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Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce with Secret Ingredients!


Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

I love the time of year when the farmer’s markets are filled with juicy ripe tomatoes. In my neck of the world, the time is now!


One of my favorite things to make with these beautiful tomatoes is a fresh garden tomato sauce filled with goodies from the garden. I like creating all different flavors of garden tomato sauces, but this recipe is my most basic and probably also my most favorite version.


If you scour the internet, most garden tomato sauces are all pretty much the same. But I have a few secret ingredients that I think totally take it from a good tomato sauce to “ohmigosh I need the recipe” tomato sauce.

And those secret ingredients are…….


Balsamic vinegar and butter!

We all know that butter makes everything better and the balsamic gives the sauce such a wonderful depth of flavor that is missing in most tomato sauce recipes. The sweetness of the balsamic also cuts the acidity of the tomatoes without having to use sugar. Win-win.


Feel free to play around with my basic recipe by adding additional veggies. You can also adjust the texture with a blender to get this sauce perfect for you. Try adding some green pepper, black olives, carrots, mushrooms or even some parmesan cheese. After the sauce is done simmering, you can blend it with an immersion blender to make it silky smooth or you can leave it chunky like I like it. But, whatever you do, don’t forget that butter and balsamic! 🙂


I love eating this tomato sauce with my homemade meatballs (recipe coming soon!) and zucchini spaghetti that I make with my Spirelli (best invention ever). Enjoy!


Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce with Secret Ingredients!
Serves: Makes about 1.5 quarts
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 4 lbs of tomatoes (about 7 large tomatoes), skin removed
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • pinch or two of dried red pepper flakes (I add 2 small pinches, but this adds some spice so be careful or omit it if you don't like it spicy!)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or ghee if you are sensitive to dairy)
  1. To get the tomato skins off easily:
  2. Cut a shallow X into the stem end of your tomatoes.
  3. Place them in a pot of boiling water for 20 seconds each.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, take them out of the boiling water and immediately dip them in ice cold water for 10 seconds.
  5. The skins will peel right off!
  6. After the skins are removed, roughly chop the tomatoes.
  7. You can get as many seeds out as you like or leave them in.
  8. Set cut tomatoes aside.
  9. In a large pot, add your olive oil over medium heat.
  10. Add your onions and garlic and salt and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  11. Pour in your balsamic vinegar and let simmer for about a minute.
  12. Add in the chopped tomatoes, basil, oregano and parsley and red pepper flakes. Add some more salt and pepper, to taste.
  13. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  14. Right before you take it off the heat, stir 2 tablespoons of butter.
  15. You can leave your sauce chunky or you can blend it with an immersion blender until it reaches your desired consistency.
  16. Enjoy!
Resist letting this simmer for longer than 25 minutes. When you are using fresh herbs, it's important not to overcook them because they will lose their freshness and flavor!

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  1. Avatar

    I am looking for some recipies that I can create quick meals with. So can I can this sauce? Water bath or does it have to be pressure canned?

  2. Avatar

    Hey!! What type of balsamic do you use? I would love a sulfite free vinager, but i havent had any luck finding one.

  3. Avatar


    Washington State’s Honey Ridge Farms, known for its artisanal honeys and honey crèmes, has recently created a Honey Balsamic Vinegar—slightly sweeter in taste than Balsamic vinegar but with a similar tarty zing.

    True Balsamic vinegar comes from Modena in Italy, but the new product is “similar in taste and color to Balsamic, so it’s a good, descriptive word to use [in the name],” explains creator Leeanne Goetz. Replacing grapes with honey, Honey Ridge Farms ferments honey into a mead, a honey-based alcoholic beverage and then converts it to vinegar. Goetz is part of a large, extended beekeeping family that spans five generations. She sources most of her honey from her son who has 750 bee colonies, as well as from other family members and a small circle of local beekeepers.

    One of the most exciting aspects of Honey Balsamic Vinegar is that, unlike most vinegars, it is sulfite-free for allergy sufferers. The Goetz household cooks with it often. “We use it in salads and marinades for meat, or dip bread in it,” Goetz notes. “I will sometimes drink a teaspoon of it, I’m kind of hooked on it!”

    Honey Balsamic Vinegar is available for about $14 at specialty food shops across the country, including some Whole Foods Markets, or at honeyridgefarms.com.

  4. Avatar

    Thank you laurakouba@gmail.com!!!! I will have to see if I can find that!!

  5. Avatar

    Can I use all the ingredients including the butter if I can this recepie? I use a water bath canning method not a pressure cooking method, even the balsamic vinegar? Or should I leave the butter and vinegar out for now? Also if using a regular balsamic would that spoil the recipe?

    Thank you

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