Clean-Eating Nirvana: Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

A fresh tomato is one of the joys of summer,
a palmful of sunshine that is one of the most versatile fruits out there.
~ William Porter, The Denver Post 

Although my mom is a master gardener and my family in Texas rave about big tomato crops every spring, I prefer to leave the gardening to others. Here in Denver, we don’t even plant til after Mother’s Day, so our tomatoes are ripening right about now.

Freezing whole tomatoes doesn’t appeal to me particularly, but I do love making a big batch of delicous tomato sauce for freezing in individual or  portions. Clean eating at its best! With its mega dose of antioxidents, vitamin C, and iron, garden fresh tomato sauce is perfect for spaghetti squash, stew, barbecue sauce, marinade, parmigiana, enchilada sauce, or pizza sauce.

Clean-Eating Nirvana: Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

Adapted from

Freeze this recipe in family- or individual-sized portions for up to 6 months, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Makes about 6 cups


  • 5 lbs cored fresh whole tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (optional)


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make a small X in the bottom of each tomato and plunge into the boiling water until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute.


IMG_2451sm2. Chop the tomatoes, reserving any juice.


3. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (and any juice), basil, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar (if using). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.


4. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or sugar and serve or let cool and freeze.



Per 1/2-cup serving:
Calories: 72
Carbs: 2g
Protein: 2g
Fat: 4g

This article originally appeared on

6 thoughts on “Clean-Eating Nirvana: Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

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