Homemade spaghetti sauce

classic tomato sauce

Making your own sauce is not as difficult and intimidating as it may seem. Yes, buying a jar or can of spaghetti sauce is more convenient, but the taste doesn’t even compare to homemade. Plus, store-bought is often overloaded with sodium and preservatives. Classic Tomato Sauce doesn’t take much time at all to put together, and once you taste it, you’ll feel like a true gourmet Italian chef.

Classic Tomato Sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (29-ounce) can tomato purée
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and add onion. Cook until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic, and 30 seconds, stirring constantly so garlic doesn’t burn. Add remaining ingredients, and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Recipe Notes

  • Substitute a can of crushed tomatoes for the purée.
  • Add diced green peppers, sliced mushrooms, and/or sliced olives.
  • Serve with Lentil-Spinach Meatballs and brown rice, lentils, spaghetti squash, or whole grain pasta.
  • When tomatoes are in season, substitute tomato purée with fresh, ripe tomatoes, and mix in food processor until smooth.


  1. Thank you for this one! Making it tonight (second time). I am so thankful for your help with the recipes and devotionals. I’d be lost without them!

  2. If I used fresh tomatoes to make this sauce how many would I use? I sort of always feel like I am cheating when I used canned tomato paste, sauce, or tomatoes because they do have preservatives in them. Can anyone ease my feelings of hesitation about this? Thanks.

    • It has been some time since I’ve used fresh tomatoes to make the sauce. The number depends upon the size of the tomatoes. I’d guess anywhere from 6 to 8 medium-sized tomatoes. I understand your hesitancy about using canned. Keep in mind, though, that the idea is to deny yourself on this fast as an act of worship to God. Yes, you should do your best to honor that commitment, but you don’t want to be legalistic to the point where it becomes performance-based. Does that make sense? At the same time, if you feel a strong conviction about certain foods, you should abstain. Paul says in Romans 14:14 (NLT), “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong.” I hope this helps! May God bless you as you press on to know Him!

  3. Dear Kristen, my friend has been struggling to get a job for a so many months now. He has gone for so many interviews which were amazing but the companies would not give him any follow up correspondence after the interview. On the 31st a former colleague overheard his supervisor giving a bad testimony over the phone to a potential employer who had contacted the supervisor to ask for a referee since my friend had listed this supervisor as his referee. In compassion for my friend and the needs l have for myself and my family l started the Daniel’s fast together with my mother on the 2nd of January and your website has been encouraging me a lot. But yesterday l got some disturbing news which has left me asking God so many questions l know l should not be asking. My brother who is a mechanic had an accident at work, a truck fell on his arm mysteriously and broke both bones of his forearm. He is in hospital in a stable condition but it is not looking good. The doctors are going to do reconstructive surgery on his arm at 5am today. All l need is for God to intervene and give my family peace and joy. My brother has a 9months pregnant wife who is due anytime now and this incident is so disturbing given her condition. I am not sure how l should pray for God to hear my prayers, my family has been through a lot, and l have been through a lot. I need his touch once again. PS_Ruth in South Africa.

    • Ruth, you are wise to seek God through this fast, especially with so many different issues going on. A fast is a perfect opportunity to spend focused time in prayer, claiming God’s promises for yourself and others. God is working in all of these situations, so keep pressing on. Even if things seem to get worse, keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. Your Father in Heaven loves you, loves them, and is mighty to save.

    • One more thing…the best way to pray is to pray God’s Word. Open up the Bible and speak His promises aloud. It’s not our words that contain wonder-working power, but HIS!

  4. Dear Kristen thank you for the words of encouragement. I am now on day 9 of the fast and despite my brother’s accident my mother and l continued fasting and praying. The good news is that my brother went for the first stage of his surgery yesterday and it went well he is responding to treatment. They will do the second operation hopefully next week because now his muscles are too swollen to do the complete surgery. He is in great pain but we are praying for God’s healing power to ease the pain. My family is delighted that my mother and l were fasting when the ordeal happened. We live such a mysterious life and only God knows what the future holds for us because he is seated on his throne calling our lives from the end to the beginning. I will press on to the end, God bless everyone who has listened to his voice and dedicated this month to fasting and prayer.

  5. Greetings and thanks for this recipe!! I am going to try both ways but wanted to know if it could be frozen, how and for how long? Thanks!!

  6. Jennifer Lyon says:

    My husband and I just started the Daniel Fast today. Thank you for the great recipes on your website. I can’t wait to try a lot of them! Our first dinner was corn spaghetti with your amazing sauce. I didn’t have tomato puree so I substituted tomato sauce. It was really tasty and made enough for 2 meals. My teens liked it too.

    • Hi, Jennifer! I’m glad to hear you and your husband are fasting together. What a unique bond takes place spiritually when you do. I pray the Lord strengthens you with power as you seek Him! Also, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes…and that your kids are, too!

  7. Ms. Fisher says:

    Following your recipe, I added 2 puréed figs (remove skin)for a little sweetness, I used canned whole tomatoes (puréed) for the sauce-it was a little tart at first but it turned out great by adding figs. I made a vegan eggplant parmasan using tofu as ricotta cheese substitute (a little fresh lemon juice, added some of the sautéed onions, garlic and peppers and your usual seasonigs, found on YouTube). Very filling with a salad.
    Thanks so much for the book and the website, its been so helpful. I’m starting your new book, Spirituality Strong after the fast.

    • Thanks for sharing your ideas! I’ve never thought about adding figs to sauce, but I like it. 🙂 I appreciate your comments and encouragement. And, thanks for purchasing Spiritually Strong. I pray it’s a blessing and help to you as you grow in the Lord this year!