Basic Tomato Sauce

Quick, fresh, and easy, this Basic Tomato Sauce is a staple in any home cooks recipe book. Simple yet flavourful, this sauce is perfect for a quick dinner when paired with pasta or a base sauce for a more impressive meal.

a pot of basic tomato sauce with basil and garlic

Tomato Sauce. Its a wonderful and versatile thing. If you aren’t making your own yet you need to try it. This recipe is super easy to make, requires only 3 ingredients, and can be made ahead and frozen for future use. Pro tip: I like to freeze some in ice cube tray sized portions to use as a fresh homemade pizza sauce – it’s a game changer!

For a quick 20 minute meal, I serve this sauce over pasta. When I’m feeling ambitious, it makes a great lasagna sauce.

How to make the best basic tomato sauce:

The key here really is the freshness of the ingredients. Fresh garlic and fresh basil are absolute must haves to make the best basic tomato sauce. Don’t even think about using dried basil or store bought minced garlic – the flavour just won’t be there.
ingredients for basic tomato sauce

Ideally, you would make this with fresh Roma tomatoes as well, but the best tomatoes are grown on the vine and harvested shortly before eating and depending on the time of year and where you live, the ‘fresh’ tomatoes in your grocery store have probably been picked early and ripened on a truck before they were set on display for you to buy. When truly fresh tomatoes are not in season, canned tomatoes are the better option as they are picked and processed at a peak point of freshness, which makes them tastier than the ‘fresh’ produce available in the stores.



This recipe for basic tomato sauce is suitable for the following diets:

  • vegan and vegetarian
  • clean eating and whole thirty
  • gluten free and dairy free


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a pot of basic tomato sauce with basil and garlic
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5 from 1 vote

Basic Tomato Sauce

A simple and easy fresh tomato sauce made with 3 ingredients
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword basic tomato sauce
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 40kcal
Author Courtney


  • 2 28 fl oz cans (796 ml) diced or whole tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • salt and pepper


  • Heat a large pot to medium high heat. Add the tomatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the fresh basil and simmer for 5 more minutes.

6 thoughts on “Basic Tomato Sauce”

  • I love making my own spaghetti sauce. And I totally agree with you that the fresher the ingredients are, the better the sauce. Love the idea of freezing in ice cube trays when you just want a small portion. Now, for some reason, I’m really craving a spaghetti dinner. πŸ™‚

  • What is the serving size? If you were to use fresh tomatoes, how much is that? How many pounds or cups, etc?

    • The recipe makes about 6 cups of sauce. I’ll use about 3 cups for a pasta dinner for 4, or the whole batch of sauce when making lasagna. If I were to make this with fresh tomatoes, I would think 12-16 Roma tomatoes depending on the size of them.

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