Quick Tomato Sauce

Total Time:
55 min
15 min
Inactive Prep:
40 min
3 1/2 cups


  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno chile, optional
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup drained and chopped oil-packed dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano


Open the can of tomatoes and pour off the juice into a bowl. Use the lid to press against the tomatoes to extract as much juice as possible. Squeeze the tomatoes to a pulp using your hands. Reserve the juice and pulp separately and set the empty can aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. If using the jalapeno, tilt the pan to collect the oil in a little pool against the side and drop the jalapeno into the oil. Cook until light brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the jalapeno and reserve.

Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly until light gold, and then pour in the tomato juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer rapidly for several minutes, and then add the crushed tomato pulp. Rinse the remaining pulp out of the can by filling it halfway with water, and then pour that into the pan. Add the bay leaf, jalapeno, if using, and salt and pepper to taste and return to a boil. Add the dried tomatoes and stir.

Lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the mixture thickens and the tomatoes have turned an orange-red verses the pale blue-red they were straight from the can, about 30 minutes. Add the oregano halfway through the cooking.

Discard the bay leaf. Peel, seed, and mash the jalapeno with a spoonful of sauce and pass at the table so diners can add as much heat as they like to their plates.


This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.