tomato sauce
tomato sauce

Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce

This bright and fresh tasting homemade tomato sauce from fresh or canned Roma tomatoes, olive oil, and basil goes great with pasta, summer vegetables, or as a base for tomato soup.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on email

 This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Recipe Rundown

Once you try homemade tomato sauce, you’ll be inspired to make it again and again.

It’s so fresh tasting and definitely beats what you get out of a can. You’ll want to pour it on absolutely everything! You might even drink it as a soup.

Today, I’m going to show you how to maximize all that fresh tomato flavor with your very own batch of tomato sauce. Whether you like it thick, thin, chunky, or smooth, this basic recipe will have you turning out really good sauce in about 45 minutes.

You can even use it to replace canned tomato puree or diced canned tomatoes.

So grab that apron, and let’s turn a bowl of tomatoes into something warm, sweet, acidic and summery.

PS: This butter anchovy tomato sauce with Bucatini takes 30 minutes in the Dutch oven and uses canned, peeled Roma tomatoes.

How to Make Flavorful Tomato Sauce From Scratch

When it comes to tomato sauce, you want to look for plump, ripe and above-all, flavorful Roma or plum tomatoes. You can even use canned tomatoes, such as San Marzano, which are already peeled.

box of ripe Roma tomatoes

With this recipe, it’s ok to use blemished tomatoes, just use a pairing knife to remove any flaws.

Roma tomatoes roasted until blistered

To concentrate the natural sweet-umami tomato flavor, remove those seeds! Give them a glug of extra virgin olive oil and roast in the oven until you see the skin blister.

blended Roma tomato sauce

Since peak tomatoes need little more than fresh basil, olive oil, and sautéed onion, this recipe is all about purity in flavor. In other words, your sauce may be more light and clean tasting than you are used to in a tomato sauce.

Therefore, I’ll leave it up to you whether to add sautéed garlic, oregano, or Parmesan.

Pro Tip: Add a pinch of salt from the beginning to the end of the cooking process. That way, the salt has time to work its way into the food.

Thick, Thin, Chunky, or Smooth

Depending on how you purée (blend) the tomatoes and how much water you add, you will create your own desired consistency. For a really smooth, creamy texture, I recommend using a blender; this is perfect for soup!

Today, I used an immersion blender to keep things simple. You can see that my sauce has a bit of texture, but is mostly smooth, much like canned tomato puree. You can achieve this texture in a food processor, too.

homemade Roma tomato sauce in Dutch oven blended until smooth

For a chunkier texture, go ahead and roughly chop the tomatoes prior to roasting (or lightly pulse into large pieces).

Ingredient Tip: Whenever you use a fresh ingredient, like summer tomatoes, you will notice that each batch of tomato sauce tastes a bit different. You can always adjust the seasoning at the end to suit your taste.

Serving Ideas

  • You can use this sauce as-is with homemade pizza dough for the ultimate garden to table pizza margherita. Addicting!
  • It’s also a welcome dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks, garlic bread, or polenta fries.
  • To turn this into a zippy tomato soup dinner, thin it out with water and try adding some garlic and red chile flakes. Top it all off with some croutons.
canned Roma tomato sauce

Variations to Try

  • truffle oil
  • add these to the soft onions: curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander
  • white wine (reduce with the softened onions)
  • Parmesan

More Sauce Recipes

With such a flexible recipe, you can hardly go wrong, and I’m sure you will have fun mixing and matching different herbs and spices. FYI, the basil gives it a slight Italian feel, but you could leave it out if your goal is to use it in, say, chili.

Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce

This bright and fresh tasting homemade tomato sauce from fresh or canned Roma tomatoes, olive oil, and basil goes great with pasta, summer vegetables, or as a base for tomato soup.
4.67 from 36 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, sauce, tomato, tomato sauce, vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


  • 15 large ripe plum tomatoes seeded and halved or 1 (28-oz) can plum tomatoes, drained and juices reserved
  • ¼ cup olive oil divided
  • ½ medium white onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ½ tsp sea salt divided
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion with ½ teaspoon salt and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the tomatoes and onion to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and pulse until smooth. Return the sauce to the saucepot and add the basil, water, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Serve hot or transfer to the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Roma Tomatoes: For the best flavor, use ripe summer plum/Roma tomatoes in this recipe. Otherwise, canned San Marzano Roma tomatoes are a fantastic substitution.


Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1467mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1989IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which may pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you!

More Recipes

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
simon andrew
simon andrew
1 year ago

I will make it at home.

1 year ago

Is it possible to can this sauce afterwards?

1 year ago

After roasting you remove skin, right?

1 year ago

If I wanted to add red wine, when would I add it in the cooking process?

Brandy L
Brandy L
1 year ago

Some where I messed up. It’s watery how can I thicken it

8 months ago

This was a bit salty for me even after decreasing to 1.5 t.

7 months ago

I loved the simplicity of this recipe with its minimal ingredients and the flavour was great. Thank you! This isn’t a criticism of the recipe – I want to share what I learned from trying it tonight for anyone who prefers a smooth sauce: I would recommend peeling the skin off before blending. I first used a hand-held immersion blender but switched to putting it in my Ninja blender after getting the tomato skins in my mouth from taste-testing it. Even after running it through the blender for a substantial amount of time, the skin didn’t break down enough for… Read more »

Tommy Radzs
Tommy Radzs
2 months ago

I use this as a base recipe. I roast garlic and 1 habanero with the tomatoes. After the blender I add my own blend of Italian seasoning. Before finding this recipe I’d been making pasta sauce for nearly 50 years using canned tomatoes. I’ll never use canned tomatoes again!

Ms Char
Ms Char
3 days ago

I made this! I was so delicious I was dipping pieces of French baguettes in it as soon as it was done simmering. A suggestion for those who had a watery sauce: I researched other recipes and found some roasted the tomatoes on a rack, which is what I did. It got a little smokey in my kitchen but my sauce turned out thick and super delicious due to that extra smokiness! P.S. I also added a couple of cloves of roasted garlic. Yum!

Ms Char
Ms Char
3 days ago

I forgot to add my rating! 5 stars, of course!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x