Dishing Up the Dirt

Farm Stand Tomato Sauce

I’m not going to lie, this is one of the hardest “recipes” to write  because it really is different for every person and there’s no strict rules to follow. This is freezer tomato sauce…it’s best when made with fresh, in season ingredients and from there, you just go!

It’s that time of the year when the panic is real and we want to preserve the flavors of the season so we can eat well all winter long. And eating well in the winter usually means we want as many jars of tomato sauce as possible for all of the lovely pasta dishes, pizza nights, stews, slow cooked meats, and even just for dipping. We’re going to do our best to keep incorporating the Local Thirty into our winter meals too and this is a simple way to do that.

I know everyone has their own version of tomato sauce but I gotta say, this method might just be the best. And I say “method” instead of recipe because each time we make this sauce it’s a little different because we’re using so many different varieties of tomatoes. The sizes and shapes are always different and I want you all to take that into consideration when you make this. Seriously though, tomato sauce is not science– it’s taste and feel. So use this recipe as a guideline. The most important thing is to use fresh, quality ingredients. When that’s the foundation, you simply can’t mess this up. This sauce is forgiving, easy (no blanching or peeling tomatoes) and is bursting with flavor.

I hope this recipe helps get you through the winter months! If you’re planning on freezing jars I’d recommend doubling the recipe.

Farm Stand Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 3-4 hours    Serves: 5 cups (give or take)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter-- 81 miles
  • 2 large onions, diced-- 0 miles
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced-- 0 miles
  • 9 cups chopped tomatoes--a mix of heirlooms and round reds is great here-- 0 miles
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (we used sun golds) -- 0 miles
  • 1 cup of dry red wine--20 miles
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano-- 0 miles
  • 3/4 cup basil leaves, chopped-- 0 miles
  • plenty of fine sea salt--157 miles
  • Ground black pepper--milage unknown


  1. In a large saucepan heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes, red wine, oregano and basil. Season with lots of salt and pepper.
  2. Cook the sauce over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 3-4 hours, or until thickened. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
  3. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce or a potato masher to mash it up. If you like it on the thicker side with some texture use the potato masher, if you like it smooth and creamy, use and immersion blender or regular blender. Let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  4. Once the sauce has cooled to room temperature, ladle into mason jars making sure to leave at least 2 inches of head space (as to not let the jars crack). Place in the fridge for 8 hours before transferring to the freezer. This step also helps insure the jars won't crack when frozen.
  5. Store in the freezer all winter long for all of your favorite tomato sauce dishes!


*There's no need to peel or seed your tomatoes (especially when you're using fresh, in season ones

Leave a Reply

19 thoughts on “Farm Stand Tomato Sauce

  1. Ali says:

    “The panic I saw real”, soooo true! I keep mentally trying to calculate remaining freezer space to see if I can cram everything I want to in there. Going to try and can some too this fall but I have a love/hate relationship with canning.

  2. Jill Hudgins says:

    Do you remove the skins and seeds from your tomatoes first?

    1. Andrea says:

      No. There’s no need to.

  3. Atowle says:

    Love this recipe! Tomatoes are in season so this works out great! Atowle|

  4. Amy says:

    Sounds like a great recipe! I was thinking I’d pressure can this sauce…we have limited freezer space and I always forget to take stuff out to defrost anyhow. Any advice or thoughts on that?

    1. Charlene says:

      The addition of onion, garlic, etc should be considered when considering freeze or can. May need extra processing time for canning. Don’t just use suggested time for canning tomatoes but check to see if extra time should be added for additional ingredients.

  5. christine says:

    I can taste it already. Daaaaaaaaaamn that’s good:)

  6. Beth Ericsson says:

    I have found it’s easiest and takes up the least space when frozen in food saver bags. I pile them on top of each other, laying them flat on a cookie sheet so they will be flat. Much more compact and takes up less space than jars!

  7. john says:

    awesome recipe Andrea

  8. Lauri says:

    Can you can this instead of freezing? Not much freezer space but tons of ingredients from my garden.

    1. Andrea says:

      You can totally can this. I’d add the proper amount of acid (which you could look up for this quantity) I hope that’s helpful!!

  9. Anna-Karin says:

    Maby a stupid beginners question but, should I have the lid on when cooking for 3-4 hours?
    Love your instagram!
    Anna-Karin in Sweden

    1. jeff says:

      I left the lid off. It’s needed to thicken the sauce as it cooks. Can always add some water I’m sure if it gets too ‘dry’

  10. Julie Sebby says:

    Helpful addition to this would be how many pounds of tomatoes gets the 9 cups and how many jars it makes. Thank you!

  11. Julie Sebby says:

    Whole tomatoes contain a lot of water. Should you squeeze the waters out of the tomatoes when cutting or does it not matter what goes into the pot? Thank you!

    1. Andrea says:

      It doesn’t matter for the sauce! You just continue to cook until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. The moisture in the tomatoes adds so much flavor so I wouldn’t recommend squeezing it out. I hope that’s helpful!

  12. Abby says:

    I’ve made this twice now with both red and white wine. So insanely good! So easy! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Andrea says:

      so happy to hear you love it as much as we do. Glad the white wine works well too!

  13. Marly says:

    Substitute for red wine?

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