I’m sure you’ve tasted those yummy little glass jars of sun dried tomatoes packed full of herby olive oil that cost about five dollars each?

Well, here you have a (not) sun dried tomato sauce that is just like them… Except not.
This was a totally happy accident, and now my life will not be the same as it once was.

Originally, I had intended to make something similar to this magic sauce, but I decided to use it as a base for my homemade pizza tonight, so I added some tomato paste to the sauce so it would be a bit more like a pizza sauce.

I was completely stunned the moment I tasted it. The flavor was similar to that of those sun dried tomatoes that were packed in oil.

This was so exciting for me because nearly every time I’m at the store, I find myself wanting to buy those expensive little tomatoes we take for granted but the price has always discouraged me from buying them since now I know I can make something that tastes really, really similar, especially for such a small amount of money.
So, what do you do with this “sauce”? Well….

  • Use it as a pizza sauce
  • Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and toss with warm pasta
  • As a delicious sandwich spread, you can use it as a spread for focaccia or other hearty bread and sandwiches.
  • Use this tomatoey version of garlic toast instead of garlic butter on slices of french bread for a delicious tomatoey twist on the classic
  • Then you just need to dip some really good, crusty bread in it and you’ll be good to go.

It’s so tasty that you’re sure to come up with a million more delicious ways to use it. Follow Apronese to learn and follow this recipe.

(not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

AYou will be surprised to know that it’s as easy and quick to make a tomato sauce that tastes just like it was made with expensive sun dried tomatoes.

Author: Beth

Cook Time: 10 mins/ Total Time: 10 mins


  • 1/3 cup olive oil ($0.64)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary ($0.02)
  • a pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • 10-15 cranks freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste ($0.27)
  • 1/2 tsp honey ($0.02)


  • A small skillet should be filled with the olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. The mixture should be stirred and heated over a low heat setting for approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly. It is okay if it sizzles a little, but it shouldn’t be so hot that the herbs are burned.
  • The tomato paste and honey are added to the sauce and allowed to warm through as you stir. It will not make a smooth sauce but it will be warm and thick as it finishes heating. Stir it continually and heat on low for about five minutes (or until the tomato paste appears slightly darker). Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

In case you do not have all the herbs listed above, then it is still possible to make a pretty good version of this curry.

It is not necessary to include the thyme and rosemary, crushed red pepper, and freshly cracked pepper. For best results, you should use all of them.


Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 730.6 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 21.9 g ・ Protein: 4.3 g ・ Fat: 72.7 g ・ Sodium: 1473.4 mg ・ Fiber: 4.8 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.

Step By Step Photos

Olive Oil and Herbs in skillet

It is best to begin by mixing a cup of olive oil with one clove minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of dry rosemary, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper grinder), and half an teaspoon of salt to one cup of olive oil.

Heat over low for a few minutes. It’s okay if the oil sizzles just slightly, but do not let it burn.

By cooking it for a few minutes, the herbal flavor is infused into the oil and it helps remove the raw garlic taste.
Tomato Paste and Honey added to other ingredients in skillet
The next step is to add 3oz (half of a 6oz. can or about 1/3 cup) of tomato paste and 1/2 tsp of honey.

Don’t forget to freeze the remainder of your tomato paste so that you can use it next time you’re ready for it.
Finished Not Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in skillet
Over low heat, then cook and stir for about five minutes until it is heated throughout and the tomato paste has darkened slightly (see the difference between the vibrant red in the last picture and this deep crimson color in this picture).

That should not take more than five minutes. The paste is now ready to be used.
Close up of Not Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
You will get about a half cup of (not actually) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce after preparing this recipe.

Because of the oil/water component that happens, your “sauce” won’t be smooth or cohesive, but don’t let that discourage you from trying it! It is delicious.

Can you almost taste it?
Completed in just 10 minutes, it’s worth a try, isn’t it? Share with Apronese and everyone you know how to do it in the comment section.