*Long-Time Reader Favorite!* This hearty and flavorful garden tomato sauce is made by roasting tomatoes in the oven.  It’s very hands-off and easy to make and  perfect for an abundance of garden produce (or simply a good deal on tomatoes at the store!).  Make a small batch to enjoy, or a large batch and stock it in the freezer for months.  Note: This is not a canning recipe.  It’s great to stock up on and store in the freezer, but if you want a recipe that has been tested for home canning, you’ll find my favorite, here. 

heirloom tomaotes

How to Make Garden Tomato Sauce (Perfect for stocking the freezer!)

For this recipe, I slow-roast tomatoes along with onions, garlic, and carrots.  All of those vegetables do magical things in the oven and the flavors intensify and sweeten into the most amazing sauce blend.

Garden Tomatoes

You can use any variety of tomato in this recipe, and you don’t need to peel them first, so it’s super simple.
tomatoes and vegetables

Step 1: Chop Veggies

You do want the tomatoes to be roughly the same size on the roasting sheet so if you have a mix of big and small ones, just cut them accordingly.  Chop up the carrots and onions as well and toss everything in extra virgin olive oil.  I’m using my favorite Rosemary variety (which is now new to the shop in single bottles!) which adds SO much flavor here.

Our Best Bites Rosemary Olive Oi_New Flavorl

Sprinkle it all with kosher salt and black pepper and then pop it in the oven.  It bakes at low heat for a couple of hours.  That might make it sound like a big process, but just make it on a day when you’re around the house anyway and it’s no big deal.

Sliced Tomatoes and Onions

For the garlic, I just prepare it like regular roasted garlic.  You can find our full tutorial here.  Wrap it in foil (or parchment in this case because I was out of foil) and just nestle it on the baking sheet somewhere so it roasts along with everything else.

Roasted Garlic bundle

Step 2: Roast Tomatoes and Vegetables

Everything cooks for 2-3 hours.  The juices evaporate, the flavors intensify, the natural sugars caramelize….like I said, it’s magical.

Roasted Tomatoes and Onions

These are amazing straight off the pan.  Sometimes my sauce batches don’t actually make it to the sauce stage because we just eat them like this.

Roasted Tomatoes

Step 3: Puree roasted tomatoes and vegetables

If you can manage it, toss everything on the pan into a food processor.  Squeeze out the cloves of roasted garlic right in there too.  Use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the browned bits, oil, and salt and pepper in there as well.

Roasted Veggies in Food Processor

Pulse it up a few times and then add beef broth to reach a good consistency.  Beef broth may seem strange, but I find the rich flavor adds a really great balance to round out the sauce.  The amount of broth will completely vary because it depends on how much moisture is in your tomatoes.  It also depends on personal preference.  I like to keep my sauces on the thick side because it’s almost like having a concentrate.  When you go to use the sauce, you can add water or broth to thin it out.

Beef Broth

I also add fresh herbs from the garden.  Basil obviously, and then usually oregano and rosemary.  You can tweak the herbs depending on what you have and what you like.

Fresh Herbs

After that’s pulsed up, taste your sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Depending on each batch, I sometimes also add a couple of teaspoons of sugar, or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  When everything is cooled down, you can store it in the fridge for a few days,

Jar of Pasta Sauce from Our Best Bites

or pop it in the freezer for later.    After thawing to eat, or after it’s been in the fridge, it will even thicken a little bit more, so just add broth if needed for the consistency you like.

Optional:  Freezer Storage!

Frozen Pasta Sauce from Our Best Bites

Because of the rich tomatoes, olive oil, and caramelized vegetables, this sauce is so thick and flavorful.  It reminds me fresh sauces in Italy (compared to the watered down jarred sauces we’re used to pouring on here in the US).  I love having this in the freezer and often saute Italian turkey sausage and then dump a bag of sauce in for a quick pasta dinner.  You can also add chicken or beef broth and simmer to a soup consistency and serve with grilled cheese.   It’s such a fantastic way to preserve those flavors from the garden and enjoy them all winter long.  It’s also crazy-easy so there’s no excuses!

Garden Roasted Tomato Sauce from Our Best Bites


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Tomato Sauce

Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2-3 hours
  • Total Time: 41 minute
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x


Oven roasted tomato sauce that is excellent for freezer storage.  Make it all summer long!  Thin it out for an amazing soup, use it thick as a spread on pizza or crostini, or use on pasta as usual.



Note: This is a small one-pan batch.  If you have lots of tomatoes, make multiple pans and just rotate them half way through cooking.


2 lbs tomatoes
2 carrots
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
68 tablespoons beef broth
1/3 cup herbs (I usually do about 1/4 cup basil, 1/2 tablespoon minced rosemary, 1 tablespoon minced oregano)
Additional salt and pepper
optional if needed: 1/2 – 2 teaspoons sugar, balsamic vinegar

For roasted garlic
1 head garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 300 degrees Line a large baking sheet with foil.

Slice tomatoes in half or quarters, making them all roughly the same size.  Chop carrots in half lengthwise and then in 1-2 inch pieces.  Chop onion in large pieces, about 1-2 inches.  Place everything on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Arrange everything in a single layer, with tomatoes sitting skin-side down. Cut top 1/3 of whole garlic head off and discard.  Place garlic on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pull sides of foil up and secure.  Place foil pack on baking sheet with tomatoes.

Roast in the oven for 2-3 hours, until everything is tender and tomatoes appear slightly shriveled.  (In my oven it almost always takes 2 1/2 hours).

Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Place roasted vegetables in a food processor with broth.  Open garlic packet and squeeze all cloves into the food processor.  Pulse several times and then add fresh herbs.  Pulse again until desired consistency is reached.  Season with salt and pepper, add additional broth for consistency.  If needed, add a little sugar, or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Let cool completely and then store in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for several months.    Yields 2-1/2 cups sauce.



  1. I have 25 lbs of tomatoes coming to me this Saturday. I was planning on using most of them to make spaghetti sauce for the freezer. So this is pretty much perfect! Thanks!

  2. I absolutely love the Rosemary Oil, I can only imagine how delicious this sauce is with it!! Thanks for this recipe, looks so tasty!!

  3. THANK YOU!!! I have about twenty tomatoes on my counter – I have already made a batch of your garden salsa and a batch of homemade tomato sauce (the kind where you have to peel and seed the tomatoes). This is exactly what I need!

  4. yum! I was on tomato overload yesterday, so did a simpler version with just tomatoes onion and garlic and used your lemon olive oil-so good! Great base for the future and made 7.5 cups of sauce. I’m going to try this one next because I have carrots, basil and rosemary in my garden, too!

  5. Thanks for sharing this! I made it over the weekend and it is delicious. Now I know what I will do with all those extra garden tomatoes and it’s so easy. Great recipe!

  6. Completely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Cant believe how much flavour the sauce has. I also added some capsicum (bell pepper) to the roasting pan too, and used not so fresh and on clearance from the store to tomatoes. Imagine if I had of used fresh from the garden tomatoes. This ones a keeper!!

  7. I just made a batch tonight and it is so so so good! I am doing a whole 30 right now and this sauce is perfect. Can’t wait to try it over some zoodles.

  8. This was so delicious! After I started making it, I realized I didn’t have any beef broth. I used a can of Campbell’s French Onion soup instead. It worked great.

    1. This one is best with fresh. If you roast the dry herbs they’re prone to dry out and burn, and they don’t have time to cook in the sauce after. You could try to add some at the end and just hope the flavors come out once they absorb in the sauce. You’d just have to go by taste.

  9. I see in the picture some green tomatoes. Could this be made with green tomatoes or can you just incorporate some green ones in with ripe? I have a lot of green ones and I don’t know what to do with them. I have made a TON of this sauce and it is so good. AMAZINGLY easy compared to the stewed that I have been doing. Love your site and tell everyone I know how great your recipes are so thanks!

  10. Just wondering if I substitute veggie broth (vegetarian in the family) for beef, can this be canned using a water bath? I have a lot more than 2 lbs of tomatoes, and don’t have a lot of freezer space.

  11. This sauce was AMAZING!!!! I’ve tried making spaghetti sauce in the past and it was okay, but this was superb!!! I’ve made it twice and both times it came out great. I have to admit the first time I made it I might have used some over ripe, sitting in my fridge, a little mushy tomatoes to supplement what came out of my garden and it didn’t make a difference in the taste. I love it when they get almost burnt because it just tastes so sweet!! Thank you ladies AGAIN!!!

  12. I really want to try this recipe, but I don’t have a food processor. Is there anything I could use instead of it?

  13. I really want to try this recipe, but I don’t have a food processor or a food mill. Is there anything else I can use instead?

  14. Have you tried roasting zucchini with these veggies too? I have a ton of zucchini I need to use. Just wondering how it would affect the flavor?

    1. You could definitely add zucchini. It would just add extra moisture. I might roast my zucchini on a separate pan so I could drain off any excess water before combining with the tomatoes, but it should taste good (in fact, I might do that myself; I have tons of zucchini too!)

      1. Ok, great! Thanks! 🙂 Would you then roast the zucchini at a higher heat for less time, or do the slow roasting method too?

  15. I made this today and it is AMAZING. I could just eat it without noodles or anything else. Thanks for the awesome and super easy recipe!

  16. This sauce is truly standout – it’s EASY (I mean how much simpler can it get – I use grape tomatoes and I don’t even bother to cut them in half) and the taste is so decadent and complex. The only thing I changed, because I’ve made this twice, is that I personally don’t care for the beef broth/stock. The second time around I made it with veggie stock and that worked better for me. I just ate this over zoodles with garlicky roasted shrimp and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan. Wow. Didn’t miss the pasta a bit! I am going to turn the leftovers into a vegan roasted tomato soup tomorrow by combining the rest of the sauce with the leftover veggie stock. Thanks for a keeper recipe! Love your site, use it a lot as a “go to” for recipes that don’t disappoint.

  17. I love this recipe! This past summer I made extra batches, minus the herbs and broth, and froze it. Do you think it would work for a lasagne? Any advice? TIA.

  18. I made this today and LOVE it! It was so easy and so delicious! Thank you for being a reliable source for great recipes.

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