Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

roasted tomato sauce

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 2 1/2 to 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
115 Calories
7g Fat
12g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 222mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 33mg 167%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 591mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Homemade tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes is one of the great joys of summer, but even out-of-season tomatoes taste amazing when you roast them before turning them into sauce. Roasting fresh tomatoes brings out their natural tangy, sweet notes for a robustly flavored sauce that is great on pasta, as a dipping sauce for a grilled cheese, in lasagna, chicken parm, or eggplant parm, and any other recipe that calls for tomato sauce.

The Best Tomatoes for Roasted Tomato Sauce

For complex flavors, use two or more types of tomato. Roma tomatoes have tangy garden-fresh flavor, dense flesh, and low water content, all of which makes them an excellent choice for sauces. Pair Roma tomatoes or other plum tomatoes with sweeter cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. Use heirloom tomatoes for their rich flavor and beautiful colors.

Tips for the Best Roasted Tomato Sauce

  • Keep your tomatoes from getting soggy: To reduce water content in your tomatoes, you can core them before roasting, or simply roast them for a bit longer until they are fairly dry. Starting with firmer, less watery tomatoes such as Romas also makes for less soggy sauce with a more concentrated flavor.
  • Don't use aluminum: When choosing a pan for roasting, steer clear of bare aluminum, which can give tomatoes a bitter flavor. Stainless steel is a better choice.
  • Use a food mill: If you have a food mill, now is the time to pull it out. That's because food mills remove the seeds and skins from the tomatoes, which makes for a smoother sauce. If you don't have a mill, you can simply whir the tomatoes in your food processor or blender—it will still be delicious.
  • Make the recipe your own: The ingredients in this sauce can easily be altered to suit your taste. Instead of Italian seasoning, use 3/4 teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil and 1/4 teaspoon each of dried crumbled rosemary and dried thyme. If you aren't a fan of onions, feel free to omit them.
  • Scale it up and save it: The recipe makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sauce, which is more than enough for 12 to 16 ounces of spaghetti, linguine, or bucatini. If you have a surplus of tomatoes, scale the recipe up and freeze the sauce in pint containers. Your future self with thank you!

8 Ways to Use Roasted Tomato Sauce

The sauce is an excellent vegan sauce for pasta, or you can use it as a base sauce, adding browned ground beef, sausage, anchovies, mushrooms, or any veggies you like. Here are some more ideas for this sauce:

"The smell that comes from roasting the tomatoes with the aromatics in this recipe is heavenly! Roasting really helps to further develop the flavors of the tomatoes, which makes even the most out-of-season tomatoes hard to resist. Be sure to use up any juices or oils from the pan too!" —Kayla Hoang

Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 pounds tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1/2 cup sliced onion

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped basil

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste, optional

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

  • 1 pound pasta, optional

  • Garlic bread, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325 F.

    roasted tomato sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Core the tomatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. You can simply halve smaller tomatoes or cut larger tomatoes into quarters. Cherry and grape tomatoes can be left whole.

    tomatoes cut on cutting board with knife

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Toss the tomatoes in a large bowl with the oil, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

    tomato slices in bowl with onion

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the tomatoes become tender, aromatic, and begin to shrivel, about 1 hour.

    tomato and onions on roasting pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Put the tomatoes through a food mill. This will remove the skins and most of the seeds to make a smooth sauce. If you don't have a food mill, process the mixture in a blender or food processor until it reaches your desired consistency.

    roasted tomato mixture in food mill

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large saucepan. Add the basil, the tomato paste, and red pepper flakes, if using. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.

    roasted tomato sauce simmering in pot on burner

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. If serving with pasta, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Toss the hot drained pasta with the sauce. Serve with garlic bread, if desired.

    spaghetti and tomato sauce in a bowl with bread and cheese on side

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

How to Store

  • If not using immediately, pour the sauce into sealable containers or jars with lids. Refrigerate the sauce and use within 3 days or store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.
  • The tomato sauce freezes beautifully, but it will expand when frozen, which can shatter a glass jar. When freezing sauces in glass jars, a wide-mouth jar with no shoulder is the best choice. Let the sauce cool for 15 to 20 minutes, then fill the jars, leaving at least 1 to 2 inches of headspace. If you use a jar with a shoulder, leave 1 to 2 inches of space below the shoulder. Or, if you want to make sure the jar won't break, fill it, and freeze the sauce without the lid. When the sauce is frozen solid, put the lid on and return the jar to the freezer.

Recipe Variation

  • If you like, replace the onion with shallot slices.