We most often think of buying a red sauce pre-prepared, but most store-bought brands include unnecessary added sugar, sodium and oils. Plus, it’s easy to make your own and jazz it up any way you’d like!

Use this red sauce as a marinara for pasta or italian-style bowls or as a dip. Make it heartier with plant-based protein additions and extra veggies. You can even play with different herb and spice combinations to make an enchilada sauce!



  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 32-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning blend


1. Heat a wide skillet over medium. Add a splash of water or olive oil and the chopped onion. Saute onion for a minute or two, or until it begins to soften.

2. Add remaining ingredients and cover. Simmer until fragrant and warm throughout.

3. For a uniform and thickened texture, transfer to a blender and puree.



  • Vegetables: onion, tomato, red bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, peppers
  • Herb/spice: garlic powder, fresh garlic, fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary, chili pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin paprika (swap italian seasoning for chili powder, cumin, and paprika to make an enchilada sauce; or curry powder to make an Indian sauce)
  • Additions: crumbled tempeh, cooked lentils, sun=dried tomatoes, capers, olives
  • Make it creamy: make a vodka sauce by stirring in cashew cream (pre-soaked cashews blended with water) or a creamy curry sauce by adding coconut milk and curry powder.

Variation Suggestion -Bolognese Sauce

  • After sauteeing the onion for a few minutes, add crumbled tempeh and saute until it beings to brown. Add remaining ingredients and simmer. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash.