Smoked Marinara Sauce is an incredible and crowd-pleasing sauce made from your garden tomatoes cooked on the smoker or grill. Smoke roast tomatoes and then blend them into the most flavorful tomato sauce, with that sweet kiss of smoke and natural tomato flavors.
We first came up with a smoked marinara sauce back when we first started smoking tomatoes; right around the time we first posted our recipe for Smoked Bloody Mary’s. We thought if smoked tomatoes taste this good in a bloody mary mix, they’d probably taste remarkable in anything requiring tomatoes? This Smoked Tomato Bisque is the perfect example of another use for smoked tomatoes.
We’ve perfect them with this sauce!
Smoked Tomato Sauce
For this recipe we start with garden fresh tomatoes, and a few simple ingredients, in order to bring out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes with that sweet kiss of smoke.
This sauce is rich enough to use as a sauce for pasta, or even a base for pizza or lasagna.
We keep the flavors simple by sautéing up onions, a few seasonings, a splash of wine, and a bunch of the smoked tomatoes. This way the tomatoes are the star of the show.
The Best Homemade Tomato Sauce
The key to making this fresh and delicious sauce starts with smoking fresh tomatoes. And during tomato season I’m sure there are plenty of you out there looking for uses for the bounty of tomatoes coming your way. If not, store bought tomatoes work just great (and it’s what we use throughout the year when we don’t have any in our garden).
How to Smoke Tomatoes
- Preheat the grill to 250 degrees F. You can use whatever smoker you have for this. We go back and forth between our offset stick burner and our pellet smoker, or grill using indirect heat.
- Start by quartering your tomatoes, then toss them in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and bay seasoning.
- Line them on a foil lined baking tray. I like to place the tomatoes on a thin drying rack on top of the baking sheet for better ventilation and ease of transferring.
- Smoke them at 250 degrees for about 2 hours.
- Let them cool just enough to work with, then peel the skin immediately. They peel so easily if you do it while they’re still a bit warm. They just glide off… like buttah.
Once the tomatoes are peeled you can start your sauce.
How to Make Smoked Tomato Marinara Sauce
- Start by sautéing some onions in olive oil in a stock pot for about 12-15 minutes, to let them get soft and sweet. Then add some garlic and some simple seasoning (salt, pepper, a pinch of red chili flakes and a pinch of sugar). Sir those together for about a minute, then add some wine. Bring wine to a simmer for 5 minutes, then add your smoked tomatoes, and continue simmering for an additional 20 minutes.
- If the sauce is chunky you can use a hand immersion blender to break up the chunks, or transfer to a blender to incorporate.
- Taste and adjust for preferences. The tomatoes taste a little different each time we make this recipe (it will depend on how ripe and sweet they are pre-smoking). Sometimes they’re naturally perfectly sweet and we don’t need to add any sweetener at all. If your sauce isn’t as sweet as you’d like feel free to add a pinch of sugar, honey, tomato paste, or whatever you like for sweetness. Slowly adjust the flavors until you get to the sauce you love.
Smoked Marinara Sauce Recipe
Smoked Marinara Sauce
For the Smoked Tomatoes
- 8 large beefsteak tomatoes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Old Bay Spice Seasoning
For the Marinara Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 small red onion chopped (1 cup worth)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Pinch of red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 4 cups smoked tomatoes should be the equivalent of all 8 of them smoked and peeled
- 4 basil leaves
To smoke the tomatoes:
- Prep your smoker to 250 degrees.
- Quarter the tomatoes then toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and old bay seasoning, and place them on a foil lined sheet pan. Smoke them for up to 2 hours.
- Remove from smoker and peel the skins from the tomatoes while they are still warm. Set aside.
For the sauce
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet set to medium. Add onions and let them cook about 12-15 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and sugar (if using), and let cook 1 additional minute.
- Add the red wine and cook 2-3 more minutes, until the sauce has reduced. Add the tomatoes and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Blend the sauce with a hand immersion blender to break up the chunks, or use a potato masher to get to a consistency you like.
- Just before finishing add 2-4 whole basil leaves and stir them in. Just before serving, remove the basil leaves.
What to use Smoked Tomato Sauce in
- Tomato sauce for a simple pasta or spaghetti and meatballs
- Baked Ziti
- Meatball Sandwiches
- Brisket Pizza
- Smoked Sausage Lasagna
More Smoked Tomato Recipes
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