If you’ve ever thought about making sauce with fresh tomatoes, but weren’t quite sure how to do it, I’ve got you covered with my Easy Roasted Tomatoes for Sauce and Freezing. Seriously, anyone can do this! There’s no time intensive peeling or coring involved. Simply clean, cut, roast, process, and freeze or use immediately. Roasting tomatoes for sauce and freezing couldn’t be any easier! .

This updated post was originally published September 17, 2013.

Roasted tomatoes on pan

Why roast tomatoes?

Besides the time savings and ease of preparation, there are lots of reasons to try roasting tomatoes.

  • First one, obviously, you can season it however you like. Prefer to add garlic? Go ahead and add some in! Same for basil or thyme or any other herbs and spices you can think of. This recipe simply uses olive oil and a little kosher salt.
  • Second is flavor. Roasting brings out the full, wonderful flavor of tomatoes. Under heat, the natural sweetness of the tomato is heightened and concentrated, and there’s a lot more depth to the flavor too. Just so good!
  • Third, not only can you modify the herbs and spices for your own tastes, you can determine how much salt, or sodium, is added to your tomatoes and sauce. That’s pretty useful if you’re following a low sodium diet or just trying to reduce the sodium you eat in general.
  • Fourth, there’s less food waste. If you garden or are part of CSA, you’re often getting more tomatoes than you can use or eat at one time. Roasting them and turning them into a sauce that can be frozen for later use is a wonderful way to use them and not have to throw them out.

Are roasted tomatoes healthy?

Tomatoes are packed with nutrients! They’re high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene, and low in calories, fat, and sodium. Also, when you cook them, you end up with a higher concentration of lycopene than you do with fresh tomatoes. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives tomotoes some of their color, and there’s research showing they may help with cancer risk and heart health. Roasted tomatoes are definitely a wise choice that fit into an overall healthy diet.

FAQ’s and cooking tips for Easy Roasted Tomatoes:

Do I need to peel tomatoes before roasting?

No need to peel the tomatoes before you roast them! This dramatically cuts down the time needed to make your own homemade sauce. No more cooking them over a hot stove, and then forcing them through a sieve to remove all the skins and seeds. That takes a long time, at least for me it did; and I always felt guilty throwing away all those skins too. Sure, I got the pulp, but I eat the skin on a raw tomato – why not cooked? Good ahead and roast them with the peel.

Do I need to core tomatoes before roasting?

While you can remove the core before roasting, if you like, you don’t have to. I found that roasting softens the core of most tomatoes and it’s easily blended into the sauce when you process it. However, if your tomatoes have a thick or large core, it’s fine to cut it out when cutting the tomatoes in half – especially if you like a super smooth sauce.

What types of dishes can I use easy roasted tomato sauce in?

There’s a plethora of recipes available that call for tomato sauce. And you can use this Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce in any of them. Some of my favorite ways to use it are in spaghetti sauce, chili, enchilada sauce, and tomato soup. You might enjoy my Roasted Tomato Soup recipe on a chilly fall or winter night.

What kind of tomatoes can I use for roasting?

I find Roma or paste tomatoes work best when roasting, especially if you plan to make sauce with them. They have thicker walls and less juice, which makes for a nicer sauce. If you happen to have a lot of cherry tomatoes, take a look at my Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce. It’s one of our most popular recipes here on Healthy Ideas Place.

Homemade tomato sauce in plastic containers on wooden cutting board

How to roast tomatoes for sauce

  • Gather enough Roma or paste tomatoes to cover at least two jelly roll pans after the tomatoes are halved. I used about 21 medium-sized Roma tomatoes on each pan.
  • Line pans with foil and coat with olive oil. Place halved tomatoes on the pans and season with more olive oil and salt (if desired). Place pans in oven and roast until soft and somewhat shrunk. You may see some carmelization, or browning, on the skins as well.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and cool slightly. Then process in a food processor or blender and freeze.

If you’ve never experienced tomato sauce made from freshly picked tomatoes, you’re missing something good. Season it any way you like with garlic, basil, thyme, or maybe a little sea salt, or perhaps with cumin, cilantro, and oregano. However you decide to season it, there’s an unmistakable taste of fresh, clean, real tomato flavor. And freezing your own sauce locks that in.

Roasting makes it easy to prepare and freeze your own fresh-from-the-garden tomato sauce – or fresh-from-the-farmer’s-market if that is the case. I love everything about this method. There’s very little waste. You end up with a delicious, healthy product, and it’s easy. Anyone can do this! Anyone. Here’s the recipe.

Easy Roasted Tomatoes for Sauce and Freezing

Easy Roasted Tomatoes for Sauce and Freezing – Anyone can do this! No peeling or coring needed. Just clean, cut, roast, process, and freeze or use immediately. This delicious sauce can be used in any recipe that calls for tomato sauce.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, Roasted, summer, tomatoes
Servings: 24 1/4 cup servings
Calories: 23kcal


  • 42 whole Roma tomatoes
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt optional


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line your pans with foil (for easy clean-up) and drizzle half the olive oil on the foil.
  • Wash all the tomatoes, remove stems (and core if desired), and slice in half length-wise. Place them on the foil-lined pans, cut-side down. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle kosher salt evenly over the tomatoes, if desired.
  • Place pan(s) in pre-heated oven. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, checking them after 40 minutes. Tomatoes should be soft and somewhat shrunk. A little browning on the skins is fine, but be careful not to roast too long or you’ll make tomato paste or dried tomatoes! Remove pans from oven when done and cool slightly.
  • Slide the roasted tomatoes into a food processor and blend together, in batches, till smooth or of desired consistency. If you want to use it immediately, return to a large pot and season with your herbs and spices of choice. Continue reading for freezing directions.
  • Ladle into clean, pint-sized freezer boxes, leaving 1/2 inch head space (that’s the space between the top of the sauce and the rim of the box).Cover with a clean lid. Label the contents, date it, and place in your freezer.


**Make about 3 pints of sauce.
Nutrition facts (per 1/4 cup serving): 23 calories, 1 gm fat, 4 gm carbohydrate, 1 gm protein, 1 gm fiber, 45 mg sodium, 221 mg potassium.
Easy roasted tomatoes on pan and in freezer containers

Thank you for sharing!


  1. I’m going to share this with my mom! She makes sauce by simmering it all day. This sounds a lot easier! Thanks for sharing at the hop. 🙂

    1. I think that’s one of the beauties of roasting the tomatoes. You can cook them longer and make it more of a paste than a sauce. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Hi Can the sauce be stored in ziplock freeer bags or mason jars instead? Would I thaw it first before using or can I heat it up while still frozen?

    1. I’ve only used freezer boxes, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use freezer bags or even mason jars if you left enough head room. I usually take it out of the freezer and start heating it up right away on the stove, making sure I stir it often till I get enough liquid on the bottom. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. You could use other tomatoes, but they will be juicier and would likely produce a thinner sauce. I haven’t used slicing tomatoes for this so I’d keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time as needed. Hope that helps!

  3. Pingback: Freezer Tips and Inventory
  4. I don’t like to eat raw tomatoes, but have been making my own tomato sauce for some time and love it. So this year, we grew a large vegetable garden and decided to try growing tomatoes for sauce. Thank you so, so much for this recipe and inspiration because I didn’t know how exactly to go from the plant to the sauce! My tomatoes are a native Arizona tomato so I ended up with more paste than sauce/puree, but that is more than fine because I’ll just thin it with the other usual sauce ingredients when ready to make my sauce. I’m freezing some and keeping some out to use as the sauce base. I am fairly certain I could use this as a straight sauce, but it is pretty thick.

    I followed your recipe but also roasted a head of garlic at the same time (when you mention roasting veggies and drizzling olive oil, it only made sense to me to roast garlic too). Once everything was soft and cooked, I put it into my blender (yes, the whole garlic head; peeled, of course) and the result is nothing short of amazingly delicious! Wow. Seriously. So, so good.

    1. Melissa – I’m so glad to hear you tried it and liked it! I’ve also added roasted garlic and it’s wonderful too. Thanks for visiting and letting me know how well you liked the recipe!

  5. Could I process the roasted tomatoes using a foodmill instead of a Cuisinart so the seeds and skin could be separated from the sauce? Or do you have any other suggestions for separating the seeds and skin.

    1. Hi Margaret – Yes, you can process the tomatoes with a food mill if you prefer a more smooth sauce. I’ve done that myself when I wanted a smoother sauce for certain recipes. I usually don’t mind the skin and seeds, but for some recipes like it without the skin and seeds. Just put the tomatoes through the food mill and use or freeze after that. Have a great day!

  6. Just yesterday my cousin texted me and asked me about freezing tomatoes and this is the first post that popped up as I landed on your site. Perfect…sending her the link 🙂

  7. Thank you, I needed “easy” since I’m rehabbing from knee surgery and my kitchen counter is full of fresh home grown tomatoes from our garden. I’m looking forward to trying all of the recipe ideas.

  8. Hello, this is a great recipe that we do as well, we roast Roma tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, pepperincino, salt, pepper, and a little bit of sugar. My question is, can we do water canning with these to preserve them longer in mason jars to save space in the freezer. Thanks

    1. That is a great question, Rick! I have never tried canning this recipe, so I hesitate to give advice on that, especially since canning requires a certain level of acidity to be safe – and the oil and garlic are sure to lower the acidity level of the sauce. I think your best bet is to look at the USDA Home Canning Guide. Here’s a link: https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html#gsc.tab=0. Your recipe sounds delicious, by the way. If you find further information on how to can roasted tomatoes, feel free to send it our way as well!

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