Homemade spaghetti sauce is my favorite thing to make with fresh garden tomatoes. This rich, hearty sauce is an instant favorite with anyone who tries it!
Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
Spaghetti Sauce takes on a fresher, more vibrant flavor when you make it with juicy garden tomatoes. I am so excited to share this recipe with you! I promise, you will never go back to store-bought sauce again (at least not when tomatoes are in season). We always have dozens of plump, ripe, red tomatoes in our garden and I love finding a scrumptious way to use them all up. This recipe makes me think of early summer suppers on our patio overlooking the garden. It’s such a joy to eat the fruits of your labor!
Suggestions for Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
- Fresh tomatoes are obviously best, but what if you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand? What if tomatoes are out of season? Don’t worry! You can use a couple of 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes.
- If you want to add some extra flavor from your garden, you can add diced red bell pepper, diced green bell pepper, and/or fresh chopped carrots. If you like a “chunky” homemade garden spaghetti sauce, just chop up any veggies you like and add them while sautéing the onions.
- This sauce is thick, hearty and rich on its own, but you can for you meat lovers, you can add ground beef or chopped smoked sausage to the sauce.
- To thicken your sauce, slow and steady is your ticket. Last time I made this I had it simmering for 8 hours (uncovered, stirring occasionally). Trust me, the longer you can let it simmer, the better! If you are finding that the water isn’t evaporating as quickly as you would like or it isn’t thickening up how you want it to there is an easy fix. Just add some tomato paste, about a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the consistency you are looking for.
- Make a double batch of this glorious sauce and freeze it in a freezer safe Tupperware-type container, a large freezer-safe Ziploc bag or a glass jar. If you do go the glass jar route, make sure to leave an inch or two of space at the top of the jar so the sauce doesn’t expand and break. When freezing, make sure to cool the sauce completely in the fridge before freezing.The sauce will stay nice and fresh in the freezer for up to six months.
- Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes will stay good in the refrigerator for about three to four days. Any longer than that, you may just want to freeze it for later.
- You may notice that soy sauce is a key ingredient in this recipe. Trust me on this.Adding soy sauce to chopped mushrooms is an old trick that a chef in Utah taught me. When you add soy sauce to mushrooms when they are cooking it gives them a rich, meaty flavor that is unparalleled. I ALWAYS add a splash of soy sauce when I sauté mushrooms. I promise, it doesn’t make it taste weird or soy sauce-y at all. It just brings out the flavor SO much more. You have GOT to try this trick. It takes the flavor to the next level!
How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
If you have loads of tomatoes and you are wanting to can some spaghetti sauce to use later, we have the perfect recipe for you! It is one of the top recipes on our site and one of my favorite canning recipes of all time! Click HERE for our Canned Spaghetti Sauce recipe. Use it in everything from our delicious Spaghetti Squash Lasagna to our Quick and Easy Calzones.
How to Make Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
- 12-14 tomatoes (fresh, garden tomatoes work best- appx. 8-10 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms fresh, chopped
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce (see notes above)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 10-12 basil leaves chopped
- 1 tablespoon oregano finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place tomatoes a few at a time in the water and remove after 10-15 seconds.
- Immediately place tomatoes in an ice-water bath and remove skins and stems. Cut tomatoes into fourths and place in a food processor or blender.
- Process tomatoes a few times, you want them to be the consistency of crushed tomatoes (don't over process). Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until they become soft and transparent.
- Add mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce and garlic and continue to cook until mushrooms become soft.
- Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for at least one hour. The longer the better! Ideally 2+ hours.
- Serve over cooked pasta.