Most pasta sauce recipes either use canned crushed tomatoes or require a blender. This recipe breaks the tomatoes down (along with red peppers and lots of garlic) in the over, so there’s no need to purchase a canned product. Don’t worry, though. This isn’t your classic Prego marinara. Lots of herbs and chili flakes add flavor and kick to this sauce, putting it somewhere between a marinara and an arrabiata.

Red Pepper Tomato Sauce [Vegan]


Cooking Time




  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • scant 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with foil, parchment, or a silicone liner.
  2. Chop a large red bell pepper into small strips and wash and then halve your cherry tomatoes (don't wash out seeds!). Mince 1-2 cloves garlic.
  3. Toss together pepper, tomatoes, and garlic on baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, thyme, and 1 tsp salt.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. Broil under high heat for one minute, watching carefully so that nothing burns too much!
  5. Remove baking sheet and set aside on a wire rack. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and add crushed red pepper, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, and remaining 1 tsp sea salt.
  6. Add onion and sauté until onions are translucent and fragrant.
  7. Add roasted peppers and tomatoes. Try your best to transfer everything from the baking sheet, including the residual oil, garlic, and herbs, into the pan. Mix until well coated in oil.
  8. Add ½ cup water and stir. Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash until you reach a chunky, sauce-like consistency.
  9. Continue to simmer until most of the water is absorbed and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve as desired