Italian Keto Tomato Sauce for Pasta

Vegan and keto-friendly recipe

  • Vegan
Italian Keto Tomato Sauce for Pasta
  • 25 min
  • Serves 4
  • Medium


Meet my favorite fresh tomato sauce that is healthy and full of flavor. I tried this sauce for the first time traveling in Italy. Oh, such great memories! The vibrant taste of Mediterranean herbs in the sauce allows you to add less salt to the recipe. Moreover, this keto tomato sauce is also low fat and vegan, so it’s a great recipe for a wide range of dietary restrictions. I’m going to tell you how to make Italian tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, store it, and even some fun ways to use it!

Types of Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is considered one of the five mother sauces of cooking – it’s a versatile backbone in so many recipes. There are lots of different kinds of simple tomato sauces. This is a classic Italian tomato sauce. I love it’s strong flavors of basil and garlic. It makes it a perfect choice for pasta.

The Mexican culture has been using tomato sauce in their cooking for centuries. Usually, flavors of lime and adobo make this sauce a smoky part of their cuisine. The Spaniards that took the tomatoes to Spain from Mexico then developed their own take on the sauce.

There is a take on tomato sauce from nearly every region of the world where tomatoes grow. And sauces can range from flavorful to neutral. But they all start with simmering down fresh tomatoes.

Is this Tomato Sauce Recipe Keto?

Yes! This recipe is absolutely keto-friendly. With 5.4 g carbs per serving, it’s great for anyone following a low carb diet.

I also love that this recipe is so healthy in other ways. The tomatoes contain so many beneficial antioxidants! It’s also low in fat and cholesterol free.

What Tomatoes to Choose

The tomatoes you choose to make sauce are important, they are stars of the show! You want to look for types of tomatoes that are meaty and have as few seeds as possible.

San Marzano are a popular choice and for a good reason. These tomatoes are on the sweeter side and super meaty. They have low acidity and few seeds, making them a perfect choice for sauce.

Roma tomatoes are really easy to grow or find at most grocery stores. They also have a meatier texture and few seeds. They have an intense flavor that makes them a great choice for sauce. And don’t be afraid to mix it up and use a few different kinds of tomato in one sauce. Whichever tomato you chose, just try to make sure they are fresh, organic, and fully ripened.

Any variety of tomato puree is also great for sauce making. Try to make Italian sauce from my fresh or frozen Homemade Tomato Puree.

How to Improve the Taste

There are a few things to keep in mind in making this tomato sauce perfectly. Every ingredient, and even the pan, matter here.

Tomatoes are acidic. And cooking them in the wrong pan will give you that metallic taste and ruin your sauce. You’ll want to avoid aluminum or cast-iron pans. I love using a basic, stainless steel saucepan.

The freshness of the ingredients all come together in the sauce. Make sure your onion, garlic, and basil are all fresh and organic if possible. The fat in the oil makes the sauce lush and smooth. Make sure to use a high-quality, cold-pressed variety of olive oil. And double-check your dried herbs – they can lose their flavor after a few years.

How Long to Cook the Sauce

You can cook the sauce as the recipe suggests. You can also allow it to simmer a little while longer if you would like it to thicken more. The trick is to keep the heat low and stir often enough that your sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

What Dishes Can I Use the Sauce In?

This tomato sauce is super versatile. This recipe makes for a great pasta sauce. But this is a keto recipe, so we can get creative and lower carb. My kids’ favorite pasta is gluten free spaghetti with Italian tomato sauce.

This is an easy tomato sauce to top garlic seared tofu with. It’s also amazing with broccoli or asparagus. Top your favorite cauliflower crust with this yummy sauce for the perfect pizza base.

My favorite way to serve this sauce is with veggie noodles! I will run about anything through my spiralizer for a perfect low carb dish. Any squash, from summer to zucchini, make a great noodle!

You can also stir this sauce into soups and stews. It also makes a great base for chutney. Simmer some beans in tomato sauce for a quick, hearty meal.

How to Store Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce can be made ahead to store in fridge for up to six days or in freezer for up to one year. Freezing is much easier as you just pour the sauce into quart-sized freezer bags and lay flat to freeze.

If you would like to can your sauce, it takes a little more work. You need to sterilize the canning jars upside down in simmering water. Once cool, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the bottom of each jar. Then, fill to about a half inch from the top with the hot sauce. Put the lid tightly on the jar and submerge in boiling water for 35 minutes. Allow to dry and cool and keep in a dark place, like the pantry. You can store canned sauce for up to six months.

How to Make Tomato Sauce


    Adjust Servings:
    3 Medium Tomatoes
    3 ounces Fresh Basil
    3 cloves Garlic, crushed
    1 Onion, diced
    ½ tsp. Salt
    1 tbsp. Olive oil
    1/2 tsp. Dried Province Herbs
    optional to taste Black Pepper

    From this amount of ingredients, you get about 7 ounces (4 servings) of sauce.

    How to Make Italian Tomato Sauce

    Are you ready? It does not take more than half an hour. From the listed amount of ingredients, you get about 1 cup of sauce.

    How to make. Steps


    Prepare tomatoes

    Wash tomatoes and carefully cut a small cross on the bottom of each tomato.


    Boil the tomatoes

    Bring water to a boil and place tomatoes in boiling water for one minute.


    Peel the tomatoes

    Remove tomatoes from boiling water and place in an ice water bath. Peel and remove skins.


    Remove the seeds

    Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove seeds with a spoon.


    Dice the tomatoes


    Cook the onion

    Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until it has softened and is turning translucent, about 3 minutes.


    Add diced tomatoes

    Add tomatoes to saucepan and stew for five more minutes


    Add the rest of the ingredients

    Stir in the basil, garlic, salt, Province herbs, and black pepper. Simmer for 2 more minutes over low heat.


    Let it cool

    Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.


    Blend the sauce

    Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If not using immediately, freeze or can sauce.

    Recipe Notes

    As you get comfortable making this sauce, don’t be afraid to make it your own. You can customize the herbs or vary the amounts of the ingredients. Use your taste to fine-tune this into a family recipe that can be passed down to your kids! We would love to hear how your family makes this sauce unique!

    The calories are shown for one 2 oz serving (about 5 tbsp).

    Nutritional information

    32 kcal
    5.4 g
    0.8 g
    2.2 g

    Ann Green

    I’m Ann and I enjoy creating plant based recipes for people who love to eat and want to feel good about it! I live in Thailand and travel around the world in search of inspiration for my recipes. All of them are healthy, simple and kids approved. Pick out a recipe and let's get cooking! Read more

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