quick tomato sauce + 50 more ways to use fresh tomatoes | healthy green kitchen

I never tire of eating the tomatoes I grow in my garden. Our tomato harvest has been positively phenomenal this year (you can see some instagram photos of my tomatoes below), so I thought it would be fun to write up an epic tomato blog post. I’m going to give you one of my new favorite recipes for fresh tomatoes, along with 50 other ideas (from my blog archives and other bloggers) for using them!

mixed tomatoes 4mixed tomatoes 1mixed tomatoes 2mixed tomatoes 3yellow tomato

Let’s talk about the quick tomato sauce first. In past years, I have water-bath canned my own tomato sauce and wasn’t that thrilled with the results. I far prefer to make and enjoy this sauce when tomatoes are abundant, and to freeze any leftovers. (Now if someone can tell me how to make a home-canned sauce that tastes like Rao’s, I’ll be ecstatic!).

quick tomato sauce | healthy green kitchen

I make this with my homegrown San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzanos are a type of plum tomatoes: they have thicker flesh and fewer seeds than other tomatoes, and I grow them every year because they have terrific flavor and are perfect for making sauces, tomato paste, etc. If you don’t have access to San Marzanos, use a variety of plum tomatoes that’s easier to find- such as Romas- for this sauce.

Quick Tomato Sauce

Yield: Makes 4+ cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

I like my tomato sauce to be chunky but if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can pass the tomatoes through a food mill (or whir them in a food processor) before use.


*1/4 cup olive oil
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 large shallot, finely chopped
*15 San Marzano or Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*2 quick pours of balsamic vinegar or to taste
*1 teaspoon sugar (this is optional...I used organic sugar; if you happen to keep vanilla sugar or rosemary sugar on hand, either of these would make a delicious additions)
*about 15 leaves of fresh basil


1. Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the minced garlic and the chopped shallot.

2. Cook over low-medium heat until the garlic/shallots are fragrant (a minute or so), then add the tomatoes, the salt, and the oregano.

3. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 more minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened a bit. Add the balsamic vinegar, the sugar, and the basil, stir to combine, and cook for another minute or two.

4. Leftovers will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator, or you may freeze the sauce for longer-term storage.

tomato sauce | healthy green kitchen

And now for 50 more ways to use fresh tomatoes! Some of these recipes are from my archives and some are from blogging buddies…I hope you get to enjoy many of them before tomato season ends!


Tomato Watermelon Salad (Shutterbean)

Old School Tomato Salad (The Clever Carrot)

Roasted Basil and Eggplant with Heirlooms and Balsamic Drizzle (With Food and Love)

Southeast Asian Tomato Salad (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Shredded Kale Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta (Sprouted Kitchen)

Salsas, Sauces, + Other Condiments Featuring Tomatoes:

Totally Rad Fermented Salsa (Revived Kitchen)

Fiery Roasted Salsa (HeartBeet Kitchen)

Roasted Tomato Salsa (Food for My Family)

Fresh Salsa with Heirloom Tomatoes (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Slow Roasted Tomato Hummus (Kalyn’s Kitchen)

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter (Food52)

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Green Tomato Chutney (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Tomato Jam (Food in Jars)

Basic Tomato Sauce (The Kitchn)

Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette (Tasty Yummies)

Homemade Tomato Paste (Saveur)


Roasted Tomato Peach Sauce with Spaghetti (Running to the Kitchen)

Melissa Clark’s Bacon, Rosemary, and Tomato Pasta (Design Sponge)

Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Black Pepper Pasta (Beard and Bonnet)

Pizzas, Pies, Tarts, and Galettes:

Heirloom Tomato Pizza (Heather Christo Cooks)

Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Galette (So, Let’s Hang Out)

Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini (Smitten Kitchen)

Simplest Tomato Tart (80Twenty)

Caprese Tart with Roasted Tomatoes (Simply Delicious Food)

French Tomato Tart (David Lebovitz)

Tomato Pie with Basil and Jalapeno (Homesick Texan)

Tomato and Black Bean Tart (Pure Ella)

Baked + Roasted Tomato Recipes:

Parmesan Tomato Gratin (Running to the Kitchen)

Roasted Cherry Tomato Bowls (Love and Lemons)

Tomatoes Provencale Recipe (Nourished Kitchen)

Roasted Tomatoes with Burrata and Pesto (A Thought for Food)

Tomato and Summer Squash Cobbler (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Roasted Tomatoes with Fontina and Thyme (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Roasted Cherry Tomato Frittata (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Slow Roasted Tomatoes (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Slow Roasted Tomato BLT (Closet Cooking)

Stuffed Baked Tomatoes (Happyolks)


Chilled Double Tomato Soup (Gourmande in the Kitchen)

Roasted Tomato Gazpacho (Savory Simple)

Roasted Tomato Soup (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Raw Tomato Basil Soup (Healthy Green Kitchen)

Other Delicious-Looking Ways to Eat Tomatoes:

Farmer’s Market Cornbread with Sweet Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, and Sheep’s Cheese (The Bojon Gourmet)

Pan Con Tomate (Chez Us)

Bruschetta with Tomato Sauce, Balsamic, and Fresh Fennel (Food Loves Writing)

Rainbow Tomato Bruschetta with Basil and Ricotta (Leaf and Grain)

Grilled Tomato Skewers (White on Rice Couple)

Fried Green Tomatoes (Table for Two)

Oat Crepes with Tomatoes, Basil and Goat Cheese (Naturally Ella)

Vanilla Cornmeal Crumb Cake with Candied Cherry Tomatoes (How Sweet Eats)



  1. 1

    Amanda Paa — August 18, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

    So many great recipes to put on my bucket list! I always carry home a big 20 pound box of tomatoes from the farmers market right about this time of year and spend a weekend preserving them to have in the middle of winter when anything fresh is a blessing. I’m so jealous of all those beautiful heirlooms coming out of your garden. Thank you for sharing my Fiery Roasted Salsa! xo

    • Winnie replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 8:42 am

      You are welcome, Amanda! Enjoy those tomatoes!

  2. 2

    Julia — August 19, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

    Great round-up! I have so many summer tomatoes waiting to be used so I can’t wait to try some of these.

    • Winnie replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 8:37 am


  3. 3

    KalynsKitchen — August 20, 2014 @ 10:06 pm

    Your tomatoes are gorgeous; I am having serious garden envy.

    Great round-up; thanks for including me!

    • Winnie replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 8:36 am

      You are very welcome, Kalyn!

  4. 4

    Debbie — August 21, 2014 @ 12:32 am

    So happy to have found you!!!!

    Looking forward to new advert irons recipes…Thanks :)

  5. 5

    Paula — August 22, 2014 @ 9:41 am

    I’m so glad that I’ve found this :) I will definitely try your tomato sauce the next time I make pasta. So far, I sometimes added a bit of chili powder to the sauce – it really gave it a nice flavor – check it out here: http://www.listonic.com/protips/get/qzhgvapoih

  6. 6

    wendy — August 24, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

    Rao’s Marinara Sauce

    Rao’s Marinara over pasta ◾2 cans Rao’s Imported Italian Peeled Tomatoes
    ◾¼ cup Rao’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    ◾2 oz. saltpork, cut in small pieces (opt.)
    ◾3 tablespoons minced onion
    ◾2 garlic cloves, peeled & minced
    ◾6 leaves fresh basil, torn
    ◾Pinch of dried oregano
    ◾Salt and pepper to taste

    Place Rao’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add saltpork to pan. Saute 5 minutes or until fat has been rendered. Discard saltpork. Saute onion for 3 minutes or until translucent . Add garlic and saute until just softened. Stir in Rao’s Imported Italian Peeled Tomatoes, reserved juice and salt. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook for about an hour or until flavors have combined and sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in basil, oregano and pepper and cook for an additional minute.

    ~ Makes 7 cups

    • Winnie replied: — September 18th, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

      Thank you so much for this!!!

  7. 7

    dee m — August 25, 2014 @ 9:48 pm

    Awww tomato love!! I loved seeing all your beautiful heirlooms. I planted 38 different heirloom tomato varieties this year! I see some similar ones here. Thank you for this wonderful list of goodness awaiting for me to dive into.

    I will start harvesting many of mine this week. I am always looking for new tried and true recipes. Thank you! :)

  8. 8

    Joyti — August 26, 2014 @ 10:56 pm

    First, I’m jealous of your homegrown tomato beauties. They’re gorgeous!
    And second, the sauce sounds delicious.