Simple Tomato Sauce

This post was last updated on August 27, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.

Simple Tomato Sauce

I find that people are often surprised that I make my own tomato sauce.  I think they imagine me spending hours and hours over the stove with tons of ingredients.

Truth is: it’s pretty darn easy and only requires a few simple ingredients.

Simple Tomato Sauce

Italian food is one of my many, many, many favorite types of food.  Therefore, I make a lot of it.

Simple Tomato Sauce

To make great Italian food, I think it’s pretty important to make your own tomato sauce.

Now, I haven’t always thought this way.  In fact, I used to buy pre-made tomato sauces.  [Gasp!]   It wasn’t until I tried a recipe for Simple Tomato Sauce by Giada De Laurentiis that everything changed…forever.  [Insert dramatic pause]

Simple Tomato Sauce

How To Make Tomato Sauce Video

Oh my goodness, this sauce is good.  It is delicious in spaghetti, on pizza, baked with chicken parmesan, on meatball subs and smothered on garlic bread.

Simple Tomato Sauce

As its name suggests, this is a simple sauce.

So, once you get comfortable making this recipe, you can customize it however you want, like adding roasted tomatoes and garlic, four cheeses, pesto, etc.

The possibilities are endless…and tasty.

Watch me make this awesome sauce the video below!

Simple Tomato Sauce

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If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating it. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #asweetpeachef on Instagram! I LOVE seeing what you come up with. Enjoy!

Simple Tomato Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a great basic, easy-to-make tomato sauce that we use all the time.
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 6-8
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp. 
freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-4 tbsp. unsalted butter, optional
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 5-8 minutes, until sweating.
  2. Add celery and carrots and season with the salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer, covered, on low heat for 1 hour.
  5. Before blending, remove bay leaves. If using a food processor, add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
  6. If using an immersion blender (possibly the best device ever!), just blend the sauce right there in the pot.
  7. Once sauce is completely pureed, return to the pot. Add additional salt or pepper as desired. Add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavors. (I usually wind up adding about 2 tablespoons). The butter will cut some of the acidity of the tomatoes.
  8. If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.


    • says

      Karen, I’ve actually been meaning to try canning this recipe for years now. I wouldn’t add the butter at the end, but otherwise I think it would be a good candidate for canning. If you try it, please share the results :)

  1. Krissy says

    hey, i was wondering in the ingredients section if it is two 28-ounce cans of tomatoes or two cans of tomatoes that add up to please, i would really like to try this recipe!! =)

  2. Tarah says

    I absolutely love this recipe! The only thing I change is I add about a cup of red wine and reduce it down before adding the tomatoes. This adds that extra flavor I love in spaghetti sauce. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!

  3. Megan says

    This was AMAZING. It complimented the Chicken Parmesan just perfectly. I am so glad I took the time to make it from scratch. Thank you again for your recipes – each one I make is so delicious! I always get compliments from my 6 year old, to my 8 year old, to my 31 year old husband!

  4. Sarah says

    I’m a poor college student, lacking a food processor. Is there any way to do that process (ha) without one? Thank you so much for the recipe, by the way. I’m taking on your lasagna recipe in September. :)

  5. says

    I love your blog and recipes. I am also a personal chef and blogger. I like to consider myself your eastcoast fellow chef/blogger. Keep on doing what you are doing. Cheers!

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