Garden Tomato Sauce

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In the summer, there’s nothing better than homemade, fresh garden tomato sauce – perfect for your favorite pasta dish!

Garden Tomato Sauce in a pot.
Garden Tomato Sauce

I have a garden in my backyard, and every summer, I always end up with a ton of tomatoes. Making plum tomato sauce from scratch is an excellent way to use them up. I sometimes make an extra batch or two to freeze so I can eat it in the fall – it’s such a treat. If your garden is overflowing with grape or cherry tomatoes, try this grape tomato version.

How to Peel Fresh Tomatoes

How to Peel Fresh Tomatoes

The most labor-intensive part of making homemade tomato sauce is peeling the tomatoes. First, slice an “X” on the bottom of each tomato and then drop them in a pot of boiling water. Once the skin cracks after a minute or two, remove them and let cool. Peel off the skins and dice the tomatoes.

How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce

While, yes, opening a jar of Italian tomato sauce is super easy, making it from scratch isn’t very hard, and the results are definitely worth the extra effort. Once your tomatoes are prepped, follow these three simple steps:

  • Sauté garlic over medium heat, add the red pepper flakes and then the tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  • Partially cover the pot and cook on low for 25 minutes.
  • Stir in the basil and remove from the heat.
  • I like it chunky, if you like it smooth, you can puree part of the sauce after.

How to Freeze Tomato Sauce

The recipe would be perfect for doubling or tripling if you have a surplus of tomatoes so that you can enjoy fresh tomato sauce out of season. Just pour it into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the
refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Tomato Sauce with pastaTomato Sauce in a pot.

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:

Garden Tomato Sauce in a pot.
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Garden Tomato Sauce

61 Cals 1.5 Protein 9 Carbs 3 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Yield: 12 servings
CUISINE: American, Italian
In the summer, there's nothing better than homemade, fresh garden tomato sauce – perfect for your favorite pasta dish!


  • 8 cups (5 lbs) peeled, seeded and diced plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  • To peel the tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Slice an X on the bottom of each tomato.
  • When boiling, drop the tomatoes in the water to blanch 1 to 2 minutes, or until the skin cracks.
  • Quickly remove from the water and let them cool a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle, the skin will come right off.
    Garden Tomato Sauce in a pot.
  • Dice the tomatoes fine.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. When hot add the garlic and saute until golden brown.
    Garden Tomato Sauce
  • Add red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook low heat 25 minutes.
  • Add the basil and remove from heat. I like it chunky, if you like it smooth, you can puree part of the sauce after. Serve over your favorite pasta.


Makes 6 cups


Serving: 1/2 cup, Calories: 61kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1.5g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 157mg, Fiber: 2g
Keywords: Easy Garden Tomato Sauce, homemade tomato sauce

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  1. Made this tonight as written. I had a bunch of tomatoes from my garden that needed to be used so this seemed like the perfect fit. 
    The family thoroughly enjoyed it! This recipe is perfection and so easy!

  2. Love this recipe. I never seeded or skinned tomatoes before, and it is worth it! This sauce is fantastic. I use whatever tomatoes are best at the local farmers market. The first time I made it, we skipped the pasta altogether, served over spinach with wild caught shrimp. Divine!

    Question: how long will the sauce stay fresh in the fridge? We have guests coming and I’m trying to decide whether to freeze to not.

  3. I omit the oil, and use my water bath canner and can the sauce instead. You can do pints or quarts, but it’s wonderful to be able not to have to buy store bought sauce with a lot of preservatives and added sugars. I make a huge batch in September, and then we’re good to go for the next year. Two tomato plants, and enough tomatoes to make 8 pints of green tomato relish and 8 pints of this sauce. Thanks for the recipe, Gina!

  4. Oh my! This is heavenly.  

  5. This was delicious!!!! Served it on penne pasta with some fresh parmesan cheese

  6. I have tons of regular tomatoes and my Roma’s are just starting.  Can I use regular tomatoes and how do I adjust the recipe?

  7. I do not have plum tomatoes. Can I use regular slicing tomatoes?
    Thank you!

  8. How do you seed the tomatoes if you don’t have a machine attachment?

  9. After cooking this sauce can it be canned?

    • It can be canned, but you have to use a pressure canner vs water bath because of the oil.

    • And don’t let the thought of a pressure canner frighten you. It’s wonderful once you get past the fear of it. It is one “gadget” in my kitchen no matter how much I downsize I am unwilling to part with. ❤️