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Homemade Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

Try my easy basil roasted garlic tomato sauce today. This pasta sauce is thick and full of garlic and fresh basil. Serve it with your favorite pasta!

homemade roasted garlic tomato sauce in a pot being stirred with a wooden spoon

Last summer, I was taking photos at a local restaurant, and one of the items was a roasted garlic dish.

It smelled heavenly. Usually, when I am offered the food after photographing, I pass. That day, however, I said “Yes, Please!” to the garlic dip and ate the whole thing.

I love garlic. I needed to eat it all. That love of garlic prompted me to make this easy recipe. 

Homemade Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

When you add a love of roasted garlic to a basil plant green thumb, you end up with an easy homemade tomato sauce. It’s so easy to make you will stop using store-bought pasta sauce the first time you make it.

While roasting the garlic bulbs, I had flashbacks to taking those photos because, Oh Man, the smell!

This easy roasted garlic sauce can be made quickly, which is fantastic.

Instead of using fresh tomatoes, you will use canned crushed tomatoes. Canned crushed tomatoes are one of my favorite ways to save time, and I always have some in my pantry.

head of roasted garlic

The hardest part about this recipe is roasting the garlic. It takes a little bit of time in the oven, but I like to use that time to do some of those “other things” on my to-do list.

Once that oven timer goes off, I gather all the other ingredients to this recipe and cook.

Many store-bought pasta sauces include sugar to cut the acidity level. Many moons ago, on some cooking show or another, I saw the chef cut their sauce’s acidity with honey, which has been my trick ever since. 

If three heads of garlic seem like too many for you, don’t be afraid to cut it down to two garlic heads. It will still taste great, but the basil may overpower the sauce. 

So much goodness in every bite either way.

pile of fresh basil

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Heads of Garlic: Roasting the garlic heads is the crucial step in this easy homemade tomato sauce. The garlic cloves are roasted until soft, sweet, and flavorful. 

Roasting is the perfect way to transform the pungent garlic into a rich, caramelized element that adds depth to the sauce.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A little olive oil is drizzled over the garlic heads before roasting. It helps to soften the garlic and infuse it with a delicate, fruity flavor. 

Crushed Tomatoes: Crushed tomatoes form the base of the sauce, providing a rich tomato flavor and a slightly chunky texture. They are often canned for convenience and consistency in flavor.

Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds thickness, richness, and concentrated tomato flavor to the sauce. It contributes to the sauce’s body and consistency.

Fresh Basil: Fresh basil is a fragrant herb that adds herbal and slightly sweet notes to the sauce. Fresh herbs enhance the sauce’s freshness and balance the rich flavors.

Honey: Honey provides a touch of natural sweetness to the sauce, balancing the acidity of the tomatoes and the depth of flavor of the roasted garlic. Many pasta sauce recipes use sugar to cut the acid, but I prefer the subtle complexity that honey brings to the taste of this sauce.

Kosher Salt: Kosher salt or sea salt is used to season the sauce and enhance the flavor profile. Salt helps to balance the honey’s sweetness and the tomatoes’ acidity.

Black Pepper: Black pepper is added to taste, providing a gentle spicy kick that complements the other flavors. It adds a layer of warmth and depth to the sauce.

roasted garlic tomato sauce on top of cooked pasta

Scroll down to see the full recipe below!

How To Make This Easy Pasta Sauce Recipe

Preheat oven and Prepare Garlic: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of each garlic head, exposing the cloves within.

Roast Garlic Heads: Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over each whole head of garlic, then securely wrap them in foil. Roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the garlic cloves become tender and caramelized.

Cool and Crush Garlic: Remove the roasted garlic heads from the oven and allow them to cool. Once cool, use a spoon to remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins. Crush the cloves in a small bowl to form a smooth paste.

Combine Ingredients in Saucepan: In a medium saucepan, combine the crushed roasted garlic paste with the remaining ingredients—crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, diced basil, honey, kosher salt, and black pepper. 

Stir the mixture well to ensure an even distribution of flavors.

Bring to a Boil and Simmer: Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. 

Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking or burning.

Adjust Seasoning: Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and pepper levels to your preference. This step ensures that the sauce is perfectly seasoned to your liking.

person using two metal serving spoons to toss pasta and pasta sauce

How to Serve Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

Serve this easy tomato sauce with the pasta of your choice.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese on top, some crusty bread to soak up any leftover sauce (one of my favorite things to do!), and a side salad.

Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper if you want a spicy kick.

Can you freeze pasta sauce?

You can freeze pasta sauce for up to 6 months. Let it cool completely, then transfer it to freezer bags or an airtight container.

To defrost frozen pasta sauce for future use, place the sealed bag or container in a bowl of warm water until the sauce has been brought to room temperature.

plate of pasta and roasted garlic tomato sauce with fresh basil
homemade roasted garlic tomato sauce in a pot being stirred with a wooden spoon

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

This roasted garlic tomato sauce recipe is an easy and delicious sauce full of garlic and fresh basil. Serve it with your favorite pasta!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 85.5kcal


  • 3 garlic heads
  • 6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons diced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of each head of garlic so the cloves are exposed.
  • Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over each garlic head, then wrap the garlic in foil.
  • Roast for 35-40 minutes or until the garlic cloves are tender.
  • Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and let cool. When cool, use a spoon to remove the roasted garlic cloves and crush them in a small bowl.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Stir well.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Adjust salt and black pepper to taste.


Calories: 85.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.8g | Protein: 2.6g | Fat: 3.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Sodium: 735.4mg | Potassium: 514.5mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 9.1g | Vitamin A: 577.2IU | Vitamin C: 14.3mg | Calcium: 45.2mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4.38 from 56 votes (56 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Bayou Andy

Monday 1st of February 2021

This is wonderful. Sorry, but I leave the honey out and use stewed tomatoes instead. No matter is a deliciously simple recipe. I love it.


Friday 1st of January 2021

This sauce was so good! I was worried about the 3 heads of garlic being too overwhelming (it’s my boyfriend who’s not a fan of ~strong~ garlic flavours, not I) so I only used 2 — next I definitely will definitely use 3. This will be my new go to pasta sauce!

Anna Anderson

Monday 27th of July 2020

This sauce is so amazing. It is so full of flavor and is so thick. I really could eat this on everything!


Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Thanks for you comment Anna! Glad you like it!


Saturday 28th of December 2019

How many cups of sauce does this recipe yield? Thanks!

Maria Magdalena

Saturday 19th of March 2016

Looks so delicious! I pinned it at Tasty Tuesday Creative K Kids Pinterest board.