Super Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce

This healthy tomato sauce recipe reduces the sodium but keeps the flavor and disease-fighting antioxidants found in traditional recipes. Try pairing it with the Turkey and Beef Meatballs with Whole Wheat Spaghetti recipe for a mouth-watering meal.


2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic, chopped (about 1 clove)

1 jar (12 oz) roasted red peppers, drained and diced (or substitute fresh roasted red peppers, see Tip*)

2 cans (14½ oz each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1 can (5½ oz) low-sodium tomato juice

1 Tbsp fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

¼ tsp ground black pepper

*Tip: How do I roast a red pepper and take the skin off?
First, place the red pepper on a nonstick baking sheet under a broiler for about 10 minutes or until the skin is blackened. Once the pepper is blackened, place it in a plastic bag or bowl wrapped with plastic, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Scrape off the burnt skin and rinse the pepper under cool water. Then, chop it up according to the recipe instructions.


1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook until soft, but not browned (for about 30 seconds).

2. Add diced red peppers, and continue to cook for 2–3 minutes until the peppers begin to sizzle.

3. Add tomatoes, tomato juice, basil, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. (Sauce can be pureed for picky eaters.)

4. Use immediately. If not used immediately, refrigerate the sauce in a tightly sealed container for 3–5 days or freeze it for 1–2 months.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes (add 15 minutes if making homemade roasted red peppers)


Yield: 12 servings

Serving size: ½ cup sauce

Each serving provides:

Calories 31
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 76 mg
Total fiber 1 g
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 4 g
Potassium 66 mg
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

To get more healthy recipes, download Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals .

Reprinted with permission from Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. NIH Publication No. 10-7531. Page 54. December 2010.