This red sauce is so quick and easy to make with less than 10 minutes of hands-on time it will make you re-think store-bought pasta sauce!
this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase via the product link, i’ll receive a small commission
Earlier this year I added a section to my blog called Basics. It's designed to give you recipes that can form the foundation for many dishes and make your meal prep and planning a little easier. This easy red sauce is a great addition to that list. It's super quick to make and can easily be frozen for later use.
I know that some of you might be thinking "why would I want to make it when I can just buy a jar at the store?" And I agree that it's hard to beat the fact that store-bought sauce is a time saver, but at less than 10 minutes of hands-on time and only 45 minutes total time, it's hard to beat the quality of a homemade sauce!
This sauce includes only a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand. In the winter I probably make a batch of this at least once a month, if not more often. I keep some in my refrigerator for the week and freeze the rest to use later.
Notes for Making Red Sauce
- When I'm making a sauce that cooks for a while and is also going to potentially be frozen, I use dried spices. In this case a blend of basil, oregano and thyme. I find dried herbs hold up better for this type of recipe. I often use fresh herbs to top the pasta dish right before serving.
- When making this sauce I prefer to use crushed tomatoes over whole or diced. It gives you a smoother sauce that freezes well and is more versatile. I always use San Marzano tomatoes (many brands use them in their canned tomatoes) as I prefer the taste, however, feel free to use the type and brand you prefer.
- There are so many options to use this tomato sauce - add some pasta and freshly grated parmesan for an easy dinner, add some browned meat for a heartier sauce or even use it to top a pizza!
- This sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about 5-6 days and in the freezer for several weeks. If you are planning to freeze it, use a freezer-safe airtight container. I normally use glass jars to freeze the sauce. Regardless of what you use, be sure to cool the sauce completely before freezing and leave some space at the top of the container to be sure it doesn't crack in the freezer.
Things You May Want for This Recipe
Glass Canning Jars – I keep a selection of these in my kitchen and use them for everything from storing and freezing sauces, to salads in a jar to transporting soups to work for lunch.
The Perfect Easy Red Sauce
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Add basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and vinegar. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days or freeze for up to a month.
I love homemade tomato sauce- it's such a good recipe to have memorized!!
This sounds perfect. Letting the sauce sit for a few days will really give a chance for the spices to intensify.
Alicia Taylor says
That looks so easy - and I love the idea of freezing it. I make and freeze my own veggie broth, but haven't done my sauces, yet.
Nicoletta @sugarlovespices says
There are few interesting ingredients that I've never seen in a classic tomato sauce (Italian, for that matter); but I'm thinking it might work and give a nice overall flavor, a great sauce for fish or meat.
What a great fresh pasta sauce recipe! I love that you can freeze it as well and use as needed.
Abby @ WinsteadWandering says
I'm a little ashamed to say that I don't make my own red sauce nearly often enough. You make it look so easy, though!
Eileen Kelly says
This is definitely perfection of red sauce. I love this one and I can make a ton and can them too!
We made the switch to homemade sauce years ago, and there is no way you can ever go back!! Love the sound of your version, will have to try it out
Renee Gardner says
In my experience once you start making the sauce at home yourself, the store bought versions just doesn't compare! This version would be delicious for lasagna!