This easy yellow tomato sauce is a classic Italian marinara sauce made with fresh yellow tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. It’s ready in 40 minutes and can be frozen for later!
Who else is still super excited about tomato season?
Yes, I know we’re well into summer and fall is knocking at the door. But guys, I just can’t move on without sharing another tomato recipe with you!
If you, like me, are rushing to eat and preserve as many tomatoes as possible, here are some of my favorite ideas.
For cherry tomatoes (or plum-size tomatoes), I like to make puff-pastry tomato tarts.
If you’ve been following along with my Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen me preparing and prepping a lot of tomatoes!
Over the past month, I’ve been happily eating and freezing so many tomatoes! Since tomato season is winding to an end, I thought my tomato prep had ended.
This week, however, a friend gave us a big box of yellow slicing tomatoes.
I love yellow tomatoes, so I wanted to share this sauce with you!
This easy yellow tomato marinara sauce is made with fresh yellow tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Eat it right away or freeze it for later!
Do Yellow Tomatoes Taste Different Than Red Tomatoes?
Yellow tomatoes tend to be sweeter, more mellow, and less acidic than red tomatoes.
That means this sauce will be sweet and delicious without adding any kind of sweetener.
How To Make Tomato Sauce Without “Paste” Tomatoes
It’s true, some tomatoes are more ideal for sauces than others.
Roma tomatoes in particular are fabulous for sauces because they aren’t watery. This San Marzano sauce is one of my favorites.
That does not mean that you can’t use a slicing tomato to make marinara sauce!
It simply means that you’ll probably need to cook the sauce a little longer to help evaporate the extra liquid.
How to Make Yellow Tomato Marinara Sauce
Start by prepping the tomatoes.
Core them, and (if you want) remove the seeds. Removing the seeds will reduce the amount of water in the sauce and shorten the cook time a little bit.
Dice the tomatoes and add them to a bowl with water. Yes, we’re adding a little water to watery tomatoes, because it will help them cook down more quickly.
Add olive oil and garlic to a large, shallow pan. I used this Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet.
Heat the oil, and when it begins to sizzle, you’re ready to add the tomatoes and water.
Add a little salt and red chili flakes.
Add a sprig of fresh basil. Simply rest it on top of the tomatoes.
Out of fresh basil? You can use frozen basil or swap the basil for dried oregano.
Dried basil has much less flavor than either fresh basil or dried oregano, so I don’t recommend it in this recipe.
As the tomatoes cook, the steam will wilt the basil.
When the basil is completely wilted, gently push it into the sauce.
Simmer the sauce over medium heat until the tomatoes soften and the liquid (mostly) evaporates.
Pull out the basil and discard (or compost).
Taste the sauce, and if it’s too sweet, add a splash of wine vinegar.
You can also adjust the seasonings at this point, adding more salt or chili flakes if you want. I like to add a drizzle of hot chili oil for extra heat.
If you love how the sauce tastes, but prefer a smoother sauce with less texture, you can use a blender to purée the yellow tomato sauce.
I prefer my sauce with a little texture.
Toss the sauce with your favorite pasta, add it to a pizza, or freeze it! You can pull the frozen sauce out in the middle of winter and pretend it’s summer again.
Yellow Tomato Sauce
6 Days (Fridge), 1 Year (Freezer)
- large heavy skillet (12-inch minimum)
- 2 pounds fresh yellow slicing tomatoes
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 7 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 sprig fresh basil, still on stem Or sub ¼ tsp dried oregano, plus more to taste
- 1 ounce wine vinegar (white, red, or sherry), optional
- Core the tomatoes. Optionally, remove the seeds (to help reduce the amount of liquid and the cook time). Roughly dice tomatoes and add to a large bowl with ¾ cup water. Set aside.
- Add the oil and garlic to a large, shallow pan. (Use a 12" pan or larger, see recipe notes.)Heat the garlic over medium-low heat, until it begins to sizzle.
- When the garlic is sizzling, but before it begins to toast, add the tomatoes and water. Some small pieces of garlic will likely begin to toast before you add the tomatoes, and that's okay.Increase the heat to medium.
- Add the salt and chili flakes. Set the sprig of basil on top of the tomatoes, but do not submerge it.If you don't have access to fresh basil, sprinkle oregano in the tomato mixture instead.
- When the tomatoes begin to simmer, the basil will wilt. When it is completely wilted, gently push it down into the sauce.
- Simmer the tomatoes for 20-25 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.Taste the sauce, and if it's too sweet, add the vinegar to brighten the flavor. (Yellow tomatoes tend to be sweeter and less acidic than red.)Add more chili flakes or salt if desired. If you swapped oregano for basil, add more oregano if desired. Simmer 1-2 more minutes if you added more seasoning.Remove the sprig of basil from the sauce.Serve immediately along with fresh pasta or on pizza, or refrigerate and use within 4-6 days, or freeze and use within a year.
If you want an extra-smooth marinara, you have two options. 1. Peel the tomatoes first. Use a knife to mark an X on each tomato, and then blanch them in boiling water until the tomato peel loosens (~15-30 seconds). Peel, and then proceed with the recipe. Crush tomatoes with your hands instead of dicing. 2. Blend the sauce. After cooking, add the sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend the peels into the sauce. Varieties of tomatoes: This recipe was written for yellow slicing tomatoes, but there are a wide variety of different yellow tomatoes. The ones I used were moderately juicy. If yours are exceptionally juicy, you may want to omit the added water (or add less water), depending on how juicy the tomatoes are. If swapping red tomatoes, you can omit the vinegar, as these tomatoes are generally more acidic.