Skip to Content

14 Best Tomato Varieties for Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh tomato sauce made from tomatoes straight from the garden is a taste sensation. It is extremely versatile in the kitchen, freezes well, and can be canned or bottled for months of use when fresh tomatoes are not in season.

Tomato sauce can be served with just about anything from pasta, vegetables, eggs, cheese dishes and added to curries, stews and chutneys for a bit of zing.

If you’re looking to make your own this season, opt for these tomato varieties that ensure the most flavorful tomato sauce with the best possible texture.


The name says it all on this one, bred for making a super sauce. This type of paste tomato is a prolific producer of large fruit that is meaty with few seeds and packed with good flavor. The skins are easy to peel, making them a really good choice for sauce.


Named after the pizza Margherita – the simplest pizza, made with a pizza base, fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil – this tomato plant produces high yields of bright red tomatoes. They are also fairly disease-resistant for an easier season throughout. These tomatoes are also good for slicing or roasting as well as making a delicious sauce.

San Marzano

The famous San Marzano tomato, grown in a small region of Italy between Naples and Salerno in the Valley of Sarno, is the only one that has the stamp of approval by Italian law and is allowed to have the emblem of Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) on its label.

These tomatoes with their thin and pointy shape are considered some of the finest in the world. They have put the Italian growers of this product found in cans across the world on the map.

Nowadays anyone can give the famous San Marzano tomato a try as seed is readily available, but you might struggle to replicate the specific soil and sunshine found only in the Valley of Sarno that make these Italian tomatoes unique. Nevertheless, they made a terrific sauce with a strong taste that is sweeter and less acidic than other varieties with thicker flesh and few seeds.

Amish Paste

Believed to have been first grown by an Amish community in Wisconsin in the 1870s, this paste-type tomato is rich, sweet and tangy with a flavor that is quite unique. The dark red color of these heirloom tomatoes makes a deep red sauce that has an excellent taste.


This saladette variety of tomato has medium to large elongated fruit with a good firm texture. They are very good for areas that have a short growing season as they produce an abundance of tomatoes in 69 – 80 days. They have a rich flavor that is perfect for sauce.


Yaqui is known for vigorous production on plants that are very disease resistant. It produces high yields of plum red tomatoes that have a sweet taste and are perfect for a range of uses like salads and salsas, but also excellent for purees, sauces and pastes.


The MiRoma tomato is a plum red tomato known for its rich flavor when made into a sauce. They are early maturing tomatoes with the Roma-type tomatoes having a thick, meaty flesh that is perfect for sauce.

Viva Italia

A red to orange color brushes these strong-flavored plum tomatoes. This paste variety is a prolific performer and fairly disease-resistant. They have meaty flesh with thick walls that hold texture well when made into sauce.

Super Italian Paste

This is an heirloom paste tomato with thick flesh and very few seeds. They are shaped like long peppers and have an orange to red color with very little juice. With such a low water content, they are naturally ideal for making pastes, but will also make a good sauce. In the garden, they are vigorous and high-yielding plants.


Clusters of elongated red fruit form on tomato ‘Guilietta’ plants. They have been adapted for the specific cooler climates in northern Europe and they produce high yields on very disease-resistant plants. The juicy and tasty plum tomatoes are also great for sauces.


This heirloom tomato hails from Poland, with large, pointy red tomatoes that have excellent flavor and few seeds. These are strange-looking tomatoes, reaching 5 inches long, but they are considered by some to have a superior taste, making an excellent sauce.

Costoluto Genovese

Costoluto Genovese is an Italian heirloom that has a rich and meaty flesh with an intense flavor that is slightly more acidic than other varieties. These tomatoes are heavily lobed, making them look like they are trying to escape their skins. They are becoming more popular for their exceptional flavor and quirkiness in the garden.

Jersey Giant

Large 4- 6 inches long pointy tomatoes are formed on this vining tomato. These tomatoes were developed in New Jersey and are an offshoot of the Jersey Devil which has been a popular commercial variety. It has few seeds and little juice, but also a nice firm flesh that cooks down for a sweet tomato-flavored sauce.

Big Mama

A paste tomato that is considered one of the best with bright red plum fruits. Big mama is a solid growing vine tomato that is hardy and disease-resistant. This versatile tomato is good fresh for salads and salsas and also for sauces.

What Not To Use For Tomato Sauce

As there are so many tomato varieties out there, each one with its own unique characteristics, it’s impossible to name all those that aren’t ideal for sauces. You could in theory make a sauce out of any type of tomato. But, what makes the difference with the ones mentioned here is flavor and texture. The sweeter the taste and the firmer the fruit, the better the sauce will be.

How To Make Tomato Sauce

For about five cups of sauce, gather together 10 pounds of fresh tomatoes. They should be very ripe and ready for sauce. Also grab the following ingredients:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper.
  • You can add herbs like basil and thyme for additional flavor.

Remove the skins from the tomatoes by blanching in boiling water and roughly chop. Sauté the onion in the olive oil on a low heat until soft and then add the tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste and season with salt and pepper.

Cook for half an hour and then use a blender to combine the ingredients to form a sauce. Continue cooking until thickened. All the excess water should have evaporated for the best results.