This Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce pairs well with pasta, pizza, and so much more. Roasted with tomatoes, jalapenos, and basil, this flavorful sauce is easy to make and better than storebought!
Sweet and spicy tomato sauce
I’m a huge fan of making my own tomato sauce instead of buying it from a store. I don’t think people understand just how easy it is, not to mention affordable! It’s also the best excuse to use up an abundance of garden fresh tomatoes and to add flavor and depth to plenty of recipes.
After I made my Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce, it only felt natural for me to give the sauce some kick using fresh garden jalapenos in the mix. Thus, my Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce was born! Once the tomatoes and peppers are done roasting in this recipe, they’re blended with a handful of spices and herbs to create a fresh and spicy sauce without any weird ingredients.
This 5-ingredient sauce is not overwhelmingly hot but has a slight kick. It’s very easy to control the level of heat and make the sauce exactly the way you like. Whether you want a little spice or a big kick of heat, the choice is yours!
How do you make tomato sauce spicy?
Traditional Italian tomato sauce is sweet and herbaceous. To make it spicy, simply roast chili peppers alongside the tomatoes. Using roasted jalapeno or serrano peppers in tomato sauce makes it spicy and gives the taste a Mexican-inspired flare.
Is this sauce different from arrabbiata sauce?
Arrabbiata sauce is an Italian tomato sauce made with tomatoes and red chilis. Although this recipe is similar to an arrabbiata, my spicy cherry tomato sauce uses fresh jalapenos to help it taste more vibrant.
What kind of tomatoes are best in homemade tomato sauce?
For this recipe, I used garden cherry tomatoes. I love using them for sauce because they’re packed with flavor and are naturally sweet. Feel free to make this recipe using any tomato you enjoy, such as:
- Grape tomatoes
- Vine ripened
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that tomatoes with higher water content, such as beefsteak tomatoes, will give your sauce a thinner consistency. If you prefer your sauce on the thicker side, I recommend using smaller tomatoes instead, like grape or cherry.
How to make roasted cherry tomato sauce
The beauty of this tomato sauce is in its simplicity! Adding the veggies to a sheet pan and roasting until everything is broken down will help release their flavors and make a beautiful sauce when blended. Here’s how it’s done:
Bake the veggies until the tomatoes are wrinkly and have started to release some juices.
Once they’re slightly cool, add the tomatoes and jalapenos to a food processor or blender along with the garlic powder and salt & pepper.
Blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Use it immediately or store it away for later.
Ways to use spicy cherry tomato sauce
One of my favorite ways to use this sauce is with these Slow Cooker Meatballs. The spicy and creamy sauce adds a nice kick to the meatballs, making it a sauce-covered protein to add to sandwiches or spaghetti. Otherwise, the sauce is perfect on all of your favorite pasta dishes like Stuffed Shells, and Mexican Lasagna.
Storing and freezing
To store: If not using immediately, store the cooked and cooled sauce in glass jars or airtight containers for 3-5 days in the fridge.
To freeze: Frozen tomato sauce has a shelf life of up to a year if properly stored in airtight containers, freezer-safe bags, or in jars with tight lids. When it’s time to eat, leave the sauce to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.
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Spicy Cherry Tomato SaucePrint
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes stems removed
- 2 jalapeno peppers seeds removed, cut in half
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/3 cup fresh basil
- salt + pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spread tomatoes, jalapenos and garlic in a shallow baking pan or baking sheet. Add olive oil and onion powder on top, and stir to fully coat everything.
- Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and then pour the pan of tomatoes into the food processor (careful, it's hot!). Add fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste in the food processor.
- Pulse until sauce is creamy.
- Use it right away, or throw it in the fridge to use tomorrow, or freeze it for next month. Enjoy!