Spanish Tomato Sauce

Spanish sauce
Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
55 Calories
4g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 55
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 313mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 9mg 44%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 249mg 5%
*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.)

Spanish sauce is a spicy tomato sauce made with sautéed onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and garlic, as well as a dash of hot sauce. It can be used to dress pasta and is a fantastic sauce for chicken, veal, pork, and seafood.​

This recipe calls for two cups of classic tomate sauce, which is one of the five mother sauces of the culinary arts. It is similar to a basic tomato sauce but often includes a roux to thicken, and features salt pork and a ham bone for extra flavor. The sauce begins on the stovetop and finishes in the oven. You could instead use a basic tomato pasta sauce, which is easier to make, but not as flavorful. The tomate sauce is added to sautéed onion, green pepper, garlic, and mushrooms and simmered for just five minutes. Adding a dash of Tobasco at the end gives this Spanish sauce a bit of a kick.

Serve this sauce on top of pan-fried fish, grilled shrimp tapas, grilled chicken, fried cauliflower, and even sunny-side-up eggs. It is also a great way to easily turn pasta and rice into something special.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions

  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

  • 2 cups classic tomato sauce

  • 1 dash kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, green pepper, and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, for about 5 minutes.​

  3. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are soft.​

  4. Add the tomate sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes.​

  5. Season with the salt, pepper, and Tabasco.

  6. Serve right away and enjoy.

How to Store

Once cooled, this Spanish tomato sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for up to three months.


If you are using a basic tomato sauce and would like to add more flavor to mimic the richness of the classic tomate sauce, add a ham bone to the basic pasta sauce while it simmers, then remove the bone before you puree the sauce. You could even simmer a ham bone if you are using sauce from a jar, just to give it some more depth of flavor.

What else can I make with classic tomate sauce?

The reason it is considered a "mother sauce" is because the classic tomate sauce is used as a base to make other sauces. If you have some extra sauce you can freeze it for later or make other types of sauces such as Creole sauce, Provençale sauce, and Portuguese sauce.