Fresh Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Ali Segersten Sep 30, 2011 16 comments
Fresh Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

This recipe in not the traditional way to make pasta sauce using fresh tomatoes. I take the easy and fast route. I just don't have time to remove the skins and seeds from 20 pounds of tomatoes each time I make sauce! All you need to do is place fresh tomatoes into a blender and blend the seeds, skin, and all! Plus, this way we use the whole foodthe whole tomato. Once you begin to make your own you'll never want to go back to store-bought pasta sauce!

I have been buying cases of fresh, organic tomatoes from Smallwood Farms in Eastern Washington. If you grown your own tomatoes, this recipe is a great way to make use of them. The sauce can be canned in mason jars or stored in your freezer for later use. The other day I asked Facebook fans what everyone was doing with the tomato harvest this season. There are so many great comments. Be sure to head over there and check them out if you need more ideas!


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Excellent recipe! Thank you! I started with a half recipe and needed to simmer it about 5 hours to get it thick enough. I used a wide variety of tomatoes in my sauce.

I made this sauce yesterday & appreciated not having to skin the tomatoes beforehand. I used my Vitamix to pulverize (not an accurate cooking term but that's what it was) just enough to make sure all the tomato pieces were small. I didn't have a pot big enough for cooking so I cooked it in the base of my pressure cooker. We have a 2-burner propane stove that we use outside for canning (best $100 we've spent) & i was able to get a good simmer on the pot. After 3 hours of cooking, the sauce was still a bit runny so I added 3 cans of tomato paste & it was prefect. I canned the sauce for 40 minutes & let the jars sit in the water bath for 15 minutes. The recipe made 12 pints of sauce.

Hi Ali,
My daughter and I made the tomato basil marinara sauce for dinner tonight. We added some of the sauce to chicken breasts and baked them, and served up some spaghetti squash with marinara sauce. This meal is going to become a staple. The whole family loved it.

Thank you for another great recipe.


I just made a batch of this this morning. Thank you for this post. It was my first time taking on so many tomatoes (successfully). I didn't have 20 lbs (thankfully, not enough room in the pot!) nor did I have red-wine vinegar. Okay, okay, I did a lot of improvising, but it worked and you gave me the courage to tackle my tomatoes. Thank you so much!

I just made your sauce this morning. I didn't have the full 20 lbs, but that was good, because my pot wouldn't have fit them! I ended up with 2 quarts, plus a little extra. It was my first time taking on a large amount of tomatoes (successfully) like this. Thanks so much for posting.

I tried this last night, made a smaller batch, and it was delicious! I love that I could just put it in my vitamix machine and not worry about deseeding or taking the skins off the tomatoes. Kids loved it, and so much better then store bought sauce. I added a pinch of baking soda at the end to take some of the acidity out of it, personal preference, but followed the ingredient list and it was really superb! Thanks for a great easy marinara recipe. Will be making a bigger batch in the future.

Hi Ali - I shared your recipe for this easy, no waste sauce on my blog: Cooking Ripe! I hope you enjoy the post.

Gracie - If you are not planning on canning this sauce then you don't need to add vinegar or lemon juice. If you do plan on canning it you will need to add lemon juice (or vinegar) to each jar (1 tablespoon per pint or 2 tablespoons per quart) to keep it acidic enough. Enjoy!

I have a yeast intolerance, and I was wondering what I could use as a substitute for the red wine vinegar. Would lemon juice work? Thanks!

Jessica -

Yes, I water bathed canned one batch and froze another. In the batch that I canned I made sure there were 2 tablespoons of vinegar of 6% acidity in each quart jar along with a couple of teaspoons of coconut sugar to balance the flavors. Jars should boil for about 40 minutes at sea level. You can use white sugar instead of coconut sugar no problem.

Hi Ali, I just returned from the Farmer's market and plan to try your recipe. Wondering, if you had a time for water bath canning the sauce? Also, I don't have coconut sugar.. could I interchange with a small amount of granulated sugar? Thanks for all your assistance.

Janet - I usually add fresh herbs at the end of cooking too, but since this is a sauce that was to be canned I din't think it would matter. I packed down my leaves when measuring and I should have stated that on the recipe. I am sure it could take much more basil for more flavor. You could probably add 4 cups of packed leaves. Thanks for the feedback! :)

Hi Ali, Thanks for posting your recipe. I use your recipe today and followed it exactly. The sauce turned out very nicely, although I had to simmer mine much longer to get it to the right consistency. (I think I had it on too low of simmer in the beginning). I had a question for you about the basil. Normally, I add my fresh herbs at the end of the cooking time. Is there any particular reason that you add the basil at the beginning instead of the end? I don't taste a strong basil flavor in the sauce. I wonder if adding the basil later would give it a stronger basil flavor? Thanks!

You are tempting me to try my hand at sauce-making again. I did this once, but all my jars popped over the course of a week. :(

Thank you Ali for this timely post! Thanks for making the process simpler and less daunting by using the vitamix. Smart! Can't wait to try it. Made your butternut squash soup from your book a few nights ago. Yum! It was fantastic. Thanks!

Gorgeous sauce, Ali! Love the idea on blending all of the tomato without any prep.


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