Quick Tomato Sauce | Cook for Your Life

Quick Tomato Sauce

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 24 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 20 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 6 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 7 ingredients

This Quick Tomato Sauce is the sauce base our founder, Ann, uses for nearly all her tomato pasta dishes at home. It’s also good on our Chicken Meatloaf.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small dried red chili pepper, seeds removed (optional)
  • 1½ pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 6-8), coarsely chopped (see Chef Tips)
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon brown sugar (if using canned tomatoes)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
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Nutrition Facts


70 cals


5 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

4 g


5 g


4 g


2 g


2 g


222 mg


  1. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the garlic and saute until golden. Do not let it burn or it will become bitter. If you like a spicy sauce, add the pepper.
  2. Add the tomatoes and saute. There will be a lot of spitting and hissing as the wet tomatoes hit the hot oil. Turn the heat to medium-low, add the sugar if using, and cook the tomatoes down until they are reduced by about half and have taken on a more orangey hue. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt to taste. If the sauce looks like it's drying out too much, add a little water. At this point, if not using immediately, stop cooking, cool, and freeze the sauce for later use.
  3. Add the Parmesan, taste for seasoning, then serve.

Chef Tips

You can use beefsteak tomatoes too. In the wintertime when good ripe tomatoes are hard to find, use 1 (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes.

This recipe makes around 2 cups of sauce (around 6 servings).

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society