Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

*Long-Time Reader Favorite!* This hearty and flavorful garden tomato sauce is made by roasting tomatoes in the oven.  It’s very hands-off, 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. 

Roasted garden tomato sauce in a jar

Ingredient Notes

  • Tomatoes – You really can’t go wrong here. Gather up any variety of fresh tomatoes. No need to peel!
  • Carrots and Onions – Same story as above- any variety of carrots and onion will work. I like Yellow or white onions and have always used traditional orange carrots.

How to Make Garden Tomato Sauce

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.

tomatoes and vegetables

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. Sprinkle it all with kosher salt and black pepper.

Sliced Tomatoes and Onions

2. For the garlic, I just prepare it like regular roasted garlic.  If you need more direction, check out this post for Roasting Garlic.  Wrap it in foil (or parchment) and just nestle it on the baking sheet somewhere so it roasts along with everything else.

A head of garlic, wrapped in foil to be roasted

3. Roast vegetables. Everything cooks for 2-3 hours.  The juices evaporate, the flavors intensify, the natural sugars caramelize….like I said, it’s magical. 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 and onions on a sheet pan

4. Blend it up. 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.

A head of garlic, roasted and wrapped in a piece of foil.

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.

Roasted tomatoes and garlic in a blender

5. 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 or pop it in the freezer for later.

Roasted garden tomato sauce in a jar

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 sauté 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

Serving Suggestions

Serve over pasta, zoodles, or thinned down with broth into a soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

This recipe isn’t designed or tested for canning. Check out this Tomato-Basil Simmer Sauce with Roasted Garlic if you’d like a tried and true tomato sauce to can.

If you have an abundance of garden tomatoes to use up, here are some other great ways to utilize them:

Roasted Sweeet Corn and Tomato Soup

Garden Fresh Salsa

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta

FAQs

  • How long does this keep in the fridge/freezer? If storing in the fridge, I recommend eating within a few days. In the freezer, it will stay good for several months.

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, and then come back and give this recipe a rating!

Roasted garden tomato sauce in a jar

Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

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.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes
Servings2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6-8 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
  •  

Instructions

  • 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.
  •  
Author: Sara Wells
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

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

  2. Wow. That’s all I can say about this recipe. It’s a keeper for sure. My whole family loved it.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

    1. I actually use it for tomato soup all the time as well. Just add broth (I use beef broth) until it’s the consistency you like. So good!

  6. 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?

        1. Ya know, either/or. For the sake of ease I’d probably just do them low and slow like the tomatoes, just watch them to see when they’re done.

  7. 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?

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

    1. You could use a blender, just make sure to pulse and not puree. Or you could just chop finely as well 🙂

  9. 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!!!

  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. 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!

  12. Wondering if I can use dry herbs. Mine didn’t survive. If so what’s the quantity?

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!!

  16. 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!

  17. I made two batches of this today and it turned out delicious! Thank you! I love how easy it is!

  18. Sounds delicious. I love all your different kinds of tomatoes. What are the big ones with the orange streaks?

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

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

  22. 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!