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Jars of freezer marinara sauce made from garden tomatoes.

Freezer Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

Meryl Downing
This Homemade Freezer Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes is perfect for what to do with so many tomatoes and herbs from the garden! This simple freezer tomato sauce is delicious, easy and can be used for any amount of tomatoes you have. Stock your freezer for pizza, pasta and so many recipes!
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner, Garden
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 jars


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 zucchini or bell pepper optional
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 8 to 14 tomatoes amount is flexible, add as much as you have
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 grinds fresh black pepper
  • pinch sugar optional
  • ½ cup fresh herbs any combination of basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley or spinach


  • Roughly chop onion and zucchini or bell pepper if using, and pulse in a food processor until finely diced.
  • Set a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add oil. Saute the veggies with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened and lightly browned.
  • Finely mince garlic in the food processor and add to sautéing veggies.
  • Meanwhile, wash and roughly chop your tomatoes, remove the core end and any bad spots. Pulse tomatoes in the food processor, keep some texture, don't totally puree them. Transfer each batch to the pot and saute with the other veggies until you've processed all your tomatoes. The amount of tomatoes you use is totally flexible and doesn't need to be exact.
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
  • Let sauce simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, bubbling slightly for about 1 hour. You want the liquid to reduce and your sauce to thicken slightly, although this will still be a fairly thin sauce. The cooking time can vary depending on how many tomatoes you use. You are basically reducing the liquid to make the sauce as thick as you like. Add your herbs about half way through.
  • When the sauce is done, allow it to cool slightly on the stovetop. See recipe notes for freezing instructions.


Storage and Freezing
Marinara sauce can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.  If freezing in glass jars (or really any container), follow these guidelines:
  • Fill Jars ¾'s Full - This allows the sauce room to expand as is freezes so your jars don't crack.
  • Cool in the Fridge First - Glass doesn't like sudden temperature change, so let your pot of sauce cool slightly on the stovetop before filling your jars.  Then let them cool in the refrigerator overnight before moving them to the freezer.
  • Store Sauce in Different Sized Jars or Containers - Smaller sized jars can be used for lunch flatbread pizzas or larger jars for pasta dinners, or homemade pizza night.  Freeze in sizes for your intended use.
  • To Use - Thaw overnight in the fridge.
If you are not using up garden tomatoes, 2-3 large cans of tomato can be used and 1 to 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning can be substituted for the fresh herbs.
If you are making a very large pot of sauce and using a lot more tomatoes than what is pictured in the basket photo, you can increase your onion, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs.
Keyword freezer marinara sauce recipe, freezer tomato sauce