Margherita Sauce is a simply delicious Italian sauce made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, flat-leaf parsley, and olive oil.

This is the BEST Margherita sauce you will ever have. The flavors are so fresh and delicious and you can put it on pasta, homemade margherita pizza, or serve it with toasted bread and cheese.

Margherita sauce overview shot in white bowl and wooden serving spoon

Margherita sauce is a classic Italian tomato sauce made with fresh ingredients and this recipe is, by far, the most amazing I’ve ever had. I was given this recipe by my friend Deanna. Her mom, Roz, was at a local Italian restaurant and they served this sauce, she loved it so much that she had to make her own. So she evaluated the ingredients, wrote them down, and now we have the recipe!

The first time I made this my husband commented that I needed to stress to you how incredibly good it is. If I could give you a sample through the screen I would, so trust me when I say it is the BEST sauce you will ever have. Since getting the recipe we make it on repeat.

Margherita sauce served on toasted bread topped with cheese

Classic Margherita Sauce Made From Scratch

What makes it so special are fresh tomatoes. During the summer we buy lots of them at the farmer’s market and use them to make this sauce. There are a few steps in preparing the tomatoes and once you’ve done that the rest of the recipe is a breeze. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Plum tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic

The best tomatoes to use are plum tomatoes because they are meatier than other varieties, although Roma tomatoes will work well, too. In order to make the best possible sauce, you will need to blanch them, which is just a fancy way of saying that you need to boil them for a couple of minutes. This makes it much easier to remove the skins.

How to Blanche and Peel Tomatoes

First, you will need to cut an “X” into each tomato. This is called “scoring” and you should only cut deep enough to get through the skin but not too far into the flesh. Scoring the tomatoes before you blanch them will help loosen the skins as they boil so it’s easy to peel them off.

tomatoes with X put into them for blanching

Although it takes some time, the process is easy and will make a big difference. Boiling the tomatoes not only makes it easier to peel them but it lightly cooks them, too. Using raw tomatoes with the skins on will change the texture of the sauce.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in five tomatoes at a time. Boil them for one to two minutes and then scoop them out and set them aside to cool while you blanch the rest of the tomatoes.

blanched tomatoes

Once the tomatoes are cooled, you can peel them. You will notice the skins will have started to pull away from the flesh making it easy to peel the tomatoes. Discard the skins, dice the peeled tomatoes and place them in a large bowl.

How to Make Classic Italian Margherita Sauce

Once you’ve diced the tomatoes, place them and the juices in a medium mixing bowl and add in the olive oil.

Now add your fresh basil, garlic, parsley, and salt & pepper. Give it all a really big stir to fully combine.

Margherita sauce overview shot with herbs and seasonings

As tempting as it might be, you should leave it at room temperature for three to four hours. This allows all of the flavors to fully develop and mix and mingle together. It will taste so delicious once it’s had a chance to sit.

Any leftovers should be kept in the refrigerator where it will keep for several days.

Margherita sauce shot in white bowl and wooden serving spoon

Different Ways to Serve It

I think simple is best so the fresh flavors shine – I can eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon, but here are the other ways we like to enjoy it:

  • Toss it with hot pasta for a quick and easy dinner.
  • Spoon it on toasted garlic bread as a light dinner or appetizer.
  • Try this Seafood Margherita Pasta, a perfect pair with this sauce!
  • Or, check out this twist on Mango Margherita Sauce.
  • We also love to use it for homemade pizza.
Margherita sauce served over angel hair pasta

The fresh flavors in this Margherita sauce are enough to make you feel like you’re dining in a wonderful Italian restaurant. We make it all summer long while tomatoes are at their peak and even the kids love it. We hope you love it, too! Bon Appetit! XOXO San

 More Fresh and Flavorful Recipes to try

Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board to save for later!

Margherita sauce collage image for pinterest

Classic Italian Margherita Sauce

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 308 kcal
Classic Italian Margherita Sauce is a simply delicious classic Italian sauce made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, flat leaf parsley, and olive oil.


  • 15 plum tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic diced


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare the tomatoes by cutting an X into the skin, I do this on one side, but you can do this on the bottom if you’d like. 
  • Add the tomatoes to the boiling water 5 at a time and blanch them by cooking for 1-2 minutes. Remove from water and let them cool.
  • Once cooled peel and dice, then place in a large mixing bowl. Combine with remaining ingredients.
  • Let it sit at room temp for 3-4 hours, if it sits longer that is okay. Store leftovers in the fridge, or serve and enjoy!



The cook time is the time you let the sauce rest on the counter.
Calories: 308kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 472mgPotassium: 253mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1155IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

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  1. oooh, I am such a fan of Margherita sauce… it is light and so full of flavor. Much better than a heavy sauce in my opinion. Thanks so much

  2. I’m so excited to learn about this. I love a good margherita sauce. I can’t believe I never had it until I was a teenager.

  3. I love making this in the summer when we get our local tomatoes. I make a ton and freeze a lot of it so we can have it throughout the year Yum!

  4. Seriously, I pinned this earlier. This looks absolutely incredible! I love all of the fresh ingredients and it looks like they come together beautifully. Also, my hubs LOVES bruschetta! This would be a nice treat for him!

  5. This sounds so great for so many things. I might need to crush my tomatoes a lot first, though, since none of my family like chunks of any sort!

    1. YAY! Brandi you will love and so will the family, unless they are like my kids and hate anything of a green veggie. LOL. xo San

  6. What a wonderful story. She sounds really nice. I think it is amazing that she just “evaluated the ingredients” 🙂 You pictures are amazing. I can imagine you have a lot of natural lighting in your kitchen. Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Becka – I am super lucky. I live in CO and the lighting is always pretty good. Snowy days aren’t so much but we get sunshine here almost all the time. xo San

  7. This looks so good. I love finding new recipes to try and me being half Italian, I would say this is going to be at the top of my list.

  8. Well obviously you do have a big passion for life as this sauce looks amazing and I’m sure it’s thousand times better than it looks. I love margherita sauce in about any type of pasta but never seen such delicious one.

  9. That looks delicious. I like tomatoes. never tried making a homemade sauce. when I cook spaghetti i add couple of big tomatoes to my sauce to make it tastier. i just love tomatoes. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  10. So delicious with all the fresh ingredients! I can’t wait to make it with my homegrown tomatoes this summer!

  11. 5 stars
    This is exactly the kind of recipe I love. It’s easy, full of flavor, and doesn’t weigh me down. I can’t wait to make it!

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