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meatless tomato sauce
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5 from 1 vote

The best vegetarian spaghetti sauce (meatless tomato sauce)

Rich, flavorful and perfectly seasoned vegetarian tomato sauce.
Course Main Course, sauce
Cuisine Italian-inspired
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Calories 1555kcal
Author Aleksandra


  • 2 large onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks or 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil omit if you're using fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup frying oil
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine can be omitted (sub for broth)
  • 2 jars tomato puree/passata 2 x 24 fl oz / 680 ml
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes 2 x 14 oz / 400g
  • 2 cups vegetable broth optional, only if you have more time to cook the sauce!
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • a handful fresh basil leaves or you can use only dried basil


  • Finely chop the onions and celery stalks, peel the carrots and grate on the small holes of a box grater. Finely chop the garlic.
  • In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the vegetables and dried herbs (if you’re using fresh basil leaves, you can skip dried basil). Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables are very soft.
  • Add the garlic, cook, stirring, for a minute.
  • Add the wine, cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until almost completely evaporated.
  • Add the tomato passata, crushed canned tomatoes and broth (broth is optional! only if you have time to cook the sauce about 50 minutes longer, so that the excess liquid can evaporate, the sauce with the broth will be tastier, but you can easily skip it if you don’t have time).
  • Cook the sauce over low heat, partially covered, for about 30-40 minutes (without the broth) or for about 1 hour 20 minutes (with the broth) until the sauce thickens, stirring from time to time (especially at the end). Make sure to check the consistency of the sauce and don't only follow the given cooking time. The longer you cook the sauce over low heat the tastier it will be.
  • Take the pot off the heat. Season the sauce with the balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and papper to taste.
  • Add the fresh basil leaves (if using). Puree the sauce in a blender or with a hand (immersion)blender until smooth.
  • Enjoy!


Storage + freezing: Keep the sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also can the sauce or freeze it for up to 6 months.


Calories: 1555kcal