Tomato Sauce from Canned Tomatoes – Quick and Easy

Need a quick and easy tomato sauce using canned tomatoes? You’ve come to the right place.

tomato sauce on spoon
Delicious tomato sauce or marinara sauce made with canned tomatoes.

This tasty tomato sauce or marinara sauce comes together quickly with affordable, readily available ingredients. It’s perfect for any pasta dish when garden fresh tomatoes are out of season.

tomato sauce ingredients
Turn these simple, affordable ingredients into a delicious tomato sauce.

It takes about 5 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook down into a delicious sauce for a quick pasta dinner.

tomato sauce in pot
Cook sauce for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the liquid and allow flavors to absorb.

You can use crushed, diced, stewed or whole tomatoes – whatever you have on hand will work. We like our tomato sauce with a little bit of texture but without big chunks of tomato. To get that consistency I use diced, halved or whole tomatoes that I puree just a little with an immersion blender. You can use a blender or food processor – a couple of short pulses should do the trick. Avoid turning your tomatoes into pure liquid!

tomato sauce on spoon
Use an immersion blender on whole or diced tomatoes to get the desired texture.

Tomato Sauce from Canned Tomatoes 

Print Recipe
4.43 from 7 votes

Tomato Sauce with Canned Tomatoes

A quick and tasty tomato sauce made from canned tomatoes and seasoned with Italian herbs and spices. Perfect for any pasta dish.
Prep : 5 mins
Cook : 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Author: Getty Stewart


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can tomatoes 796 ml/28 oz*
  • 1 can tomato paste 156 ml/5.5oz
  • 1 TbspItalian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


  • In large saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat.
  • Add onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • Makes: 31/2-4 cups


Use whatever type of canned tomatoes you have. If tomato pieces are too large, chop to desired size with knife or an immersion blender. If using a food processor or blender, pulse lightly to avoid turning tomatoes into liquid.
In place of Italian Seasoning use a combination of basil, oregano, thyme and parsley.
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How To Freeze this Tomato Sauce

This sauce freezes beautifully. In fact, make a double batch and plan to put some in the freezer so you have a convenient freezer meal ready to go.

To freeze:

  • Cool sauce completely. This prevents condensation and ice crystal build up. It also prevents warming up the freezer.
  • Label a freezer bag or container. You don’t want to have guess what it is later on.
  • If using a rigid container leave 5-10 cm (1-2 inches) of headspace to allow for expansion.
  • If using a bag, squeeze out most of the air from the bag and lay flat on a cookie sheet or serving tray. Place in freezer to freeze flat.
  • Use within 6 – 12 months.
    tomato sauce
    Freeze this sauce for a quick and easy pasta dinner.

How To Use This Tomato Sauce

Just in case you’re not sure how, when or where you might use this tomato sauce, here are some ideas.

  • use as is on top of spaghetti or your favorite pasta
  • sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving over pasta or gnocchi
  • add meatballs for spaghetti with meatballs
  • use in bolognese (meat sauce) or chili
  • use in any recipe calling for a jar of canned pasta or marinara sauce eg. lasagna, stuffed manicotti
  • use instead of canned tomatoes in braises or stews eg. chicken parmigiana, oven braised beef, whole cauliflower in tomato sauce
  • use in soups, either in small amounts for added flavor to a broth based soup or as the base for a thick tomato rich soup

How will you enjoy your quick and easy tomato sauce? Keep me posted. When you make this recipe, write me a note or post a photo on Instagram with #getgettys so I can see it and like it!

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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  1. If I use a can of Italian Chopped Tomatoes or Seasoned Diced Tomatoes, would I still season as you suggest? Thanks.

    1 TbspItalian seasoning
    1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper

    1. Hi Gus,
      I would do a taste test and judge based on that. Add as much or as little additional seasoning as you feel necessary. I’d probably add a little bit, but it all depends on the variety and how strong the seasoning in the canned tomatoes is. Good luck.

    1. I am a personal chef. I was out of tomato sauce. I found this recipe and it is a great tomato sauce. Easy and delicious. Much better than the premade canned sauce. I love being able to adjust the spices to my liking. Thanks. Ron

      1. Glad you’re enjoying it, Ron! I agree adjusting spices to your own preferences is the best.

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