How to make oven-roasted tomato sauce

tomato sauce
The veggies are ready to go into the oven for tomato sauce!

Boy, are we in the middle of tomato-harvesting season and I’ll bet you are, too. We primarily grow paste tomatoes for making sauces and catsup but we don’t always have the time or inclination to break out all of the canning gear.

Today, I picked our first big tomato harvest and decided to make oven-roasted tomato sauce. It’s easy to make and you just freeze (or immediately eat) the results. No special equipment is necessary.

Here’s how to make your own oven-roasted tomato sauce:


– tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs if desired, salt, pepper, peppers if desired, olive oil

– roasting or baking pans that are 3″ or so deep

– immersion blender or food processor or blender or potato masher

– freezer containers such as empty quart-size yogurt containers or freezer bags

tomato sauce1. Coarsely chop your vegetables (see how large I chop my tomatoes in the photo to the left?). You don’t need to peel the tomatoes or peppers, but you should peel the onions. You don’t have to worry about exact measurements of the veggies, just go with quantities that are to your liking.

2. Place them in roasting or baking pans. Add minced garlic, herbs (optional), salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the top. You can also sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of sugar over the top, if desired, as it brings out the flavors even more.

3. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place baking pans in oven for 10 minutes.

4. After 10 minutes, decrease oven temperature to 425 degrees and continue baking for another 40 to 50 minutes. If possible, stir the contents once or twice just to expose everything to the same amount of heat. Note: the amount of baking time your sauce will need depends upon the type of tomatoes you’re using. If they’re paste tomatoes (i.e., ‘Italian Pompeii’, ‘Roma’, ‘Amish Paste’ or ‘San Marzano’), they don’t contain much moisture so should cook quickly. All other tomatoes will likely need more time, perhaps as much as 2 hours.

tomato sauce

5. When the onions look tender, remove the pans from the oven and let everything cool completely. The photo above shows how my veggies looked after baking.

tomato sauce

6. When cool, puree the mixture using one of the tools mentioned under “Supplies” above. Be careful using the immersion blender so you don’t splatter juices on yourself. (been there, done that) Your goal is to blend everything together until you have a thick sauce. NOTE: Prior to blending your roasted veggies together, if you see a lot of clear juice in the bottom of the roasting pans, there’s an easy fix so you end up with thick sauce. Use a large strainer to separate the solids from the juice. Then blend only the solids together. The strained juice is quite delicious and can be used as juice or as a soup stock.

7. Either serve the sauce with pasta or freeze it in freezer containers or freezer bags. You can see the finished product in the photo above. Yum! The 3 roasting pans I used yielded 2 gallons of sauce.

Pretty easy, huh? If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to either post a comment below or drop me an email at