Recipe: Roasted Tomato Sauce

Did you plant more tomatoes than you can possibly eat? Perhaps you’re wondering what to do with that pile of beautiful tomatoes on your kitchen counter? Here’s the recipe you need so you can enjoy those home-grown tomatoes this winter when summer produce is just a pleasant memory. It’s super easy – no milling or parboiling to remove skins and seed, and no simmering for hours on the stovetop. I’ve done all of the above and believe me, it takes forever and makes a mess! Do allow about 1 ½ hours, though, to complete the recipe.

To make the recipe more useful for the home gardener, I’ve developed it to make in increments of two pounds of tomatoes. The photos show the recipe multiplied by three, for a total of six pounds of tomatoes, which fits nicely on two jelly roll pans. I’ll give amounts for both. I’ve also included tips and informational notes.

Ingredients for 2 lbs tomatoes /6 lbs tomatoes                                      

(2 lbs tomatoes is about 7 medium-large size)                            

2 cloves garlic/6 cloves garlic

½ medium yellow onion/1 1/2 onions

Optional: 1 green or red pepper

1 bay leaf /3 bay leaves

About ⅓ cup fresh herbs/1 cup fresh herbs (basil, parsley, rosemary)

Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Oil (avocado, canola or olive preferred)


  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Pour oil onto 1-2 jelly roll pans or other large, lipped baking pans and rub it over the surface with your hands to coat well.

NOTE: Be sure to use an oil, such as canola or avocado oil,  that can take the heat without creating toxic compounds and reducing nutritional value.

  • Wash tomatoes, remove stems, slice in half and put in pan, cut side down.

TIP: If your knives are dull, use a serrated bread knife to cut tomatoes in half.

  • Put pan in oven (no need to wait until oven is fully preheated) & set timer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel your onions & garlic and cut them into chunks.

TIP: Save the peels in your freezer if you make stock.

NOTE: Always cut up your garlic at least 10 minutes before cooking it. Garlic’s health benefits are destroyed otherwise. You can read more about this in Jo Robinson’s fascinating book, Eating on the Wild Side.

Put the onions and garlic in a bowl, drizzle with oil, add the pepper, salt (if using), bay leaf and other herbs, then toss to coat.

  • When ready, remove the pan from the oven and add the onions, garlic and herbs to the tomatoes in the pan. There will be a lot of liquid, but don’t drain it off. When pureed, it will become the right consistency for tomato sauce. Mix and spread evenly, then return to the oven for 30 minutes.
  • When finished, remove from the oven and let cool. Be sure to remove the bay leaves!

TIP: At this point you can spread all that yumminess on toasted sourdough or toss it with pasta. 

  • When cool, use your blender, juicer or food processor to pulverize the vegetables into a sauce. Add water if it’s too thick. 
  • You can freeze the sauce in jars for future use – just leave a generous inch of space at the top for the sauce to expand as it freezes. 

NOTE: Some people freeze their sauce in ziplock bags so it can be stored flat. However, chemicals in plastic are fat-soluble and can leach into food with oils, so I prefer to store the sauce in glass jars.

Yield: Approximately 80 oz of sauce from 6 lbs tomatoes

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