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Simple Tomato Sauce

This is a great basic, easy-to-make tomato sauce that we use all the time.
Categories Sauce
Difficulty Easy
Keyword simple tomato sauce, simple tomato sauce recipe, smooth tomato sauce recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 155 kcal
Author A Sweet Pea Chef


  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 tsp 
freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes 28-ounce
  • 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.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Simple Tomato Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 148
% Daily Value*
Fat 16.4g25%
Saturated Fat 3.7g19%
Cholesterol 7.6mg3%
Sodium 100.8mg4%
Carbohydrates 2.4g1%
Fiber 0.6g2%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 0.4g1%
Vitamin A 500IU10%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.