What to do with all those summer garden tomatoes? Make a fresh tomato marinara sauce from those fresh cherry or heirloom tomatoes! Dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Ever found yourself strolling through a summer farmer's market and before you knew it were loading the car with a basket full of garden fresh tomatoes? Or maybe you're blessed with a green thumb and are able to coax vegetables straight from the garden. My grandmas both benefited from amazing gardens and made glorious from scratch tomato sauce. And now it's your turn with this amazing fresh tomato marinara sauce!
You'll be dipping it in my Italian Focaccia Recipe in no time!
Why this recipe
- Fresh. Summer garden tomatoes are perfect for this sauce recipe because it showcases their amazing flavor.
- Easy. Made in one pan, this tomato sauce is perfect for those weekdays when the days are long and you don't want to be stuck washing a sink full of dishes.
- Fast. If dinner in thirty minutes sounds good to you, then keep reading. You'll be eating in no time!
As soon as you peel the tomatoes...in 30 seconds.
How to peel a tomato
Peeling a tomato sounds intimidating but is actually one of the easiest parts of this already easy recipe. And you'll learn a new party trick to share with your friends!
- Core the tomato removing the center core. Gently squeeze the tomato to remove the seeds .
- Make an "X" at the cored end of the tomato.
- Drop into rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds tops.
- Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate .
- Once cool to the touch, peel the tomato from the top down .
After peeling, gently squeeze the tomato to extract the seeds.-Josie + Nina
Choosing a ripe tomato
Practically any fresh ripe tomato can be used to make marinara sauce. Look for a firm, smooth-skinned tomato with bright red color. Heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and big garden tomatoes make a beautiful homemade marinara sauce.
You also can even use a canned tomato to make this sauce.
I won't tell.
What you'll need
At the very least, you'll need:
- fresh basil
You can certainly add other veggies if you like. See my FAQ's below for more ideas!
Take your already peeled tomatoes [see above] and roughly dice them into a medium chop.
Btw, get some pasta water boiling if you're planning on eating this tonight!
- Saute some onion in a little olive oil and once the onion is nice and golden add some garlic and saute until you can smell it [about 30 seconds or so].
- Add the tomatoes along with some julienned basil and salt and pepper then reduce the heat to simmer the sauce for thirty minutes.
Sauce is done!
This easy marinara sauce can be made ahead and used within three days.
Store in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag until you're ready to use.
Absolutely! I have recently learned about these awesome freezer storage containers called Souper Cubes from my friend Michele at Cup of Zest [be sure to check out her ah-ma-zing cocktail creations!!]. I love the idea that you can pop out just the amount of this quick marinara sauce that you need.
To reheat from frozen. Allow to come to room temperature either in the fridge overnight or on the counter for an hour or so.
Thawed sauce. Once thawed or at room temp, reheat in a saucepan on the stove over simmering heat until hot. Or heat in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 second increments until warm.
I love sharing ideas to help you successfully make this recipe right from the start.
Yes! As long as the tomatoes aren't musty or moldy, you're golden!
Any kind of pepper; or veggies like zucchini, eggplant or spinach would be a fun, fresh addition.
So do I! Feel free to add a little bit of crushed red pepper while your sauteeing the onion and your tastebuds will be zinging!
What to do with extra tomatoes
…before you go...
If you make this recipe, be sure to give it a star rating and share your reviews in the comments below! Or pin the recipe by clicking on one of the images above and save it for later.
Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce
- 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, heirloom, garden, cherry, Roma...pretty much any will do!
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 6-8 leaves fresh basil, sliced thin
- salt and pepper
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish; optional
To core the tomatoes
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.
- Core the tomato removing the center core with a small knife or tomato corer (I got mine from Pampered Chef a while ago).
- Gently squeeze the cored tomato to remove the seeds.
- Make an "X" at the cored end of the tomato with a sharp knife and drop the tomato into the pot of boiling water for 30 seconds tops.Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Once cool to the touch, peel the tomato from the top down.
For the sauce
- Take your already peeled tomatoes [see above] and roughly dice them into a medium chop.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once heated, saute the chopped onion. Once the onion is nice and golden (about 3-5 minutes), add the chopped garlic and saute until you can smell it [about 30 seconds or so].
- Add the diced tomatoes along with the basil, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to simmer the sauce for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Tracie C says
I love this recipe so easy..Ty so much💖👍👍👍
Lori Murphy says
Yay! I'm so glad you liked it and found it easy to make too! Thanks for sharing 😊💃🏻
Linda O'Connor says
This is the best marinara we've ever had! Really! It's so fresh and flavorful + easy. I had tomatoes on the vine and also "little wonders". The vine tomatoes were really easy to peel. The little guys weren't easy, so after about 10 of them, I said "how bad can a little skin hurt us?" My husband had 3 helpings - definitely a first. Thank you so much for your inspiration and recipes.. ❤️❤️
Lori Murphy says
Wow Linda! Thank you so much! I pretty much use what I have for sure...and you are so right about the skins...they won't hurt you. Love that your husband enjoyed it! It is beyond easy..have some in the freezer right now myself. And I so appreciate your taking the time to rate and review the sauce 😊
You make peeling a tomato look so easy! Thanks fir the tips.
Lori Murphy says
Yay! Thank you Barbara! Happy to have been able to help!