Homemade Tomato Sauce


This homemade tomato sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, slowly cooked with onion, green pepper, basil, garlic, and red wine until rich and flavorful.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 40 mins
3 cups

There's nothing like homemade tomato sauce to put garden-fresh tomatoes to good use. This tomato sauce recipe slowly simmers on the stove for hours, creating layers of flavor that are impossible to resist.

homemade tomato sauce in a jar with tomatoes in background

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Homemade Tomato Sauce Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this top-rated tomato sauce at home:

· Tomatoes: You'll need 10 ripe (or very ripe) tomatoes.
· Butter and olive oil: Sauté the vegetables in a mixture of olive oil and butter for the best flavor and texture.
· Vegetables: An onion, bell pepper, and carrots are cooked until very tender. Celery stalks are cooked with the tomato sauce to add extra fresh flavor.
· Wine: Burgundy wine lends complexity and depth of flavor.
· Seasonings and herbs: This homemade tomato sauce is flavored with fresh garlic, fresh basil, Italian seasoning, and a bay leaf.
· Tomato paste: Two tablespoons of tomato paste adds yet another layer of rich flavor.

homemade tomato sauce over pasta, garnished with Parmesan and served with a side salad

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How to Make Tomato Sauce

Ready to learn how to make homemade tomato sauce? It's actually quite simple. You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect:

1. Boil the tomatoes until the skin starts to peel, then transfer them to an ice bath.
2. Slip off the skins and squeeze out the seeds.
3. Chop eight tomatoes, then puree them in a blender. Chop the remaining tomatoes and set aside.
4. Sauté the veggies and garlic until very tender. Add the pureed and chopped tomatoes.
5. Stir in the wine, basil, and seasoning. Add the celery stalks and bay leaf.
6. Simmer for two hours, stir in the tomato paste, then continue simmering for two more hours.
7. Remove the bay leaf and celery before serving.

Nicole's Top Tips and Tricks

Culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. NicoleMcMom) has a strong background in Italian cuisine — and she knows a thing or two about how to make homemade tomato sauce. Here are her best tips:

· One trick to get your skins to release a little easier: Make an X with a sharp knife on the bottom of the tomato before you plunge it into the boiling water. After it has cooled, it should easily slip off.
· For texture, reserve a few tomatoes before you blend — that way you can chop them up and throw them in the blended sauce for pleasant chunkiness.
· When you sauté the veggies, make sure you get them extra soft. You want them to almost melt-in-your-mouth. Nicole likes to add about 5 minutes to the cooking time for extra tenderness.
· Since this recipe is often used as a base for other recipes and you'll likely season it later, it doesn't call for salt and pepper. Nicole likes to taste it before serving and add what seasonings to taste.

How to Store Tomato Sauce

Allow the tomato sauce to cool completely before storage. Store it in a shallow, airtight container for four to five days. Reheat on the stove.

If you want to keep the tomato sauce for longer, consider canning or freezing it.

Learn more: How to Can: A Beginner's Guide to Canning and Preserving

Can You Freeze Tomato Sauce?

Yes! You can freeze your leftover fresh tomato sauce in zip-top storage bags, laid flat in the freezer with the excess air squeezed out. To make it easier to reheat individual servings, you can freeze the sauce in ice cube trays. Freeze for up to six months.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I would give this 10 stars if I could," raves Trish-the-Dish. "This was the best sauce we've ever had. It was so goooood! So light, so fresh and pure, and so healthy!"

"I made two batches of this sauce on two different occasions," says Kato. "Both turned out excellent — with rave reviews from the family. I won't go back to store-bought sauce. In the second batch, I added some hot peppers from the garden and it added some 'zing' to the sauce."

"I followed the recipe almost exactly, substituted beef broth for wine, omitted carrots, and added mushroom," says MaryAnne Flynn-Poeschl. "I am so happy, it turned out terrific."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 10 ripe tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup Burgundy wine

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 2 stalks celery

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

  2. Plunge whole tomatoes in boiling water until skin starts to peel, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice bath. Let rest until cool enough to handle.

  3. Remove peels, squeeze out seeds and chop 8 tomatoes.

    Overhead of peeled tomatoes and cut tomatoes on a baking sheet.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Puree tomatoes in a blender or food processor until smooth. Chop remaining 2 tomatoes and set aside.

    Overhead of blended tomatoes in a blender and chopped tomatoes on a cutting board off to the side.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Heat butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook and stir until onion softens, about 5 minutes.

    Overhead of tomatoes, onions, and peppers cooking in a dutch oven.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  6. Pour in pureed tomatoes, then stir in chopped tomatoes, wine, basil, and Italian seasoning. Place celery stalks and bay leaf in the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.

    Overhead of celery sticks in a tomato sauce cooking in a dutch oven.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  7. Stir in tomato paste; simmer for an additional 2 hours. Discard celery and bay leaf and serve.

    a top down view looking at a square bowl of homemade tomato sauce served next to a plate of meatballs.

    Kim's Cooking Now

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

149 Calories
9g Fat
15g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 149
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 105mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 46mg 231%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 714mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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