Easy Tomato Sauce for Pizza, Pasta, and More

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Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
35 mins
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Easy Tomato Sauce for Pizza, Pasta, and More
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A homemade tomato sauce can seem intimidating, but it’s easy and simple to do. Making tomato sauce will impress your friends, delight your children, and can be done quickly for weeknight dinners. Since this can be done quickly without much effort, it can be put over pasta for a quick and healthy dinner or used as a pizza sauce for a delicious homemade pizza.

Since everyone’s taste is different, this recipe can be varied to fit your flavor preferences, as described below. This tomato sauce is vegetarian and vegan friendly, but you can add some parmesan cheese for an extra kick. This sauce can also be refrigerated for up to a week and the flavor gets better each day!

What makes this better than jarred tomato sauce?

Some people may be tempted to buy jarred tomato sauce at the supermarket and use it for pasta or other dishes. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting something fast and easy, jarred tomato sauce is generally lacking in texture and flavor, and they contain a lot of added salt, sugar, and preservatives.

Most jarred tomato sauces are made from tomato puree and water, which gives it a thin consistency and causes it to break apart and get “wet”. While you can always stir it to get the water mixed back in, this does not happen with homemade tomato sauces.

Delicious homemade tomato sauce can be made easily at home and you get to add the amount of salt and sugar that you want without any of the added preservatives.

Varying the flavor

Everyone has a different flavor profile and even we vary this recipe depending on what we want for the night. Sometimes we want it spicier for some spaghetti and meatballs and other times we’ll want it sweeter for a lasagne.

Depending on what brand of crushed tomatoes and spices you get, there can be a lot of variation in flavor. To make it exactly what you want, you just need to use the tips below. Just be sure to adjust the seasonings while the sauce is simmering otherwise the sauce won’t absorb the flavor.

Too sour or acidic? Add sugar!

Some brands of canned tomatoes taste a bit sour. This is perfectly natural since tomatoes are a bit acidic, but this doesn’t taste great in a tomato sauce. To make your sauce less sour, you just need to add a bit of sugar. Do this 1 tsp at a time between tastings for best effect.

Too sweet? Add garlic powder!

Some canned tomatoes can also be on the sweet side. This is also natural, but it won’t pair well with some meals. To make your sauce less sweet without taking out the sugar, you can add garlic powder. Do this ¼ tsp at a time between tastings for best effect.

Too salty? Add basil!

Canned tomatoes can sometimes come with some added salt. If your tomato sauce tastes a bit salty, you can add some basil to lighten it up. This won’t take salt out of the dish, but it’ll leave it tasting less salty. Do this 1 tsp at a time between tastings for best effect.

Too spicy? Add lemon juice or red wine!

Mistakes can happen and the sauce can end up a bit too spicy for your taste. To make your tomato sauce less spicy, you can add acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or red wine. To start, add the juice from a quarter of a lemon or 1 tbsp of red wine then re-taste and adjust as necessary.

Easy Tomato Sauce for Pizza, Pasta, and More
Easy Tomato Sauce for Pizza, Pasta, and More

Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
35 mins
  1. Add crushed tomatoes and seasonings to a medium saucepan off the heat and stir until well combined.
  2. Put on stove and cook on medium-high heat until bubbling.
  3. Mix once more and scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent any sauce from burning.
  4. Put the lid on and reduce heat to low for 30 minutes. Do not check on it or open the lid.
  5. Turn the heat off, remove the lid, and stir in the extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Before serving, remove the bay leaf from the sauce.

Servings: 6 ・ Calories: 64 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 12.3 g ・ Protein: 3.3 g ・ Fat: 0.5 g ・ Sodium: 452 mg ・ Fiber: 4.6 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Written by Brian
Hi, I'm Brian, a writer for Zesty Recipes! My favorite food is lasagne and I love experimenting with different recipes and cocktails.