This delicious tomato sauce is made with canned San Marzano tomatoes for a simple, yet flavorful sauce that can be paired with your favorite pasta. This tasty sauce is ready in just 30 minutes.

San Marzano Tomato Sauce
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With grocery costs rising, I wanted to share a simple, yet delicious tomato sauce recipe that can be made with canned tomatoes. My favorite store-bought tomato sauce is delicious but at nearly $8 a jar, it’s not exactly a budget-friendly pick. I wanted to see if I could create a similar tasting sauce for a fraction of the cost and it turned out to be easier than I expected!

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • San Marzano tomatoes– The type of tomato is important for this recipe, so be sure you have real canned San Marzano tomatoes.
  • Olive oil- A high quality extra virgin olive oil is important. With just a few ingredients in this recipe, you want to make sure each one is adding great flavor. I like the O Olive oil brand or California Olive Ranch.
  • Garlic– Don’t skimp on the garlic! I recommend mincing whole garlic cloves rather than buying pre-minced garlic.
  • Oregano– You can use fresh or dried oregano. If using fresh, you’ll want to use 1-2 teaspoons of fresh leaves, chopped. I used dried oregano to keep this pantry-friendly.
  • Basil– This is optional but I love adding fresh basil for a little color.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes- I like adding a little heat, but you can leave them out if you dislike spicy things.

What are San Marzano Tomatoes?

San Marzano tomatoes are a type of plum tomato known as one of the best varieties of tomato for making sauces. These tomatoes are grown in the San Marzano region near Naples, Italy, and are loved for their sweet, mild flavor, low acidity, and meaty texture.

Due to their quality and popularity, San Marzano tomatoes have been granted a protected designation of origin (PDO) by the European Union, meaning that only tomatoes grown in the designated region of Italy can legally be labeled as San Marzano tomatoes. Be sure to check your can to be sure they are certified San Marzano tomatoes. The quality of the ingredients is important in a recipe like this.

Sauce Variations

If you want to add salty, umami flavor to this sauce, add a Parmesan rind to the skillet when simmering the tomatoes. This is a great way to use up the end of the cheese and add flavor to the sauce.

If you want to add more flavor to this hearty tomato sauce, add one teaspoon of Italian seasoning instead of the oregano.

I like my San Marzano sauce slightly chunky so I gently broke up the tomatoes using the back of a spoon. But if you want a smooth sauce, you can use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until you get your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

How to Make San Marzano Tomato Sauce