It is hard to beat the quality of a homemade tomato sauce, even over the convenience of a store-bought one. Most of the sauces that are found in a jar or a can are laden with added sugar, preservatives, and sodium. Our Tomato Basil Sauce is healthy, sugar-free, made with all-natural ingredients, and best of all, delicious. It is both vegetarian and vegan too! The success of a flavorful sauce lies in the quality of the tomatoes. Fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes taste so good, they need little else to boost their inherent flavor. Whole canned tomatoes are just as nutritious because they contain only peeled tomatoes and tomato juice, unlike the crushed canned version, which is packed with chemicals to help retain their shape. When cooked, our tomatoes not only break down into a smooth sauce, but the heating process also increases the concentration of lycopene, a potent antioxidant. And because our sauce is naturally sweetened with onion, garlic, and basil, we don’t have to rely upon unnecessary added sugar to tame the acidity of the tomatoes. Plus, tomatoes already have naturally occurring sugar in them, meaning our sauce is loaded with flavor, not sugar. A little sweet, a little tangy, and beautifully robust, our recipe creates a perfectly fresh Tomato Basil Sauce that takes minutes to prep with minimal ingredients.
Nutrient Booster: Tomatoes
A tomato is a nutrient-dense superfood that offers numerous health benefits, including improved skin health, lowered risk of heart disease, and reduced risk of cancer. Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid that is responsible for both their vibrant red color and for cardiovascular health. Lycopene is a bioactive, a gene which produces proteins and manages the body’s daily functions. These bioactives help determine whether a gene is turned on to produce proteins or turned off to stop the production. Slowly cooking tomatoes, like in our Tomato Basil Sauce, produces lycopene in a form that best communicates with your genes. Tomatoes are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. It is easy to enjoy the nutrition found in tomatoes by adding them to sandwiches, salads, salsas, and especially sauces.
Make Once, Eat Twice
We love our Tomato Basil Sauce as a way to enjoy the rich, summer tomato flavor all year-round. It is versatile enough to dress up a traditional pasta dinner to adding flavor and nutrients to chili or homemade soups and stews. Top your pizza dough with a smear of tomato sauce; add it to rice to keep it moist and tangy; glaze your meatloaf or our Butternut Squash Meatloaf Muffins; use it as a base for our Veggie Shakshuka; simmer our Classic Turkey Meatballs in this sauce and serve it with spaghetti or zoodles; include it in our Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, our Butternut Squash Vegetable Lasagna, or our Eggplant Involtini with Cashew Pesto; stir it into our Sloppy Joe’s; add it to slow cooker recipes, like our Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore. Make a marinara, a Parmesan dinner, a cream sauce or a puttanesca. There are literally hundreds of ways our simple Tomato Basil Sauce can enhance basic ingredients to create flavorful and healthy meals.
This sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-5 days or frozen in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.
Tomato Basil Sauce
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, or 5 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Heat a dutch oven over medium heat, and add olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute until lightly brown. Add tomatoes, sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer on low for 35 minutes. Add fresh basil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Place the tomato mixture in an emulsion blender, food processor or high-speed blender and process to your desired consistency.
Serving size: 1/2 cup, Calories: 45 calories, Fat: 3 grams, Saturated fat: 0.5 grams, Carbohydrates: 5 grams, Sugar: 3 grams, Sodium: 170 milligrams, Fiber: 1.5 grams, Protein: 1 gram, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams