Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe | Gardenuity

Homemade sauces are often one of the hardest things to make in the kitchen and one of the most satisfying. This classic cherry tomato pasta sauce is a great stepping stone to get you creating restaurant-level sauces in the kitchen.

This cherry tomato sauce is simple and easy to make, taking only 8 minutes on the stove and requiring only a few ingredients.

No matter what your skill level in the kitchen is, this recipe offers you a way to create pasta dishes that taste 100% homemade (even if you used boxed pasta.)

The ingredients are simple: cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and…a pinch of sugar.

Cherry tomatoes are slightly more acidic and tart than traditional Roma tomatoes. They lend an exciting flavor to the pasta sauce.

Sugar, although it may seem surprising, is actually the key to any good pasta sauce recipe. It binds the flavors together, balances out the acidity of the tomatoes, and brings out the sweetness.

Then, you simply garnish with a bit of fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce

Recipe by GardenuityCourse: SauceCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time





This is a fresh and easy sauce to make with garden tomatoes. Serve it over fresh, hot pasta. This recipe makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta.


  • ½ cup of olive oil

  • 1 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes

  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch of sugar

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

  • Freshly grated parmesan (for serving over pasta)

  • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt


  • Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet or wide heavy saucepan over medium high heat.  Add garlic, tomatoes, pepper, sugar and salt.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes burst and release juices to form a sauce.  About 6-8 minutes.
  • Toss the sauce with pasta and add parmesan cheese and chopped basil for serving.
  • Enjoy!

Tips for Best Results

  1. Cook with homegrown produce! Your pasta sauce will taste best if you grow your cherry tomatoes yourself. If this isn’t an option for you, be sure to buy very fresh produce at the store — preferably local.
  2. Watch the heat and stir often. It’s easy to burn sauce if the heat is too high or you forget to stir. Shoot for medium heat. If you’re not sure how hot your stovetop runs, err on the low side.
  3. Add things you love. There are no hard rules when it comes to making great pasta sauce. Use this recipe as your base how-to, and then take the creative lead! Add pepper flakes, oregano, or cheese. It’s up to you.

Best Ways to Enjoy the Sauce

  1. Boxed (or homemade) pasta! We like boxed pasta as much as the next person, and no one will judge you for the simplicity. This cherry pasta sauce recipe will take anything and elevate it. If you’re up to making homemade pasta, then this is the perfect companion sauce. Cook al dente for best results.
  2. Lasagna. This pasta sauce is a delicious recipe for drizzling on top of a baked lasagna (or putting in between the layers for a meat-free option.)
  3. Shakshuka. If you’re not familiar with this dish, you should be. Also known as ‘eggs in purgatory,’ it’s essentially cooking eggs in a tomato sauce in a pan and serving with toast. Instead of making the whole thing from scratch, simply pour your pre-made cherry tomato pasta sauce in the pan, bring to a simmer, and throw in the eggs.
  4. Tomato Soup. Every tomato soup is essentially pasta sauce with a couple of adjustments. Use this recipe to create the soup, and adjust to taste.
  5. Taleggio Panini. This panini is utterly delicious — especially with this recipe. Pour the tomato cherry pasta sauce between bread along with a bit of taleggio cheese. Cook in a buttered skillet or panini press.


Store your homemade sauce in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If you have extra and aren’t planning to use it, freeze in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag.

If you are interested in creating your own homemade & homegrown pasta sauce growing tomatoes are a great place to start!

We have a complete guide on growing tomatoes in containers full of tips to get you started growing your own tomatoes.

Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce