On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce with Fresh or Canned Tomatoes

Making homemade tomato sauce allows for the ultimate ingredient control to fit the diets of many. And to mention, this recipe uses ingredients likely already stored in the pantry!

How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce with Fresh or Canned Tomatoes

When thinking about added sugar, cookies, candy, and other sweet treats likely come to mind. But that tomato sauce added to pasta noodles, even low-carb zucchini noodles, can be racking up carb content.

Tomato sauces, store-bought in particular, are often hidden sources of sugar which can really rev up carb content. It can likewise be laden in sodium and other unwanted additives. 

Making homemade tomato sauce allows for the ultimate ingredient control to fit the diets of many. These include those following a low-carb, keto, or low-sodium diet. 

Not to mention, preparing the sauce is quick and simple. Besides, all that is really needed for a delicious pasta sauce is likely already stocked in the pantry and spice cabinet! 

Find out how to prepare a tomato sauce recipe that comes together in a quick 30 minutes. Oh, and read on to find out delicious ways to use and enjoy!

Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

Yield: About 16, 1/2 cup servings

Nutrition per serving: 45 calories, 2g fat, 1g protein, 6g total carb, 2.5g fiber

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced (or 4 tsp jarred minced garlic)
• 2, 28-ounce canned diced tomatoes, low sodium
• 1, 6-ounce tomato paste
• 2 dried bay leaves
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp dried thyme 
• Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.

2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

3. Remove bay leaf and use the sauce as desired, including in this baked pasta marinara and chicken and garden lasagna. Also use an immersion blender and blend until smooth for a thinner, creamier tomato sauce. 

Prep, Serving & Storing Suggestions

Desire a touch of heat in the sauce or a creamy pasta sauce without the heavy cream? Read on for tips regarding prepping, serving, and storing! 

Tweak Ingredients as Desired

Feel free to use fresh ingredients for the ultimate fresh tomato sauce recipe. Freshly grown herbs and tomatoes straight from the garden would go great in this recipe!

When using fresh tomatoes, working with just the flesh and pulp helps yield a smoother product. To remove the skin, immerse the tomatoes in a hot bath for a few minutes. Carefully fish them out then remove the skin and seeds as desired. 

Likewise adjust ingredients to liking. For instance, desiring a little more spice, add a touch (or a few) of red pepper flakes. Out of fresh onion and garlic? Swap them out for onion and garlic powders common in most pantries. 

Creamy Vegan & Keto Tomato Sauce

Most cream sauces are prepared in a multi-step process with heavy cream, whole milk, and parmesan cheese. However, this vegan cream sauce is prepared with two simple ingredients (cashews and non-dairy milk) in just two steps! 

Equally combine the sauce recipes for one divine tomato cream sauce that suits the needs of a vegan or keto diet. For the ultimate keto-friendly option, prepare zucchini pasta with tomato cream and add preferred protein.

How to Store

Portion out the tomato sauce into individual containers or bags and freeze. When a recipe calls for tomato sauce, simply thaw in the fridge then put to delicious use!