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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).
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1/2 cup each)
Calories 51kcal


  • 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


  • 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 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 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.


  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.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg