Roasted Tomato Sauce: Big Flavor, Little Work

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Roasted Tomato Sauce will wow your taste buds without leaving you standing in the kitchen for long. If you love roasting vegetables, try this! Whether you use the best seasonal heirlooms or off-season tomatoes, this recipe creates deep and delicious flavors.

(first posted 2010, updated 2018)

Super Easy Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce: Tomatoes and herbs in pan ready to roast

Roasted tomato sauce yields big flavor without much work. Always a winning combination in my kitchen. Even though it requires turning on the oven, it’s worth it even on a hot summer day. I promise.

How to Roast Tomatoes for Sauce

Summer is tomato time – the red beauties are at their cheapest and most flavorful. As are fresh herbs like basil.

  1. Buy a few pounds of tomatoes and a bunch of fresh basil.
  2. Throw it all in a big roasting pan with some other aromatics like garlic and onion and oregano along with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Roast the heck out of it.
  4. Let it cool and blend it.

It’s really that simple. But it tastes like you worked on it for hours!

What to Serve with this Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

The first time I made this, I created a delicious meatless meal by serving this sauce over pasta with some tasty roasted vegetables and my vegetarian cousin was so very happy. She doesn’t even like to cook but she took a copy of the recipe home with her to Florida and really did prepare the sauce all by herself. Here are some other ideas:

Roasted Tomato Sauce - tomatoes in pan before roasting at an angle with sunlight shining on them

Is this Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce Tasty in the Winter too?

As with any cooking, it’s all about the ingredients. If your tomatoes are not the tastiest ones in the market, make up for it with the balsamic and olive oil or the herbs that you use. This sauce may taste a little different each time you prepare it. That’s part of the fun. But to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with this technique. And it will please kids and adults.

Roasted Tomato Sauce - Tomatoes in roasting pan after oven

Other Variations of Roasted Tomato Sauce

  1. If you don’t have shallots, use some white, yellow, or red onion – just use a little less because shallots are milder.
  2. No fresh herbs around? Use dried in whatever assortment you’d like.
  3. Do you have roasted red peppers around? – put some of them in when you put it all in the blender. Or roast some with the tomatoes in the same pan.
  4. Like it a little spicy? Add some crushed red pepper flakes in the roasting stage or blending stage.
  5. Want to make it a meat sauce? – sauté your favorite spaghetti sauce meat and add the blended sauce to it before you put it over pasta.

Roasted Tomato Sauce in white bowl with fresh basil

Tomatoes and herbs in a roasting pan for roasted tomato sauce
5 from 6 votes

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce is a great way to use sumptuous summer tomatoes from the farmers' market or your own garden's bumper crop. But it's also a great way to make out-of-season tomatoes taste great!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword roasted tomato sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 293 kcal


  • 3 - 4 pounds ripe tomatoes cored
  • 3/4 cup shallots roughly chopped (equivalent to about 3 small shallots)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves divided, reserve 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves or use 2 - 3 teaspoons dried
  • 6 large garlic cloves peeled
  • 3/4 cup olive oil extra virgin but no need for your best EVOO
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

  2. Core the tomatoes, coarsely chop the shallots, peel the garlic cloves (leave whole), and tear 1 cup of the basil and all the oregano from their stems. 

  3. Combine all ingredients in a roasting pan and saturate with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, top with salt and pepper, optional red pepper flakes, and mix well.

  4. Roast the tomatoes and herbs for 55 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to singe. Remove from oven and let cool.

  5. Once cool, pour the contents of the roasting pan and the remaining ½ cup basil into a blender and blend on high for about a minute or until smooth.

  6. To serve, pour over pasta or roasted vegetables and enjoy! (or just eat it by the spoonful)

Recipe Notes

Notes: No fresh basil or fresh oregano? No problem. Use dried - just remember that dried herbs are more intensely flavored (if they are not old) so use about 2 tablespoons of dried basil and a tablespoon of dried oregano. No shallots? No problem - try some onion - any color will do.



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25 Responses to Roasted Tomato Sauce: Big Flavor, Little Work

  1. Sandi September 3, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

    5 stars
    There is nothing like a homemade tomato sauce. I can’t wait to pick up some tomatoes at the farmer’s market so I can make this.

    • Beth Lee September 3, 2019 at 3:15 pm #

      There is that great vendor on Sundays – might go this weekend!

  2. Britni October 5, 2018 at 11:53 am #

    5 stars
    This is a wonderful recipe! Thank you!

    • Beth Lee October 5, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

      Thank you – I know you’ll love it as much as I do!

  3. Taryn October 5, 2018 at 11:37 am #

    5 stars
    I love making sauce from fresh tomatoes! Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Beth Lee October 5, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

      You’re welcome! I’ve never met a maker of this recipe that didn’t put it on repeat!

  4. Little Cooking Tips September 27, 2018 at 1:35 am #

    5 stars
    Amazing!!! We are so happy reading you, post by post!:)
    Well, this is another new for us, making sauce by roasting the tomatoes:)
    Super-versatile, super-easy, and definitely super-yummy (or OMG! Yummy) 🙂
    This one is pinned for later use, next summer, when our garden’s tomatoes give us their fruits.
    Excellent idea and technique!

    • Beth Lee September 27, 2018 at 10:37 am #

      When I first made this, I couldn’t believe how easy and tasty it is. I promise you will love it and lick the bowl just as we do every single time. With the olive oil you have in Greece and the tomatoes, I can only imagine how wonderful it will be!!

  5. Jenni July 24, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    5 stars
    Fabulous! So much tomatoey goodness!

    • Beth Lee July 24, 2018 at 4:23 pm #

      Yes and you can’t really have too much of that can you?!

  6. Laura July 22, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    What a fabulous idea! I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes!

    • Beth Lee July 22, 2018 at 9:45 am #

      Thx Laura – can’t you just see a bit of a Middle Eastern twist too?

  7. Sandi July 21, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

    5 stars
    My kids love pasta with sauce…I love this easy recipe for homemade sauce. It would be so much better than a jarred sauce.

    • Beth Lee July 22, 2018 at 9:43 am #

      I promise it is so much better and you guys will love it Sandi!

  8. Rita July 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

    You had me at “big flavor little work” !

    • Beth Lee July 21, 2018 at 6:47 am #

      Right? You’ll love this and I’m sure find so many ways to use it.

  9. Stephanie M at Together In Food October 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Beth, Thanks for the shout-out! I actually used the first of my water-canned tomatoes yesterday when I made fish tagine for dinner.

  10. Christina October 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    This looks so good! Unfortunately my tomatoes didn’t make it this year so I have to wait until next year to grow some more!

  11. Jessica Maher October 6, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Hey visiting from Sits group. Your blog is great and so pretty and clean. I love it!2 Hope you have a great day!
    XOXO Jessica

    Oh and if you get a chance come by and support Breast Cancer at Kitchen Belleicious and win a pink prize baking package in the process!


  12. dormant-chef October 6, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    Or for a change, you can heat some sauce in a small saucepan (enough for two servings) and when bubbly, crack an egg into it. Stir for a couple of minutes until the sauce lightens and serve immediately over your choice of pasta.

  13. Diane October 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    I love, love, love the colored pictures. Really makes the recipe come alive.

  14. Wendy (The Local Cook) October 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Oh oh oh, I so wish I had had this last week! We just had our first frost. I’m looking forward to getting to know your blog more through the SITS tribe!

  15. Ullrich Fichtner October 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Juicy, aromatic, great! Stay on these roads! From a European, non-Californian perspective, I envy you. Here at my place, tomato-time is over. Fall is coming in… Thanks for sharing! A very Mediterranean approach! Stick to it!

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