Making a homemade vegan spaghetti sauce 100% doable and EASY! Made with real tomatoes and a handful of real ingredients, you’ll have fresh homemade spaghetti sauce that’s packed with flavor.
When I score a large bag of Roma tomatoes, I already know what’s on the dinner menu. I go for a classic bowl of spaghetti topped with fresh spaghetti sauce.
As much as I love the convenience of pre-made vegan spaghetti sauce, which I sometimes still use, I love being able to control all of the elements that go into a spaghetti sauce. This includes the texture, spices, and ingredients.
Why You’ll Love This
- This recipe is 100% plant-based, using everyday ingredients. I love fresh herbs, but I don’t always have it on hand (definitely thinking about a small herb garden soon, though). So, I use dry herbs including parsley in this recipe.
- It can be stored in an air-tight container or mason jar for later use. Making a great dish to incorporate any time of the busy weekday.
- It’s a delicious, healthy recipe that’s kid-friendly.
- Made with FRESH tomatoes!
If you're not in the mood for spaghetti, you can use this spaghetti sauce with homemade pizza, breadsticks, lasagna, and other pasta dishes.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Roma Tomatoes: This is a must-have! But, roma tomatoes can be switched for canned plum tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is great for a delicious homemade spaghetti sauce - adding great flavor and texture to the sauce. However, in a pinch, you can go for a mild-flavored oil like vegetable or canola. Vegan butter can work, too.
- Onions: Red, yellow, or white work just fine - use whatever you have.
- Garlic Cloves: No fresh garlic cloves? No problem. Frozen or jarred garlic work just fine, or go right into your spice cabinet and grab dried garlic powder.
- Chili Flakes: Or, use red pepper flakes.
- Italian Seasonings: A combination of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram can be made to substitute Italian seasoning.
- Tomato Paste: You can also go for tomato sauce, but it will have a different texture, as tomato paste with help thicken the sauce.
- Sugar: Sugar balances acidity and enhances the sweetness of the tomatoes. Honey or maple syrup can be substituted if you're out of sugar.
- Broth: I love using mushroom broth for a boost of umami, but your choice of broth will work just fine.
- Bay Leaf: Don't have any bay leaf? It's okay to skip!
How To Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
There are three important steps to making homemade spaghetti sauce. First, you'll want to air-fry or roast the tomatoes to enhance their flavor.
Second, you'll want to combine all ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Third, blend until you're left with a more uniform texture.
Let's break it down.
- Air-fry the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees F. To roast tomatoes in the oven, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until edges have browned/charred.
- Transfer tomatoes to a bowl and crush them with a potato masher or fork.
- In a saucepan, cook the chopped onions until soft. Then, add and combine the spices, tomato paste, broth, bay leaf, and sugar.
- Add the roasted tomatoes to the saucepan. Bring the tomatoes to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Next, transfer the spaghetti sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender and blend for a few seconds on low. Serve!
Vegan Spaghetti Sauce Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Kind Of Tomato Variety Should Be Used?
Any variety of plum tomatoes work great in a spaghetti or red pasta sauce. That includes Roma tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, and Big Mama tomatoes. Plum tomatoes are naturally on the sweeter side and less acidic.
How To Freeze Spaghetti Sauce?
Why Add Sugar To Spaghetti Sauce?
A touch of sugar will help balance out the acidity. Feel free to taste as you can and add as much or as little sugar you prefer.
Do You Have to Peel Tomatoes for Sauce?
No need to peel! Leaving the tomato peels adds texture, fiber, and reduces food waste.
What’s The Difference Between Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti Sauce?
Marinara originated from southern Italy and it’s a sauce that can be served with spaghetti, seafood, as a dip, or used as a pizza sauce.The sauce is typically made with garlic, onions, and herbs. It is then simmered for a bit. It’s considered a basic tomato sauce, it never has meat in it, and is made relatively thin.
On the other hand, spaghetti sauce is often thicker, takes longer to cook and simmer, and is primarily used for spaghetti. It often includes meat.
What is a good substitute for meat in spaghetti sauce?
If you're looking to add a little more vegan umph to your spaghetti sauce, go with mushrooms!
How To Store
- To add more creaminess and richness to the spaghetti sauce, feel free to add a dollop of vegan butter towards the end of the recipe. Not necessary, but it helps.
- For a boost of umami, add a touch of soy sauce. Might sound off, but it's legit.
- Although I used pantry-friendly herbs in this recipe, you’re welcome to use fresh instead.
If you love this recipe, check out our other pasta recipes:
- One-Pot Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes with Mushrooms
- Creamy Rigatoni With Sofrito Avocado Sauce
- Dairy-Free Mac & Cheese
- Spring Lemon Garlic Spaghetti.
- Puerto Rican Spaghetti
Tried out this Vegan Spaghetti Sauce With Real Tomatoes recipe?
Vegan Spaghetti Sauce With Real Tomatoes
- Cut Roma tomatoes into halves, lengthwise. Then, toss the tomato halves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt.
- Air fry for 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. To roast tomatoes in the oven, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until edges have browned/charred.
- Once done, set aside in a bowl. Crush with the back of a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
- Set a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft.
- Then, add the garlic, chili flakes, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, sugar, broth, and bay leaf. Add the crushed Roma tomatoes and stir all together.
- Bring sauce to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes with a lid. Transfer the sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender and blend for a few seconds. Serve with your favorite spaghetti or pasta and top with chopped herbs.
- Feel free to use your choice of broth. I enjoy using mushroom broth because I love the umami flavor it brings.
- If you want to switch the dry herbs for fresh, go for it!
- To add more richness and depth to the sauce, add a bit of butter towards the end and a splash of soy sauce.
- Store in an air-tight container or mason jar for later use. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or months in the freezer.