Oregano Tomato Sauce Recipe

Yields: About 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • Fresh basil leaves, for serving (optional)


  • Sauté the aromatics: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes and seasonings: Add the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, sugar (if using), salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to combine.
  • Simmer and reduce: Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Let the sauce simmer gently, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmering for longer (up to 45 minutes) will further develop the flavors and create a thicker sauce.
  • Taste and adjust: Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. You might want a pinch more salt, pepper, or oregano to suit your taste.
  • Finish and serve: If desired, add a few fresh basil leaves for an extra pop of flavor. Serve over your favorite pasta, on pizza, in lasagna, or in any way that calls for a delicious tomato sauce.


  • Fresh oregano: For an even more vibrant flavor boost, you can substitute half or all of the dried oregano with fresh oregano leaves. Use about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano. Add them toward the end of the cooking process.
  • Tomato types: For richer flavor, try using San Marzano tomatoes or fire-roasted crushed tomatoes.
  • Make it smooth: If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender (carefully!) to puree the sauce after it is cooked.
  • Customize it: Add additional ingredients for variations, such as chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, bell pepper), a splash of red wine, Italian sausage, or ground beef.


  • Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze sauce in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen sauce in the refrigerator overnight before using.


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