Tomato Sauce With Fresh Vegetables and Basil

Spaghetti Sauce With Vegetables
Armstrong Studios/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 110 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
280 Calories
11g Fat
35g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 280
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 123mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Protein 8g
Calcium 258mg 20%
*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.)

This pasta sauce is a chunky tomato sauce with fresh basil and summer vegetables. Zucchini, mushrooms, and fresh herbs make this a delicious vegetable tomato sauce. It's a perfect sauce for a meat-free meal or vegetarian guests.

Use the sauce for a spaghetti dinner or lasagna, or use it to make chicken or eggplant Parmesan. It also makes a fabulous dip for mozzarella sticks or bread! See the tips and variations below for more ideas.

Use fresh or canned tomatoes in the recipe; you will need about 6 fresh, peeled tomatoes.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed and minced)
  • 6 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (fresh)
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil (fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup zucchini (sliced)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (sliced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, cooking until tender.

  3. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, wine, carrots, parsley, basil, sugar, and salt.

  4. Bring the sauce to a boil.

  5. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring frequently.

  6. Add the sliced zucchini and mushrooms. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 20 minutes longer.

  7. Serve with hot cooked pasta or in your favorite recipe. Enjoy.


  • This sauce freezes beautifully. If you have a surplus of garden-fresh vegetables, consider scaling the recipe up and freezing it in meal-size or individual portions. It's a great sauce to use as a dipping sauce or for pasta meals.

Recipe Variations

  • For a thicker sauce, add some tomato paste. Consider buying tomato paste in the tube if you regularly use small amounts in soups, stews, or sauces. The paste is double concentrated and the tubes can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 1/2 months after opening (according to Amore).
  • Any summer squash may be used in place of zucchini. Use yellow straight or crookneck, or pattypan squash.
  • Kick the sauce up with about 1/2 teaspoon or more of crushed red pepper flakes. 
  • Just before the sauce is done, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated fresh Parmesan cheese.
  • Add a handful of chopped greens to the sauce. Chopped spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens are good choices.
  • If you prefer a meaty sauce, saute some pancetta or diced bacon along with the onions. Or add about 1/2 pound of browned ground beef or Italian sausage to the sauce.
  • Enhance the flavor with a tablespoon or two of butter; stir it into the sauce just before it's done.