Mouthwatering Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe for Busy Weeknights

Welcome to my quick tomato sauce recipe! As a chef, I pride myself on creating delicious and easy-to-make recipes that can be enjoyed by anyone. This recipe is perfect for those who want to make a homemade sauce in a pinch without sacrificing flavor. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of authenticity to your pasta dishes or simply want to impress your friends with your cooking skills, this recipe is sure to be a hit.

I believe that everyone should have a go-to tomato sauce recipe in their arsenal, and this one is definitely worth adding to your collection. It’s quick, easy, and uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. This sauce is perfect for weeknight dinners when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, but still want something that’s homemade and delicious.

So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Quick Tomato Sauce
Quick Tomato Sauce

If you’re looking for a quick and easy tomato sauce recipe that tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove for hours, then this recipe is for you! I know sometimes you don’t have the time to make a full-blown tomato sauce, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. This simple five-minute tomato sauce recipe will be your new go-to for pasta dishes, homemade spaghetti, and any other recipe that calls for tomato sauce.

At the heart of this recipe is San Marzano tomatoes, which are known for their sweet and tangy taste. They’re the perfect base for this sauce, and when combined with garlic, onion, and a few other simple ingredients, they create a rich and flavorful sauce that will have you coming back for seconds.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s versatile. You can adjust the seasoning to your liking and even add other ingredients like cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes for a more authentic Italian taste. Plus, it’s perfect for those who are short on time but still want to enjoy a homemade tomato sauce.

So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to add some flavor to your pasta dishes or other recipes, then give this quick tomato sauce recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Freshly picked tomatoes make for the best tomato sauce.
Freshly picked tomatoes make for the best tomato sauce.

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s go through the ingredient list. Here are the recipe ingredients you will need to make this quick tomato sauce recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (optional)

Note that you can use San Marzano tomatoes, canned whole peeled tomatoes, or even fresh tomatoes to make this simple tomato sauce. You can also add some tomato paste or fresh cherry tomatoes to enhance the flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 A little bit of garlic goes a long way in adding flavor to this sauce.
A little bit of garlic goes a long way in adding flavor to this sauce.

Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients

Before we start cooking, we need to prepare our ingredients. We will need 1 can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves finely chopped, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Step 2: Sauteing the Garlic

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and golden, which should take about 1 minute.

Step 3: Adding the Tomatoes and Seasoning

Next, add 1 can of crushed tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir well to combine.

Step 4: Simmering the Sauce

Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes until it thickens. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Step 5: Adding the Finishing Touches

Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and add a handful of torn fresh basil leaves and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Stir well to combine until the butter has melted and the basil is evenly distributed.

Step 6: Serving the Sauce

Your quick tomato sauce is now ready to serve! You can use it as a base for your homemade pizza, as a pasta sauce, or as a dipping sauce for your garlic bread. This sauce recipe makes enough for 4-6 servings, so feel free to store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Step 7: Garnishing

Before serving, garnish the sauce with some more fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy your homemade tomato sauce and impress your guests with your culinary skills!

Substitutions and Variations

 This sauce is perfect for pasta dishes or as a dipping sauce for bread.
This sauce is perfect for pasta dishes or as a dipping sauce for bread.

One of the best things about this quick tomato sauce recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile, making it easy to swap out ingredients based on personal preference or availability. Here are a few substitutions and variations to consider:

– Onion: If you don’t have a yellow onion on hand, you can use a white or red onion instead. Alternatively, you can also use shallots for a milder onion flavor.

– Garlic: Fresh garlic adds a lot of flavor to this recipe, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use garlic powder instead. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder for every clove of fresh garlic.

– Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the best choice for this recipe, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can use regular olive oil or even vegetable oil.

– Crushed tomatoes: This recipe calls for canned crushed tomatoes, but you can also use canned diced tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes that have been blended in a blender or food processor.

– Sugar: If you don’t have any granulated sugar, you can use honey or maple syrup instead. Keep in mind that these sweeteners will add a slightly different flavor to the sauce.

– Red pepper flakes: If you don’t like spicy food, you can omit the red pepper flakes. Alternatively, you can add more if you like your sauce extra spicy.

– Fresh herbs: While fresh basil is the traditional choice for tomato sauce, you can also use other herbs like oregano, thyme, or rosemary. If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs instead.

– Additional vegetables: To add more flavor and nutrition to your sauce, you can add other vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini. Simply sauté them with the onion and garlic before adding the tomatoes.

By experimenting with different substitutions and variations, you can create a tomato sauce that’s completely unique to your taste buds. So feel free to get creative and have fun with this recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 You won't believe how easy it is to make this homemade tomato sauce.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this homemade tomato sauce.

This quick tomato sauce recipe is versatile and can be served with a variety of dishes. It’s perfect for pasta dishes such as spaghetti, lasagna, and baked ziti. The sauce pairs well with meatballs, chicken parmesan, and grilled vegetables.

For a lighter meal, you can serve the sauce with zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice. It also works as a dipping sauce for garlic bread, breadsticks, and mozzarella sticks.

To elevate the flavor of the sauce, you can add some fresh basil leaves or grated Parmesan cheese on top. This will add a touch of freshness and saltiness to the sauce.

For a complete Italian meal, pair the sauce with a glass of red wine such as Chianti or Sangiovese. The wine will complement the acidity of the tomatoes and enhance the flavors of the sauce.

Overall, this quick tomato sauce recipe is a perfect addition to any Italian dish and can be served with a variety of dishes. It’s a simple and delicious way to add flavor to your meals.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The vibrant red color of this sauce will make your dishes pop!
The vibrant red color of this sauce will make your dishes pop!

This quick tomato sauce recipe is perfect for meal prep and can be made ahead of time. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To make this recipe ahead of time, simply follow the recipe as written and allow the sauce to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use it, simply reheat it in a medium saucepan over medium heat until heated through.

To store the tomato sauce in the freezer, let it cool down completely and pour it into a freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of space at the top for it to expand during freezing. Make sure to label the container with the date and contents before placing it in the freezer.

When it comes to reheating, you can do so on the stove or in the microwave. If reheating on the stove, simply place the saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally until it is heated through. If reheating in the microwave, transfer the sauce to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval until it is heated through.

This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick and easy meal. You can use this sauce in a variety of pasta dishes, as a pizza sauce or even as a dipping sauce. It’s a versatile recipe that you can always have on hand for a quick and delicious meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't have fresh tomatoes? No problem! Canned tomatoes work just as well.
Don’t have fresh tomatoes? No problem! Canned tomatoes work just as well.

When making a quick tomato sauce, using the right ingredients is key to perfect results. Here are some tips to help you make the best quick tomato sauce recipe:

1. Use San Marzano tomatoes: These tomatoes are known for their sweet flavor and low acidity, which makes them perfect for a tomato sauce. You can find them canned in most grocery stores.

2. Don’t overcook the garlic: Garlic adds a rich flavor to the sauce, but it can turn bitter if overcooked. Saute the garlic until fragrant and golden, then add the tomatoes.

3. Add sugar: A pinch of sugar will help balance the acidity of the tomatoes and enhance the overall flavor of the sauce.

4. Use fresh herbs: Fresh basil adds a bright, herbaceous flavor to the sauce. Chiffonade the basil leaves and stir them in just before serving.

5. Don’t forget the salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the sauce and brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes. Be sure to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed.

6. Add red pepper flakes: If you like a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce for a subtle kick.

7. Use the right pan: A medium saucepan with a heavy bottom works best for making tomato sauce. It distributes heat evenly and prevents the sauce from burning.

8. Simmer the sauce: Let the sauce simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. This will also thicken the sauce to a desirable consistency.

By following these tips, you can make a delicious quick tomato sauce that will elevate any pasta dish. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions to make it your own!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this quick tomato sauce recipe is a game-changer for busy weeknights when you want to enjoy a homemade meal without spending hours in the kitchen. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have a delicious tomato sauce that is bursting with flavor and perfect for pairing with pasta or other dishes.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and yields impressive results. The combination of crushed tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs creates a rich and savory sauce that will impress your family and friends.

So, why settle for store-bought pasta sauce when you can make your own homemade version in just a matter of minutes? Give this quick tomato sauce recipe a try and taste the difference for yourself. Bon appétit!

Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe

from the America’s Test Kitchen Episode: Italian Bread and Sauce

This full-flavored tomato sauce takes only 15 minutes to prepare. High-quality canned tomatoes will make a big difference in this sauce. Our preferred brands of crushed tomatoes are Tuttorosso and Muir Glen. Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated onion, from 1 medium onion (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • table salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ground black pepper
  1. Makes 3 cups, enough for 1 pound of pasta.
  2. Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted.
  3. Add onion, oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; increase heat to high and bring to simmer.
  5. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
  6. Off heat, stir in basil and oil; season with salt and pepper. Serve.
< 30 Mins, European, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein

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