Roasted Tomato Sauce

So, I’m pretty sure you are aware by now that I love me some pizza.

Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

And lasagna.  And spaghetti.  And anything parmesan.  And Italian food in general.  And, well, most food for that matter — but that’s neither here nor there.

Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

So, you can imagine we go through our fair share of tomato sauce in our house.  Whether it’s for pizza or lasagna or spaghetti or chicken parmesan or something else, I use homemade tomato sauce.  Trust me: it’s so much better than anything you’ll get in a jar from the store.  I even make extra each time so I will have some stored away in my freezer for just those occasions.

Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Well, I started to realize I should try my hand at my own recipe for tomato sauce.  True, I do absolutely love Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Simple Tomato Sauce, which is why I posted about it here on my blog.  But, as delicious as it is, it is quite simple.  Hence its name.

Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Enter Roasted Tomato Sauce.  I wanted to make a roasted tomato sauce with roasted garlic, onions and tomatoes that would create a nice depth of flavor not present in Giada’s recipe.

Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

I love these ingredients when roasted because they release a sweetness and a richness you wouldn’t otherwise get.

Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

While I still love Giada’s recipe, I think this one came out pretty darn good too and it will for sure remain in my Sauces file for my various and frequent Italian meals.

Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Roasted Tomato Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make your own roasted tomato sauce to liven up your pizza or spaghetti. So good!
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, unpeeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 basil leaves
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet (with sides at least 1-inch deep) with parchment paper. Lay out the tomato halves (skin-side down), onion, garlic and carrot and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Try to make this only one layer to allow for maximum roasting. Drizzle olive oil all over.
  3. Bake for 60 - 75 minutes, or until the edges of the tomatoes and onions begin to turn black. Carefully transfer the roasted contents to a food processor or blender (or a large mixing bowl, if using a stick blender), add the basil leaves and pulse until smooth.
  4. Transfer the pureed contents to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add thyme, unsalted butter, sugar and more salt or pepper, to taste.

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

67 comments… add one

  1. Charissa March 21, 2011, 10:47 pm

    The colours are so vibrant…I love this…and garlic! Good call. Tomato sauce without garlic is like…pathetic.

    Reply
  2. Jun March 21, 2011, 11:09 pm

    I love tomato sauce, but usually i had mine store-bought. Yours look way tastier

    Reply
  3. Dylan April 1, 2011, 5:24 pm

    So, I have to say–I’m only in the roasting part of this recipe right now and my kitchen smells fantastic! I wish I could bottle up the aroma. I’m sure it’s going to be delicious when it’s finished!

    Reply
  4. Lindsay April 21, 2011, 6:31 pm

    Looks absolutely wonderful, I can’t wait to make it! Can you freeze and save this sauce also?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef April 21, 2011, 11:25 pm

      You most certainly can, Lindsay. I break it into serving portions of about 4 cups each and stick it in a freezer bag when I freeze it. It’s so useful to have tasty, homemade tomato sauce in the freezer any time you want.

      Reply
  5. Amy May 1, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Just tried this over spinach/mushroom/feta cannelloni = SO delicious!! Roasting definitely makes all of the difference. Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Katie May 13, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

    I just made this sauce so that we can simmer some Maryland Blue Crabs in it tomorrow! We then put it over spaghetti. “Sghetti Crabs”.

    However, my sauce is orange. Is it supposed to be this color?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef May 14, 2011, 9:16 pm

      Wow — can I come over for dinner? That sounds amazing! The color of the sauce will depend/vary on the color of the tomatoes you roast but it shouldn’t affect the taste of the sauce drastically one way or the other.

      Reply
  7. Jamie May 23, 2011, 11:46 am

    This sounds amazing…I definitely have this planned for dinner this week with a salad and your homemade garlic bread recipe. Just curious about something- why do you use butter in the recipe? I’ve never seen or heard of a tomato sauce recipe that used butter.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef May 23, 2011, 12:26 pm

      Hi Jamie! Good question about the butter! I actually find adding a bit of unsalted butter at the end of the tomato sauce helps round out the flavor and cuts the acidity.

      Reply
  8. Jamie May 23, 2011, 10:23 pm

    Interesting! Good to know, thanks!

    Reply
  9. Jeff May 24, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Just made this sauce tonight for my wife and I. It’s VERY good, and I even added a roasted red pepper to the mix with the carrots and onion. It added a sweet component to the sauce that was amazing. Great recipe!

    Reply
  10. Jess June 18, 2011, 6:31 pm

    I have it in the oven right now, made with an early batch of heirloom tomatoes — it smells absolutely amazing! I’m just a little concerned about that the color of the final product will be, though, since I included a few green (but very ripe) and orange varieties in the mix… If it tastes as good as it smells, the color won’t matter! : )

    Thanks for posting!

    Reply
  11. Jess June 18, 2011, 7:15 pm

    It’s a very strange color, but it’s absolutely to die for. Thanks again!

    Reply
  12. Anthony July 6, 2011, 11:18 am

    Loved this recipe. I come from a ver strong italian background and I am currently in the process of developping my own signiture sauce and it will now include roasted tomatoes and onions thanks to you.

    Reply
  13. the wicked noodle July 21, 2011, 1:22 pm

    Okay, I have been all over your site today! Loving this tomato recipe!

    Reply
  14. Christi August 3, 2011, 6:09 am

    Love it! I don’t think I will ever buy jar sauce again :)

    Reply
  15. brian August 7, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Soooooooo awesome. This is absolutely one of the best and most simple, yet richly delicious sauces I’ve ever made. So glad I found your site. I love the Giada recipes as well – also big fan of Jamie Oliver too. I made my own turkey meatballs to go with it over spaghetti, so delish.

    Reply
  16. Amanda August 9, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Making this as I type and man does that wonderful smell make me hungry! I do believe there is going to be some chicken parm in this family’s dinner plans tonight:)

    Reply
  17. Kathy Baier August 14, 2011, 2:07 pm

    Lacey, Lacey, Lacey – I LOVE THIS!! It’s the first time I’ve made it. Rob has a bumper crop of NJ hearty beefsteak tomatos and we had to figure out something to do with some of them today. I am SO glad we used two pounds of them for this yummy, full-bodied sauce. You ROCK!!

    Reply
  18. Yeomyung August 23, 2011, 10:18 pm

    I just made pasta with your roasted tomato sauce and it was a huge success. It’s hard to find Roma tomatoes in Korea, so I just used whatever tomato I had at home and skipped dried thyme and fresh basil because I don’t have them (used dried basil). Also skipped sugar because I forgot, but I didn’t notice until now. I added two hot peppers and I think it had a nice kick to it.
    Thanks so much for this recipe, and I’ll be making this over and over again.

    Thanks!!

    Reply
  19. Kristi October 9, 2011, 10:05 pm

    Heard about this recipe via a friend who made it and loved it. We just made it tonight with my bumper crop of tomatoes. I roasted it 65 minutes but may have been too long as some of my garlic was hard which I threw away but I had doubled it based on recmmdtn from friend so we were still good, and after food proc, the sauce was quite thick, but DELISH! No worries, thinned it out with about a cup of veg broth, and put it all over homemade pasta. We had made marinara a few weeks ago with canned tomatoes and thought it was good, but this recipe far outweighed it. This was wonderful. A must do, and SO EAsY!!! Thank you! PS – I forgot to add the sugar and butter in the end, and didn’t think it was missing anything so I think we’ll save the calories and fat, and go as is.

    Reply
  20. Julie October 15, 2011, 1:57 pm

    HI Lacy! I just discovered your blog! I love it! I was looking for some tips on how to make a tomato sauce without taking the skins off and I found it! I just went to the Farmer’s Market for some tomatoes and will be making a sauce. I will post pics! Thanks~~
    Julie

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 16, 2011, 12:59 pm

      Glad to help, Julie! I’ve never seen the need to remove the skins if you’re just going to puree it anyway. Enjoy!

      Reply
  21. Marcy October 26, 2011, 3:47 pm

    This is in my oven right now!! Yum yum, can hardly wait.

    Reply
  22. Les November 3, 2011, 8:03 am

    I found this to taste more like a roasted tomato soup.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef November 5, 2011, 10:02 pm

      I’m sorry to hear it didn’t turn out for you, Les. Did you follow the directions exactly?

      Reply
  23. Sarah January 30, 2012, 10:04 am

    I am trying this tonight! I have been looking for homemade sauce and yours is the best yet. All the reviews were super helpful and I am excited to go home and get started. One question….how long should I let it cook, after I blend together in the food processor? I was thinking about putting it in the crock pot and letting it cook for a few hours. Is this a good idea?

    Reply
  24. kelly February 18, 2012, 12:52 am

    How long is the frozen sauce good for?

    Reply
  25. Jess June 27, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Hello!

    This recipe looks delicious and I cannot wait to try it! If you put the garlic cloves inside the tomatoes while roasting, they will not dry out as quickly, plus it infuses the tomatoes with garlic, yum!

    Reply
  26. Hilary July 22, 2012, 7:51 pm

    I did this today with Romas from my garden. Absolutely fantastic! I put the garlic cloves in a foil packet with a drop of olive olive to keep them from getting dry or hard. I put the packet on the pan with the rest of the vegetables. I did everything else just as you suggested. Amazing!

    Reply
  27. Jennifer July 26, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Hi, i just baked mine and will finish iit in the morning. I used tin foil and wondered if it will adversely affect the flavor. I noticed hard bits of thyme that bugged me a little, maybe they will soften up later. As those before mentioned it smells delicious. I also wondered why carrots?

    Reply
  28. Kathy Baier July 27, 2012, 10:27 am

    Hi Lacey. Can I “can” this sauce rather than freeze?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef July 27, 2012, 4:48 pm

      Hey Kathy! You know, I’ve never tried canning any of my sauces but I’d bet it would be fine. If you try it, would you let me know how it goes? That’s a great idea! I usually just freeze them, but canning is great for long term storage and tasty gifts :)

      Reply
  29. Blair August 9, 2012, 11:49 am

    I’m almost ready to pull by roasting pan out of the oven. I had a mix of tomatoes from the garden including yellow ones and was worried about the final colour of the sauce – so I included 1 red beet to the roasting pan. The beet will add a nice deep red to the sauce and I bet a nice flavour too. I’ll keep you posted on the results!

    Reply
  30. Blair August 9, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Smells, looks & tastes delicious! Thanks for a great sauce recipe!

    Reply
  31. Nancy at Coneflower Ranch August 17, 2012, 4:23 pm

    I just finished pureeing the sauce out of the oven and it’s fantastic. Looking forward to using it in other ways including my vodka sauce, awesome!

    Reply
  32. Judi August 18, 2012, 10:05 pm

    Hi Lacey, I’m wanting to make a vegetarian casserole for a potluck and I don’t eat pasta. I’m wondering what you think about using this sauce over spaggetti squash, with a layer of eggplant and parmessan cheese? The sauce and squash may be to sweet to pair together, what do you think?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 19, 2012, 1:09 pm

      I think that actually sounds fantastic. You could maybe add a little more Parmesan or pecorino to offset the sweetness, but I’d bet it’ll be tasty :)

      Reply
  33. Judi August 19, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Pecorino I’m unfamilar with that cheese…tell me about it. I’ll let you know how it turns out won’t be for a while…planning ahead.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 19, 2012, 5:42 pm

      Hi Judi,

      Pecorino is similar to Parmesan but has more “bite” to it. It’s a stronger flavor. Very tasty :)

      Reply
  34. Judi August 19, 2012, 11:59 pm

    FYI… I tried roasting two kinds of tomatoes…the roma’s we’re sweet and yummy even without any sugar. The early girls a little bitter so I added maple sugar crystals and that helped a lot.Great fun…thanks for all your help.

    Reply
  35. Karen August 30, 2012, 4:37 pm

    This is almost MY recipe! I don’t use the carrot, but will try. I drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,no sugar. I freeze batches of this. I have used brandywine tomatoes with good results too.

    Reply
  36. bob September 8, 2012, 6:10 pm

    i just made this tonight…i seeded but did not peel the tomatoes and also added a bit of carrot…then fresh basil in the food processor…butter added when reheating the portion i am had tonight (froze the rest)…served on top of homemade linguini with parmesan and a hunk o bread…simple pleasures

    Reply
  37. df September 17, 2012, 9:55 pm

    With an abundance of tomatoes and too little time for the kitchen tonight, I set my teenager onto making this, and was it ever good! He and we loved it more than you can imagine after a cold evening working outside on an urgent project.

    Reply
  38. Adrea October 3, 2012, 10:45 pm

    I had a very late tomato crop this year from a few of my plants. I decided to use your recipe to ensure that they did not go to waste. My sauce came out great! I added a little balsamic vinegar during the roasting process but otherwise followed the instructions. Thanks for the delicious and easy recipe.

    Reply
  39. Becka March 18, 2013, 1:56 pm

    About a month ago I had SEVERAL packages of Roma Tomatoes that were about to go bad-as I desperately searched the Internet for a sauce recipe I came across this page. So simple and soooo delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  40. gary September 8, 2013, 3:40 pm

    i noticed the thyme was to be added before and after the roasting. As I have not made this yet, was curious if I was to add the same amount of thyme twice, or was this an oversight? Looks great and I have a whole bunch of tomatoes to use up. Thank you…

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 15, 2013, 4:11 pm

      Thanks for catching that! It was an oversight. Just add the thyme prior to roasting and not once you remove from the oven. Thanks!

      Reply
  41. Jean September 8, 2013, 5:54 pm

    Very good and actually fun to make…..
    Will do this over and over again…
    thanks

    Reply
  42. Jennifer Terwilliger September 11, 2013, 9:24 am

    This was pretty amazing. I used fresh ripe tomatoes from the garden, a combination of varietals, a bit more crushed garlic and didn’t remove the skins before blending. Oh, a small pour of marsala and lots of fresh thyme during the roasting stage. DELICIOUS!! Then I browned some italian sausage and ground beef and added the sauce. Super good. Loved this recipe. I served it with spinach linguini. Thanks for a great recipe!

    Reply
  43. Jessica October 9, 2013, 8:08 am

    I added chopped grilled back bacon to the skillet after the roasting and blending. (added also celery n beet root to the roasting) … It turned out really well with pplp saying its the best pasta sauce they have ever tasted! Awesome! Used a mixed of sweet white and purple onions.

    Reply

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