San Marzano Tomato Sauce | Julie Blanner


Learn how to make the most delectable San Marzano Tomato Sauce! You’ll wow your friends and family with this rich, velvety and classic red sauce.

The right ingredients will take this traditional sauce to a whole new level. Bonus – it’s a naturally vegan sauce, and it’s incredibly fast to throw together, too!

It’s delicious when served with all types of pasta, meatballs, lasagna, pizza and more! Let’s learn how to make it… in just 15 minutes.

Spaghetti on a white plate, tossed in San Marzano tomato sauce, with a gold fork to the side.

I love when a recipe is easy enough for a weeknight, but special enough to make for guests. Don’t you? When it’s this easy, every night should be this special!

That’s exactly what this San Marzano Tomato Sauce is… it’s like the most fabulous upgraded version of store bought sauce. You’ll never buy a jarred spaghetti sauce again, now that you know the secrets for this delightful classic sauce.

Have you ever made my homemade Arrabbiata Sauce, or this delicious Pomodoro? They are quite similar to this one! However, this traditional tomato sauce is simpler, with sweet and subtle undertones from the San Marzano tomatoes.

No matter how you’re serving it, you’ll be amazed at the difference a great quality tomato makes. San Marzano tomatoes are a little different… read on to find out why, and learn how to create this delicious tomato sauce!

San Marzano tomato sauce in a cast iron pan, topped with chopped herbs.

Why You’ll Love this San Marzano Tomato Sauce

  • Minimal Ingredients
  • So Flexible
  • Simple for a Weeknight
  • Naturally Vegan
  • Wholesome and Nutritious
Spaghetti on a white plate, tossed in San Marzano tomato sauce, with a gold fork to the side.

What are San Marzano Tomatoes?

And why are they special?

With a higher price tag than other canned tomatoes, you might be wondering why these tomatoes deserve an upgrade (in both your wallet and your heart).

San Marzano is a region in Italy, and the name for this type of tomato. These are plum tomatoes, though a little longer and thinner in shape than those grown in other regions.

With a distinction of less seeds than most other tomatoes, they also feature a combination of sweetness and acidity that cannot be matched in other varieties.

San Marzano tomato sauce in a cast iron pan, topped with chopped herbs.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Tomatoes – Specifically, this sauce needs San Marzano brand canned whole tomatoes. This tomato is of utmost importance in this recipe. For authentic Italian flavor, choose these sweet canned tomatoes.
  • Olive Oil – We tend to have Extra Virgin Olive Oil on hand, so that’s what we used here.
  • Garlic – Fresh, minced. Learn how to peel and mince garlic here. Often, I’ll tell you that you can sub out for a bottled minced garlic from the produce section of your grocer – but for this recipe, the garlic needs to really shine!
  • Basil – Fresh herbs are strongly preferred for this sauce, chopped. To substitute dried herbs instead of fresh, use less. (One tablespoon of fresh herbs is equal to about one teaspoon of dried.)
  • Oregano – Fresh, chopped.
  • Salt and Pepper – To taste.

Variations

  • Add more fresh herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary etc.
  • Add half a cup of fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino.
  • Mascarpone – Just a couple tablespoons of this Italian cheese can be mixed into the sauce for a creamy texture.
  • Sweeten with just a teaspoon of white granulated sugar.
  • Spice it up with red pepper or chili flakes.
  • Add a splash of red wine.
Spaghetti on a white plate, tossed in San Marzano tomato sauce, with a gold fork to the side.

How to Make this San Marzano Tomato Sauce

  1. In a food processor, add tomatoes and juices. Pulse until it achieves your desired consistency. (Chunky, chopped or smooth) Set aside. San Marzano tomatoes in a food processor. San Marzano tomatoes in a food processor.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Sauté one minute, stirring frequently. Garlic in a saute pan, with a wooden spoon pushing it around
  3. Add tomato puree, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. San Marzano tomato sauce in a cast iron pan, topped with chopped herbs.
  4. Toss with pasta, pour onto lasagna, or allow to cool and store for future use.
San Marzano tomato sauce in a cast iron pan, topped with chopped herbs and a wooden spoon

Tips

  • Do you live for garlic as much as we do? Don’t skip this handy Garlic Conversion Guide.
  • As with all pasta dishes, hold back a cup of your starchy pasta water to add to the sauce to thin it out if necessary.
  • Prefer a thicker sauce? Mix one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of cornstarch and stir it into the sauce towards the end of cooking.

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

San Marzano tomato sauce in a cast iron pan, topped with chopped herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are San Marzano tomatoes better for sauce?

Because they are lower in acidity than many tomatoes! These sweet Italian tomatoes capture the perfect intense tomato flavor, while being delightfully sweet.

Are San Marzano tomatoes healthy?

These tomatoes are bursting with all the wholesome goodness you could ask for! Packed with Vitamins A and C, these antioxidants are believed to increase collagen and help build immunity.

Spaghetti on a white plate, tossed in San Marzano tomato sauce, with a gold fork to the side.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pasta – Making homemade pasta is always an incredible upgrade, but you can use any of your favorites. This is a really versatile sauce and can easily be served with any of your favorite pastas. Spaghetti, pappardelle and bucatini are great choices.
  • Parmesan – Flakes of fresh grated parmesan finish this dish.
  • Roasted Mushrooms – Make a fragrant, earthy addition to this sauce, and it stays vegan!
  • Arugula – A handful of arugula adds a delicious, unexpectedly spicy bite of greens to this sauce.
  • Chicken Parmesan – Or add it to any of your favorite chicken dishes, like Chicken Spiedini and Baked Chicken.
Spaghetti on a white plate, tossed in San Marzano tomato sauce, with a gold fork to the side.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Leave this pasta sauce out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving.
  • Refrigerate – You can make this sauce ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat on the stove top before adding it to your cooked pasta.
  • Freeze – This sauce freezes well. Let the sauce cool to room temperature and transfer to a freezer safe container. It will keep for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
San Marzano tomato sauce in a cast iron pan, topped with chopped herbs.

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San Marzano Tomato Sauce in a gray cast iron pan, with a wooden spoon.

San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Learn how to make the most delectable San Marzano Tomato Sauce! You’ll wow your friends and family with this rich, velvety and classic red sauce.

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Instructions

  • In a food processor, add tomatoes and juices. Pulse until it achieves your desired consistency. (Chunky, chopped or smooth) Set aside.

  • In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Sauté one minute, stirring frequently.

  • Add tomato puree, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Toss with pasta, pour onto lasagna, or allow to cool and store for future use.

Tips

  • To substitute dried herbs instead of fresh, use less. (One tablespoon of fresh herbs is equal to about one teaspoon of dried.)
  • As with all pasta dishes, hold back a cup of your starchy pasta water to add to the sauce to thin it out if necessary.
  • Prefer a thicker sauce? Mix one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of cornstarch and stir it into the sauce towards the end of cooking.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 53kcal (3%), Carbohydrates: 5g (2%), Protein: 1g (2%), Fat: 4g (6%), Saturated Fat: 0.5g (3%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 143mg (6%), Potassium: 207mg (6%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 2g (2%), Vitamin A: 140IU (3%), Vitamin C: 10mg (12%), Calcium: 47mg (5%), Iron: 1mg (6%)













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