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
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
220 Calories
11g Fat
21g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 220
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 554mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 51mg 254%
Calcium 66mg 5%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 1048mg 22%
*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, and zucchini, mushrooms, and fresh herbs make it extra delicious. It's a perfect sauce for a meat-free meal or vegetarian guests.

Use the sauce for a spaghetti dinner or lasagna or 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 six fresh, peeled tomatoes.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3/4 cup chopped onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 6 cups chopped tomatoes

  • 3/4 cup dry red wine

  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

  • 1/3 cup chopped basil

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup sliced zucchini

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

  4. Bring sauce to a boil.

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

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

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

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 one and a half 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, sauté some pancetta or diced bacon along with the chopped 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.


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 have on hand as a dipping sauce or for pasta meals.

What type of tomato should you use to make tomato sauce?

A surplus of tomatoes in your garden? That's the perfect time to make homemade tomato sauce. While any tomato will work, paste tomatoes are preferred because they contain less water and fewer seeds. Roma, San Marzano, Amish, Opalka, and Polish Linguisa tomatoes work well for this sauce. No matter what type of tomato you decide to use, make sure they're ripe, firm, and vibrant in color.