Fresh Tomato Sauce

4.75 avg. rating (91% score) - 4 votes

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Make homemade fresh tomato sauce with your pick of veggies, then freeze and enjoy the taste of summer all year long. Here we use mushrooms and onions, but you can swap in peppers, celery, carrot, zucchini, or anything else you desire.

Want more? See the process for making this Fresh Tomato Sauce recipe.

Yield: 6-8 cups


  • 8 pounds tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh packed basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of water to boil, then use a small kitchen knife to score an "X" into the bottom of each tomato.

A few at a time, use a slotted spoon to add the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds (or until the skins begin to split), then transfer to a bowl of ice water.

Remove the skins from the tomatoes, then quarter (halve if using plum tomatoes) and squeeze out the seeds into a strainer over a bowl to retain the tomato juice. Coarsely chop the tomatoes.

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring from time to time, until the onions are translucent but not browned.

Add the tomatoes, along with 1/3 cup of the reserved tomato juice. Simmer (adjusting heat if necessary), stirring often, until the tomatoes soften and break down, about 45 minutes.

If you prefer a thinner sauce, use a potato masher to further crush the tomatoes. If your sauce includes mushrooms or firm veggies, you may want to transfer portions of it to the blender to puree, or use an immersion blender directly into the sauce, to achieve your desired "chunkiness."

Chop and add the fresh basil just before serving - reserving some for garnish.
  • Hi Bella’s mom…Thanks for pointing it out! The basil should be chopped and added to the sauce right before serving. I like to set some aside for garnish, too. The fresh tomato sauce recipe has been updated to include this step. Thanks!

  • Bella's

    you list basil in the ingredients but don’t say when to use it anywhere in the instructions. is it just a garnish?


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