Grandma might have slow-cooked her tomato sauce all day, but you don't have to! This no cook tomato sauce can be made in 5 minutes using ingredients you probably have in your pantry, and it's perfect for pizza or pasta.
How to use no-cook tomato sauce
Of course, this sauce is delicious on pizza and bowls of pasta or creamy polenta, but it's also a handy recipe to keep on hand for:
- simmering vegetables — Bring the sauce to a simmer, then add green beans, sliced zucchini, whole okra, or broccoli and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- making sausage, peppers, and onions — Mix up a batch of No Cook Tomato Sauce and set it aside. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Put some Italian sausages on one side of the skillet, and put some sliced green bell pepper and yellow onion on the other side; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, turning the sausages and stirring the vegetables about halfway through, until the sausages are browned on both sides and the pepper and onion are soft and caramelized. Slice the sausages and add them back to the skillet, then pour in the tomato sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens a bit, 15 to 20 minutes, then serve.
- cooking or seasoning eggs — Spoon some tomato sauce over scrambled eggs or in the center of an omelet. Or, bring some sauce to a simmer, crack in a few eggs, and cook until the eggs are set.
- poaching fish — Season fillets of white fish, such as cod, with salt and pepper, then cook them in a small pot of simmering tomato sauce for an easy, quick, flavor-packed meal.
- serving as a dip for grilled cheese — Don't have time to make tomato soup for grilled cheese night? This tomato sauce is done in 5 minutes and is a great substitute for the comfort food classic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Since you don't cook this sauce, the flavors of the canned tomatoes really shine through (for better or for worse). Therefore, it's important to get the good stuff. Look for canned or boxed crushed tomatoes that have the texture of a chunky sauce (see photo below), not a puree. (My favorite brands are Sclafani, Jersey Fresh, and Pomi*.) If you can't find good crushed tomatoes, buy a can of whole peeled tomatoes and crush them with your hands or process them with an immersion blender or potato masher until they're broken up but still chunky.
Definitely. Feel free to swap out the optional dried herbs for any blend of your favorites, or use finely chopped fresh herbs instead. Alternatively, you can leave out the herbs all together and toss in a dash of cinnamon for some Greek flavor.
Transfer the sauce to an airtight container (or portion it into smaller containers for multiple uses). It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Looking for more easy sauce recipes? Click here!
No Cook Tomato Sauce
- Medium bowl
- Fork or whisk
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I love Jersey Fresh/Sclafani brand, or Pomi Finely Chopped Tomatoes)
- 1 medium or large clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning (optional)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Dump the tomatoes into a medium bowl. Add the garlic, salt, a few grinds of pepper, the dried oregano (if using), and the olive oil. Use a fork or whisk to mix everything together until the oil is fully incorporated.
- Use immediately, or let the sauce marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes for a little more flavor.
- Store leftover sauce in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.