Do you have a ton of tomatoes to use up? Oven roasted tomato sauce has a depth of flavor that is unbeatable and it permeates every dish you add it to.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

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Do you have a ton of tomatoes to use up? Oven roasted tomato sauce has a depth of flavor that is unbeatable and it permeates every dish you add it to. It’s a great way to use up excess tomatoes from the garden!

roasted tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes from the garden in a jar and in a pan with a spoon full being scooped out of it. It's thick, dark, and delicious!

It can make a quick meatless meal for dinner tonight. Or add some meat and make a wonderful meat spaghetti sauce.

For all the best homemade dressing, dip, and sauce recipes check this out.

Last year during tomato season my friend Candy posted a picture on her Facebook page of some roasted tomato sauce she was making. It looked delicious so I checked out the recipe she was using and did a little tweaking. This is what I came up with.

Roasting food somehow makes it so delicious. Click here for how to roast broccoli for an out-of-this-world side. And how to roast garlic without foil. This roasted tomato sauce is thick and rich and so flavorful.

Oven roasted tomatoes

I planted some paste tomatoes this year and have been using them to make roasted tomato sauce. They have less liquid in them and it makes the sauce smokey and a little thicker.

You can certainly use any type of tomato for roasting tomatoes, but the less liquid they have the faster they will cook and the thicker your sauce will be. I have used cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, slicers, and paste tomatoes for sauce and they are all delicious. Yellow tomatoes make a very low-acid, delicious tomato sauce, but the color is a little off-putting and not what people expect to see in tomato sauce. I stick with mostly red when making the sauce.

Obviously, the more flavorful the tomato is when it starts, the more flavorful your roasted tomato sauce will be, but even grocery store tomatoes with no flavor at all will be far tastier when roasted. Roasting brings out the sweetness in foods and concentrates the flavor. The onions and garlic that are roasted with the tomatoes also enhance the flavor a lot.

I love to use the scratch and dent sale, less than perfect tomatoes for sauce. You can cut off the bad spots and ugly parts and still use the rest of the tomato. I love cutting down on food waste with recipes like roasted tomato sauce.

Roasting tomatoes for sauce

Slice your garden tomatoes in half and throw them on a cookie sheet. Chop some onion and a couple of cloves of garlic and toss them in the pan. You don’t need to worry about peels or seeds or anything since you will be passing your vegetables through the food mill. It takes out all those parts. You can also just throw it all in the blender and whiz it up and it will be fine with all of that included. I do it both ways.

tomatoes cut in half on sheet pan with cloves of garlic and chopped onions for making roasted tomato sauce

Sprinkle the mixture with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and some salt and pepper.

tomatoes, onions and garlic tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper on a sheet pan ready to go in the oven to roast.

Toss the vegetables well and spread them in a single layer with the tomatoes cut side up on a cookie sheet with sides. Roast them at 400 degrees until the edges are just starting to turn brown. It can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on the type of tomatoes, and the size.

It takes about 5 pounds or so of tomatoes to make a quart of roasted tomato sauce. It can vary depending on water content, but that’s an estimate to help you get started.

Fire-roasted tomatoes

If you like more brown flavor or char on your food, you can fire roast the tomatoes. You can do this in several ways. It’s easy to do it just like this recipe but use the broiler instead of the roasting feature of the oven. You will get that fire-roasted tomato flavor, but your garlic and onions may burn, so you may want to fire-roast them separately. You can also fire-roast tomatoes on the grill until they are charred.

Another way to get a fire-roasted flavor is by using a stovetop or indoor grill. And one more way is to actually hold the tomatoes over the flame on your burner. You could blister each side and then slice them in half and roast them as the recipe shows above.

If you’re a fan of fire-roasted tomatoes and the flavor they give, go ahead and give this a try. I like some things with char and some without.

roasted tomatoes in the food mill being processed into tomato sauce.
food mill on a bowl with roasted tomato sauce going in
thick rich roasted tomato sauce
Roasted tomato sauce in a deli container ready to go into the freezer

Freeze roasted tomatoes

Now your roasted tomato sauce is ready to use, can or freeze. You can add other ingredients as well. Whatever you like. Sometimes I add basil or other herbs. You could also use hot peppers, bell peppers, or anything that sounds good to you!

Freezing roasted tomatoes is simple. All you have to do is portion them up in containers and stick them in the freezer. I like to freeze them in quarts because that’s about how much I need to make a batch of spaghetti sauce for pasta.

You can use quart-size zip lock bags, mason jars, Tupperware, or these handy deli containers. Just remember to leave about an inch of head space at the top of the container before you freeze roasted tomatoes in your freezer. If you use zip lock bags, burp out all the air before sealing.

I use this roasted sauce for many things. Most commonly we make it into spaghetti sauce and use it over spaghetti or make it into lasagna or spaghetti pie. We also use it to make pizza sauce. I just take a quart of the marinara sauce and add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a couple more cloves of garlic crushed. Mix that in and use it on the crust, french bread, English muffins, or whatever you’re using for the crust. Even tortillas would work.

Another way you can use marinara sauce is to use it as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or crostini. Roasted tomato marinara sauce is also great for stuffed peppers, zucchini boats, or meatloaf. You can use it in meatballs as well. I love making pizza quesadillas for the kids and I use them for that. Loaded with cheese and pepperoni, this pizza pasta bake will be a crowd-pleaser. And don’t miss out on homemade pizza rolls like these Air Fryer Pizza Wontons. Or try these Air Fryer Pita Pizzas. You can even make quesadillas in the toaster!

You can pop some roasted tomato sauce out of the freezer to thaw and then add some chicken stock and other ingredients and make tomato soup or bisque. The possibilities are endless.

Check out all of our favorite lasagna recipes here.

Click here to read how to grow awesome tomatoes and here to find out about harvesting tomatoes. 

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    1. You can use an immersion blender or regular blender. The sauce isn’t quite as red, but I do it all the time. The concentrated nutrients are just below the skin of the fruit, but you will get most of them with the mill and a little more with whole skins, plus you have the added benefit of fiber. I say blend them on up! The mill also removes a lot of the seeds and I like to have those in there too. If I want a deep, dark red sauce, I’ll use the mill. But most of the time I don’t care and I just use whatever is handy. Thanks for checking out the article!

  1. Christina- my favorite way to make tomato sauce is to go to my local grocery store and buy a can! LOL! I’ve never even thought to make my own until i read your post! I LOVE fresh tomatoes!!! This is a good idea! Thank you for supporting my blog!!! xoxoxo

    1. That’s what’s so cool about blogging. You can learn so much from other people. Even if your interests are not exactly the same, you can still learn from each other and build relationships too. 🙂

  2. Roasted tomato sauce is one of my favorites. Great tutorial! Sharing on my “after the harvest” pinterest board!

  3. The baskets of “ugly” tomatoes are now on sale at the farmers market that I go to. This sauce would be a great way to make some really inexpensive, but delicious sauce. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Delicious! I love roasted tomatoes. I usually put them in quesadillas…I do mine with a cilantro paste…but this sounds wonderful too! Pinning and sharing! I’d love it if you would link it up with us at Foodie Fridays this week…we go live at 9 pm Thursdays nights.

      1. I think it works the same way as roasting. You can do it either way. I just like any excuse to use my Dutch oven. Actually, I could put the Dutch oven in the oven to roast the tomatoes a bit 🙂

  5. Roasted tomatoes tried this in soups but in sauce sounds great and bet it would taste awesome….

      1. Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or any tomatoes adds taste to dishes and it’s a fantastic veggie. …thanx a bunch of lovely recipe …..