Creamy tomato sauce without cream?? How does that make sense? We wanted to share a secret with you – the secret to making a creamy tomato sauce without using any dairy at all. And only 4 ingredients, plus salt and pepper to taste. It doesn’t get much easier than that! Homemade sauce is a staple in our family because it’s delicious, fresher and healthier than most jarred options, and we promise it’s SO easy! Plus, the smell of fresh garlic sauteeing on the stove is one of the best smells that exists. Combine the fragrant aroma with the beautiful, vibrant red cherry tomatoes and deep green basil and you have an amazing homemade creamy tomato sauce (after doing our secret step to make this classic sauce creamy). We love using this sauce on pasta, breaded chicken, or as a dip for pizza crust or grilled cheese!
Sooo what’s the secret to this creamy tomato sauce?!
Start by mincing fresh garlic and sautéing in olive oil; add cherry tomatoes and cook until their skins start bursting open, then add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cooked tomato mixture into a blender with a few leaves of fresh basil and blend on high until creamy. Voila! Creamy tomato sauce sans cream (or any dairy for that matter). It’s literally so easy yet so delicious, making it one of our favorite tomato sauce recipes.
We get this question a lot as dietitians. Generally speaking, it’s okay. We recommend homemade tomato sauce because it has fewer ingredients and is less processed. Some jarred tomato sauces have added sugar and other preservatives that homemade sauce does not.
We keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer! We love making a big batch of this creamy tomato sauce and freezing some of it for another day. One of our favorite tricks is freezing it in ice cube trays so it’s easy to portion out for various meals (instead of thawing a giant container for one meal).
There are many ways! Adding more garlic or some diced onion to the oil when sauteeing garlic will add quite a bit of flavor. You can also add Italian seasonings like dried basil, rosemary, and/or oregano. A few pinches of grated parmesan cheese will add flavor too!
This can be tricky but easy to get the hang of! You want to keep an eye on the garlic, as it can burn quickly and have a burnt, pungent flavor. The garlic will become very fragrant and start to turn golden brown; that’s when we add whatever other ingredients you’re using or remove it from the heat to prevent it from burning.
How is this creamy tomato sauce healthy?
Vodka sauce is delicious, don’t get us wrong. But as dietitians, we’re always on the lookout for healthier alternatives that actually taste good and this recipe is one of those. Typical vodka sauce uses vodka and heavy cream, which can make the sauce heavier than we’re in the mood for. Blending the olive oil with the other ingredients causes the oil to thicken and gives the sauce a lighter, slightly orange-y pink color, as if you used cream. However, this version is lower in calories and saturated fat! Plus it uses all fresh ingredients, which tend to naturally have more nutrients than jarred sauces.
If you try our recipe for creamy tomato sauce (without cream), please rate and review it below! We also love connecting on social media so snap a photo and tag us @theperfectpear8 so we can see 🙂
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Creamy Tomato Sauce (without cream)
Homemade sauce is a staple in our family because it’s delicious, fresher and healthier than most jarred options, and we promise it’s SO easy! Plus, the smell of fresh garlic sauteeing on the stove is one of the best smells that exists. Combine the fragrant aroma with the beautiful, vibrant red cherry tomatoes and deep green basil and you have an amazing homemade creamy tomato sauce (after doing our secret step to make this classic sauce creamy). We love using this sauce on pasta, breaded chicken, or as a dip for pizza crust or grilled cheese!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 5 cups 1x
- Category: Lunch, Dinner
- Cuisine: Italian
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves fresh garlic (or 4 Tbsp minced)
- 7 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
- 3 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on low heat.
- Mince fresh garlic cloves. Turn heat up to medium and add garlic.
- Sauté garlic until fragrant and golden brown.
- Add cherry tomatoes and let them cook until they start to pop. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once most of the tomatoes have popped, add them to a blender with fresh basil.
- Blend on high until creamy.
- Pour back into the saucepan to keep warm or enjoy immediately!
- This sauce freezes well for up to 2 months! We like to freeze it in ice cube trays to make for easy thawing when we need enough for 1 or 2 meals.
- Store the sauce in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Top your favorite pasta or breaded chicken with this sauce, or use as a dip for pizza crust or grilled cheese sandwiches!