Simple Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

I admit it. I’m pretty much addicted to fire roasted tomatoes, in particular the Muir Glen crushed ones that I can order cheaply by subscription on Amazon (since they’re always so expensive in the store, if you can even find them!). This is quite possibly one of the easiest, tastiest, and most versatile sauces I’ve found, and one of the reasons I actually have said subscription. It’s great on all types of pasta (including all gluten-free pastas I’ve tried), in lasagna, being sopped up by crusty bread, or being eaten with a spoon.

Recipe: Simple Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

Summary: mostly from Myra Kornfeld’s The Healthy Hedonist, one of my absolute favorite cookbooks


  1. 1 28-oz can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes
  2. 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  4. 1 tsp dried basil
  5. 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  6. freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients except for the black pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened quite a bit.
  3. Stir in freshly ground pepper to your taste, and add salt if needed.

Quick Notes

This is one of the few recipes that I do not reduce the oil on; the olive oil really helps balance out the somewhat acidic tomatoes and meld the flavors. It seems like a lot, but since the sauce is so flavorful and thick, a little sauce goes a long way (hence, not as many calories as using a lot more sauce of a lesser quality).

I pretty much universally add about 50% more garlic to any recipe I find, and this case is no exception. Only once—when a friend added about 6X more raw garlic to an uncooked hummus recipe—have I found something too garlicky. Just a warning. ;)


I like to double this recipe, since it freezes well. When doubling, you do need to increase the simmer time as well to about 45 minutes. Just keep an eye on it, and it’s ready when you like the look of it! Extra simmering almost never hurts a tomato sauce.

If you don’t have fire-roasted tomatoes, this can still be an excellent sauce! Play around with adding extra herbs in that case, maybe throwing in a bit of rosemary and thyme in addition to the basil. I’ve made it with whatever random cans of crushed and diced tomatoes are in the cupboard, adding a bit extra of whatever herbs were put into the can, plus more garlic, of course.

Cooking time (duration): 30

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 5-6 half-cup servings


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5 Responses to Simple Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

  1. Bob Probst says:

    “Only once—when a friend added about 6X more raw garlic to an uncooked hummus recipe—have I found something too garlicky.”

    That was me!

    • Heh, I was thinking of a different time of my friend Sarah (also while in Indiana, though), but I don’t doubt that you might have done this, too, Bob! (or maybe yours was not too garlicky for me…bwahaha…) Maybe we’ll have to have a Garlic-Off next time I’m in Bloomington. Right before a rehearsal. No one will mind, right?

  2. Mary says:

    Healthy Hedonist! That was me! At least I think I told you about it, I’ve told pretty much everyone I know about it. I don’t think I’ve made this particular sauce, though maybe it’s time I try it!

    • Yes, and I am forever grateful for your telling me about that cookbook! I’ve made more than a dozen recipes out of it and every single thing has been awesome, even if time consuming. (I’ve also bought the book as a present for several people, so look what you’ve started!) I admit that my favorite thing about this cookbook is that you have to take time to really care about what you’re making, and yet the recipes aren’t so complicated that you feel discouraged. This recipe is by far the easiest in the entire cookbook, though. And yummy! Especially with a little cheese grated on top, but what isn’t better with cheese?!

  3. Jon says:

    Mmm, garlic. When we were making pesto this weekend, I put garlic in the food processor, and then we put the other ingredients in, and while I was outside, Laura added the garlic. Hehe… super double garlic pesto = best pesto ever :)

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