Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

Homemade Tomato sauce is easy but time consuming. It doesn't require a ton of ingredients or tools but you will need to have at least 3.5 hours to dedicate to your sauce and more if you plan to water bath can it after. 

I personally love making my own sauce with left over tomatoes from our gardens that didn't sell. Typically I'm left with imperfect or odd looking tomatoes but with sauce, those parts get removed anyways. This sauce is amazing on pasta and what better way to serve your family with a sauce you made from scratch!

Selecting the right tomato is vital for a couple reasons. I like Roma's because they aren't as watery, using Roma's can cut down on your cooking time dramatically and make less mess of your counters when preparing.

In this recipe you will see I still used a couple Beef Steak Tomatoes because they were there but for flavor and ease, go for Roma if you can.

The other important part when selecting the right tomato is ripeness. If the tomato is under ripened, the skin is much more difficult to remove and you lose more of the tomato when you're coring it because the surrounding areas of the core are too firm to use. 

Speaking of pealing skin, it is important but not necessary to peel the tomatoes. It does add more time to making your sauce but you wont have chewy peels resulting in a smoother sauce. 
To begin you will need a large stock pot with lid, cutting boards, paring knife, strainer, a couple large bowls, ice, water and 6-7 pounds of Fresh Tomatoes.

Start your large stock pot with enough water to cover about 10 tomatoes on high heat and the cover on. 

While your water is warming up, begin coring your tomatoes with a paring knife and discarding the cores. After you core each one, turn the tomato over and score each one with an X on the bottom. Scoring them helps to peel them after they are blanched. 

Next prepare your cooling bowl with water and ice. This is a lot like making hard boiled eggs, you want to not only cool the tomato but the cool water will help snap the skin off.

Once all your tomatoes are prepared, add 10 to your boiling water and let sit in the water for about 40 seconds. After 40 seconds is up, used a slotted spoon and carefully place each boiled tomato into your bowl of ice water for about 30 seconds. Once cooled to the touch, remove each tomato and peel the skin off, discarding the skin and placing the peeled tomato into a large strainer. 

Repeat this process until all of your tomatoes are boiled and peeled. 

Drain the hot water out of your pot as we will use the same pot to cook the tomatoes. Give all your tomatoes a rough chop, this step will help them cook more evenly and make it easier to puree them at the end. 

Add 2 TBS of Olive Oil to your stock pot and heat to medium. Add 1 chopped onion and 4 minced cloves of garlic and cook for about two minutes or until translucent being careful not to burn it.

After two minutes, add your chopped tomatoes, 5 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh Basil, 1.5 TBS of Sugar (this helps counter the acidity of the tomatoes), 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tbs Fresh Oregano, 1 tbs Chopped fresh Parsley and 1 tsp Kosher Salt. Of course if you don't have fresh you can use dried just cut the amount in half. I happen to have an abundance of herbs I need to use up before the season is over. 

Bring to a low boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 2-4 hours. This time is really based on what you used for tomatoes. If you used only Roma tomatoes, it may take as little as 2 hours, if you used mostly Beef Steak or other watery tomatoes, it may take the full 4 hours.

I keep the lid on for Roma and cover for Beef Steak, once again this is all in how watery you mix is. Be sure to stir every so often and keep an eye on your pot so it's not to burn or boil over. I'm anxiety ridden about fires so I set reminders on my phone for every 30 minutes. 

When you reach the thickness and consistency you're looking for in a sauce, turn off the heat and let cool for a few minutes. TRY YOUR SAUCE! You can never be sure how something is unless you taste it! If it needs more seasoning, add that now.

You may find that it's too acidic, add more sugar 1 tsp at a time. If it's too bland, add salt a little at a time. This is where you get to be creative and add what you enjoy. I actually add finely chopped Portobello mushrooms to mine for a healthy meaty flavor. 

After you get it to taste, use an immersion blender to blend your mix until smooth or you can let it cool down more and blend it using a Blender or food processor. If you don't have any of those things, you can use a potato masher to break up the big pieces. 

That's just about it! You can use it right away and add some Freshly Grated Parmesan cheese or you can Water Bath Can it for future use or let it completely cool and freeze it! 

Yields approx 48 oz or 3 pints


7 lbs Roma Tomatoes Cored, Chopped and Peeled 
1 Yellow Onion Diced
4 Minced Cloves of Garlic
1.5 tbs Sugar
5 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh Basil
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tbs Fresh Oregano
1 tbs Chopped fresh Parsley
1 tsp Kosher Salt

2 tbs Olive Oil


1. Prepare your tomatoes by using a paring knife, core each tomato then score X's on the bottom. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 40 seconds then dip them in cold water and peal the skins away. More detailed instructions on preparing the tomatoes can be found above.
2. Dice your tomatoes, onions and mince your garlic and herbs.
3. In a large stock pot, add olive oil and bring to a medium heat. Saute' the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes, stirring not to burn. 
4. Add in your tomatoes and spices and bring to a medium boil. 
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours half of the time with the cover on, until most of the water is evaporated.
6. Remove from heat and let cool a little then Blend your mixture using an immersion blender.

7. Add more salt, pepper and sugar if needed. 

Serve and enjoy! My next blog, I will do a DIY Water Bath Canning blog so you can learn how to stock your tomato sauce in the pantry! If you have too much and you don't want to bother canning it, just freeze it!

A lot of this recipe, as stated in the beginning of the recipe is to taste and depends on many factors like the types of tomatoes being used.

 Cooks Tips: If after you blend the sauce, if you find it too watery you can always add it back to the stove top on low stirring. Too thick just add a little water and possibly more seasoning.
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