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This sauce is a summer staple that’s SO YUMMY, so easy, and so delicious. It’s a bright red, fresh-tasting sauce, made with grilled tomatoes, blended and seasoned with garlic and basil. It’s fast and tastes so much better than any sauce you can buy.

Easy Grilled Fresh Tomato Sauce in bowl close up

I make this Grilled Fresh Tomato Sauce starting as soon as the local tomatoes are available until the end of the season in October. I use it on so many things, including zucchini noodles, pasta, fish, chicken, pizza and grilled vegetables.  It’s incredibly versatile.

There are only 4 ingredients which makes it super easy; fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and basil.

The best tomatoes for the sauce are San Marzano which I grow specifically to make this sauce all summer long.  Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes are also good and can be found in your farmers markets!  Sometimes I have an abundance of round tomatoes, I use them too.

The San Marzano or plum tomatoes have less water and make a thicker sauce.  If you use round tomatoes, no problem, but you have to cook the sauce a little longer to thicken it up.

The process to make the sauce is very simple.  Cut the tomatoes in half and grill them cut side down first, for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Use tongs to turn them over and grill another 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and lightly charred.

Make sure your grill is oiled well so they don’t stick. I use a paper towel or rag dipped in oil to season the grill.

Once they’re done, put them on a plate to cool or put them right into a blender. Blend until smooth.


The additional flavors come from lots of  garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt and basil.

Once the tomatoes are ready, heat your olive oil in a 10″saute pan on medium low and add garlic.  Saute 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.  Add pinch of red pepper flakes and Celtic sea salt.

Pour the blended tomatoes into the pan and simmer on medium-low/low, stirring regularly for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

If your tomatoes aren’t super sweet you can add a pinch of coconut sugar too!

To finish your sauce, stir in basil, cut into ribbons.  This can be done right away or just before serving. Now your sauce is ready to use.

I love it with zucchini noodles or any type of pasta.  One of my favorite dishes is Grilled Scallops with Grilled Tomato Sauce.  It’s great with Chicken Mushroom and Zucchini Meatballs or pizza or cauliflower pizza.

It will keep in your refrigerator for 7 days or freeze for 1 month.

Enjoy this Easy Grilled Fresh Tomato Sauce. It’s fresh, flavorful, easy to make and super healthy.

If you like this recipe try these other delicious summer sauces:

Vegan Pesto

Asian “Peanut Sauce”

Tahini Dressing

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If you give this recipe a try, please let us know what you think! Give it some stars or leave a comment. ♥

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Easy Grilled Fresh Tomato Sauce

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A tasty, aromatic tomato sauce made with grilled tomatoes, blended and simmered until thick, seasoned with fresh basil.


  • 56 plum tomatoes, about pounds, cut in half*
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (a few shakes)
  • Celtic sea salt and fresh pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, cut into ribbons


  1. Preheat the grill on medium high.
  2. Once it’s hot, oil the grill.
  3. Place the tomatoes onto the grill, cut side down.
  4. Grill about 2 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  5. Turn over and grill until tomatoes are tender and lightly charred, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Transfer tomatoes to a blender and puree until smooth.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a 10″ sauté pan.
  8. Add garlic, sauté on medium-low heat 1-2 minutes until garlic is softened.
  9. Pour in the pureed tomatoes and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt.
  10. Simmer on medium-low/low until sauce is thickened 10-15 minutes.
  11. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.* Turn off the heat.
  12. Stir in basil.


Plum tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes work best since they are less watery  If you have medium size round tomatoes they will be fine. You may have to simmer the sauce longer for it to thicken.

Add a pinch of coconut sugar if you want more sweetness.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Grill, Blend
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Whole30

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