The Best Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

The Best Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce, super easy and you can add all that extra zucchini too.  Win, win!

Its that time of year when many are getting a luscious harvest of tomatoes, zucchini and other yummy, homegrown veggies.  Would you like to know how you can easily preserve some of that garden goodness to enjoy during the cold depths of winter? Oven roasted tomato sauce to the rescue!

A super easy way to use up the surplus of veggies at harvest time. Oven roasted tomato sauce is not only very easy but it has a secret ingredient you will love!

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This sauce is fantastically versatile.  If I omit the Italian seasonings when preparing it then I can also use it for a version of chili colorado that I have made up.  (yes, I know authentic chili colorado does not have tomatoes in it, as I said, I invented my own version)

So, you have an abundance of tomatoes and zucchini, now what?  Well you can go through the effort of peeling your tomatoes the usual way by dipping them in boiling water for a few minutes then transferring them to a ice water bath, then slipping the skins off but you only really need to do this if you are planning on canning the sauce in a water bath>

For my oven roasted tomato sauce I used my Costoluto Genovese tomatoes combined with the San Marzano tomatoes, and sometimes Ace tomatoes.  The Costoluto are fantastic for sauces, they are not pretty for slicing but the flavor is the best sauce tomato and rivals the San Marzanos (though I really like those too).

If you use regular slicing tomatoes they will typically cook down to nothing as they are mostly water. That is why I use a paste tomato or the Costolutos, they are meaty enough not to cook away.

I cored them with my strawberry huller and did not bother to peel.  The lumpy ones are the Costoluto tomatoes.

oven baked tomato sauce with roasted veggies

Oven Roasted Marinara with a Secret Ingredient!

A super easy way to use up the surplus of veggies at harvest time. Oven roasted tomato sauce is not only very easy but it has a secret ingredient you will love!

A great tasting marinara sauce that surpasses any other in flavor and adding the secret ingredient makes it even tastier!


  • 4 pounds sauce tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 zucchini (optional)

I popped them into a roasting pan with a yellow onion quartered, I  peel about 5 or 6 cloves of garlic and press them into the tomatoes then put into a 400 degree oven.  This batch I altered a bit as I had some fresh jalapenos on hand, I did seed and remove the white membrane from them. How much onions and garlic really is up to you.  I don’t like garlic to overpower the flavors so I am more reserved than many people.

I chop up some  Zucchetta also known as Trombolina squash, you can also use any zucchini you have too much of.  I just cut it into large chunks.  It all cooks down easily enough without the added work of chopping stuff smaller.  The zucchini seems to give the sauce a richness that I have not gotten with just tomatoes alone.  It is my secret ingredient and it is a great way to use up excess zucchini!
Drizzle it all with olive oil, how much depends on how many tomatoes you are cooking down.  For 4 pounds of tomatoes I would guess about a 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Since I usually eye ball it I can’t really be precise.  Sorry. 

Superb oven roasted tomato sauce, use for marinara, pizza sauce or any tomato based dish.

I place it in a 400 degree oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes I stir it all and put it back in for another 30 minutes and I stir again.  I let it cook down in 30 minute increments until it is the consistency I want.  

oven roasted tomato sauce with a secret ingredient

You can actually keep adding more as it cooks down, more of everything and keep on cooking it.  If I don’t have a lot to cook down I use a regular pyrex casserole pan, 9 x 13.
I don’t know if you can see it or not but around the edges some of the tomatoes have charred a bit, that is great, it gives it a delicious flavor, the longer you roast the thicker it will get.  You choose how thick you want it.   Salt and pepper to taste.

I use my hand blender to puree it once it has cooled a bit.  I love the little chopping attachment.

Back to the recipe…sorry I got distracted there…
Sometimes  I have added the oregano and basil,  cooking them in before it is done and then it is ready as marinara when I pull it from the freezer.  I do not have a pressure canner so mine has to go into the freezer.  I freeze it in 2 cup batches.  We use the marinara version for our Chicken Parmesan and Pizza sauce.

If you wish to can this is a hot water bath you need to remove the tomato skins and do not add the oil. 

And that is it.  Super easy and delicious!  You can’t get much better than that.


Happy Veggie Roasting!

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  1. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Can’t wait to try it. My mom was always canning fresh produce, but that was long before freezers. Me? I’ve made a batch or two of jelly, but I’m always afraid something is going to explode. Glass shards everywhere. Probably wouldn’t happen, but my mind works that any sometimes!

    1. We grew up helping to can fruits and veggies after we had gone out and picked them. It was part of our Summer routine. I would love to get back to doing that now as an adult. You always know what is in your food and there is something so rewarding in it. I love making fresh jams and jellies too and have a cupboard full. I have fallen in love with freezer jams, they flavor is so like the fresh fruit that it surpasses the canned ones but there is only so much room in the freezer. Strawberry freezer jam on hot biscuits on a snowy winter morning is heaven on earth!


    1. You are quite welcome, mine always comes out fantastic and it does use up a bunch of them as well as the zukes. This year I am way behind as we had a late freeze in mid June, so I had to start over. Last week we barely got into the mid 70’s but we are ramping up finally with some heat. Maybe I will get a crop and maybe I won’t. Hard to tell. 🙂 But that is living in the mountains for ya.

  3. Sounds a lot easier than cooking the sauce in a big pot on the stove (like I usually do)! I have never understood why so many people peel their tomatoes – leaving the skin on works and tastes fine. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    1. It is much easier to cook than on top of the stove. You can even do it in a crockpot but the blackening on some around the edges when you do it in the oven adds a richness to the flavor that I love.

  4. Pamela,
    I turned my commercial stove off in May and I think I’ve only used it once all summer. But, I’m going to pin this and make it in the autumn to freeze. I didn’t grow tomatoes this summer, but planted basil instead. I can get tomatoes for 6.00 a bushel at a local farm. Thank you. I need a good tomato sauce for the winter.

    1. My basil has curled up and died on me this year, well not died all the way but I had to cut them back to barely an inch tall and they are slowly growing back. I think it suddenly turned super hot on them not long after I planted them and they did not like that. Next year I will just seed in place and see how they do or even now I can still give it a whirl.

  5. Thanks, Pamela! Blight made a lot of my tomatoes spotty. This was the perfect way to just cut off the bad spots and make something very easily. They are in the oven right now! And thanks for the zucchini tip – I have tons. 🙂

    1. This is a perfect sauce for Chicken Parmesan. We love it as a base for minestrone soup as well. I love easy but delicious.

  6. This recipe sounds perfect for me. I don’t like to chop, chop, chop; also don’t like to measure. You sound like my kind of cook! Just eyeball and experiment. Thanks Pamela. I am going to try this tomorrow.

    1. I know, I really am into easy but delicious. You will be surprised at how versatile this recipe really is. Someone else said they also added eggplant, which I have yet to try but sounds like a great idea!

  7. You are my hero! We have Costoluto Genovese and Fiorentino in the garden this year as well as Tromboncini squash. It would be helpful to have a recipe with proportions laid out just to make it easier. Let me know if that is do-able. Thanks!

    1. I can try but since I just toss what I have in the pot and add the seasonings it is a gamble. 🙂

  8. Never mind – when I reread the blog, I was able to get approximate quantities – turned out luscious – cooked it down to a tomato paste consistency and will use it as such. Really good! This is the first year we planted Costoluto Genevese and Costoluto Fiorentino – both beautiful to look at and tasty too. Found Tromboncino squash in Sicily when we visited and have planted it ever since…really exotic, no? Anyway, enjoyed the blog!

  9. Have a photo that would be good to share if there is a way to post it!

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