Recipes Tomato Sauce Tomatoes

Tomatoes – Roasted – For the easiest, most delicious Tomato Sauce.

No matter how you preserve your tomatoes, I think once you try roasting them and then simply stirring to make the most delicious sauce you’ve ever had — you may decide to make this your main method of preserving them for winter use.

There’s something about oven roasting that imparts a flavor you just can’t get on top of the stove.

Stove Top vs. Oven

For years my method of choice was freezing tomato essence that I made on top the stove. When I thought of ‘roasted tomatoes’ – all I could think of was hours of cooking time for a few roasted tomatoes to have with a meal.  So I never even tried it.

But believe me – that was small thinking. And as good as it was — the taste can’t compare to oven roasted.

The larger your baking dish the more tomatoes you can fix at one time.  I fill two large baking dishes whenever I can.

Reduce the Liquid

As with most sauce or essence recipes the main idea is to reduce the amount of liquid in the tomatoes. It’s not necessary to get rid of all the liquid.  Just most of it. (You’ll have a preference for how much once you’ve tried it.)

In it’s simplest form — that’s about it!  Cook, stir and you’ve got your sauce.

Go from fresh tomatoes in the baking dish —

Whole Wheat spaghetti, homemade sauce, fresh chopped parsley, fresh parmesan

— to sauce ready to serve just in the time it takes to cook and stir!

Preparation can vary According to your Time and Taste

In preparing my tomatoes I make an X slash on the bottom of each with a knife. Dip in boiling water for one minute. (They’ll be ultra easy to peal because of the X slash on the bottom.) Place in a colander to drain and cool. Then peel and core each.

I then slice or dice and place in my baking dish or dishes.  Roast at 450 degrees until liquid is almost gone. (Scroll down and see *Oven Temperatures for more options.)

Stir.  Cool.  Use or freeze in containers or zip lock freezer bags.

TMG Reader Makes it Even Easier

A reader of TMG sent me an email the other night.  She was in the process of trying this recipe as a way to preserve her tomatoes for winter use.  As little work as my recipe entails — she wanted to make it even less work.

She sliced and cooked the tomatoes with the skins on.  She then put them in her Vitamix and made it as smooth as butter.  (Update February 2016 – I leave the skins on when I’m in a hurry.  Still great results.)


*Oven Temperatures

I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the oven temperature.  I use 450 degrees because it seems faster.  Sometimes the edges of the tomatoes will start to blacken, so I have to lower the temperature.  Still delicious. (Update February 2016 – I now use 375º F for a more healthful sauce.)

I’ve seen roasted tomato recipes at all temperatures: 225 degrees, 350 degrees, 375 degrees, 400 degrees and 450 degrees.  Try them all if you want.  Then pick the one that works best for you.

Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Sage, Oil, Wine, Garlic and Other Stuff

I think this sauce is so good that it doesn’t need another thing.  But there are as many ways to do things as there are folks. Feel free to experiment or add whatever you think will be to your liking.

I’ve seen dozens and dozens of recipes that add the herbs, garlic and oil before the cooking process.  I personally like it better added after the tomatoes are roasted, if I choose to add anything at all. See my post Addendum to a Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce.

While tomatoes are plentiful make enough sauce to freeze for winter use.

Last Thoughts

If you haven’t tried this roasted tomato sauce already, do so while tomatoes are coming in bountifully.  Once you taste it you’ll want more on hand for the winter to use as is or to make any variation that your meal calls for.

That roasted flavor will get you rave reviews from your family and guests.


Other Posts about this Sauce:

How to Make Tomato Sauce or Tomato Paste the Easy Way

Addendum to A Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce

A Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce


All content including photos are copyright by  All rights reserved.|roasted tomato sauce


  • I am glad you are reminding us of this. It is the greatest way to use and preserve tomatoes. Yum

  • Can this be canned with a pressure canner? If so how long and at what pressure? I planted a few plants thinking we would have fresh tomato’s for the season…I have given them away, canned them whole and stewed and we still have more than we can ever eat! This sounds amazing..thanks!

  • Hi Carol,

    Yes, I would certainly think the end result can be preserved by canning. (I personally don’t like canning and have not canned for more than 20 years.)

    My friends who prefer the canning method tell me that the the little Ball canning book (Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving) tells about everything you need to know. I know I used it all the time when I canned many years ago and I’m sure they’ve updated to make it even better. I would highly recommend having it on hand. They’re not expensive and well worth having.

    After canning the first batch, I would do a taste test just to make sure you have maintained that great roasted tomato flavor during the canning process.

    Assuming all is well, you won’t have many excess tomatoes anymore. It takes a lot of tomatoes to make sauce. And since sauce is so versatile and can be used for so many things, you’ll probably want quite a bit to go into the winter and tide you over until tomatoes come again.

    Let me know how this turns out for you. I’d be most interested and I think other readers would as well.

    Wishing you success!

  • Hi Beppy,

    I was just thinking the other day, how many wonderful things I forget to fix and do just because there is always so much going on.

    Because of that, I’m planning various reminders throughout the year.

    Thanks for commenting. I always enjoy hearing from you.
    Warm regards,

  • I, too, was wondering about canning. I roasted all my tomatoes last year and froze them. This year we have so much more in the freezer from peas to blueberries and are putting 12 local grown hens as well as half a pig that this limited space. I certainly hope it can be canned!

  • Hi Jan,
    As I told Carol, I would certainly test the first batch canned to make sure it still maintains that wonderful roasted flavor.

    I can sure see where canning the tomato sauce would be a great space saver in your freezer!

    Let me know how things go.


  • Good news and bad news on the canning. I looked in the ball canning book to find the times and how to do the sauce and it stated I needed to add lemon juice to each jar. I did as it said and added the juice to the bottom of each jar. They looked wonderful in the jars but being me I just had to open one and see how it tasted. When eaten out of the jar I think I could taste the lemon (I do not like lemon!!) but after warming it and putting it on our pasta it was wonderful!!

    I did not add any spices to it when I canned it but I did add a few while I was warming it.

    ALSO I did one small batch for dinner with the skins on and did not have good luck with that. Even after the blender there were small bits of skin in the sauce I removed the skins before canning them.

  • Thank you so much for this most helpful information, Carol.

    I had thought the Ball book would call for either lemon or vinegar to make sure the acid content was high enough. And I was really afraid it would ruin the taste, so I am thrilled to learn that after warming and putting it on the pasta — the taste was still wonderful!

    As you know I just freeze mine, but if I were set up for canning as I was many years ago, I would have a couple of dozen jars of this roasted tomato sauce preserved.

    I would not have liked the bits of skin in the sauce either and will definitely continue to remove them now that I have the benefit of your experience with that. As I mentioned in the post, another reader used a Vitamix which must process much more finely than a blender since she did not have that problem.

    Again, thank you so much, Carol, for taking time to share this information. I found it most helpful and I am sure many other readers will as well.


  • Hi,

    I JUST tried your method of roasting the tomatoes for sauce. 2 large pans roasted while I canned quarts of quartered tomatoes. Didn’t seem to take much more time and felt good to accomplish two things at once. I did run the resulting sauce/pulp through a mill to remove the seeds. I have no problem with seeds, but sometimes folks take issue with them, so I took that extra step. Couldn’t throw out the seedy/discard stuff, though, so I sat down to a small bowl of seedy sauce. DELICIOUS just like it was, although I did sprinkle it with salt. I intend to do more, and can the stuff for later use. I could freeze it, but my freezer space is at a premium.

    Thanks for a wonderful idea!

  • Hi Virginia (or do you prefer Ginny?),
    So glad you had the opportunity to try the sauce and enjoyed it.
    You’ll find a little goes a long way — much further than regular top of the stove stuff.
    Thanks for letting me know!

  • Theresa, I want you to know I have a pan of tomatoes in the oven right now, first one of the season. Found 4 big Liguria paste tomatos and a couple of smaller italian plum that I can’t remember the name of right now. The house smells so good. I’m going to have it for dinner with some italian sausage. MMMMM.

  • Danita —I’m coming for dinner — so set another plate! 🙂
    Just kidding of course, but thanks for letting me know! You really are going to have an enjoyable meal!

  • When you visited our Farmer’s Market, you told us about your fabulous roasted tomato recipe. Little did I know just how fabulous it would be! I tried your method & we all loved the flavor & my hubby is hooked!

    My Mother in law, who lives in upstate New York, was telling me about her bumper crop of tomatoes this year & how she wasn’t in the mood to can anymore. I told her about your fantastic way to oven roast tomatoes. She called me the next day raving about your recipe!! Thank you Theresa!

    I Pinned your website & your tomatoes on my Pinterest Page. 🙂

    All my best,

  • Mary Alice, so glad you tried the roasted tomato recipe and loved it! It’s so darn easy it’s almost unbelievable.
    Sometimes I run it through the blender before freezing just to have some that is really smooth. It’s so good either way.
    The flavor is so intense a little goes a long way!
    Send my best regards to your Mother-in-Law. Tell her this beats the pants off canning! Glad I could share.

  • This is the first year that I have had more tomatoes than we can eat fresh (LOTS more – yay!). I think it was all the rain and the more moderate temperatures. So I finally got to try the roasted tomatoes. We loved the depth of flavor, but I did not like picking out all the skins afterwards – I missed some and it was unpleasant in the mouth.

    So then I tried Marcella Hazan’s classic Italian method of halving tomatoes, cooking in a bit of water for 10 minutes to soften, and running them through a food mill. That was good, fast, and easy cleanup. But then of course the resulting sauce needs lots of simmering time (with some basil) to get the best flavor.

    What did not occur to me was Virginia’s idea of roasting then running through the mill. Duh! 🙂 So thank you Virginia for sharing that!

  • Heather, when I want to take the skins off first I start a pan of boiling water and put in about 3 or 4 tomatoes at a time (the whole tomato) for about 30 seconds. Then remove with slotted spoon and put in colander to drain and cool. I core and skins come right off. Then cut and roast.

    I’m of the opinion that halving the tomatoes first will remove some of the flavor. And I know that 10 minutes in boiling water is at least 9 minutes longer than what is needed to remove skins.

    Glad to hear of your success with tomatoes!

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