Got Tomatoes? Easy Tomato Sauce for Freezing

by Sarah on August 18, 2014

Undercover Caterer :: Easy Freezer Tomato Sauce

So.  I went on vacation.  It was quite lovely actually–we went to Washington D.C, then I went on to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob houses, then spent a few days in Pittsburgh.  I’ve gotten to see quite a few American cities that I’d never been to this summer and I’ve loved every second of it.

My garden on the other hand, has not loved it so much—though the tomatoes haven’t seemed to mind my absence.  The photo above is just a portion of what I had waiting for me today, and they weren’t going to wait much longer.

Undercover Caterer :: Easy Freezer Tomato Sauce

You can see some of my nerdy pursuits above—-art, food, architecture, modern design.  And food.  Oh, I said that already.  Also:  Mr. Rogers.  How could you not visit Mr. Rogers if and when you are ever in his neighborhood? He likes me just the way I am—and that’s a good thing because he might be the only one.

Undercover Caterer :: Easy Freezer Tomato Sauce

Anyway, tomatoes.  For the last couple of years, I’ve been taken with canning sauce, canning whole tomatoes, salsas, marinara, etc.  But with the recent whirlwind trip and the resulting piles of ‘day job’ work haunting me, I decided that today we needed to take the easy way out.  And that is with my usual old quickie basic sauce, frozen flat in plastic gallon baggies.  No peeling, no seeding, nothing. It’s about the easiest thing ever.  You can make it as plain or not-plain as you like.  I used some dried herbs (the heat and Great Drought of 2014 killed all of my live herbs except the basil and rosemary), onion, garlic and tossed in a handful of fresh basil at the end.  I recommend using onion at the very least and then you can go from there.

It’s just oil in pan, onions on low, add tomato, cook a very long time, stirring occasionally.  Got that?

Undercover Caterer :: Easy Freezer Tomato Sauce

Once you’re done fiddling with it, let it sit and cool to room temperature before ladling it into zipper bags.  With the zipper up, push out all of the air and zip them as close to the sauce as you can.  Lay them flat in your freezer–you can stack them up on top of one another to save space.  Just leave them be till they are frozen solid, then you can move them wherever.

Undercover Caterer :: Easy Freezer Tomato Sauce

And the moral of this story is:  Go ahead and ignore your tomato plants and let them go crazy.  You can make 6 quarts of good tomato sauce in one day, with the most minimal of attention and effort!

Easy Tomato Sauce for Freezing


  • 7 quarts tomatoes, halved (A roma-type tomato is best, though you can use whatever you want)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sugar, salt, pepper
  • dried herbs of your choosing (I used oregano, thyme, bay leaf and dried chile flakes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • fresh basil


  • Heat a large Dutch oven or large stock pot (not aluminum). Add oil.
  • Add onion and cook over low heat until translucent. Add garlic and dried herbs if you wish. (Quantity to taste, but I used 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 Tbsp dried oregano, 2 bay leaves). Stir and let cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  • Add all of the tomatoes. (If it looks like too many, add most and let them cook down a bit before adding the others. Stir occasionally so that they cook evenly.
  • Let cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until cooked down and slightly reduced (Mine was approx 6 quarts after reduction). The tomatoes should appear to be a chunky sauce.
  • Taste and add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. The sugar is to 'round out' the sharp tomato flavor. If you prefer to omit it, that is fine.
  • Because we left the skins on the tomatoes, use a stick blender to smooth out the texture if you wish. I don't like to puree it completely smooth.
  • Add the basil and chile flake if you wish and stir through. Taste again and adjust as needed.
  • When sauce is cool, ladle into zip bags, push out all of the air, zip, and freeze flat. Only fill the bags halfway or they will not lay down flat.

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