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. I just made this. awesome! i reduced the time by 15 minutes for baking it for two hours but that was mainly because the parchment paper was so blackened. then i put on 400 degrees for only 15 because i was afraid of the paper making too much smoke. the tomatoes and sauce turned out amazing!!! but – it only made a small jar for me. maybe the tomatoes were just smaller. Is there any way to thin it out? i don't know what to use that wouldn't change the flavor. what do you suggest?

    1. I am really happy to hear that you loved it. I use water to thin out sauce, just add a little at a time. Hope that helps.

  2. Thanks for sharing, it sound wonderful Tomato sauce that used oven baked tomatoes !! Tomatoes are cheap in Malaysia, so I will make some but since the onion and garlic will get burn faster as they are much smaller in size, I will strain them out from the oil after microwaved them and sprinkle them with the herbs much later to avoid burn !! Thanks again.

  3. I am writing for a few reasons. firstly, Yaya gave me and Don this website and told us how fun and good the food was to make. I immediately went for the oven baked tomato sauce and what a pleasure and fun to make. I have since made it twice and expounded up the original receip to include things we also like in our sauce. I have eatn it plain on noodles over chicken an dnow am making tonight a pan full of sauce by adding about 1 cup of water to this already awesome recipe. Devine tasting. Leaving no juice on the plate. We love it. I cant wait to try other recipes. Thank you for sharing yours.

  4. Third times a charm for this sauce. I still ad a cup of water and it is amazing. Tonight is a recipe for your chicken and olive recipe. Love cooking your style!

  5. I just read this recipe for the first time. I have only been a member of the site for about 6 months and clicked on this link in todays email from you. What a great recipe!!! I love to make my own tomato sauce but this one sounds better than anything I have ever done because I never thought of roasting the tomatoes in the oven to make sauce!! I grow my own Roma tomatoes and I use them all the time for sauce, imagine how yummy this will taste with them!!! Thanks so much for connecting me with this recipe this morning. I love your site and have tried many of your recipes already in the few months I have been a member. Keep up the GREAT work!!!

  6. This doesn't say anything about storage??? I'm wonder if anyone has canned it and what is the process after making it? How long is the shelf life?

    1. Hi Diana! Thanks for stopping by. I have not canned this sauce yet. I have froze a lot last winter and defrosted it this summer and it was perfect. Let me know if you can it and how it goes.

    2. I also and a few red peppers quarterd, one onion coarsely chopped. I do not use parchment paper in my roaster. After blending it, I add 1TBSP balsamic vingar per pint, blend give a quick pulse or two. Then I can pint size jars in hot water bath for 35 min. really yummy 🙂
      ps. also I only use 1 TBSP olive oil. when I am cooking chicken, shrimp or whatever protein for my meal I am using olive oil before I add this sauce.

  7. Do you need to use Roma tomatoes? I have a garden full of beefsteak, jet star and a few others. What do you think? On canning the sauce…just look in the Ball Canning Book. There are many similar recipes and it will let you know if and for how long to process in a water bath. Just remember that there are some ingredients that need a pressure canner, so just give it a look. If you don't have the Ball Canning Guide just go to their website.

    1. I have only made this recipe with Roma's they really are the perfect sauce tomatoes. Any type of paste tomatoes will work. I have made a sauce with cherry tomatoes before too. I would be interest to see how is turns out. Let us know how it goes!

    2. I just did this with some Romas from my garden plus about half a peck of beefsteaks from the farmstand. It tastes great, but it's on the thin side — I'm simmering it for a while to let it thicken up.

  8. made this last night and having it tonight…. I added chilli to my oil onion and garlic mix and its blooming amazing….. thank you so much for this recipe… also making the meatballs to y posted to go with it <3 this site have made many dishes from this blog….. thank you

    1. That's a good question…I too have a lot of frozen tomatoes….thinking it should work because you end up processing at the end…just a lot more watery in the beginning….???

    1. It says it yields 3 cups. She also mentioned that she doubles the recipe when making the sauce. It sounds delicious!. I'm pinning it!!

    1. I never have, but if you have a food mill you can use that to separate the skins. I make it and serve it every year for Christmas and have never had any complaints. I do have a sauce attachment coming for my stand mixer, so next time I make it I will try it and see if it changes the texture or maybe I will like it better. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.,

  9. Doesn't your garlic burn and turn acrid with the long cooking and being chopped finely? I'm wondering if it might not be better adding it halfway through cooking?

  10. Are you slow roasting for such a long time in order to dry the tomatoes out, (less juice?) or is it strictly for flavor enhancement? I need to do something with the billion (give or take) cherry tomatoes I'm stuck with and I don't know what would happen to them if I roasted them for such a long time…

    1. Slow roasting imparts a deep tomato flavor. I would make this sauce with cherry tomatoes, just watch your cook time. They are much smaller so they will cook faster. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

    2. I have been roasting cherry tomatoes (particularly, the Sungold variety) with a roughly chopped onion, red bell pepper and some salt. I add about 4 cloves of chopped garlic (not finely chopped either) and a few glugs of olive oil. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half, stir everything up to cover well, fill a 9×13 pan (lined with parchment for easier cleanup) and roast everything at 350 degrees for about an hour or until I see bits and pieces of the tomato mixture starting to turn brown. At that point, I turn off the oven and let the mixture cool. I then use a stick blender to combine everything into a sauce. You can add herbs of your choice at the beginning of the roasting process but I have only added dried rosemary thus far at that stage. Fresh herbs might burn so I use dry and have had no problems. I add fresh basil when I blend it up to add a fresher herb taste, bag the mixture up in freezer bags and freeze. I haven't added thyme before but will keep that in mind this tomato season. The sauce turns out really thick and is delicious enough to eat by the spoonful, herbs or not. It really is that good! I am experimenting in using larger tomatoes this season. So far, I have cut them in half, tried to deseed as much as possible prior to roasting, and cut out the nasty yellow core often seen in larger tomatoes. (This is a great way to use those tomatoes with cracks since you can cut those out during this step!) I roast them flesh side down at 225 degrees for roughly 3 hours, sometimes longer if the tomatoes are very large. I do not add oil or spices since I waterbath the processed tomatoes for multiple uses. Once cooled, it is very easy to remove the skin. I remove whatever remaining seeds I find after this process. (When removing the seeds at any stage, I do this over a strainer and a small bowl to catch the seeds and save the juice and tomato pulp surrounding the seeds. It is very easy to use a spatula to rub the juice/pulp from the seeds, insuring I save the maximum juice/flavor.) You can then add that juice/pulp to the tomatoes before or after blending them up. Roasting the tomatoes in this way saves heating up the kitchen until the point where I begin the waterbath process. Most of the time, the roasted tomatoes (once blended) require very little cooking time, if any, and the sauce is fairly thick, although not as thick as when roasting cherry tomatoes and blending the seeds, skins and pulp. You could skip the deseeding and skinning of the larger tomatoes and use a stick blender, food processor, or tomato mill, if you prefer. This would give you a thicker sauce, for sure! I freeze the roasted cherry tomatoes that have been cooked with olive oil since I don't have a pressure canner. For the larger tomatoes roasted without oil, I waterbath those. You can add spices before processing if you prefer. I do use canning salt to season the sauce before processing. So far, processing the large tomatoes this way has saved me hours sweating in the kitchen when preparing them for canning. For years, I have boiled a pot of water to throw the large tomatoes into to help remove the skin. After boiling pounds of tomatoes this way, I then have to remove the skin and whatever seeds I could and then throw everything into another pot on the stove to cook them down enough to thicken somewhat before canning. Finally, heating up a large pot for the final process of sterilizing the jars and then waterbathing for 45 min to an hour heats my kitchen up to the boiling point!…lol! You hardly notice the oven is on at 225 degrees and really don't have to do much for the 3 hours the large tomatoes are cooking. Once roasted, skinned and deseeded (or not), you will find you really don't need to cook it much on the stove because the juices have concentrated from the long, slow cooking. You still have to deal with that darn waterbath at the end of the process but you don't have to be in heatstroke for hours at a time. Hope that helps! I'm still experimenting!

  11. I changed the seasoning slightly (just personal taste) and this was amazing. I think its the best sauce I've ever made. Thank you for the recipe!

  12. The Best Ever doesn't describe this sauce. It is better than that! Many years ago when I was young and very poor, I was fortunate enough to visit Italy. This sauce, over homemade spafehtti, tastes exactly like the pasta with tomato sauce I used to eat back then (the only thing I could afford).

    We made our first batch with San Marzano's from a local farm and fresh herbs (thyme, sage, marjoram and oregano mainly), onions and garlic from our garden. We then canned it for use this winter.

    We are making our second batch today, with homegrown Tomato Juliet (over-sized cherries). I can't wait to see if this batch tastes as divine as the first one!

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    1. Depending on how powerful your blender is, it will chop the skins up very fine so it is not bothersome (I actually like the flavor with the skins). You could also push the sauce through a fine mesh strainer after making it too to remove any large pieces of skin. Enjoy!

  13. This is without doubt a fantastic sauce snd will be my go to recipe from now on. I used a box of Roma tomatoes (it's Summer here) and added onions, garlic and fresh herbs from the garden. Might have gone a little overboard with the basil because I love it so much. I put the sauce through my Kitchenaid strainer and put the pellets from the strainer through 3 times. I read to do this somewhere and I did get quite a bit of extra sauce. It's worth making this for the kitchen smells alone!

  14. This weekend, I made this sauce as my first attempt at homemade tomato sauce and we loved it. I served it on radiatore with some grilled pork – the sauce was simply amazing! Very flavorful and delicious. I added a little bit of pasta cooking water to thin it slightly. Thank you for a great recipe that is both yummy and helped me actually use my immersion blender!

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