September 5, 2014

Quick Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Quick and simple, homemade roasted cherry tomato sauce – packed with flavor from fresh cherry tomatoes that caramelize and become wonderfully jammy after a quick stint in the oven. This even more delicious take on traditional tomato sauce is made with simple ingredients like garlic, olive oil, basil, and thyme, and you’ll want to make batches all Summer long!

Quick Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce via forkknifeswoon.com

We inherited several tomato plants upon moving into our new house. The sprawling, sagging beauties, top-heavy under the weight of their fruit, have happily delivered a generous yield over the last few weeks, and I’ve been harvesting the delicious house-warming presents with abandon.

The collection of mystery varieties includes about half cherry tomatoes, and I’ve taken to calling the entire lot of them simply Parker tomatoes (after the previous owners). As the plants are still dotted with dozens of yellow flowers – i.e. future tomato babies – and given that it’s already September (!), I harvested the remaining ripe cherries to make a roasted tomato sauce, thus preserving some homegrown tomato goodness for the coming months.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce via forkknifeswoon.com

Despite the natural sweetness of perfectly ripe summer tomatoes, a quick roasting still enhances and intensifies their flavor, and – along with some onion, garlic and fresh herbs – transforms the raw tomatoes into a fantastically rich and flavorful sauce. It’s the sort of sauce you’ll be happy to have on hand to brighten up a chilly day in the next couple of months, and totally worth the (minimal) hands-on effort now.

A couple of quick notes: I threw in some yellow and orange cherry tomatoes from the farmers market in addition to our red garden cherries – thus the lighter, orange-y color – but you can use any kind of cherry/grape/small tomato you’ve got. The sweeter the better.

Also, I prepared this roasted cherry tomato sauce to be stored in the fridge or freezer, but if you’re feeling ambitious, and want to tackle shelf-stable canning, Annalise has a great tutorial (and marinara sauce recipe), here.

Quick Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce via forkknifeswoon.com

Quick Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce via forkknifeswoon.com

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce | Fork Knife Swoon

Quick Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: About 4 pints/2 quarts
  • Category: Sauce, Dinner
  • Method: Roasted, Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Quick and simple, homemade roasted cherry tomato sauce – packed with flavor from fresh cherry tomatoes that caramelize and become wonderfully jammy after a quick stint in the oven. This even more delicious take on traditional tomato sauce is made with simple ingredients like garlic, olive oil, basil, and thyme, and you’ll want to make batches all Summer long!


Ingredients

2-3 lbs cherry tomatoes, stems removed

1/4 cup good-quality olive oil, plus more for roasting

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced

small handful, fresh basil leaves

3-4 sprigs, fresh thyme, stems removed

kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the tomatoes with just enough olive oil to lightly coat, then spread out in an even layer onto a rimmed sheet pan or large baking dish. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes have burst and are just beginning to shrivel. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the 1/4 cup of olive oil to a heavy-bottomed sauce pot. Heat over medium-heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to sweat and soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir to combine, and continue cooking for another few minutes until the garlic is golden.

Add the roasted tomatoes (including all of the cooking liquid in the pan), and the herbs, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Turn the heat down to low, partially cover the pot with the lid (leaving about a 1-inch gap), and let simmer for at least 25 minutes – and up to an hour – stirring once or twice.

Remove the pot from the heat, and let cool for 10-15 minutes. (Carefully!) Transfer the sauce to a blender (or use an immersion blender), and blend until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.

Pour the sauce into pint-size canning jars or other air-tight containers.

Will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, or 3 months in the freezer.

 

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Make this recipe? Let us know what you think!

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76 Comments

  • Reply
    Manon
    October 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Had a bunch of cherry tomatoes hanging around… made this…. sooooo delightful!!! 😋 It’s perfect.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 17, 2018 at 4:05 am

      Thanks, Manon!! So happy to hear that! 🙂

  • Reply
    Angie H
    October 6, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I added three small red jalapeños to the recipe for an sweet spice taste. My family loves it!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

      Ooh, my husband would like your spicier take on it. Thanks, Angie!!

  • Reply
    Joan Edelstein
    October 3, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    I’d never made a tomato sauce before, so greatly appreciated this really doable recipe. I had three pounds of cherry tomatoes from my plant and had already given about two pounds away. I made two batches and gave one to my daughter. It was delicious, with a terrific texture. Now that I know how to do this, I would use more garlic and add some veggies – personal taste.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you so much, Joan!! Extra garlic is always a good thing… 🙂

  • Reply
    Ann Moses
    October 3, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    I love this sauce but I do not agree with your statement that tomatoes are an acid food – all canning guides recommend canning tomato sauce with acidification with lemon juice or citric acid in a pressure canner. You can water bath can it but it will take hours and even then the temperatures aren’t high enough to kill botulinum.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Hi, Ann! Happy to hear you love the sauce! I am definitely not a canning expert, so would defer to those with much more experience than me when it comes to shelf-stable canning. I do know that it freezes well 🙂

    • Reply
      Chelsi Kirby
      October 7, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Look up Tomato Sauce 101: From Vine to Jar “You Bet Your Garden”
      Mike Mcgrath also says that lemon is NOT necessary, tomatoes are very acidic. 🍅❤
      Love love your sauce Ms. Laura

      • Reply
        Ann Moses
        October 8, 2018 at 8:13 am

        I dont know what/who your source is but tomatoes vary in acidity – some are acidic and some aren’t – I go by Ball canning recommendations for safety and it seems like a small enough thing to add a bit of lemon or 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid to prevent food poisoning.

        • Reply
          Laura
          October 10, 2018 at 8:23 am

          Always, better safe than sorry! 🙂

      • Reply
        Laura
        October 10, 2018 at 8:22 am

        Glad to hear you love the sauce! Thanks, Chelsi!

  • Reply
    Susan
    October 3, 2018 at 11:14 am

    How come I have little stick thingys in my sauce?

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 4, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Susan, I’m not sure – maybe the tomato stems?

  • Reply
    Sondra Singer
    September 30, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I used this recipe as a base. I have a crazy out of control cherry tomato plant this year, that as of the end of September, even though the nights are cool, is still producing! I’ve made two batches of this sauce, modified, so far, and am about to make a third. I’ve added a few things. When I roast the tomatoes, I also roast sliced mushrooms, and a mostly whole bulb of garlic (in an oven-proof dish with oil). So, I use the roasted garlic (best sliced a bit) instead of the raw garlic when cooking the onion. When I put the roasted tomatoes into the pot, I also add the other ingredients. And, I found that just the fresh herbs were fine for my first batch, but I wanted more punch, so added more of those plus some dried Italian herbs, as well. My first batch was just a bit flat. The second batch, with the addition of more herbs, was amazing. When I heat it back up, I sometimes add cooked chicken to it. With these additions, for me, it makes for a deeper, more flavorful sauce. I use a Vitamix to blend, and I find that it’s very easy to over blend it. Just some quick pulses, and I get a good consistency for me. It doesn’t need tomato paste, which I added to my first batch. That made it too thick. So, I basically stick with the ingredients mentioned, plus what is in the original recipe.
    Thank you to whoever came up with this one. It’s the best basic cherry tomato sauce recipe I’ve found!Then, just get creative!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you, Sondra!! Love to hear how you’ve made this your own, sounds delish!!

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 26, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    This was delicious! I usually give more of my homegrown cherry tomatoes than I eat, but this recipe will help me make use of them from now on! I used fresh basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme from the garden. I also stirred in some ricotta cheese for protein. This will go into the summer rotation, for sure.

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 27, 2018 at 7:11 am

      I’m so happy to hear that, thank you, Heather!!

  • Reply
    Carly
    September 19, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Delicious! Had never made sauce from my tomatoes (they’re so good just to pop your mouth), but have had rain this year and they were splitting just as they came ripe. This sauce was a perfect way to still use them!

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 24, 2018 at 3:57 am

      I’m the same way with our homegrown tomatoes (they’re SO good fresh)! So happy you enjoyed this sauce as much as we do 🙂

  • Reply
    Sonia Mendoza
    September 9, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I made this recipe today and not only was it easy but delicious, I had so many cherry tomatoes from our garden I didnt know what else to do with them. Now I do .

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 10, 2018 at 7:11 am

      So happy to hear I could help you with your tomato “problem…” 😉

  • Reply
    Lindsey E Nichols
    September 5, 2018 at 7:41 am

    Do you skin the cherry tomatoes? Or do they just get blended from the sauce?

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Lindsey! You don’t need to skin the tomatoes, they’ll get blended with the rest of the sauce. Enjoy!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Valerie
    September 3, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Thank you for the super quick response!
    I will can for sure 🙂

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 3, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Enjoy!! ☺️

  • Reply
    Gwyn
    August 31, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Can’t wait to try this! Can I use the “water bath” process instead of freezing it to store?

    • Reply
      Valerie
      September 3, 2018 at 6:50 am

      Did you get a response? I would love to can this with water bath method!

      • Reply
        Laura
        September 3, 2018 at 7:17 am

        Hi! I have not personally tried using a water bath to can this sauce (have stuck just to freezer canning), but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work for this recipe. Enjoy!! 🙂

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 3, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Hi Gwyn! I haven’t tried water bath canning for this sauce, so I’m not an expert, but I believe other readers have had success. Tomatoes are naturally high-acid, so it should be fine. Enjoy the recipe!! 😊

  • Reply
    Jennie Reichman
    August 30, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Oh my, this is good! Sweet from the cherry tomatoes, pungent from the garlic and herbs. It almost tastes as if there is cream in it after it is pureed, it is so smooth and buttery. I made the sauce and then incorporated it into a meat sauce with sweet red peppers, italian sausage and chicken parmesan sausage and a touch of tomato paste. Might be the best meat sauce I have ever made. Thank you for this, my tomato plants are producing like mad and I will be making more of this sauce and freezing it for a taste of summer in deepest winter!

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 3, 2018 at 9:06 am

      Thank you, Jennie!! I’m so happy to hear it, and all your adaptations to make it a heartier sauce sound incredible!! ☺️

  • Reply
    Debbie
    August 28, 2018 at 6:38 am

    This is the third time this year of making this sauce, it’s easy and quiet delicious. I have frozen some, so look forward to a burst of summer tastes in the winter 😊

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 10, 2018 at 7:09 am

      Oh, love hearing this! Thank you, Debbie!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Maureen
    August 17, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I made this sauce today with 100% garden ingredients. The sauce is yummy. The tomatoes are so sweet. I followed the recipe exactly and used my immersion blender. Will definitely make again

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 10, 2018 at 7:09 am

      Thanks, Maureen! So happy to hear it! I bet it was extra yummy thanks to the homegrown ingredients 🙂

  • Reply
    Anita Magby
    August 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Wonderful recipe! I made it last year and froze some. It was a taste of heaven in the cold months.

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 10, 2018 at 7:08 am

      I love love love having some of this stashed away in Winter. Thanks so much, Anita!

  • Reply
    Zinnia
    August 3, 2018 at 4:19 am

    We grow cherry tomatoes and I made this recipe last night and it was simple and soooooooooo delicious. It was my first time making my own sauce and I’m amazed at how good it tasted. Thank you for this recipe as it’s going to be one of my favorite ones.

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 10, 2018 at 7:08 am

      I’m honored you used my recipe for your first homemade sauce 🙂 So glad it was a success!

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