tomato sauce
tomato sauce

Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce

This bright and fresh tasting homemade tomato sauce from fresh or canned Roma tomatoes, olive oil, and basil goes great with pasta, summer vegetables, or as a base for tomato soup.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes
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Recipe Rundown

Once you try homemade tomato sauce, you’ll be inspired to make it again and again.

It’s so fresh tasting and definitely beats what you get out of a can. You’ll want to pour it on absolutely everything! You might even drink it as a soup.

Today, I’m going to show you how to maximize all that tomato flavor with your very own batch of tomato sauce. Whether you like it thick, thin, chunky, or smooth, this basic recipe will have you turning out really good sauce in about 45 minutes.

You can even use it to replace canned tomato puree or diced canned tomatoes.

So grab that apron, and let’s turn a bowl of tomatoes into something warm, sweet, acidic and summery.

How to Make Flavorful Tomato Sauce From Scratch

When it comes to tomato sauce, you want to look for plump, ripe and above-all, flavorful Roma or plum tomatoes. You can even use canned tomatoes, such as San Marzano.

roasted blistered plum tomatoes

To concentrate the natural sweet-umami tomato flavor, remove those seeds! Give them a glug of extra virgin olive oil and roast in the oven until you see the skin blister.

Since peak tomatoes need little more than fresh basil, olive oil, and sautéed onion, this recipe is all about purity in flavor. In other words, your sauce may be more light and clean tasting than you are used to in a tomato sauce.

Therefore, I’ll leave it up to you whether to add sautéed garlic, oregano, or Parmesan.

Pro Tip: Add a pinch of salt from the beginning to the end of the cooking process. That way, the salt has time to work its way into the food.

Thick, Thin, Chunky, or Smooth

Depending on how you purée (blend) the tomatoes and how much water you add, you will create your own desired consistency. For a really smooth, creamy texture, I recommend using a blender; this is perfect for soup!

Today, I used an immersion blender to keep things simple. You can see that my sauce has a bit of texture, but is mostly smooth, much like canned tomato puree. You can achieve this texture in a food processor, too.

For a chunkier texture, go ahead and roughly chop the tomatoes prior to roasting (or lightly pulse into large pieces).

Ingredient Tip: Whenever you use a fresh ingredient, like summer tomatoes, you will notice that each batch of tomato sauce tastes a bit different. You can always adjust the seasoning at the end to suit your taste.

Serving Ideas

  • You can use this sauce as-is with homemade pizza dough for the ultimate garden to table pizza margherita. Addicting!
  • It’s also a welcome dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks, garlic bread, or polenta fries.
  • To turn this into a zippy tomato soup dinner, thin it out with water and try adding some garlic and red chile flakes. Top it all off with some croutons.

Variations to Try

  • truffle oil
  • add these to the soft onions: curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander
  • white wine (reduce with the softened onions)
  • Parmesan

More Sauce Recipes

With such a flexible recipe, you can hardly go wrong, and I’m sure you will have fun mixing and matching different herbs and spices. FYI, the basil gives it a slight Italian feel, but you could leave it out if your goal is to use it in, say, chili.

Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce

This bright and fresh tasting homemade tomato sauce from fresh or canned Roma tomatoes, olive oil, and basil goes great with pasta, summer vegetables, or as a base for tomato soup.
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, sauce, tomato, tomato sauce, vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


  • 15 large ripe plum tomatoes seeded and halved or 1 (28-oz) can plum tomatoes, drained and juices reserved
  • ¼ cup olive oil divided
  • ½ medium white onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ½ tsp sea salt divided
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion with ½ teaspoon salt and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the tomatoes and onion to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and pulse until smooth. Return the sauce to the saucepot and add the basil, water, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Serve hot or transfer to the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Roma Tomatoes: For the best flavor, use ripe summer plum/Roma tomatoes in this recipe. Otherwise, canned San Marzano Roma tomatoes are a fantastic substitution.


Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1467mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1989IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

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simon andrew
simon andrew
7 months ago

I will make it at home.

6 months ago

Is it possible to can this sauce afterwards?

6 months ago

After roasting you remove skin, right?

5 months ago

If I wanted to add red wine, when would I add it in the cooking process?

Brandy L
Brandy L
24 days ago

Some where I messed up. It’s watery how can I thicken it

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