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

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

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
Quick Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce via
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 1x
  • Category: Sauce, Dinner
  • Method: Roasted, Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian


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!



23 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

34 sprigs, fresh thyme, stems removed

kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper


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 infrequently as the sauce cooks.

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.

Keywords: roasted tomatoes, cherry tomato sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes, summer sauce, freezer tomato sauce, easy tomato sauce, herb tomato,

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Make this recipe? Let us know what you think!

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  • Reply
    April 7, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Delicious, mine had a little chili kick, as I had just made a chili jam in the same as I used for tomato sauce.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Can you leave the leaves on the tomatoes when roasting?

  • Reply
    March 14, 2020 at 1:22 am

    I don’t know if I over cooked mine but it was a bit bitter. It was nice to taste until it was blended 🙁
    It’s edible but not as delicious as everyone else’s.

    • Reply
      March 26, 2020 at 8:34 am

      Maybe you should put some sugar on the tomatoes next time 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Taylor
    February 16, 2020 at 12:00 am

    I love the internet I can google something like “what to do with excess cherry tomatoes” and the first thing that pops up is an amazingly perfect story and recipe. I’m allergic to onion but I had an enormous bounty of tomatoes and fresh herbs, now I’ve got a freezer full of tomato sauces to cover my needs for winter. Thank you so much

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    This was so delicious and not too hard to make!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Made this from our home-grown tomatoes and added some town basil leaves. OMG. It was scrumptious! Thank you. 🙂

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 1:01 pm

      Love that you still have homegrown tomatoes!! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 3, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Amazing, super easy recipe, thank you!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Please give me this recipe in cups and tablespoons

  • Reply
    Sarah Lewis
    September 25, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Excellent recipe but my yield was nowhere close to 4 pints. I had just over 2 lbs in tomatoes and got barely a pint and a half.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2019 at 8:52 am

    I have five large Ziploc bags full of cherry tomatoes from my garden last year that I haven’t decided on the use for yet. Would this recipe work for them once they’ve thawed?

  • Reply
    Debs Absolom
    September 22, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Excellent, flavoursome, easy recipe for cherry tomatoes.
    I usually grow tons of bigger tomatoes (Ferline) and make 80 to 100 jars of sauce each year, my favorite being Puttanesca. I therefore skin these larger toms when making sauce so I was excited to fine this cherry tomato recipe that didn’t remove skins (that would have been fiddly). It worked beautifully as I had a large quantity…it’s all in the roasting! I usually eat all the cherry toms like sweets but now it’s worth having excess for cooking. Thanks

  • Reply
    September 19, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Hello! I am wondering, do I put the basil and thyme on the tomatoes before roasting them or in the pan with the garlic and oil mixture?

    • Reply
      September 26, 2019 at 9:00 pm

      The recipe says to mix the herbs with the tomatoes in the pot

  • Reply
    September 17, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    I have a question: with so many seeds in the cherry tomatoes, would it be okay to run them through a strainer (or food mill) and then cook it down a little more? Or is it best to just blend them, along with the skins, together into the sauce?

    • Reply
      September 19, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      I made this a few weeks ago with my Sungolds and used an immersion blender. The skins and seeds blended smooth (I was prepared to put the sauce through a mill but didn’t need to).

  • Reply
    Gay McColl
    September 9, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Live in Scotland and I started to get a bit of a glut of cherry tomato’s and so I found your recipe and followed it to the letter except I I halved the amount as I didn’t have enough tomato’s. Well I’ve cooked my own sauce before but this one is gorgeous and I think the difference is the roasting of the tomato’s first. Going to fry some chopped up chorizo tomorrow and add to the sauce and toss through some pasta. Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    September 8, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Made this for the first time. It is AWESOME, could eat it by the spoonful. I followed the recipe as is with one modification; I added garden jalapeños for some spice as recommended by another reader.

    I cooked some down a bit further for pizza sauce.

    This is a keeper.

  • Reply
    Tracey Palmer
    September 8, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Delish! I ate it right away and mixed in a bit of pasta water. This recipe is a keeper!!!

    • Reply
      September 17, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Love hearing that! Thanks, Tracey!

  • Reply
    September 7, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    So freakin good! Have an abundance of cherry tomatoes and was searching how to use them.

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