Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh tomato sauce made from vine ripened tomatoes.  This sauce may take a little bit of your time to make, but the result is delicious! Make and freeze a big batch of this sauce during peak tomato season for fresh sauce for months to come!

fresh tomato sauce cooking in a pot
Homemade tomato sauce is one of my favourite pantry staples. I love to have jars on hand for easy pasta nights and I also love to use it as pizza sauce.

Usually I reach for my go to recipe for basic tomato sauce when I want to make a batch of sauce, but at the end of summer when fresh tomatoes are abundant I love making fresh tomato sauce from garden ripe tomatoes.

The thought of making your own fresh tomato sauce might feel intimidating at first thinking that it takes a lot of time and work to do it but it really is not that difficult and the taste of sauce from fresh tomatoes is just so much better than canned!

How to make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes

Start by boiling a large pot of water for blanching and peeling your tomatoes and setting up a bowl of cold water with ice to cool them in.

You CAN make tomato sauce without removing the peels first, but if you want a smooth sauce that doesn’t contain any bitterness from the peel then I would take the 20 minutes or so to blanch and peel the tomatoes first.

Once you get going on this task it really doesn’t take that much time especially if you work it like a little assembly line.

First, you slice a little ‘x’ onto the bottom of each tomato.  This ‘x’ gives you an easy place to work from when peeling, and when blanched the peel should come off easily in 4 quarters.

Next, drop about a quarter of the tomatoes into the pot of boiling water and allow the tomatoes to blanch for about 60 seconds.  You don’t want to completely cook the tomato, just cook the exterior enough that the skin is easy to peel off.

Drop the blanched tomatoes into the bowl of ice water and let them cool until they are easy to touch then remove the peels starting with the bottom ‘x’ on the tomato.

Complete these steps until all the tomatoes are blanched and peeled.

a photo collage of how to peel skins off tomatoes

To begin cooking the sauce, either give the tomatoes a light chop on large cutting board before placing them into a large pot, or place the whole tomatoes directly into the pot and crush them up a bit.

lightly diced tomatoes in a pot

Cook the crushed tomatoes for about 20 minutes.  At this point, the tomatoes should be completely soft and cooked and you can blend them with either an immersion blender or a stand blender.  If using the stand blender you will have to do this step in batches.

After the sauce has been blended, add the crushed garlic and chopped fresh basil to the pot and season generously with sea salt and ground pepper.

Cook for another 10-15 minutes, then allow the sauce to cool in preparation for storing it.


fresh tomato sauce in a mason jar surrounded by tomatoes, basil and garlic

Storing fresh tomato sauce

I like to put this sauce straight into the freezer after cooking it.  It will hold up well in the fridge in an airtight container for at least 5 days, but with almost 8 cups of sauce in a batch you will likely need to freeze some.

I freeze tomato sauce in a couple of different ways: plastic freezer bag, reuseable plastic container, or mason jar.

Freezer bags work best in situations where you don’t have a lot of freezer space.  You can ladle portions into the bags, remove the excess air and seal, then lay the bag flat down to freeze.  This method takes up the least amount of space in your freezer, and the bags are easy to label and stack on each other for organization.

Reusable plastic containers or mason jars are what I use most of the time.  They take up more space but I have an upright deep freezer so space isn’t something I worry about.  One note on using mason jars though – I have had a jar crack once.  To minimize this from happening, make sure that you cool the sauce in the fridge completely before putting it away in the freezer. When you want to thaw it let it thaw in the fridge for a day or two before use.  The glass is more likely to crack when it moves between extreme temperatures.

Dietary Considerations and Accommodations

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

  • vegan and vegetarian
  • clean eating and Whole30
  • gluten free
  • dairy free
  • low carb and keto friendly

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Fresh tomato sauce

Homemade tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword fresh tomato sauce
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 90kcal
Author Courtney


  • 6 lbs Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup packed Basil leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • sea salt and pepper


To peel the tomatoes:

  • Boil a large pot of water and slice a small 'x' in the bottom of each tomato.
  • Working in batches, blanch the tomatoes in the pot for about 30 seconds (to loosen the skin place them in a large bowl filled with cold water to cool.
  • when the tomatoes are cool, peel the skins from the tomatoes. They should peel off easily in quarters from where you made the x.

To cook the sauce:

  • Chop the tomatoes lightly and place them into a large pot. Bring the tomatoes to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer the tomatoes for about 30 minutes then puree with an immersion blender. If you are using a stand blender, you will need to do this step in batches.
  • Add the crushed garlic and basil leaves to the pot and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.


  • calorie information is per cup of sauce

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