This easy one pot vegan tomato sauce is made all in one pot, with no browning or dicing beforehand – toss it all in the pot and let it simmer, puree, and done.
This is just a simple vegan tomato sauce, but the easiest and best-tasting I’ve ever made. It’s very loosely based off a version my mom makes, but she adds a load of butter – this recipe uses olive oil and not nearly as much.
The idea behind this sauce is a long(ish) cooking time and good, basic ingredients. I love chucking all of the ingredients into the pot and forgetting about it. No fine dicing, no browning, no preheating the pot.
All you have to do, then, is empty a jar of tomatoes into a pot and add onion, garlic, salt and pepper, a little balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Herbs are optional but delicious and you can mix it up with what you like best. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, or up to four hours, and puree. That’s it.
Why is it good?
I’ve thought about this a lot. You might think, like I did, that a tomato sauce needs to have those extra elements and techniques to make it more flavourful – the browning, the sweating of the onions, maybe a little sweetener. Turns out it definitely doesn’t.
This marinara is ultra flavourful but missing that slightly bitter note that a not-great vegan tomato sauce can often have. Simmering for a long time and subtracting the browning element results in a sweet, subtle end result that you’ll want to keep eating forever. No sugar needed.
Adding a bit more olive oil than you usually would makes a difference too, of course, rounding everything out and adding a smoothness that’s otherwise missing. I always use extra virgin olive oil in cooking. I know it may seem strange and against how you might have first learned to make tomato sauce, but trust me, it’s great.
It’s also about the easiest sauce you’ll ever make and totally foolproof. This is the recipe I give to kids (or adults!) who are first learning to cook.
The recipe calls for a bay leaf and thyme. Those are my go-to additions and I don’t recommend leaving the bay out, but you can change up the other herbs as you like. I usually also add oregano, basil if I have it, and if I don’t have any fresh herbs on hand, I like herbs de Provence here.
If you want to mix things up and take it from a basic marinara to a different sauce altogether. Oat cream or another plant based cream makes a nice fake vodka sauce (my favourite – seen above with the pasta), or stir in some pesto at the end of cooking.
Fresh tomatoes can be used here 1:1 for canned if you have an excess, and taste spectacular. I use any whole (plum) tomatoes I can find, it doesn’t matter which brand, but they’re often better quality than diced or chopped.
Serve this with any pasta you like – this kamut pasta is my favourite – or with vegan meatballs, red lentil falafel, on pizza, however you like tomato sauce. It freezes really well and you can easily make a big batch to freeze for later.
Let’s connect! If you liked this recipe, make sure to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you’re making, and stay in touch via email, facebook, and pinterest.
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 can whole tomatoes (400ml / 13.5 oz.)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)*
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh or dried herbs**
- Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic. Place them into a pot with the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and dried herbs (if using - fresh are added later).
- Cover and heat the pot over high to bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer gently, covered, for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
- Puree the sauce with an immersion blender or a heat-safe standing blender. Taste and season as needed.
- This freezes very well for up to 3 months and keeps in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a sealed container.
* I use at least double this amount of salt for mine but I think others prefer a less seasoned sauce, so go by your preference as always.
** I typically use a couple tablespoons of fresh thyme here or a handful of basil if I have it. If using dry, a teaspoon or two will do. You can also add a bay leaf to the mix, just take it out before blending.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 355mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.