Home Freezing, Preservation Ideas: Fruits, Veggies (cont.)

Blender Marinara Sauce for Your Freezer

3/4 cup chopped yellow or sweet onion
4 cups chopped vine-ripened fresh tomatoes (can use Roma tomatoes)
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves (or 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)


  1. Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat; coat generously with olive oil or canola cooking spray. Saute onions and garlic in the saucepan, stirring frequently, until lightly browned (about four minutes). Set pan aside.
  2. In blender bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, oregano, tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper by pulsing briefly (there should still be small lumps). Stir in the onion/garlic mixture.
  3. Let tomato sauce cool 20-30 minutes, then pour into a quart- or gallon-size sealable plastic freezer bag (or a 1-quart plastic freezer container).
  4. When ready to serve, let it thaw in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator, then place it in a medium, nonstick saucepan. Cook over low heat, uncovered, long enough to blend the flavors (about 15 minutes). Serve with pasta or other dishes.

Yield: Makes about 3 cups of sauce or 4 servings (if 3/4-cup each)
Nutrition Information: Per serving: 97 calories, 2.5 g protein, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 33%.

Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2008 Elaine Magee

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for WebMD and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

Published July 2008.

Carol Ann Burtness, MEd, extension educator-food science, Minnesota Regional Extension Office. Tarrant Figlio, WebMD message board moderator.
University of Minnesota Extension Service web site: "Basil; Making Freezer Jam; Freezing Fruits and Vegetables."
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service web site: "Preserving Food: Freezing Fruit."

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