Keep this Quick Tomato Sauce in your back pocket for lazy days and last-minute dinners. The recipe is simple to prepare and tastes great after a short simmer time (just 15 minutes). Spoon it over pasta, meatballs, or your favorite Italian recipes.

A saucepan with quick tomato sauce simmering in it.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for quick tomato sauce.

Ingredient notes

  • Sugar: This is an optional sauce ingredient; I prefer just 1 teaspoon to balance out the acidity in the canned tomatoes. Sweeten to taste or feel free to omit.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add garlic cloves and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
Oil and garlic in a black sauce pan.
  1. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar (if using), basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Keep warm over low-heat until serving time, or cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator.
Quick tomato sauce in a black sauce pan.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 cups (1 quart) sauce.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The sauce can be made, cooled, covered, and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.
  • Freezer: Cool the finished sauce, then pack into freezer-safe containers (I like to use glass Mason jars; leave a half-inch of head space for expansion), and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Blender: For a smooth sauce, process in batches in a blender (or use an immersion blender). Ideal for dipping appetizers like mozzarella sticks or pizza bites.
  • Creamy: Add heavy cream to taste (start with ¼ cup and see if you want more).
  • Spicy: Stir in red chili flakes to taste with the other spices.
  • Buttery: Add 1 or 2 tablespoons butter to the sauce for a rich, buttery taste.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This classic Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is a hearty and comforting family dinner idea. One bite of this Italian-American dinner recipe will transport you to a Midwestern red sauce restaurant.

1 hour
View Recipe

Put your tomato sauce to work

A saucepan with quick tomato sauce simmering in it.

Quick Tomato Sauce

Keep this Quick Tomato Sauce in your back pocket for lazy days and last-minute dinners. The recipe is simple to prepare and tastes great after a short simmer time (just 15 minutes).
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 8 servings (½ cup each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 51

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (see note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add garlic cloves and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar (if using), basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.
  • Keep warm over low-heat until serving time, or cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Sugar: This is an optional sauce ingredient; I prefer just 1 teaspoon to balance out the acidity in the canned tomatoes. Sweeten to taste or feel free to omit.
  2. Yield: This recipe makes 4 cups (1 quart) sauce.
  3. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  4. Make ahead: The sauce can be made, cooled, covered, and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.
  5. Freezer: Cool the finished sauce, then pack into freezer-safe containers (I like to use glass Mason jars; leave a half-inch of head space for expansion), and freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. Blender: For a smooth sauce, process in batches in a blender (or use an immersion blender).
  7. Creamy: Add heavy cream to taste (start with ¼ cup and see if you want more).
  8. Spicy: Stir in red chili flakes to taste with the other spices.
  9. Buttery: Add 1 or 2 tablespoons butter to the sauce for a rich, buttery taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 8mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. Recipes all look good & easy, I’m so over cooking since COVID STARTED, frozen dinner s are awful
    So looking for easy!
    Thank you