Roasted Vegetable Sauce (slow oven-cooked)

Let the oven do all the hard work for this deliciously rich and mouth-watering roasted vegetable sauce. It uses only 6 ingredients, is super simple to throw together and I guarantee will liven up any dish.


roasted vegetable sauce in baking dish

This easy healthy sauce is a firm favourite in my house. Whilst it requires time to let the oven work its magic there really is minimal intervention required by you. And the end result is so worth it. You are left with a deliciously rich tomato-based sauce full of Mediterranean flavours.

Why I Love Homemade Sauces over shop-bought versions

I am a big advocate for homemade options. The main reason for this is I know exactly what is going into my food. This is particularly important for helping to manage my daughter’s type 1 diabetes. Making sauces from scratch just allows me to be more accurate with my carb counting and I hope I can show you that it still can be convenient it just requires a little extra time.

This particular roasted vegetable sauce is:

  • refined sugar-free
  • gluten and dairy-free
  • suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • doesn’t have any hidden ingredients
  • easy to make as it only takes 5 minutes to prepare
  • healthy as it uses whole foods so full of flavour and
  • can quite easily be batch-cooked for freezing

Why do you roast vegetables before adding them to the sauce?

roasted veg on top of tomato sauce
Chopped roasted vegetables being added to the tomato sauce

In this recipe, as with a lot of my recipes (I now realise ), the vegetables are roasted before adding them to the rich tomato sauce. The reason for this is that the roasting not only softens them beautifully for sauces but also caramelises the vegetables which enhances their flavour.

There is so much you can do with a roasted vegetable. If you’re not adding them to a sauce. You could toss them into a salad as I did in my ROASTED AUBERGINE, RED PEPPERS AND BEAN SALAD, pop them on top of your pizza or even sneak them into a lasagne or pasta dish.


What you will need to make this Roasted Vegetable Sauce

closeup roasted vegetable sauce
  • Onions
    • Bring an essential flavour and gentle sweetness
    • Frozen chopped onions work brilliantly in this sauce as well
  • Garlic
    • You can’t have a tomato sauce without this core flavour in my opinion
    • Again I sometimes use frozen in this recipe
  • Tinned tomatoes
    • When heated they release more antioxidants.
    • They are a brilliant source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits
    • Also a great source of vitamin C and K
    • I use either chopped tinned tomatoes or tinned cherry tomatoes
  • Red Pepper
    • Adds a lovely sweetness to the tomato-based sauce plus a good hit of vitamin C
    • I will either roast a fresh pepper if I have one or will use the jarred version – Karyatis Roasted Red Peppers
  • Aubergine
    • A nutrient-dense vegetable which means that they contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fibre
    • they also add to the Mediterranean flavours of this sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
    • Made from unfermented grape juice
    • Adds sweetness to offset the tartness of the tomatoes

How to make the roasted vegetable sauce

This is very easy to make but just needs plenty of time so that the oven can work its magic to make this sauce so mouth-wateringly rich and tasty.

Firstly you will need to roast the aubergine and red pepper (if not using jarred roast peppers). I am very lazy and simply pop them both on an oven dish, prick the skin of the aubergine and leave them to roast in a preheated oven 200c / 180c fan for around 30 minutes.

Aubergines and Red Pepper ready to go in the oven

Once beautifully roasted and soft, place the aubergines and pepper on a chopping board to cool. Using the same oven dish add your chopped onion and plenty of olive oil and pop it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Your onion should soften and be golden brown when you add your chopped/minced garlic. Stir through the garlic and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes

Now you are ready to add the tinned tomatoes and balsamic to your roasted onion and garlic in the oven dish. I add a little extra water here as I like to rinse the can to make sure I get every last bit of tomato juice from my tins. Season well with plenty of salt and pepper. And if you want to add any extra seasoning such as herbs like oregano or basil, this is a good point to do it.

Your vegetables should be cool enough to roughly chop now. Add them back into your tomato sauce and mix well to combine everything. Now all you have to do is put your sauce back into the oven on a low heat 180c / 160c fan for 1.5-2 hours. This will allow the oven to continue to caramelize and reduce the tomatoes into a super-rich sauce.

Make sure to season well and taste the sauce to ensure the seasoning is right for your palate


How to store your roasted vegetable sauce

If I’m not using my sauce straight away, I will store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days so that I can use it as I need it.

Otherwise, if you prefer to batch cook then this sauce can also be frozen. If I am doing this then I like to pour the sauce into resealable freezer bags as they take up less room in the freezer. It will happily keep for up 3 to 4 months this way.


Recipe Variations and Uses

This roasted vegetable sauce is so versatile and you can add lots of different additional flavours and vegetables to make it the perfect foundation for your dishes. Here are some other flavour variations you could try:

  • Add any fresh, dried or frozen herb – If I am making a Greek-inspired dish then I add plenty of Oregano
  • Add extra vegetables such as different colour peppers, courgettes or butternut squash
  • Add spices such as paprika, curry powder or cumin to name a few
  • Add a spice paste such as a chipotle, harissa or tagine paste (as below)
  • Add some pesto – I sometimes like to add a sundried tomato pesto
Roasted Vegetable sauce with added tagine paste and served with vegetarian meatballs on a bed of couscous with lots of green veg.

Switch the Red Peppers

A variation I love is to use jarred roast peppers instead of fresh red peppers that I roast myself. The reason for this is that they have so much flavour. All the hard work has been done for you as they are often flame-roasted and packed in a light vinegary marinade which adds even more depth to this sauce.

My favourite jarred roast peppers are the Karyatis Roasted Red Peppers, however, a lot of the supermarkets have their own brands which tend to be a little cheaper.


Serving Suggestions

This sauce is really amazing as it comes straight out of the oven. However, it is also incredibly versatile and adaptable taking any flavour you like to throw at it. By adding some basil or pesto you could make a more Italian-inspired dish and serve it with pasta or use it as the red sauce in a Lasagna.

Vegetarian Lasagne with added Quorn mince to the roasted vegetable sauce

Or perhaps lots of oregano and feta for a beautiful Greek-inspired sauce to go with a leg of deliciously slow-roasted lamb.

Here are some other suggestions on ways to use and serve this sauce:

  • Stir into cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese for the perfect easy pasta meal
  • Add to cooked rice to make a delicious tomatoey rice dish
  • Add to roasted vegetables for a delicious side
  • Enjoy it as a simple soup by adding some extra vegetable stock and blitzing it down

If you love a good sauce recipe then why not try:

rich tomato sauce in a saucepan

Rich Tomato Sauce

An absolute basic yet classic recipe. This rich tomato sauce is simple to make and has so many flavour variations.


Diabetes Note

There is a little added sugar in balsamic vinegar, however, we have found that as the quantity is so small per serving we have not needed to count for this. But as always that is totally a personal choice and you know best what to count for.


If you’ve made this recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below! This is the best way you can help support me and my blog!


Don’t forget you can FOLLOW ME on Instagram and Facebook. Click below and tag @wholeheartykitchen and #wholeheartykitchen so I can see all of your amazing creations!


Roasted Vegetable Sauce (slow oven-cooked)

Roasted Vegetable Sauce (slow oven-cooked)

Let the oven do all the hard work for this deliciously rich and mouth-watering roasted vegetable sauce

Recipe by Michelle
0 from 0 votes
Course: Sides, Dips and Other BitsCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Very Easy
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

2

hours 

30

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

35

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely

  • 2 clove garlic, chopped/minced

  • 2 tins chopped or cherry tomatoes

  • 1 medium red pepper or jarred roasted red pepper

  • 2 medium aubergines

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheated your oven to 200 c / 180 c fan .
    FIrstly roast the aubergine and red pepper (if using jarred roast peppers then leave out the red pepper).
    Pop them in an oven dish, prick the skin of the aubergine and in the oven to roast for around 30 minutes.
  • Once beautifully roasted and soft, place the aubergines and pepper on a chopping board to cool.
  • Using the same oven dish add your chopped onion and plenty of olive oil and pop it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
    Then Stir through the garlic and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and add the tinned tomatoes and balsamic to your roasted onion and garlic in the oven dish. I add a little extra water here as I like to rinse the can to make sure I get every last bit of tomato juice from my tins.
    Season well with plenty of salt and pepper. And if you want to add any extra seasoning such as herbs like oregano or basil, this is a good point to do it.
  • Your roasted vegetables should be cool enough to roughly chop now. And if using jarred peppers chop them now with the aubergines.
    Add the vegetables back into your tomato sauce and mix well to combine everything.
    Put your sauce back into the oven on a lower heat 180c / 160c fan for 1.5-2 hours. This will allow the oven to continue to caramelize and reduce the tomatoes into a super-rich sauce.
  • Make sure to season well when your sauce is beautifully reduced by tasting to ensure the seasoning is right for your palate

Tips and Notes

  • Diabetes Note – There is a little added sugar in balsamic vinegar, however, we have found that as the quantity is so small per serving we have not needed to count for this. But as always that is totally a personal choice and you know best what to count for.
  • If you’ve made this recipe, please leave a comment and star rating! This is the best way you can help support me and my blog!
  • Don’t forget you can FOLLOW ME on Instagram and Facebook. Click below and tag @wholeheartykitchen and #wholeheartykitchen so I can see all of your amazing creations!

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