This quick and easy homemade cherry tomato sauce uses 4 simple pantry ingredients for a garlic infused homemade tomato sauce that’s bursting with fresh flavor.

cherry tomato sauce in a pan with gnocchi

This burst cherry tomato sauce is a weekly staple for my family:

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own homemade tomato sauce recipe but didn’t feel like blanching and peeling tomatoes, then this burst cherry tomato sauce recipe is for you.

Actually, this cherry tomato sauce is for everyone, because it’s so dang simple, easy, and quick to make, you’re going to be having it on repeat for an easy weeknight dinner (or even date night pasta!).

Like, every week. Like my family. Especially during the summer (peak tomato season!!). I actually adapted it from Bread Bake Beyond, Yarn Shachagi’s tomato sauce recipe, and it’s just incredible.

You only need 5 simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand, and this sauce goes great with pasta or as a component to other recipes (like vegan tofu parmesan or “cheesy” baked gnocchi!).

cooked fresh tomato sauce

The only 4 ingredients you need:

  • Cherry tomatoes: Fresh cherry tomatoes that are in season (right about in August and September!) are best! 
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: You can use canned or packaged sun-dried tomatoes. I’ve used both. You can even make your own sun-dried tomatoes here!
  • Olive oil: I love a good high quality extra virgin olive oil, like Jovial Foods, since it’s such a key ingredient in the recipe. You want that flavor to be strong and good!
  • Garlic: We’re using a lot of fresh garlic here- about 10-12 garlic cloves. You can also use minced garlic, but it will be quite a lot.
  • Sea salt: Okay, so this is the “fifth” ingredient, but this is just a flavor enhancer to balance out the various tastes! Of course, you can also season with some freshly cracked black pepper as well.

I like to also top my cherry tomato pasta with fresh basil, but it’s totally optional. Honestly, this cherry tomato sauce recipe is so flavorful even without fresh herbs, you really don’t need anything else!

plate of cherry tomato gnocchi pasta

Overview: How to make fresh cherry tomato sauce step by step:

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Variations & Substitutions:

There aren’t many substitutions I would recommend, given how simple this tomato sauce recipe is. However, you can sub in grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes, and onion instead of garlic (or add it to the pasta sauce!) if desired. Just make sure you’re using minced onion!

Some variations and additions to this cherry tomato sauce recipe are:

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Vegan parmesan cheese
  • Capers
  • Chopped olives (for a tomato sauce similar to a puttanesca sauce!)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew cream

What pasta to serve with this cherry tomato sauce:

I personally LOVE my homemade vegan gnocchi pasta with this cherry tomato pasta recipe. They’re so fluffy and pillowy, and if you cook the gnocchi in the sauce for about 15-20 minutes, they absorb so much flavor!

You can also make your own spaghetti or linguini pasta (without eggs!) here. I have a whole guide, and it’s so easy!

The main key is using a pasta type that will either allow the sauce to soak into its crevices or is very absorbent. I wouldn’t recommend a pasta like rigatoni or penne pasta. It will be good, but the taste will be much more even and consistent with a linguini or gnocchi!

cherry tomato pasta in a skillet

Storage & Reheating Instructions:

Now, unlike store bought tomato sauce, we are NOT storing this cherry tomato sauce in a jar and canning it. You would need to go through a specific process to render this tomato sauce shelf stable, and that’s not my area of expertise.

However, I can tell you with confidence that this sauce stays fresh in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days without pasta in it. If you have pasta already mixed in, it will last 4 days!

To reheat, simply add the sauce back to your saucepan, and heat on medium-low until warm. Then serve and enjoy!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Fresh 5 Ingredient Homemade Cherry Tomato Sauce Recipe Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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cherry tomato sauce in a pan with gnocchi

Fresh 4 Ingredient Homemade Cherry Tomato Sauce Recipe

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This quick and easy homemade cherry tomato sauce uses 4 simple pantry ingredients for a garlic infused homemade tomato sauce that’s bursting with fresh flavor.



Adapted from Bread Bake Beyond, Yarn Shachagi’s tomato sauce recipe

  • 4 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1012 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 sun-dried tomato halves
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Serve with your favorite vegan pasta or gnocchi!


  1. Prep: Make sure that your cherry tomatoes are washed, and that your garlic is minced.
  2. Heat: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (that has a lid) over medium-high heat, and add in the minced garlic. Reduce the heat to medium or medium low heat, and cook the garlic until lightly golden. While the garlic is cooking, quickly chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Steam the sun-dried tomatoes: Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the garlic and reduce the heat to low heat. Cover the skillet, and cook the sun-dried tomatoes untouched for 2 minutes to soften.
  4. Add in the cherry tomatoes: Once the sun-dried tomatoes are cooked, add in the fresh cherry tomatoes whole to the pan. Lightly toss the tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil mixture, then bring the heat back up to medium low heat or medium heat, and add in the salt. Toss again, and then cover. Allow the cherry tomatoes to cook and heat undisturbed for 10-15 minutes or until soft. You can also start to cook your pasta here if desired.
  5. Burst the cherry tomatoes: After about 10 minutes, the cherry tomatoes should feel soft enough to just easily burst and release their juices. Gently press a silicone spatula or the back of a wooden spoon into the tomatoes to burst them. You can also cover them again and allow them to cook more if some need more time. If you need more time and your pasta is already cooked, drain the pasta (reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water) and gently toss the pasta with 1 tsp of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together while the sauce finishes cooking.
  6. Stir the sauce: Once the cherry tomatoes are all burst, stir the sauce to combine the juices. Add in more sea salt to taste here. Then reduce the heat to low and add in the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to the sauce. Toss the pasta in the sauce.
  7. Serve and enjoy! For more flavor, allow the pasta to cook in the sauce for 10-20 minutes after the sauce is made on low heat. Or you can serve right away with fresh cracked pepper, fresh basil, vegan parmesan and a protein (like this easy crispy tofu or these vegan lentil meatballs!).
  8. Storage: To store this pasta sauce as just a sauce, pour the sauce into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. If there is pasta in the sauce, store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.


See blog post for all tips & tricks, especially variations!