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I’m as rushed and overworked and harried as the next busy mom. I’ll admit I’ve been known to skip the MAKING it part of homemade pasta sauce, since most store-bought pasta sauces are already gluten free (always read the ingredients though!), but when you see how quick it is to make this easy homemade pasta sauce recipe, you might think twice before buying that ready-made sauce next time!
The theme is control: YOU control the ingredients, which means you control not only the flavor but the sodium, sugar, and other potentially irritating ingredients which may already be included in a store-bought sauce.
Did you know that one serving of a typical pasta sauce can contain 500 milligrams of sodium—a third of your daily limit! Sugar is also liberally added in many commercial sauces. When you make the sauce from scratch though, you can buy no salt added and lower sugar or no sugar added tomato sauces and pastes. Control.
Plus, for people like me who can’t tolerate garlic or much in the way of onions, I don’t have to add them to my homemade pasta sauce! On the other hand, if you feel it’s sacrilegious NOT to add garlic and onions to pasta sauce, then feel free! Can’t do pepper? Don’t add it. Allergic to oregano — skip it!
The point is, when you make it yourself, you make it your own. With that in mind, add more or less or skip any of the herbs and spices I use for mine. Use dried herbs when you’re in a pinch (haha — see what I did there?!) or use fresh during the summer months when they’re plentiful. Use meat or my veggie alternative or skip it altogether if you just want a smooth sauce for homemade gluten free pizza or dipping your mozzarella sticks.
I like to make this yummy pasta sauce into a vegan “meat” sauce by using Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Burgers and Veggie Bites*. When chopped and added to this easy homemade pasta sauce recipe, it creates the texture of traditional meat-based sauce without the time, calories, fat and well … meat, of an ordinary ground beef sauce.
Mix up the flavors in the sauce by choosing from the variety of veggie burgers they offer: from Adzuki Bean to Spicy Thai and all kinds of milder flavors in between, they’re all delish! Hilary’s products are also all vegan, certified gluten free and free of other allergens like soy, nuts, dairy and eggs. Made with whole gluten free grains, leafy greens and herbs, they’re a healthier, logical choice for my family.
Combine ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine.
Remember: you’re in control. Add more or less herbs, salt/pepper, to suit your taste and what’s in your cabinet that day. Using Hilary’s Veggie Burgers or Veggie Bites already adds flavor to this sauce, so you can dial back on the amounts or variety of herbs I offer in the ingredient list. It’s your sauce, and it may turn out differently every time you make it; that’s ok! It’ll always be delish!
Cook for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to infuse. Remove bay leaf (if using) and serve with your favorite gluten free pasta or in my Homemade Gluten Free Lasagna recipe.
* This sponsored post was created in partnership with Hilary’s Eat Well. As always, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more information. Working with select brands I love allows me to keep bringing you free recipes, and I hope that in the process, you’ll learn about some of the safe gluten free products I choose for my family. Thanks so much for your support!