Ultra-Simple Tomato Sauce

small jar of tomato sauce on wooden board

This recipe is from Good and Cheap.

Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free (ahora en Español!) and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

There are many ways to make tomato sauce. While there is a time and place for the longer cooking and more complex sauces, I rarely find those times! This simple version is almost always what I make. This tomato sauce is boldly tomatoey and works on just about anything. It also takes 5 minutes to make. Can’t beat that.


small jar of tomato sauce on wooden board
Best Tomato Sauce
Print Recipe
Super simple tomato sauce with bold tomato flavor that comes together in 5 minutes.
Servings
3 1/2 cups
Servings
3 1/2 cups
small jar of tomato sauce on wooden board
Best Tomato Sauce
Print Recipe
Super simple tomato sauce with bold tomato flavor that comes together in 5 minutes.
Servings
3 1/2 cups
Servings
3 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chile flakes
  • 28 oz can canned tomatoes crushed or diced
  • 1/2 lemon zested (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute, until it smells great and becomes translucent. Add the chili flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the can of tomatoes, mix, and cook until warmed through. Add a little lemon zest, then salt and pepper to taste. Since canned tomatoes are often already salted, you may not need to add any.
  2. If you want a thicker sauce that will stick to pasta better, cook for 10 to 20 minutes to evaporate more of the liquid. Use immediately or keep in a jar in the fridge for later use.
Recipe Notes

I often buy whole, canned tomatoes and puree them with an immersion blender or chop them. I tend to think the whole tomatoes are a little better than the tomatoes that are already crushed.

Tell me what you think!

(Don't worry, your email address won't be published.)

Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

Sign up for my newsletter!

Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free (ahora en Español!) and has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks!

Sign up for my newsletter!