Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Sep 21, 2023 · By Bethany Kramer
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Transform your garden cherry tomatoes into a rich and savory roasted cherry tomato sauce! It’s made with five simple ingredients, and the sauce is ready to serve in under an hour.

Three clear glass jars with cherry tomato sauce in them. Around the jars of sauce are fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.

End of summer tomatoes are perfect for making fresh salsa, savory soups, and rich tomato sauce! Unlike other sauce recipes on the blog, this sauce uses sweet cherry tomatoes instead of Roma or larger tomatoes. And the tomatoes are not simmered on the stovetop but instead are roasted to perfection to develop deep flavor.

The taste is rich and sweet, with a touch of freshness from bites of chopped basil. It’s the perfect sauce for freezing, canning, or serving fresh with your favorite pasta!

The best thing is this sauce is quick to make, and there’s no need for peeling tomatoes or super-involved prep work. It’s one of the easiest tomato sauce recipes on the blog, so there’s no excuse not to make it!

Key Ingredients

One of my favorite things about this recipe is how simple the ingredients are! See below for the list of what is needed.

Ingredients for roasted cherry tomato sauce arranged on a wooden background.

Cherry tomatoes – of course! You can use any color. I grew red cherry tomatoes so that’s what I used.

Garlic – a whole head of garlic is roasted with the tomatoes and blended with the sauce for a rich depth of flavor!

Fresh basil – added at the very end is basil for a fresh touch of flavor.

Olive oil – quality olive oil is best for roasting with the tomatoes and adds richness to the sauce.

Fresh thyme sprigs – the fresh thyme sprigs are used to infuse herbaceous flavor into the tomatoes while they roast.

Salt – of course, for developing all the flavor!

How to Make it

A collage of three photos showing how to make roasted cherry tomato sauce. The first photo is cherry tomatoes in a stainless steel strainer. The second photo is the cherry tomatoes in a stainless steel baking pan. The third photo is a close up of the roasted cherry tomatoes and a whole head of garlic.
  1. 1

    Rinse and sort. If using homegrown tomatoes, first rinse and sort them. Discard any unripe or rotten tomatoes.

  2. 2

    Prep the tomatoes for roasting. Prepare the tomatoes in a large roasting pan. Cut the garlic head in half, and place in the pan with the tomatoes and thyme sprigs. Drizzle with oil and a healthy pinch of salt, then toss until everything is evenly coated in oil.

  3. 3

    Roast. Then roast the tomatoes at 400F for 40 minutes, or until they are very tender. Once they’re finished, remove from the oven and let the tomatoes cool for several minutes.

  1. 4

    Transfer to a food processor. Remove the thyme sprigs then transfer the roasted tomatoes to a food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the garlic head in with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a healthy pinch of salt.

  2. 5

    Blend the sauce. Then process the tomatoes until blended smooth, or process for a few seconds to have a chunkier sauce.

  3. 6

    Stir in chopped basil. Then stir in the chopped basil with the sauce, taste and add additional salt until the flavor is just right. Then serve right away or freeze or chill for use later!

Recipe Variations

Add some heat – if you prefer a little heat to your tomato sauce, add a touch of red pepper flakes to the roasted tomatoes. It adds the perfect touch of spice!

More herbs you can add – I love fresh basil in tomato sauce, but you can also add fresh oregano!

Make it chunky or smooth – the choice is up to you on how you’d like the consistency of the sauce to be. If you like a smoother sauce, you can blend it until all the tomatoes are completely broken down. If you like a chunkier sauce, you can instead chop it for a few seconds.

Storing Leftovers & Freezing Instructions

Keep leftovers fresh – by storing the sauce in an airtight container or jar, and refrigerate for 7-9 days.

How to freeze – let the sauce completely cool before placing it in a ziplock freezer bag. Remove all the air from the bag, lay it flat, and freeze for up to 3 months!

Canning – this recipe also works great for canning and jarring! To preserve it add a little lemon juice or citric acid.

Three jars of cherry tomato sauce open with no lids on them. Around the jars of sauce are cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

Ways to Serve it

This sauce goes well with so many dishes! Some ways we love to serve it is with…

Pasta. We love to toss this fresh tomato sauce with any shape and size of pasta noodles.

Baked pasta. Layer this sauce with a baked ziti, or in a lasagna like our sweet & spicy sausage lasagna!

Meatballs. Simmer this sauce with meatballs, such as our chicken parmesan meatballs, or these Italian meatballs!

Fish. This sauce pairs perfectly with white fish such as cod or halibut.

Chicken. Or you can serve it layered with our chicken parmesan or your favorite chicken recipe!

More Fresh Tomato Recipes

If you have endless homegrown tomatoes looking to be used up, you might want to try our fresh tomato sauce, blender salsa, roasted tomato soup, or this 20-minute cherry tomato pasta!

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce (with fresh tomatoes)

Transform your garden cherry tomatoes into a rich and savory roasted cherry tomato sauce! It's made with four simple ingredients, and the sauce is ready to serve in under an hour.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serves 5 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Rinse and sort the tomatoes: If you're using homegrown tomatoes, thoroughly rinse them and sort through them. Discard any unripe or rotten tomatoes.
  • Roast the tomatoes: then transfer the tomatoes to a large baking pan. Cut the head of garlic in half and place it in with the tomatoes, along with the thyme sprigs. Drizzle everything with olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt, and toss until everything is evenly coated. Then bake for 40 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soften and the juices have released.
  • Blend: Let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a food processor or blender. For a smooth sauce, blend for 30-60 seconds. For a chunkier sauce, blend or pulse for a few seconds until the consistency is as desired.
  • Stir in basil: Then stir the freshly chopped basil in with the blended sauce. Taste, and add any additional salt until the flavor is just right. Then serve the sauce right away or freeze for later!

Notes

Keep leftovers fresh – by storing the sauce in an airtight container or jar, and refrigerate for 7-9 days.
How to freeze – let the sauce completely cool before placing it in a ziplock freezer bag. Remove all the air from the bag, lay it flat, and freeze for up to 3 months!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword cherry tomato sauce, roasted cherry tomato sauce
Freezer Friendly Yes

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.2g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 14.5mg | Fiber: 3.4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 5mg

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