This homemade tomato sauce is ridiculously easy to make with only 2 ingredients and spices! This recipe is refined-sugar-free and oil-free. Instead, this tomato sauce is naturally sweetened with dates which makes it a great, healthier alternative to most store-bought tomato sauces. Serve it with some baked potatoes/fries or vegan chicken nuggets as a dip or use it for your next pizza or pasta dish.
What you need to make this homemade tomato sauce
To make this simple and flavorful tomato sauce, you'll need
- 1 kg tomatoes
- 2 dates (I used medjool dates)
To add lots of flavor, I also added
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- soy sauce
- cayenne pepper or chili powder/flakes for a spicy version of this homemade tomato sauce
This homemade tomato sauce is refined sugar free
Most store-bought tomato sauces and ketchups have lots of added sugar in them. Making your own tomato sauce from scratch is a great way to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. While a little bit of refined sugar is fine, currently we are simply consuming too much sugar (mostly due to processed foods) and it's contributing to many life-style related diseases.
This recipe uses dates as a natural sweetener instead. The benefit of using dates is that the sugar is not isolated/processed, but it comes with a whole package of other nutrients as well as fiber and antioxidants that are good for us.
Do you need to peel tomatoes for homemade tomato sauce?
It depends! If you want a super, super smooth tomato sauce, then the tomato peels might become a problem because they don't blend that well and might become unpleasant.
I would, however, recommend not peeling your tomatoes because many nutrients are actually stored in the tomato sauce. Plus, it's a lot of work to peel all of your tomatoes.
An alternative is to pass the blended tomatoes through a sieve. This removes the larger pieces of tomato peel and your sauce will be smoother.
What tomatoes are best for homemade tomato sauce?
Generally, smaller tomatoes hold more flavor than larger tomatoes. Also, different kinds of tomatoes have different amounts of seeds, a different texture and more or less water in them. All of this can effect the way your tomato sauce turns out.
I would recommend using one of the following tomatoes for making homemade tomato sauce:
- Roma tomatoes
- San Marzano tomatoes
- cherry tomatoes
How to make this homemade tomato sauce from scratch
Step 1: Blend tomatoes and dates
The first step is to add your tomatoes and dates (remove the pits before) to a blender and blend well until reasonably smooth. Depending on the amount of tomato sauce you want to make and the size of your blender, you can do this in two batches or add half of the tomatoes, blend, then add the other half.
Make sure that there are no large pieces of dates remaining. It can make sense to add the dates first with a few tomatoes only and blend until smooth before adding the remaining tomatoes.
Step 2: Pass through a sieve
Next, you'll want to add the blended tomatoes through a sieve to remove any large pieces of tomato peel. Your tomato sauce will have a very light and pink color at this point. Don't worry, it will turn a nice dark red once we simmer it.
Step 3: Reduce
The tomato sauce will also be very liquid at this point. The next step is to add your sauce to a pot and let it simmer (on medium heat) for 40 minutes.
This will reduce the sauce so it becomes thicker and also the color will turn a nice red.
Step 4: Add seasoning
Finally, it's time to add the seasoning. Give everything a good mix and adjust if necessary. Then, return to the heat and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Now you can use it right away or let it cool and transfer it to a container for storage. This tomato sauce is best stored in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to a week.
What can I serve homemade tomato sauce with?
Homemade tomato sauce is super versatile! Here are a few ideas how you can use it:
- serve as a dip with fries/potato wedges
- serve as a dip with vegan nuggets (check out these vegan chicken nuggets)
- serve as a dip with tofu nuggets
- make a pasta sauce like this lentil bolognese or this mushroom bolognese
- make lasagna
- use as a sauce on pizza
Homemade Tomato Sauce (sugar-free, oil-free)
- blender or food processor
- 1 kg tomatoes
- 2 dates medjool
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper/chili powder optional
- 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- Blend the tomatoes and dates (pit removed) until smooth.
- Strain through a sieve.
- Add to a pot on medium heat and simmer for 40 minutes to reduce. The sauce should become a lot thicker and change color from light pink to dark red.
- Add sesaoning and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately or let cool before transferring to air-tight containers to store.
Did you make this homemade tomato sauce?
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