Crushed Tomato Sauce with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Canned crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes help make this homemade tomato sauce taste like it almost came straight out of the garden.

Last week, I talked about how much our garden sucks this year, and how because of this increasingly annoying little predicament, we are seriously lacking in the garden fresh tomato department. Instead of getting all “Debbie Downer” about it though, or spending an exorbitant amount of money on tomatoes from the farmer’s market, I decided to pull up my big-girl panties and make “Cheater Sauce” instead.

To me, “Cheater Sauce” is simply homemade tomato sauce made from canned tomatoes instead of ones straight out of my garden. In actuality, the sauce is still homemade, requires way less work, and tastes almost as good. Hell, some years it even tastes better. It all depends on the quality of the tomatoes coming out of the garden. And as far as this year, it goes pretty much without saying, that canned tomatoes are of much better quality than my fairly non-existent garden fresh ones.

Other Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Tomato and Pizza Sauce Recipes

Toss It All In Chunky Crockpot Tomato Sauce

Sweet Pizza Sauce

Garden Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage and Prosciutto

Game Day Overnight Crockpot Tomato Sauce

Sweet Prosciutto Pizza Sauce

Spinach and Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Basically, what I’m trying to say to ya’ll, is that there really is no valid reason not to make your own homemade tomato sauce. The only real cheating when it comes to tomato sauce is buying a pre-made generic name-brand jar of sauce from the market instead of making your own. Once you’ve tasted the real thing, you’ll never go back to sauce out of a jar. Sure, you may have to use canned tomatoes to make it, however, I promise you that it will still turn out tasting amazing after just a few hours of simmering and you’ll have more than enough sauce to freeze for later use. You see, sometimes cheating can be a good thing.

Canned crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes help make this homemade tomato sauce taste like it almost came straight out of the garden.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Sweet Yellow Onion, Peeled & Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Pound Carrots, Peeled & Grated
  • 1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Seasoning, Drained & Finely Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Sea Salt
  • 3 (28-oz.) Cans Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 (29-oz.) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Basil, Finely Chopped

Canned crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes help make this homemade tomato sauce taste like it almost came straight out of the garden.

Directions:

  • Place the olive oil, onion, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, and salt in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and black pepper to the Dutch oven.
  • Stir to combine and allow to come to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Add the basil, stir to combine, and then allow the sauce to simmer for another hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Allow the sauce to cool slightly before storing it in several refrigerator or freezer-safe containers.

Canned crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes help make this homemade tomato sauce taste like it almost came straight out of the garden.

Suggestions:

  • The carrots in this recipe help to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. If you wish to leave the brown sugar out of this recipe, add an additional 1/2 pound of grated carrots.
  • You can use a food processor like this one from Cuisinart to grate the carrots for this recipe if you choose, however, do not attempt to chop the onions in the food processor or they will become too watery.
  • The thing I love most about the food processor pictured above is that you can purchase an optional Blade and Disc Holder for it, which really helps to store the blades and discs safely away.
  • Make sure to stir the sauce at least every 15 minutes to prevent it from burning. Taste the sauce after the first hour of simmering and adjust the seasoning if you so desire.

Canned crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes help make this homemade tomato sauce taste like it almost came straight out of the garden.

Improvements:

  • Add browned Sweet Italian Sausage to the tomato sauce.
  • I love to store my tomato sauce in Ball Wide Mouth 1 1/2 Pint Sized Jars because they usually hold just the right amount of sauce for one meal. If you are freezing this sauce for later use, make sure to leave at least an inch empty at the top of each jar for expansion.
  • Add fresh oregano or crushed red pepper flakes to this sauce for even more flavor.

Crushed Tomato Sauce with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Crushed Tomato Sauce with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Sweet Yellow Onion, Peeled & Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Pound Carrots, Peeled & Grated
  • 1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Seasoning, Drained & Finely Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Sea Salt
  • 3 (28-oz.) Cans Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 (29-oz.) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Basil, Finely Chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the olive oil, onion, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, and salt in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and black pepper to the Dutch oven.
  4. Stir to combine and allow to come to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Add the basil, stir to combine, and then allow the sauce to simmer for another hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  7. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before storing it in several refrigerator or freezer-safe containers.
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I’ll be joining the Fiesta Friday Link Party (Hosts – Food Eat Love and The Not So Creative Cook) and the Weekend Potluck today. Head on over to see what everyone else is bringing to the celebration.

Canned crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes help make this homemade tomato sauce taste like it almost came straight out of the garden.

Don’t let this recipe slip away. How often do you find a recipe intriguing, yet forget where to find it when you finally get the hankering to make it? Instead of digging through old posts or wandering aimlessly around on the internet, why not Pin this recipe to Pinterest where you can find it when you eventually need it? Simply Pin the image above and you’ll have it when that time comes. You can follow us HERE on Pinterest or simply click HERE to find all of our pin-worthy recipes.




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  • thenotsocreativecook

    Oh wow!! I think I could eat this alone! Looks really inviting! Thanks for sharing at this week’s Fiesta Friday party, Colleen. I hope you are enjoying the party.

    • I’m not gonna lie…I may have had a few spoonfuls of this sauce all by itself…and it was crazy good!!!

  • Hi! First time reader here. Your blog is gorgeous. I’m honestly not a sun-dried tomato person but my mom is and I forward this along to her. Thanks for such a great idea!

    Kelsey

    • So glad you stopped by Kelsey! I hope your mom enjoys the sauce if she gets a chance to make it. It took me awhile to fall in love with sun-dried tomatoes…now I can’t get enough of them!

  • Yum! Pinned!! Thanks for sharing on Friday Frenzy Link Party! XOXO

  • I love a good tomato sauce! Did you know that tomatoes is the only vegetable that gets more nutritious when processed? So using tinned tomatoes is perfect! 🙂 Great ingredients and it sounds lovely! Happy Fiesta Friday!

    • Good to know…now I don’t feel quite as bad…although, I’m not sure if eating pizza can be considered nutritious!

      • ha ha! I think we have to let go sometimes and let the happy factor be the most important! I am (almost) sure it counters the bad 🙂

  • Evelyn Casas

    I love this!! I am not a great cook but these instructions were pretty simple. All i need now is a grilled cheese sandwich. 🙂