Homemade Mexican Tomato Sauce
Every summer I look forward to all of the flavorful tomatoes that are in season. While I enjoy eating them sliced, with a drizzle of olive oil and flakey salt, I also like to capture their essence in a jar for future use. I use this homemade Mexican tomato sauce to make red rice, fideo seco, sopa de fideo, and as a base for quite a few other soups and stews.
Note: I leave the spice out of this basic tomato sauce recipe, but add rehydrated guajillo chiles or chipotles in adobo sauce when using it to make my fideo seco. Chile and additional seasonings can be added afterward, too.
HOW TO MAKE BASIC MEXICAN TOMATO SAUCE
There are different ways to make this sauce, and my preferred method is to coarsely chop the ingredients and saute everything until the mixture looks like a thick jam before blending and jarring it. This brings out each ingredient’s full flavor.
Alternatively, you can blend the tomatoes, onion, and garlic and then “fry” the sauce in oil until it changes color (you’re looking for a deeper orange color), reduces slightly, and is no longer raw. Either way works and once it’s thoroughly cooked, you can use it or jar and freeze it.
I highly suggest making a large batch and freezing it – especially when there is an abundance of tomatoes in the garden or when they are ripening before you can use them.
HOW TO USE HOMEMADE MEXICAN TOMATO SAUCE
This is my go-to tomato sauce when making red rice, fideo seco, sopa de fideo, and as a base for albondiga soup, caldo de pollo, and quite a few other soups and stews. Essentially, I use it in place of canned tomato sauce. It works well with all of my Mexican recipes that require tomato sauce, garlic, and / or onion, because both ingredients are already part of this concentrated sauce, therefore it’s a lot more flavorful than store-bought canned options.
Additionally, depending on how you will be using the sauce, you can add basil and oregano to infuse more Italian flavors, or canned chipotles or rehydrated guajillo to add a little kick.
MEXICAN TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE
PREP TIME: 5 minutes COOK TIME: 30 – 45 minutes SERVINGS: 2 8-ounce jars
TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT
Jars or airtight containers with lids
INGREDIENTS FOR MEXICAN TOMATO SAUCE
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 pounds tomatoes, about 8 medium tomatoes, quartered
Salt, to taste
First, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and separate into smaller pieces until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Light browning of onions adds flavor.
Next, add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until golden and soft.
Last, reduce heat to low-medium and add tomatoes. Simmer until mixture is jam-like in texture and ingredients are no longer raw, about 30 minutes.
JUST A TIP
Any type of tomato works well in this recipe. If you don’t have access to fresh tomatoes when making this recipe, diced or whole canned tomatoes would also work well.
Photography + Styling: Cacey McReavy