Spicy Tomato Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)

Everyone needs a fresh, spicy, marinara! This recipe is great for pizza, pasta, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, or dipping and freezes well!

Course Appetizers, Main Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 cups sauce
Calories 165 kcal
Author Anjali Lalanni


  • 3 cups white onion , finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic , minced
  • 10 cups medium vine-ripe tomatoes , chopped (10cups =~15-16 tomatoes)
  • 1.5 cup basil , chopped
  • 2 teasp red crushed peppers
  • 3 springs fresh thyme leaves , pulled off stem
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt / freshly ground black pepper
  • sugar , (optional)


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and fry for a few seconds until fragrant, mixing frequently.
  3. Add the chopped onions and cook until the onions just start to become translucent (be sure not to burn or over-cook the onions).
  4. Add dried red crushed peppers and fresh thyme leaves and cook for about 30 more seconds.
  5. Add all the chopped tomatoes and adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  6. Cook with a gentle simmer for about 1 hour (or until desired sauce consistency is achieved). The sauce will reduce by about 1/2 or until it has a thick sauce-like consistency. Note that this time may vary depending on how juicy your tomatoes are.

  7. About half way through the reducing step (or after 20 minutes), add in the chopped basil and mix in.
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Depending on the sweetness and acidity of your tomatoes, you may need to add a slight amount of sugar to taste (since fresh tomatoes from the garden were used to develop this recipe, no sugar was added).

  9. Once the sauce is reduced and reaches desired consistency, use immediately or cool and store in the fridge. This sauce also freezes well. This sauce can be used with pasta, pizza, eggplant Parmesan, lasagna, as a dipping sauce, or anything Italian!

Recipe Notes

Thyme Springs - Run two fingers down the stem in the opposing direction of the leaves and they will easily fall off.


Nutrition Facts
Spicy Tomato Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 743mg21%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 2410IU48%
Vitamin C 43.4mg53%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.