Basic Tomato Sauce | Cook for Your Life

Basic Tomato Sauce

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 21 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 20 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 6 servings

This Basic Quick Tomato Sauce is the sauce base I use for nearly all the tomato pasta dishes we eat at home. It’s also good on our Chicken Meatloaf....


    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 6-8), coarsely chopped (See Ann’s Tips)

    1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced lengthwise

    1 small dried red chile, seeds removed (optional)

    1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

    1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

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Nutrition Facts


68 cals


5 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

4 g


5 g


3 g


1 g


2 g


221 mg


  1. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer add the garlic and stir-fry until golden. Do not let it burn or it will become bitter. If you like a spicy sauce, add the pepper.
  2. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry. There will be a lot of spitting and hissing as the wet tomatoes hit the hot oil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the tomatoes down until they are reduced by about half and have taken on a more orangey hue. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt to taste. If the sauce looks like it''s drying out too much, add a little water. At this point freeze if not using immediately.
  3. Add the Parmesan, taste for seasoning then serve.

Chef Tips

You can use beefsteak tomatoes too.

In the winter time when good ripe tomatoes are hard to find, use 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes.

This recipe makes around 2 cups of sauce (around 6 servings), so keep that in mind for calculating the calorie content of your meals, and adjust based on how much you use.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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