each) over medium heat. Divide the onions, garlic, 3 tablespoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper between the pots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomato paste and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 1 hour. Remove the basil leaves from the stems and stir into the sauce. Use the sauce immediately or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Pasta Tomato Recipes

If marinara sauce teaches us anything, it’s that pasta and tomatoes go together like two peas in a pod. But the uses for tomatoes in pasta recipes extend way beyond sauce. Try roasting them, sautéing them, or baking them into your next lasagna.

Linguine with Lemon and Tomatoes
You won’t just find roasted tomatoes in this summer pasta…there’s roasted lemon too! They add chewy texture and savory flavor to this simple, elegant dish.

Creamy Pasta Pomodoro
I could eat this creamy vegan pasta every night of the week! A luscious tomato sauce coats floppy noodles, sautéed veggies, and bursty cherry tomatoes.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta
You can make this recipe no matter what veggies you brought home from the farmers market! Roast them until they’re fragrant and tender, toss them with pasta, herbs, and feta cheese, and season to taste. No measuring spoons required!

Zucchini Noodle Puttanesca, page 177 of Love & Lemons Every Day
Made with a 50/50 mix of regular pasta and zucchini noodles, this recipe is light and healthy. But that doesn’t mean it skimps on flavor! Sun-dried tomatoes, capers, olives, lemon zest, and white wine make it irresistibly briny and bright.

Best Vegetarian Lasagna
Of course, I layer this lasagna with lots of tomato sauce, but I also add bursty cherry tomatoes to the roasted veggie filling.

Summer Squash and Cherry Tomato Pasta, page 271 of The Love & Lemons Cookbook
Jack loves to top this simple pasta with shaved Parmesan or fresh mozzarella cheese, and I garnish my bowl with vegan Parmesan or vegan pesto. What topping sounds best to you? You really can’t go wrong – fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, any pesto, or pine nuts would all be delicious!


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 oregano sprig
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives

Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter four 1/2-cup ramekins and set them in a baking dish that holds them snugly.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the onion is very tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover and boil over high heat until any excess liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Set a food mill fitted with the fine disk over a medium bowl. Transfer the onion mixture to the mill and puree. Whisk the eggs, cream, salt and pepper into the puree. Pour the onion custard into the prepared ramekins. Add enough tepid water to the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the flans for 35 minutes, or until almost firm but still slightly loose in the center if the water in the baking dish simmers, add a few ice cubes to cool it down.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme and oregano sprigs and salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Set a food mill fitted with the coarse disk over a medium bowl. Add the tomato sauce and work it through the mill. Transfer the tomato sauce to a small saucepan and keep warm.

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and wipe the bottoms and sides dry. Run a small, sharp knife around each flan to loosen it, then invert the flans onto plates. Spoon the tomato sauce around the flans and sprinkle with the chives. Serve right away.