Friday, September 7, 2012

DIY Pasta/Pizza Sauce

I recently noticed that a lot of our favorite meals used jars of pasta sauce.  For instance, if we were to eat a menu one week that included pizza, spaghetti, and stuffed bell peppers, I would easily need to buy 3, sometimes 4 jars of sauce.  That's a minimum of $4, IF you can find a cheap-o brand or an incredible sale.  A more average grocery shopping trip would mean closer to $7-8 for those jars.  That is WAY too much for me to be spending on one item from my weekly grocery budget (which is $100 and includes ALL consumables, not just food, for a family of 5 + 1 dog).

And so, my continual quest for replacing store bought items for homemade ones continued into the sauce department.  As a side note, I use the same pasta sauce for our pizzas.  I found a recipe I thought would work, and gave it a whirl (I found the original recipe to start with at blog!).  It was tasty but a little heavy on the herbs for my family's tastes, so I've adjusted it a tad bit for our family.  Did you know that you can buy a 10 pound can of tomato sauce at Costco for under $3????  Buy your herbs from the bulks at Winco and we are talking some SERIOUS savings here (I buy all my herbs in the bulks there)!

The best part about this?  It freezes well!  I did notice the slightest bit of texture change to the sauce upon defrosting, but it was minimal, and tasted just the same!  To freeze, portion into baggies, label, seal, and freeze flat.  Once frozen, you can nicely stack them in your freezer (I use Dollar Store plastic bins to sort my freezer).

Here's the recipe:

1- 10 pound can of tomato sauce (Costco-under $3 a can)
3 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dried basil OR use fresh if you have a basil plant like I do!
2 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried parsley
2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 cup dried onions
1/4 cup olive oil
(Updated: Include 1 TBS of honey!  I use raw local honey!  Yum!)

Mix all together in a pot on the stove.  Turn to medium and cook until it is heated through.

That's it!  Simple, right?

You can always add meat to the mix, too.  I leave mine plain as I use it for a variety of different recipes (not just spaghetti).

Do you make your own sauce?  Any variations you enjoy?


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! We eat a lot of pasta sauce too, and I'm not the biggest fan of paying so much money for the prepared jars. This recipe looks so much more cost-effective, and it sounds delicious with its natural ingredients! Can't wait to try it!

  2. I will have to try it with balsamic next time- that sounds good! I use fresh garlic, celery seed, honey, olive oil, fresh basil and oregano. When I want to add a little heat I add hot chili sauce or hot pepper flakes Also I have bought the tomato paste from Costco (under $3 as well) to make sauces from and then I thin it out with chicken or veggie stock.

  3. Ally- I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think and how (if at all) you change it up for your tastes!

    Claire-I've never tried celery seed. Very interesting! I bet Ben would like the hot chili sauce added!



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