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5-ingredient weeknight tomato sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
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5-ingredient weeknight tomato sauce

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I have found that a rich and satisfying tomato sauce does not require hours of simmering to be beautiful. Enter my perfect 5-ingredient weeknight tomato sauce. It actually only takes about 30 minutes and 5 ingredients (I don’t count salt and pepper, okay, everyone better have that!). The secret ingredient? BUTTER. I know it sounds odd, but melting butter in the sauce at the very end adds creaminess and balances the sharp acidity of the tomato and really rounds everything out.

weeknight tomato sauce

I was shocked and pleasantly surprised at how much of a difference it made. You are going to fall in love with this sauce, just as I have. Plus, it’s part of my Pantry Pasta series because most people will have the very few ingredients necessary for this pasta on hand. I love it with spaghetti or bucatini, but any pasta will work and be lovely! Happy eating folks!

weeknight tomato sauce

5-ingredient weeknight tomato sauce

This is my absolute favorite tomato sauce recipe and it only requires 5 ingredients and about 20 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 cups sauce


  • 1 stick unsalted butter divided
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes crushed well by hand
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked spaghetti or bucatini


  • In a medium saucepan, melt two tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes without allowing the garlic to brown (you may need to lower the heat). Add the crushed tomatoes and the juice to the pan. Add the oregano and crushed red pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining butter until the sauce is creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with pasta and top with parmesan and more crushed red pepper, if desired.


Use the best whole peeled tomatoes you can find and crush them by hand. You can substitute crushed tomatoes, but san marzano tomatoes crushed by hand are the best.

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  1. 5 stars
    This is one of my go to sauces now! The kids loved it and I usually have all I need.