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How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce

A close up of a bowl of soup, with Sauce and Tomato
Whether you use canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, the tomato sauce recipe is easy to make and pairs perfectly with any Italian dish.
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Table of Contents
  1. tomato sauce recipe
  2. Ingredients Needed for Homemade Tomato Sauce
  3. How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce
  4. How to Jar Homemade Tomato Sauce
  5. What to Make with Homemade Tomato Sauce:
  6. Pair this recipe with:
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

This simple, fresh homemade tomato sauce is the perfect partner for all your Italian recipes. Whether you use canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, the recipe to make the tomato sauce is very easy but the flavor turns out phenomenal.

You’re going to wonder why you haven’t been making your own sauce for years. Enjoy it in our baked ziti or our baked spaghetti recipe.

UNIQUE-HOMEMADE-TOMATO-SAUCE-RECIPE

tomato sauce recipe

Creating a quick homemade tomato sauce is even easier than you imagine.

Canned tomatoes can be used for this recipe, but when farmers’ markets are still offering their bounty, it is a good time to fill up your pantry or freezer.

Ingredients Needed for Homemade Tomato Sauce

  • crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
  • garlic
  • fresh basil
  • black pepper
  • sugar
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese

You can also use dried basil in this recipe. The ratio is 3:1 for fresh versus dried.

homemade-tomato-sauce-recipe

How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce

If you’re using fresh tomatoes you will need to remove the skins. A simple method is to score skins with a sharp knife, boil for about one minute and then plunge in cold water. You will want to do this in batches. Once tomatoes have cooled, skins should peel off easily. Chop and blend in a food processor.

To start, heat olive oil in a 5+ quart pot over medium heat; add chopped or pressed garlic.

Heat for one to two minutes, making sure not to burn garlic. Next, add tomatoes, black pepper, basil and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring often. For first half of simmer time leave pot uncovered; cover for last half.

Finally, stir in cheese and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.

homemade-tomato-sauce

How to Jar Homemade Tomato Sauce

I have a cousin who loves canning tomato sauce each summer to enjoy all winter long. I’m thinking she has a good idea and I want to get in on that action!

For years, she told me it was so simple. Now I can attest that it really is.

Start by filling quart or pint jars with the spaghetti sauce. Wipe down the top of the jar before putting on the lid and ring.

Slowly lower jars into hot water canning bath and allow to boil for 40 minutes.

Using jar lifters, carefully raise jars out of the bath and allow them to cool on the counter overnight. As lids seal, you will hear a slight popping sound. Store up to one year.

CAN YOU FREEZE HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE?

Yes, you can still store it in the freezer. Just use airtight freezer bags or containers. Be sure to let the sauce cool before you fill up your containers though!

best-recipe-homemade-tomato-sauce

What to Make with Homemade Tomato Sauce:

This sauce is so delicious and makes an excellent canning sauce. You can use this on:

Pair this recipe with:

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A close up of a bowl of soup, with Sauce and Tomato

How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce

5 from 8 votes
Whether you use canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, the tomato sauce recipe is easy to make and pairs perfectly with any Italian dish.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 cans crushed tomatoes 28 ounce sized cans OR 12-15 fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4-6 tablespoons fresh basil or 1-2 tablespoons dried basil ratio is 3:1 for fresh vs dried
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a 5+ quart pot over medium heat; add chopped or pressed garlic.
  • Heat for one to two minutes, making sure not to burn garlic.
  • Add tomatoes, black pepper, basil and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring often.
  • For first half of simmer time leave pot uncovered; cover for last half.
  • Stir in cheese and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.

Video

Notes

CANNING Fill quart or pint jars with the spaghetti sauce. Wipe down the top of the jar before putting on the lid and ring. Slowly lower jars into hot water canning bath and allow to boil for 40 minutes. Using jar lifters, carefully raise jars out of the bath and allow them to cool on the counter overnight. As lids seal, you will hear a slight popping sound. Store up to one year. NOTES If you are using fresh tomatoes you will need to remove the skins. A simple method is to score skins with a sharp knife, boil for about one minute and then plunge in cold water. You will want to do this in batches. Once tomatoes have cooled, skins should peel off easily. Chop and blend in a food processor. If you’re not into canning, you can still preserve your extra tomato sauce in the freezer. Use airtight freezer bags or containers. Let the sauce cool before you fill up your containers.

Nutrition

Calories: 49kcal
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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    Comments

      • Martha Glassy says

        The fresh tomatoes were in the water to peel easily. I heat mine about a minute, immediately put in ice water to stop the cooking process. Peels just slip off!
        For this recipe, yes, I think they need to be chopped then cooked. No water added.

      • Larry says

        5 stars
        If you like soupy gravy. I use a box grater after removing seeds. Pretty easy. BTW, I do have a pair of those cut proof gloves. Just use dish liquid after and let them dry.

      • Pete Young (female) says

        The boiling is to slip off the tomato skins for the sauce. I just heat mine until the skins split open.

  1. Laura says

    do you know the nutrition facts on this tomato sauce such as total carbs and fiber so I can see if i can have with my keto diet

    • Raymond says

      Most of the ingredients vary in carbs depending on the brand you pick. I can tell you that the Cento brand of San Marzano tomatoes has 7 servings at 122 grams (1/2 cup) per 28 oz can. Total carbs if 5 grams and fiber is 2 grams. So your net carbs for 122 grams would be 3 grams of carbs. Each clove of garlic is about .89 grams of net carbs. Basil is about .03 grams of net carbs for 2 tbsp. And with the cheese look at the label. Not all brands are 0 grams of carbs. From there you can do the math for the entire batch. You can google for the carbs of anything.

  2. maureen jensen says

    I thought you needed to pressure can tomatoes due to the variability of acid in different tomato varieties.

    • Jacquie says

      You would need to add lemon juice or citric acid sold in the canning aisle. I recommend following a tomato sauce canning recipe that’s has been tested to be safe for canning, such as a recipe from Ball.

  3. Paula says

    What would be the best way to make tomato sauce fresh tomatoes or the canned way.Ive only made sauce once. I’m not a big sauce person my husband is

  4. Trish Alexander says

    I am new to canning this year. I’m in the process of making your sauce now. Do I need to add lemon juice or something before I can it?

    • Layne Henderson says

      Hi, Janna – if you store it in airtight containers, it should last 4-6 months in the freezer no problem! Enjoy 🙂

    • Cindee says

      5 stars
      Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I suggest when using fresh tomatoes that you do not score the bottom when going to blanch the whole fresh tomatoes. I have been canning tomatoes for years, when you score the bottom no matter how shallow the cut, the tomatoes get mushy where the water leaks in. Leave the tomatoes they way they are & blanch for one minute.

  5. Kasey Cranford says

    Tried this tonight and it was good, but much spicier than I expected? Not sure why…. Also not as vibrant red. I used smaller tomatoes fresh from the garden. Is there a certain kind of tomato I should be using?

  6. Shelby says

    Are you canning with the cheese already added in? Or should I leave that out if I’m planning to can the sauce?

  7. arlene c hanson says

    will it hurt to put the cheese in before canning or freezing? i saw that you usually leave it out.. any reason?? i plan on giving some pints to my daughters and would like the cheese already to be in it…. i hate to give something to people and then have to say “by the way you have to add this….”

  8. Stacey says

    Delicious …. and so easy! I add a little tomato paste and I’m good to go ! Makes me look like a pro in the kitchen ! Thank you !!

    • Layne Kangas says

      Hi, Erin – you’ll want to use paste tomatoes because they have less water and have fewer seeds than other varieties. You could use Roma, San Marzano, Amish, or Jersey tomatoes. Enjoy!

      • Amy says

        5 stars
        Hi – i used the tomatoes from my last fall garden that i had frozen whole – they were beefsteak variety – it did seem a bit watery so I added a small tin of tomato paste and perfect – this recipe is easy and a keeper!

  9. Stacey says

    This is a wonderful recipe that is extremely easy to follow…. I use tomatoes, peppers, and basil from my garden and it is delicious! Thank you for sharing!!

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