Homemade Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms {Recipe ReDux}

May 22, 2015

Homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms is full of rich umami flavor, lower in sodium than store-bought varieties, and easy to make. Try it for your next pasta night! 

The months are just flying by. Can you believe it’s the end of May and we’re celebrating Memorial Day this coming Monday? (In case you missed my previous mentions of the holiday, be sure to check out my 5 Healthy Habits to get through the weekend and the Cocktail & Mocktail Roundup that’s making it’s way around Pinterest!)

Before we get to the big holiday festivities, we have more important business to attend to in the healthy foodie blogger world. It’s time for another Recipe ReDux and this month’s theme is sure to bring lots of awesome recipes for everyone to share and try on your own.

DIY Kitchen Essentials

What favorite kitchen staples do you now make from scratch – but in the past you purchased? Show us your best DIY recipe for keeping cupboards, fridge or freezer stocked with healthy basics. Think homemade frozen waffles, salad dressing, broth or other kitchen essentials.

Mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste join together to add a rich, deep umami flavor to this homemade tomato sauce that's lower in sodium than most store-bought varieties. @JlevinsonRD

How fun is that?!

I knew immediately what I was going to make (if you can’t wait, the recipe is below), but there are so many other kitchen essentials that I make myself I could probably make a blog series out of them. Hmm…wait…that’s an idea I should add to my to-do list.

I digress. Back to this post. I’m sure we’ll see some DIY recipes for the other essentials I make at home – salad dressings, hummus (on occasion), veggie burgers, barbecue sauce and other marinades. The list can go on, so be sure to check below for the other ReDuxer recipes to see what they came up with.

In the meantime, let’s get to my recipe for Homemade Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms, a reduced sodium version of a classic pasta sauce that’s full of flavor, easy to make, and can be the starting point for a multitude of meals.

This homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms is full of flavor and lower in sodium than most tomato sauces. Enjoy it over pasta, as a base for pizza, or as a starter for pasta bolognese!  @JlevinsonRD

For this version of my homemade tomato sauce, I use crushed tomatoes (my go-to are the Pomi boxed tomatoes), but in the summer when tomatoes are at their peak I often use fresh tomatoes to make a more basic tomato basil sauce.

The best part about the homemade tomato sauces is that they have so much less sodium than the packaged varieties. For example, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce with mushrooms I saw at my supermarket has 420 mg sodium, whereas 1/2 cup of my sauce has 249 mg sodium. That’s more than a 40% reduction in sodium! Now, don’t get me wrong: there is absolutely no problem using a jarred or canned sauce, just be sure to check the labels to see how much sodium is in a serving and where the source of sodium falls on the ingredient list (the lower down it is, the less of it is in the product).

This homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms is full of flavor and lower in sodium than most tomato sauces. Enjoy it over pasta, as a base for pizza, or as a starter for pasta bolognese!  @JlevinsonRD

I use this sauce as a starter sauce for bolognese (including my Vegetarian Bolognese made with lentils), homemade pizzas, meatballs, or plain old pasta. Sometimes I add more vegetables to it and add some beans for protein so it’s a complete meal. When I made the sauce this time for the ReDux, I decided to use it as a base for a vegetarian bolognese, which I’ve been wanting to make for quite some time.

Side Note: I meant to photograph the sauce before adding the remaining bolognese ingredients, but I forgot, so you’ll see lentils and spinach in the sauce. I’ll be sharing that complete recipe with you – and how I served it – soon.

In the meantime, here’s the basic recipe for Homemade Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

This homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms is full of flavor and lower in sodium than most tomato sauces. Enjoy it over pasta, as a base for pizza, or as a starter for pasta bolognese!  @JlevinsonRD

Print

Homemade Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms

Mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste join together to add a rich, deep umami flavor to this homemade tomato sauce that's lower in sodium than most store-bought varieties.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 73 kcal
Author Jessica

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 26-28 ounces crushed tomatoes preferably no-salt added
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium-large pot over medium high.
  2. Add onions and saute 1-2 minutes until translucent and starting to soften. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes until water from the mushrooms has released and begins to evaporate.
  3. Add herbs and tomato paste; stir to combine. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with vinegar.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Lower heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

The longer you simmer the sauce, the deeper and richer the flavor becomes.

What’s your favorite kitchen essential?

Do you make any kitchen essentials from scratch? 

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    1. Thanks! When I was growing up, my mother always added mushrooms for her meatball sauce, so I just naturally include them!

  1. Loving the mushrooms in this sauce! I eat them like no other 🙂 Unfortunately, my gerd doesn’t allow me to enjoy tomato sauce as much as I’d like but I sure do miss it! I would definitely chew a few pepcids for this sauce, though 😉

    1. Oh no, I can’t imagine life without tomato sauce 🙁 with all the food technology these days there should be a solution for that!

  2. You were right — this does sound amazing! I’ve always wondered about the Pomi tomatoes in the box, and am glad someone I trust gave the thumbs up. Thanks!

  3. Confession…Marinara sauce is one of those things I usually buy. But your sauce might just convert me 🙂 It looks so delicious and I love all the ingredients, especially the mushrooms. I might have to chop those up pretty fine though, since my kids aren’t mushroom fans. Yet 🙂

    1. Oh No!!!! Just kidding, I still buy marinara too – I like trader joe’s traditional marinara, especially as a base for pizzas! But I do hope you try my sauce and enjoy it!

    1. Ha-I’m not sure about that, just lots of stuff I like to make at home! Hope you try the sauce and love it! Happy Memorial Day!

  4. Love homemade tomato sauce and freeze a lot of it in the fall when my tomatoes finally ripen in the garden. But I’ve never added mushrooms to it. Sounds wonderful and I’ll have to try it Thanks for sharing!