This page contains some affiliate links. Please review my disclosure policy.

The absolute best homemade tomato sauce recipe. Using fresh vine ripened tomatoes, caramelized onion and garlic and the ideal temperatures for cooking and simmering, you’ll never go back to store-bought tomato sauce after you try this recipe!

Home made tomato sauce on penne pasta in a white shallow bowl.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

The BEST Homemade Tomato Sauce

Not to toot my own horn (but kind of to toot my own horn), but this is definitely the BEST homemade tomato sauce. We’ve been growing tomatoes in our home garden for a few years now and after much experimentation I believe I have finally nailed the perfect flavor for this home made tomato sauce.

What I love most about this recipe is that it doesn’t use any kind of crazy ingredients or labor intensive techniques. It simply uses good, quality ingredients and the best technique all of us can benefit from… Time!

So as August and September roll around and the tomato season kicks into high gear I figured I’d get this delicious homemade tomato sauce recipe out to you so you can be prepared. I know I’ll be making many more batches!

Fresh vine tomatoes in a white colander.

What Kind of Tomatoes Should You Use?

Typically plum tomatoes work best in home made tomato sauce. San Marzano tomatoes or roma tomatoes are probably the more famous but honestly any plum tomatoes will work.

Truth be told, you can use ANY tomato varietal in this recipe but slight taste variations will occur due to the different flavor profiles. If you want a traditionally sweet tomato sauce then I’d stick to something like roma tomatoes that you can find at any grocery store.

Ingredients in Home Made Tomato Sauce

  • Olive Oil – Ideally use extra virgin olive oil for the best tasting sauce
  • Yellow Onion – Use any yellow onion or sweet yellow onion (vidalia is great!)
  • Garlic cloves – Ideally use freshly minced garlic rather than the kind in the jar.
  • Fresh tomatoes – see notes above regarding types of tomato.
  • Oregano – Feel free to use fresh or dried oregano. If using fresh you’ll want to double the amount called for in the recipe.
  • Fresh basil – Helps to balance out the flavor but you can omit if you don’t like basil.
  • Salt + Pepper – Add more or less to taste if you’re watching sodium levels.
  • Brown sugar – this is a secret ingredient I like to include. The sweetness of the brown sugar helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.

How to Make the BEST Homemade Tomato Sauce

STEP 1: COOK ONIONS + GARLIC

Add olive oil and onions to a large sauce pan or dutch oven and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.

Cooked onion and garlic in a dutch oven.

STEP 2: ADD TOMATOES AND SIMMER

Add tomatoes and increase temperature to medium-high until mixture starts to boil. Add in oregano, salt and pepper and brown sugar. Once boiling reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered for 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil.

homemade tomato sauce in a large dutch oven with basil leaves.

STEP 3: BLEND IF DESIRED

Continue simmering until preferred consistency is reached, leaving some chunks of tomato in tact. Or if you prefer a smoother consistency use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

Blended home made tomato sauce in a large dutch oven.

How To Use Your Home Made Tomato Sauce

  • On Pasta – use as a spaghetti sauce or in place of any marinara sauce or store-bought sauces.
  • On Pizza – Use homemade tomato sauce in place of store-bought sauce.
  • In a Casserole – I can’t wait to try this sauce in any casserole that calls for a tomato based sauce. It would be so delicious in my eggplant parmesan casserole.
  • As a Sauce/Dip – You can’t go wrong drizzling this on a grain bowl or on roasted veggies or simply as a dipping sauce for veggies. Already dreaming up ideas to dip into this spicy sauce. 

Easy Add-Ons + Substitutions

Adding meat – you can easily add ground meat to your recipe (ground beef + ground turkey work best). Before you saute your veggies, add olive oil to a pan and brown your ground meat (roughly 3-5 minutes). Remove from pan and continue with the recipe. Once you’ve blended your sauce, you can add your meat back in and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes for a delicious meat sauce.

Add parmesan – I purposely omitted parmesan cheese from this recipe in order to keep it vegan or dairy-free for those of you who avoid cheese. However you can always add a little parmesan cheese to this homemade tomato sauce recipe or better yet add a parmesan rind directly to the pot while simmering your sauce.

Add red pepper flakes – looking to add a little spice? Add one to two teaspoons of red pepper flakes to give this home made tomato sauce a little kick!

Home made tomato sauce on penne pasta in a white shallow bowl with basil.

Storage Instructions

Refrigerator: Store your homemade tomato sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Freezer: Store in freezer-safe containers in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for several hours. Heat on stove top.

More Pasta Recipes

Print

Homemade Tomato Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

The absolute best homemade tomato sauce recipe. Using fresh vine ripened tomatoes, caramelized onion and garlic and the ideal temperatures for roasting and simmering, you’ll never go back to store-bought tomato sauce after you try this recipe!

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs fresh vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil and onions to a large sauce pan or dutch oven and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes (including all juices) and increase temperature to medium-high until mixture starts to boil.
  4. Add in oregano, salt and pepper and brown sugar.
  5. Once boiling reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in basil.
  7. Continue simmering until preferred consistency is reached. Or if you prefer a smoother consistency use an immersion blender to blend to smooth.
  8. Top on your favorite pasta or pizza.
  9. See notes above for storage instructions.
Big bowl of penne pasta topped with homemade tomato sauce, parmesan and basil.

Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star