Basic Garlic Butter Tomato Sauce Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Basic Garlic Butter Tomato Sauce

36 reviews / 4.8 average

Hey! I’m Lindsay.

I make a lot of garlic butter tomato sauce and put it on mostly everything.

What else do you wanna know?

It’s funny how this works, isn’t it? The week I made this tomato sauce for the first (and second) (and third) time, I had at least 500 neighbors and friends and relatives reach out to me and ask if I wanted some of their overflow garden tomatoes, knowing completely nothing of my new tomato sauce obsession.  A little braggy of them, if you ask me, but yes, I would like your tomatoes. I may not be much good at growing my own, but I can rock the homemade garlic butter tomato sauce game.

And speaking of. Is it really tomato sauce or more of a luscious one-pan-magic type of situation? These are the important questions in my life.

How To Make Our Tomato Butter Sauce:

cherry tomatoes in a bag
Basic Garlic Butter Tomato sauce in a pan

A week or so ago I made this garlic butter tomato sauce on my Instagram stories and a) LOVED your responses, and b) got asked this question: can you remove the skins and seeds?

This brings us to a very important fork in the road: if you are not big on skins and seeds, it’s time to swipe left.

I’m not saying it to be mean. I’m just saying that the entirety of the sauce is made from cherry tomatoes, which are made up of 95% skins and seeds, so if you were to take all of that out, there wouldn’t be much sauce left. Blessings for your journey, seed-hating friends. We will see you next time.

Meanwhile, those of us who fall more into the Humans Who Like Eating All The Things category will carry on with skins (blistered, just a little bit, because we fancy) and seeds in our “sauce” which, as we’ve established, is not really sauce.

Chutney? Spread? What exactly do we call something of this velvety texture?

Basic Garlic Butter Tomato sauce in a jar with a spoon

As with most of my favorite recipes, this one is very forgiving and adaptable. So if you truly want this to be a garlic butter tomato sauce for your pasta, girl, get after it. Just use some broth or water (or this is just coming to me right now – RED WINE?) to spread it even further.

On the flip side, if you adore eggs on toast or roasted potatoes or grilled chicken or similar, and you like a little sumthin to thwap on top (think Magic Green Sauce style)? SWIPE RIGHT and let’s match. Is that what people say? I’m acting like I know dating apps right now.

Just…what I’m trying to say is you want this one. Exactly as written. It is thick, chunky, just a little tangy – hello there, balsamic – and packed with flavor thanks to some spicy garlic and a knob of butter to finish.

Bonus thing that deserves mention: everything tomato sauce + breakfast sandwich combo is not to be messed with.

Basic Garlic Butter Tomato sauce in a breakfast sandwich
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Tomato Butter Sauce in pan with spoon.

Basic Garlic Butter Tomato Sauce

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup sauce 1x


Basic Garlic Butter Tomato sauce made with cherry tomatoes, garlic, balsamic, and butter. SO simple, good on everything.


  • 2-ish cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt to taste


  1. Place the tomatoes in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat with NO OIL IN THE PAN. We are trying to blister the outsides of the skins a little bit here.
  2. Once the skins get a little blistered and the tomatoes are looking soft, turn the heat down to avoid lots of splatter, and add the olive oil and garlic. Be careful not to brown the garlic.
  3. Press the tomatoes gently with the back of a wooden spoon so they break open and release their juices. Add the balsamic and let the whole mixture reduce until it’s thickened a bit, maybe 5-10 minutes.
  4. Finish with the knob of butter and season with salt to taste.


If you want a thinner sauce to go on pasta, add 1/2 cup or so of water just after adding the balsamic and just let it cook down a bit.

Fresh basil would be a good decision.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: garlic butter tomato sauce, butter tomato sauce, garlic butter sauce

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum! I make a very similair sauce to this except I add in freshly roasted red peppers that I liquify in the blender, it gives it a saucier consistency perfect for pasta (or eating by the spoonful…)

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so delicious! I’ve been making tomato sauce in the oven to get the blistered tomato effect, but it just takes so long. I’ll have to try this out!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this for your caprese grilled cheese and became obsessed – everything about this sauce is just perfection. Fall has always been my favorite season (hello pumpkin!), but if there is one thing I will miss about summer it’s the tomatoes!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lauren B

    YUM!! Glad to have the official recipe now 🙂

    I made this over the weekend after seeing you make it in your Insta stories last week.. it looked so good! At the end, I added a cup of broth & some cubed chicken that I’d already seared and let it simmer for a while to thicken up & finish cooking the chicken — all the heart eyes for that meal prep goodness!!

    Thanks for sharing your recipes & stories.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yummy! I’m stoked bloggers are transitioning to comfort foods b/c cool weather is right around the corner! And since I live in a state engulfed by wildfires, I can’t WAIT for rain, cool weather, and comfort foods! Can’t wait to try this 🙂

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hello! How long would you say this lasts if stored? Also, how are you storing it? Thank you!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so good that I feel compelled to make it immediately. AKA- already set a reminder to pick up tomatoes on my way home from work today. Yum!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Do you think this would be good for a ratatouille base? I can’t wait to try this sauce, it looks so tasty!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I got totally sick of tomato sauce on the cruise we took last year, but this sauce and your suggestions for using it are making me think I could maybe get back to liking tomato sauce.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay. One cup? One?? My dear friend, you need to give vat size ingredient lists. My first thought on seeing this recipe was to purchase a fresh-baked wheat French loaf and just slice and dip. Definitely gonna need more than one cup for that. Thanks for posting. Now I need to get to multiplying.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      We’re a two person household! And remember, it’s thick, not sauce like regular tomato sauce. Jammy, almost. Like a spread. Good luck with the math! 🙂

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this last weekend with the Caprese grilled cheese sandwich and opted to eat almost nothing else all weekend. It was a fanTAStic Labor Day, what can I say! I have a quarter of the sauce left and can’t wait to use it on eggs this weekend. That breakfast sandwich looks Awesome! Thanks for another winner chicken diner!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this heavenly sauce when you posted the Caprese Grilled Cheese recipe. I thought the same thing about the skin…so i tried it again with romas from my garden. I blanched and skinned them, then followed the rest of the recipe. It was still heavenly (not as thick) and made a great sauce for pasta.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You’ve hit on one of my major cook’s annoyances, lol. Skins and seeds are where a tomato’s flavor and nutrition centers live. Discard those, and you have to work a lot harder to create a quality sauce. For cooks who have texture issues, just blend the sauce in a blender. Any instruction to send gorgeous, homegrown tomatoes through a {gasp} food mill just breaks my heart. So, thanks for endorsing the whole tomato!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    john corrydon

    Bjork you are married to the most wonderful woman in the whole world. Thank you Lindsay.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    That sauce sounds perfect for me! It’s my first year with my own tomatoe plants and I looooooooove to have so many of them. I really don’t know why the people keep complaining about having too many tomatoes. You have so many options to use them: for ketchup, for tomatoe juice, for tomatoe paste and, of course, for delicious tomatoe sauce. I’ll so try your recipe! Thanks for sharing …

    Ginger by Choice I Food & Lifestyle Blog

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay – first – ❤️ this recipe! Do you think the pH would work to can this in little jars in a boiling water bath? It would make a lovely gift in a cute little jar with my homemade jams and pickles.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Can l get your recipes directly to my email? Oh my gosh they look delicious and I can’t wait to try them 😁

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi Lindsay.
    It’s my first time commenting here, and I just wanted to tell you, I love simple recipes like this, I also bought and use your amazing photography ebook. Thank you Lindsay you are very inspiring.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have never made my own tomato sauce, but this makes me want to! My family didn’t grow up eating pasta with sauces, and my husband doesn’t like red sauces, so they don’t get much love from me. This recipe is so simple! I’ll definitely have to try it, if only for myself 😛 Thanks!

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yummy Sauce, taste of it’s so delicious and different. Today morning i make it, whole family member really enjoying. Thanks to this tasteful recipe.

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    i made this sauce and it goes fine with pizza and pasta as well. The texture is amazing. looking forward for more updates thank you