You wouldn’t think one could get super excited about a roasted tomato sauce, as it is such an everyday staple in most homes, but that is the case with this unique, flavorful tomato sauce. Besides, it is so simple and easy to make, it is hard to believe it will be so delicious, but believe you must.

The roasted vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, and basil make an excellent mouth-watering tomato sauce. The roasting process enhances the flavors by caramelizing and adding a note of smoke to the fresh tomatoes. In my humble opinion, this roasted tomato sauce recipe is the best in the world.

Roasted Tomato Sauce in a white pot with fresh basil

Looking for more tomato recipes? Try my easy creamy cherry tomato soup, toasted garlic tomato sandwich, or this one pot cherry tomato and basil pasta.

Why you’ll love this roasted tomato Sauce:

Simple and Easy to make:  This is a quick and easy recipe; you prepare the ingredients, add them to a greased baking sheet, and let the oven develop the flavor and do most of the work.

Delicious:  It is hard to describe the beauty of this roasted tomato sauce. It has such depth of flavor that a stovetop tomato sauce recipe will lack. I love the comfort, depth, and warmth of this tomato sauce.  

Great way to utilize left-over fresh tomatoes: If you have a garden producing an abundance of tomatoes, you are a blessed person. But for those of us who do not, the farmer’s market is a great alternative in the summer and fall. Making a roasted tomato sauce is a great way to preserve ripe tomatoes and enhance the flavor of store-bought tomatoes.  

Versatile:  A roasted tomato sauce can be used in so many recipes. It is a great addition to pasta, pizza, eggplant sticks, lasagna roll-ups, and zucchini sticks, just to mention a few.

Healthy:  Roasted tomato sauce is also a healthy sauce. Tomatoes and garlic are known for their health benefits. Enjoy with a good conscience. 

Roasted Tomato Sauce in a glass jar

Health Benefits of Tomatoes: 

  • Great for the waistline: Tomatoes are low in calories while high in nutritional value.  
  • Improves Immune Functions: Tomatoes have great nutritional and therapeutic value. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, potassium, and iron. In addition, tomatoes contain antioxidants, which are especially useful in fighting infections.  
  • Decreases Arteriosclerosis: “Tomatoes are very useful as a prophylactic for all who experience circulatory system disorders, including angina and heart attack.” (1)
  • Protect Against Cancer: Regular Tomato consumption has a protective effect against cancers. (2)

Tomato Season:

This is the time of year when tomatoes are plentiful. People with vegetable gardens are looking for recipes to utilize and preserve their beautiful fresh tomato harvest. We were blessed with wonderful tomatoes this year, and we have made numerous batches of this great tomato sauce and stored it for winter. We use this sauce for pasta, pizza, eggplant sticks, lasagna, soups, etc. The number of recipes is endless. Just yesterday, we made a batch with a little extra crushed red pepper for a spicer tomato sauce, which works well in some recipes. It was super delicious.  

Garden fresh tomatoes

Tomatoes from the store cannot compare to tomatoes straight out of the garden. If you do not have a garden, it may be worth a trip to the local farm stand to get some fresh tomatoes for this sauce, but we have certainly made it with store-bought tomatoes when the garden variety has not been available to us, and it has turned out great too.

There are so many varieties of tomatoes, and they are all delicious when they are ripe and fresh. Since store-bought tomatoes are usually picked before they are ripe, they lack the depth of flavour that garden-ripened tomatoes have. But you can still ripen them at home by leaving them on the counter for a few days until the glorious red color develops.  

And though they may not be garden fresh and lack some flavor, roasting them will greatly enhance the flavor.  

Garden fresh red tomato before making roasted tomato sauce

What Tomatoes are best in this Roasted Tomato Sauce?

Frankly, any type of tomato will be great in this roasted tomato sauce. I often use what I have available. Go to your local farmer’s market and buy fresh, plump tomatoes, and add some cherry tomatoes for extra sweetness.  

Roasted Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes: Use 6–8 large quartered tomatoes or a mixture of various types of tomatoes, including Roma and cherry tomatoes. Use enough tomatoes to fill one layer on a baking sheet.  
  • Fresh Garlic: Garlic must be one of the best flavor enhancers in the world. It is not only good for flavor but also has great health benefits. It is one of those ingredients that build depth and comfort. 
  • Fresh Basil Leaves:  Basil has to be one of my absolute favorite herbs. Its sweet, pungent flavor enhances and elevates dishes to the next level. Fresh basil is particularly delicious and is heavily used in Italian cooking, but you can also use freeze dried basil or my Italian Seasoning recipe. It might be worth keeping a little basil plant on the window sill for a quick fix in everyday cooking. I do, though; during the summer months, I usually have a whole bed full of basil in my garden. I freeze-dry the herbs for use during the winter months, but I still need fresh basil every so often.  
  • Olive Oil: I really appreciate a good olive oil. Olive oils are not created equal. There are definite differences from brand to brand. Look for cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil. Cold-pressed means that the temperature is controlled during the extraction process to maintain the integrity and flavor of the olive oil. And extra virgin means the least processed and highest quality olive oil. The best olive oils can be a little on the pricy side, so I will use a lesser quality while cooking and a higher quality olive oil in salad dressings, hummus, and recipes that do not require cooking.  
  • Sea Salt:  Use sea salt whenever possible as it is nutritionally better than table salt. Minimally processed, sea salt still contains trace elements that are useful and needed for health.  
  • Crushed Red Pepper: Crushed red pepper enhances flavor. The amount we use will not make the sauce spicy, but it adds a unique and special note of flavor. By all means, if you prefer a spicier roasted tomato sauce, add some extra crushed red pepper.

How to Make Roasted Tomato Sauce:  

This roasted tomato sauce is a super simple, easy to make recipe. The oven does most of the work.  

Step one:  Cut the ripe tomatoes into quarters (smaller tomatoes in half, and cherry tomatoes as is), and place them on a baking tray. Add a few whole garlic cloves, a few basil leaves, a little oil, a touch of salt, and some crushed red pepper. Stir to make sure the olive oil is distributed evenly.

Step two:  Next, roast the tomatoes in the oven for a few minutes, letting the roasting process caramelize the ingredients.

Step three: Finally, blend the roasted tomatoes, garlic, and basil in a food processor, and you have this amazing sauce. Heat before serving. For an extra flavor punch, add some fresh minced basil to the sauce before serving.  

Tomatoes, garlic, and basil on a baking sheet tray before roasting

Tips and Tricks to Make the Best Roasted Tomato Sauce

Make several trays at once:  I usually make several trays at once and freeze the roasted tomato sauce in batches, appropriate portions. This makes it so easy to whip up quick meals as needed.   

Use Garden-Fresh Tomatoes: Whenever possible, use vine ripened tomatoes, but if store-bought and unripe, ripen on the counter for a few days.  

For a Smoke Note: If you like a slight smoke note to the roasted tomato sauce, let the tomatoes get a slight charred on the outside of a few of the tomatoes, not too much, as you do not want it to taste burned, but a slight tough gives you an element of smoke that can enhance the tomato sauce.  

What to pair this roasted tomato sauce with:

Pasta: Cook up some fresh or dried pasta to perfection, and smother in this flavorful, roasted tomato sauce. 

Pizza sauce: You may want to reduce the tomato sauce slightly before using as a pizza sauce. We do not want soggy pizza, or a sauce that runs off the crust. Simply let the sauce simmer on the stovetop for a few minutes to thicken and concentrate to make the perfect pizza sauce. I usually let it simmer on low until the right consistency. You can also try my marinara sauce recipe.

Dip for Veggies: This roasted tomato sauce is absolutely delicious as a dip for eggplant or zucchini sticks. It is also great for breadsticks, garlic knots, or fresh warm French Bread. I would serve the roasted tomato sauce warm.  

Chili & Soups: Roasted tomato sauce is a wonderful flavor enhancer to chili recipes and various soups. Add a cup or two to your favorite chili recipe or minestrone soup. You will be amazed at the difference. 

Roasted Tomato Sauce served with Pasta in a white pasta bowl

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with pasta, fresh garlic knots, sprinkle with fresh minced basil, and vegan parmesan cheese, and complete the meal with a side of vegan caesar salad. For dessert, try my lemon crinkle cookies or either fresh strawberry or blueberry pie, a meal fit for a king.   

Other Recipes You might Like:  

Lasagna Roll Ups: The roasted tomato sauce will be a great addition to the lasagna roll ups.  

One-Pot Pasta:  Check out my collection of incredible one-pot pasta dishes.

Sesame Kale Salad: This gorgeous and delicious salad will pair well with just about anything. It’s hard to believe Kale can be this delicious.

Watch My Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe Video

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Roasted Tomato Sauce in a white pot

The Best Roasted Tomato Sauce

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  • Author: Chef Ani
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart + 1x


The roasted vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, and basil make an excellent mouth-watering roasted tomato sauce. The roasting process enhances the flavors by caramelizing and adding a note of smoke to the fresh tomatoes. 


  • 68 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 large whole garlic cloves
  • 56 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Wash and quarter tomatoes and arrange on a baking sheet tray. Add the whole garlic cloves and basil leaves.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and crushed red pepper. Toss with your hands to evenly coat the oil (on garlic and basil leaves too).
  4. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove basil leaves from tray and discard (see note). Pour tomatoes, garlic, and liquid into a food processor, pulse to get the right consistency (see note).
  6. Place in saucepan if needed to reduce liquid, simmer on low and salt to taste.


  • You can keep the basil leaves in the sauce if desired, but they will add a darker color to the finished sauce. I like to remove the basil leaves for a better colored sauce, and use fresh basil as garnish when I serve it.
  • I prefer to use a food processor to make this sauce, but if you do not have a food processor, you can use a blender. It does change the consistency and color of the sauce as the ground tomato seeds render the color a bit more orange and the sauce a bit thicker.
  • Since the type and quality of tomatoes vary so much in liquid content, there may be times that the sauce is too thin for your liking. If so, place in a sauce pan and simmer on low without the lid until the sauce has reached the right consistency. Season to taste.
  • Add more crushed red pepper if you like a little heat to the sauce.

Looking for more recipes?


  1. George D. Pamplora-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and their Healing Power. p. 275
  2. Franceschi S, Bidoli E, La Vecchia C, Talamini R, D’Avanzo B, Negri E. Tomatoes and risk of digestive-tract cancers. Int J Cancer. 1994 Oct 15;59(2):181-4. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910590207. PMID: 7927916.