Deliciously Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce

If you want all the quality and flavor of a restaurant-style pasta sauce at home, this is your recipe! This Homemade Pasta Sauce is incredibly easy but tastes like you have been simmering it all day with the tangy flavor of tomatoes, sweet garlic, and flavorful herbs simmered to a thick dreamy sauce.

a saucepan of homemade pasta sauce with a wooden spoon

Why This Is My Favorite Go-To Pasta Sauce:

Pasta is a comforting, familiar and easy meal to make for your family. There are definitely lots of times where I will use a jar of pasta sauce and there is nothing wrong with that! But this homemade pasta sauce is so easy that I can make it in less time than it takes my pasta to cook!

The flavor of this pasta sauce is so fresh and amazing that it has become my absolute go-to sauce recipe. It is not only delicious on pasta, but also on chicken, as a dip for breadsticks, quesadillas or grilled cheese, on a sub sandwich or even on scrambled eggs!

a glass jar filled with pasta sauce

Ingredients for Homemade Pasta Sauce

  • Olive Oil – adds flavor, texture and brings out the flavors of the onion, garlic and celery in your sauce.
  • Butter – adds a super creamy buttery flavor. Trust me – you will want to add it.
  • Onion – chopped fine – it gets a blend at the end so don’t worry about pieces – it’s for the flavor.
  • Garlic – a key ingredient in this flavorful sauce. You can use pre-minced or chop it yourself.
  • Celery – adds a crisp flavor. It is optional, but I love this sauce with it.
  • Herbs – you will need dried Oregano and fresh Basil. If you don’t have fresh, you can used dried but its much better with fresh in my opinion.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – a 28 ounce can of good old crushed tomatoes.
ingredients for homemade pasta sauce

How to Make Pasta Sauce At Home (in under 20 minutes)

Of course you can simmer this sauce as long as you want to, but in my experience, the short simmer time is still really delicious and makes this pasta sauce way more approachable than a lot of other recipes.

  1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and butter over high heat. Add chopped onions and celery and saute until they are soft and beginning to turn golden.
  2. Add garlic and stir constantly for 2 more minutes to let the garlic do its thing without burning.
  3. Turn heat to medium and add dried oregano, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir and let cook for another minute.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes and give the bottom a good scrape to deglaze your pan. Add water and stir to combine everything. The sauce will get thicker from here, so if it is already too thick for you, then add an additional 1/4 cup water.
  5. Turn heat to low and add fresh basil leaves. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. You can simmer for as long as you want and the sauce will continue to get thicker and more flavorful. Serve over pasta and enjoy!
process shots that show how to make easy pasta sauce

Tips & Suggestions:

Add meat. Turn this simple pasta sauce into a hearty meat sauce by adding a pound of ground turkey, beef, or sausage with the onions and celery.

Use fresh tomatoes. When in season, I love to use fresh garden tomatoes in place of the canned tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are my favorite. To do this, drop your fresh tomatoes in a pot of boiling water until the skin starts to peel off. Immediately place them in a bowl of ice water and remove the skins. Put them in a food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency.

Add flavor boosters. This is a delicious, straightforward, pasta sauce recipe. You can mix it up by adding in some grated Parmesan, stirring in a pat of butter or a bit of heavy cream, adding a teaspoon of sugar, using additional dried herbs like basil, thyme, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, or Italian seasoning blend, or topping it with a drizzle of really good olive oil.

For a super smooth pasta sauce: When you’re done simmering your homemade pasta sauce, use an immersion blender to reach your desired consistency. You can also use a blender (allow your sauce to cool slightly first), but I find it’s easier to avoid over-blending when I stick with an immersion blender. I personally like a chunkier sauce, but if we’re using it for pizza or as a dip I like to break it down a bit. It’s also great if you have a child who can’t handle the chunks!

Store leftovers in the freezer. Even though this recipe is so easy- if I’m going to be making up a batch, I like to double or triple it for future meals! Put the extra sauce in a ziplock freezer bag, and lay flat to freeze. It will be good for up to 6 months. In the fridge, your sauce will stay fresh for up to 4 days.

How can I serve Homemade Pasta Sauce? Of course it’s delicious with pasta, but don’t stop there! This sauce makes a great dip for Veggie Twists, used for Homemade Pizza, in our Weeknight Gnocchi, or to simplify dishes like this Baked Ziti.

What side dishes go well with pasta? Some of our go-to side dishes on pasta night include Oven Roasted Asparagus, Easy Artisan Bread, a Simple Salad with Citrus Dressing, Cheesy Broccoli Bites, or Cauliflower Breadsticks.

a spoonful of pasta sauce scooped out of a glass jar
a plate of spaghetti topped with sauce

More Delicious Pasta Recipes:

Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce

This Homemade Pasta Sauce is incredibly easy but tastes like you have been simmering it all day with the tangy flavor of tomatoes, sweet garlic, and flavorful herbs simmered to a thick dreamy sauce.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 68kcal

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and butter over high heat. Add chopped onions and celery and saute until they are soft and beginning to turn golden.

  • Add garlic and stir constantly for 2 more minutes to let the garlic do its thing without burning.

  • Turn heat to medium and add dried oregano, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir and let cook for another minute.

  • Add crushed tomatoes and give the bottom a good scrape to deglaze your pan. Add water and stir to combine everything. The sauce will get thicker from here, so if it is already too thick for you, then add an additional 1/4 cup water.

  • Turn heat to low and add fresh basil leaves. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. You can simmer for as long as you want and the sauce will continue to get thicker and more flavorful. Serve over pasta and enjoy!

Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Keyword : homemade pasta sauce

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Natalie Monson

I’m a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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