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Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce is so simple to make and it makes the most delicious marinara sauce or homemade tomato soup. Step by step instructions and tips for storage and freezing. Once you try this roasted tomato sauce, you will never go back to store bought!

Our garden tomatoes have been prolific this year. We plant a variety of tomatoes including Red Cherokee Heirlooms, Roma tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes. The Roma tomatoes make the most amazing sauce and you are just going to love how simple it is to make!

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Roasted tomato sauce over spaghetti squash on an oval platter, topped with green herbs and fresh grated parmesan cheese. Wedge of parmesan near the top and black napkin to the side

My mom first introduced me to roasted tomatoes and I have never looked back. It’s one of my favorite things to make with our garden fresh tomatoes!


Roasted Tomato Sauce text overlay collage - tomato sauce in food processor close up overhead shot, roasted tomato halves on a baking sheet

How to Make Roasted Tomato Sauce:

Colander full of ripe Roma Tomatoes

  • Wash tomatoes and drain well. Remove stem and cut off any blemishes or dark spots. 

Drizzling olive oil over sheet pan of Roma tomato halves

  • Slice tomatoes in half and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can also use aluminum foil if you prefer. 
  • Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. 

Seasoned tomato halves on a sheet pan

  • Sprinkle kosher salt, pepper and a bit of sugar over tomatoes. The sugar is optional but I think it enhances the tomato flavor. 
  • Roast for 1 hour.

Pan of roasted roma tomatoes

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool about 10 – 15 minutes. 

Collage of tomatoes in a food processor, roasted and then processed

  • Pour tomatoes and juices from the pan into a food processor. 
  • Pulse for 30 seconds to one minute until desired consistency is reached. If you like smooth sauce, go ahead and put on high speed for about 1 minute. For sauce with a little more texture, use the pulse and check at about 30 seconds. 

Measuring cup with 3 cups of homemade tomato sauce

  • Sauce can be used immediately to make marinara sauce or homemade tomato soup or stirred into your favorite casserole. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 

How to Freeze Tomato Sauce:

Freezing roasted tomato sauce is my favorite method for storage. It is so much quicker and easier than canning. You can use zip top freezer bags but I have the best luck using my vacuum sealer. 

freezing tomato sauce in a vacuum sealer bag and sealing.

  • I put 3 cups of tomato sauce into the sealer bag. I fold the top down before filling to help keep the top clean. If you get a tomato sauce on the top of the bag, just wipe it clean before sealing. 
  • My vacuum sealer has a gentle setting and a moist setting that works perfect for tomato sauce. 
  • I label the sauce and freeze them flat. They stack so well in the freezer and thaw really quickly. Don’t forget to date the packages, it is the best way to know how long it’s been in the freezer. 
  • Using this method the tomato sauce will be good up to a year, possibly longer. The vacuum seal bags are thicker than zip top freezer bags, keeping it fresh longer. 

How to Thaw Frozen Tomato Sauce:

Place frozen tomato sauce in the refrigerator to thaw or if you need it quickly, place the bag in a shallow pan of hot water for about 10 minutes and it will thaw enough to remove from the package and use in your recipe. 

I make my tomato sauce pretty basic without herbs and spices. That makes it easy to use for any recipe and I think the sauce tastes fresher if it is seasoned when preparing the recipe rather than freezing the spices. 

Recipe Variations:

Add sliced onions or garlic cloves to your pan of tomatoes before roasting. 

What Tomatoes are Best for Roasting:

I really like using Roma tomatoes for roasting and making tomato sauce. It will work with any ripe tomato. I sometimes do a combination of Roma, heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. You really can’t go wrong here. The Roma tomatoes are meatier and make a more hearty sauce in my experience. 

Do you Have to Peel Tomatoes for Sauce?

You do not have to peel the tomatoes! I remove any dark spots or blemishes as I slice the tomatoes in half. If using something other than a Roma tomato, you will want to remove the core. You can blanch the tomatoes to easily remove the peel,  but after roasting and processing, I can’t tell any difference. 

How many pounds of tomatoes do you need to make sauce?

I generally roast about 3 pounds of tomatoes per sheet pan and that makes about 3 cups of sauce. I have a lot of garden tomatoes so I will often roast 2 pans at once. 

One Pound of Tomatoes = One Cup of Roasted Tomato Sauce

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Tools for Making and Freezing Tomato Sauce:

These sheet pans are perfect for roasting tomatoes and baking cookies! Parchment paper makes the cleanup so easy. 

I have this food processor which is great for making big batches. It will hold 13 cups so I can usually process 2 pans of roasted tomatoes at once. 

We got this Vacuum Sealer this summer and it is amazing. So simple to use and it’s really quiet. I am using these bags, they are perfect for tomato sauce and other vegetables. If you are freezing garden produce or like to buy in bulk, you will love having a vacuum sealer. The bags cost about the same as zip top bags but they are so much thicker and sturdier. 

Recipes Using Roasted Tomato Sauce

You can get a delicious dinner on the table in no time at all when you have roasted tomato sauce in your freezer! Rather you use it to top spaghetti squash, traditional pasta or for making homemade pizza, it’s going to make dinner so delicious. 




Roasted Tomato Sauce served over spaghetti squash on an oval platter, garnished with grated parmesan and green herbs
Print Recipe
4.50 from 6 votes

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce is so simple to make and it makes the most delicious marinara sauce or homemade tomato soup. Step by step instructions and tips for storage and freezing. Once you try this roasted tomato sauce, you will never go back to store bought!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Vegetables
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade tomato sauce, how to freeze tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Milisa


  • 3 pounds Roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar optional


  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Wash tomatoes, remove stems and blemishes and discard. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place on a parchment paper lined rimmed sheet pan.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
  • Roast for 1 hour.
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Pour into a food processor, scraping the oil and juices from the pan.
  • Pulse tomatoes for about 15 - 20 seconds for a textured sauce and process on high for about 30 seconds for a smooth sauce. Scrape sides and bottom of food processor and continue to process if you still have large chunks of tomatoes.
  • Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or use immediately.
  • For freezing, pour into a vacuum sealer bag or zip top freezer bag and seal.
  • Freeze flat for easy storage and thawing.
  • To thaw frozen tomato sauce, place in refrigerator a day in advance or thaw in a shallow dish of hot water for about 15 minutes.


Sealed in a vacuum sealer bag, tomato sauce will last up to 1 year frozen. If using standard zip top freezer bags, tomato sauce will keep up to 3 months.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 364mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

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