This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

My 15 minute pasta sauce is rich, flavorful and ready for dinner in just 15 minutes! This easy red sauce is perfect for a weeknight pasta, easy meatball subs, or to pull together a from-scratch lasagna! 

15 Minute Pasta Sauce sauce pot

My pasta sauce obsession is well documented, and I keep a constant supply of frozen, homemade sauce in my freezer tucked right in next to my pre-sliced sourdough. {Red wine pasta sauce made with fresh basil is one of my go-to favorites!} But even I, the Queen of Sauce, runs out every now and again. 

This is no cause for panic because I have a quick fix! 

The Minutes Breakdown:

  • 2 Minutes to chop the onion and throw it in a pan to sweat. 
  • 3 Minutes to mince some garlic (if ever there were a time to cheat with jarred…this would be it!) and get it in with the onions. 
  • 2 Minutes to open your cans of tomatoes (why don’t they make the pull tabs?!) and crush them in a bowl. All this while your onions and garlic are finishing. 
  • 8 Minutes to allow all your ingredients to simmer. 

Think of it Like your own personal show of Chopped! Running up against a clock to prepare a whole dish while people (your kids, friends, hubs) pepper you with questions. But speaking from experience, making this sauce is waaaaay less stressful than a competition show. 

It’s so easy but still absolutely amazing. 

Pasta Sauce Cheat Codes:

You can’t just throw any old tomatoes in a pot with some garlic and onions and expect them to taste like you rolled up to a fancy Italian restaurant. Let me breakdown why this works, so you know what you can modify. 

  • San Marzano Tomatoes: These are the best. They taste like Italian sunshine in the rolling hills of Tuscany because that is where they grew. They are DOP, and thus controlled. Think of them like the Champagne of tomatoes. 
  • San Marzano but make them whole tomatoes. Why whole? To be honest, several chefs that I trust have told me that they can taste the difference in a hand-crushed tomato sauce. I trust them; you trust me; and we now hand crush our tomatoes. 
  • Garlic & Onions & a lot of EVOO: The holy trinity of Italian cooking should be present even when pulling dinner out of our hat. (Our very large, very elaborate Kentucky Derby style hat. ?) I can taste the difference in the store-bought garlic and so I don’t use it. If you want to save even more time, you can just slice the clove of garlic on a mandolin {link to amazon} right into your olive oil and onions. 
  • An epic amount of tomato paste: I don’t get finicky about the brand of tomato paste, but I do use a lot of it here to cheat the flavor of a slow cooked red sauce. Tomato paste is tomatoes that are cooked to reduce the moisture to almost nothing. Traditionally tomato paste was made by spreading reduced tomato sauce on wooden boards and then set out to dry in the sun. I would probably just eat that right off the board with a spoon. Just sayin! 

Well that was an unexpected level of food nerd! Did you think that I only got nerdy with pastry? For shame! Speaking of pastry, why not finish off your Italian-style feast with an Italian-style cookie? My Pignoli Cookie Recipe is just the ticket!

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

4.50 from 4 ratings

15 Minute Pasta Sauce

My 15 minute pasta sauce is rich, flavorful and ready for dinner in just 15 minutes! This easy red sauce is perfect for a weeknight pasta, easy meatball subs, or to pull together a from-scratch lasagna!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people



  • In a medium sauce pot add your oil and, if you are a fast chopper, you can go ahead and start to heat that up on low.
  • Chop the onions and add to the oil and begin to sweat out the moisture. Sweating just means that they are cooking on low and the moisture is slowly being released and evaporated without them burning or browning.
  • Mince the garlic or pop open that jarred stuff and add that to the onions. Let those cook for a couple minutes, or until the onions are translucent. This should be done by the time you open your cans and crush your whole tomatoes.
  • If you are using whole, pealed tomatoes, then crush them in a bowl or pass them through a ricer.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the rest of your dinner is ready! Bravo! You are a kitchen badda$s



This sauce can be stored for a week in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts


Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 470mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 82
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating