The BEST EVER Roasted Tomato Sauce + Video

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This Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe is still our favorite after over a decade of learning how to make tomato sauce from scratch. It’s seriously that good! Make a big batch of slow roasted tomatoes, then process and store for later. Canning and freezing instructions included!

titled: Roasted Tomato Sauce


Roasted Tomato Sauce

It’s amazing how much flavor is packed into such a tiny jar! All you need are a few fresh ingredients and some pantry seasonings to make a restaurant-worthy pasta sauce.

Have you had a chance to make my homemade tomato paste yet? It’s so easy to make right in your crockpot. Or try this salsa, another popular roasted tomato recipe.

Sun drying is the perfect way to store tomatoes in the wintertime. I eat these Rosemary Basil Sundried Tomatoes like candy!

Recipe Video

To see us make oven roasted tomato sauce from start to finish, watch the video in this post!

chopped garlic and herbs on cutting board next to bowls of tomatoes, onions, and spices

Best Tomatoes for Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce

Roma tomatoes are the best option for oven roasted tomato sauce. They have very few seeds, low water content, and a dense, meaty texture.

Some people like to remove the seeds when they make tomato sauce, while other people leave them in. It’s up to you.

If you experiment with other varieties, removing the seeds is a must. You may also find that your roasted tomato sauce comes out a bit thinner.

onion and garlic mixed with spices in bowl near halved tomatoes and chopped herbs

Tips for Making Slow Roasted Tomatoes

  • Fresh onion and garlic impart loads of flavor.

While I have made this recipe without them, I don’t recommend doing so.

It takes just a few minutes to chop them up and add them to the pan — and the results speak for themselves.

  • Rotate pans if doubling the recipe.

And don’t think you can cheat by squeezing all of the tomatoes on the same pan!

If things are too crowded in the oven, the veggies will steam rather than roast, which will greatly affect the flavor of the sauce.

  • Watch the clock if you remove the seeds.

Doing so will cause the tomatoes to roast faster, so start checking them after 1.5 hours.

Once they look slightly caramelized, it’s time to turn up the heat!

halved roma tomatoes and seasoned onions in bowl

Serving Suggestions

You can use this roasted tomato pasta sauce in the same way that you use traditional spaghetti sauce or marinara. Just serve it over your favorite pasta!

Or, if you prefer a low carb option, you can serve it over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

This roasted tomato sauce is also incredible in homemade lasagna and on freshly tossed pizza dough.

roma tomato halves tossed with onion, garlic, oil, and spices

Storing and Freezing Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

This roasted tomato recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce. If you want to make extra so you can enjoy homemade roasted tomato sauce in the winter, you can!

Divide into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags and it will stay good for 3 to 4 months.

Or, you can keep homemade tomato pasta sauce in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Canning Slow Roasted Tomatoes

This is another easy way to extend your harvest. You will need a water bath canner.

Be sure to consult the canning guide to ensure proper acidity levels and storing methods.

When properly sealed in Mason jars, slow roasted tomatoes will keep for 12 to 18 months in a cool, dark place.

Once blended, roasted tomato pasta sauce will keep for up to 1 year.

tomato halves filled with onion and garlic on baking sheet

Roasted Tomato Recipe FAQ

Can I add extra vegetables?

Sure! Why not try onions, garlic, spinach, mushrooms, red bell peppers, or zucchini?

This recipe for roasted tomato pasta sauce is a wonderful way to use up your extra garden produce. Simply toss veggies onto the pan while cooking the tomatoes.

But, be sure to separate extra vegetables out if you don’t want them blended into the sauce. Instead, stir them in just before serving or storing.

Should I peel tomatoes before roasting?

It’s up to you, but there’s really no need when roasting Roma tomatoes. The skins are quite thin and break down well in the oven.

Only take the time if you want a very smooth sauce. You’ll need to blanch the tomatoes to remove the skin, which requires extra prep.

How do I prevent the sauce from being too watery?

Use Roma tomatoes instead of other varieties to keep the water content low.

Once blended, you can either strain the sauce to remove excess liquid or simmer it on the stove until thickened.

roasted tomatoes blended in food processor

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spooning roasted tomato sauce into jar

Roasted Tomato Sauce

The BEST EVER Roasted Tomato Sauce + Video

Donna Elick
This Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe is still our favorite after over a decade of learning how to make tomato sauce from scratch. It’s that good!
4.72 stars from 7 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Method Oven
Servings 12 makes 3 cups


  • 18 ripe Roma tomatoes , Paste (halved and cored)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl combine onion, garlic, and olive oil. Microwave for 30 seconds to infuse the garlic and onion into the oil. When you remove the bowl from the oven you will smell the heavenly aroma of garlic and onion.
  • Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and sugar to bowl and stir to combine. Sugar will help cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Place cut tomatoes in a large mixing bowl, pour in the olive oil mixture over top and toss with your hands or a spoon. Make sure all of the tomatoes are well coated.
  • Place the tomatoes cut side up on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the fresh basil, rosemary, and any remaining olive oil mixture from the prep bowl.
  • Place tray on middle rack in oven. Cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours of slow roasting, your tomatoes will look slightly caramelized.
  • Turn the oven up to 400°F and roast for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to brown. They will be caramelized and delicious. If you prefer a brighter tomato sauce pull them out before they brown. Approximately 10-15 minutes after you turn the oven to 400°. These roasted for the full 30 minutes, you can see the edges of the tomato are nice and browned.
  • Remove pan from oven and transfer tomatoes to the bowl of a food processor. Process until tomato sauce is at your desired consistency. I like mine saucy, not too chunky.


Donna’s Notes

If you are doubling the recipe be sure to rotate the pans ½ way through.
The tomatoes will cook faster if you remove the seeds, so watch your time.
I have also made this without the onions and garlic. I put the tomatoes on the pan and drizzled the olive oil over them. Then sprinkled with the remaining ingredients. The fresh garlic and onion impart such a deep level of flavors that I would recommend using these ingredients.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 48cal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 194mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): roasted tomato sauce

Originally published June 16, 2011. Updated and republished January 2024

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  1. Would it work if you used a combination of Roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes? How would that impact the flavour?

  2. Making this for the 3rd year in a row. First year we used San Marzanos, last year Juliettes and this year finally Romas. This is by far the best tomato sauce I have ever had. Thanks for sharing!!

    We often thin out the sauce with water when using since it becomes a very thick sauce. We also keep a close eye on the tomatoes during the last period of cooking in the 400 degree oven as we don't want the tomatoes completely charred,just nicely browned like in the picture.

    Instead of Italian seasoning, we grab fresh herbs from our garden: oregano, marjoram and thyme – a fantastic combination! Definitely do not omit the garlic or onions as these improve the flavors immensely and we have never had issues with the garlic burning.

    If you want to can it, sterilize jars for at least 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to each pint jar and 2 tbsp to each quart jar before filling with sauce. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process in a boiling water canner for 35 minutes (pints) or 40 minutes (quarts).

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve used this recipe every summer when the tomatoes are at their best. I’ll buy a large case from the farmer’s market, 10-20 lbs. I make the sauce and I freeze it and have it until December. It goes fast because it so delicious.

      1. Hi Richard,
        We are so happy to hear that you enjoy our Roasted Tomato Sauce! That is a lot of yummy sauce you are making and I agree it does go very quickly here as well. Thank you for the star rating, we really appreciate it! Have a great day!
        TSRI team member,

  3. Tried this today, it is the best and easiest way to make sauce! Delicious! I used San Marzano and Roma tomatoes.

  4. I'm loving this sauce! I'm canning mine.I did a double batch and the smell is divine!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe – It's definitely a keeper!

  5. I just made this sauce with fresh Romas from my garden. It is absolutely delicious and will make the perfect base for my eggplant parmigiana. I will make another batch for the freezer tomorrow. Thank you for this recipe.

  6. Just finished roasting and my house smells like heaven. I need to put it through the mill yet and then will freeze until I roast a batch or two more as my tomatoes ripen. I used Amish paste and roma tomatoes. I will also add sweet bell peppers, onions and more garlic when we cook down, but from the sounds of it we may not have to cook down much then I will can in jars.

  7. I have never made sauce before. You say to core and half the tomatoes. Does that mean to remove the seeds as well? It seems like that removes all the juicy parts of the tomato–which may be the point. I couldn't quite tell from the pictures and I'm very inexperienced.

  8. Making this today! It smells wonderful!
    I'm not a canner, so I freeze my sauce in double zip lock bags. It works wonderfully!

    Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Wow, was this good. I loved the ease of your recipe. The tomato sauce was perfect; just the way we like it. I used it with homemade meatballs, it made a wonderful dinner. Thank you so much for sharing, I'll be making this again. (BK)

  10. This is delicious!
    I need to remove the skin though. The skins give a weird texture (for us anyways)
    Admittedly undoubted the garlic…the taste is SO strong! Really lovely!

  11. I wish I could show you how good these look, and how awesome they smell. Take my word for it… AMAZING> thanks for the recipe!!

  12. We are using tomatoes from our garden- they are Celebrity, which are larger tomatoes- not romas. Will this make a huge difference?

  13. 3 stars
    I made this with the tomatoes from my garden. I did remove the seeds. Great flavor. It was more like a paste than a sauce though. Not sure how I’m going to made it into a sauce consistency to use on spaghetti. Any ideas without changing the flavor because the flavor is fabulous.

    1. Hi Dione,
      To thin the sauce, you could either add a small amount of either broth or pasta water. Or, you could simply drain the pasta and see if the wet noodles give off enough liquid to thin it to your liking. Hope this helps!

      TSRI Team member,

    2. I would dilute it with a bit of pasta water after cooking your pasta. I would start with a little and add until desired consistency!

  14. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe, the flavor from roasting is exactly what I was looking for in a homemade sauce! This is the 3rd recipe I’ve tried this year, and I’m done searching!

    After processing the sauce, i brought it to a simmer in a saucepan, and added 1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp brown sugar to dial it in to the flavor the kiddos will love.

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks for making our day with your wonderful review, Rob! Adding a little brown sugar to cut the acidity from the tomatoes is perfection!

      TSRI Team member,

  15. 5 stars
    Best Sauce Ever. It’s worth making it just for the amazing aroma in the kitchen. I blend it in my vitamix, add some chicken broth and a splash of cream and it makes the best tomato soup!

  16. This is the ultimate tomato sauce. I would never look at another recipe. I make heaps and put it into everything. It’s simple to make, hardly any cleaning up, Yeh!, it also tastes divine. I haven’t used Roma tomatoes that often as my composting yields a plentiful supply of cherry toms…so it virtually costs me nothing. Thank you and kindest regards. Marg

  17. 5 stars
    Absolutely the sauce re I’ve I’ve been hunting for a few years! my parents have can a sauce that is very lose in flavor but they don’t roast anything… this is my 2nd run of this sauce & I am so excited.. no need to ever even look @ another recipe. this sauce makes my day!
    I also add chicken broth to thin it out plus a variety of tomatoes from my garden, mainly Romas plus about 5 other kinds as well and some peppers (hot & sweet)I throw on top while i do a switch of the shelves (i make a triple batch @ once)
    Awesome! Thank you from the top of my taste buds!

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