The Simple Superpowers of Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce

While “trendy” new superfruits get lots of attention for their disease-fighting capabilities, one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy is to stick with one of the most basic fruits of all – the tomato. That’s because tomatoes contain a powerful carotenoid called lycopene that has been linked to reductions of certain cancers as well as heart disease. But – lycopene is located in the cell wall of the tomato, which means we can’t get to it well unless you manipulate the tomato. Enter tomato sauce! Prepping it ensures easy access to lycopene by cutting the tomatoes, heating, and adding healthy fat (like olive oil) – three things that we know make lycopene more bioavailable.  So, before you try the latest and greatest trend, why not whip up some quick and easy tomato sauce instead? Who knew fighting disease could be so delicious and simple!

Makes 8 Servings –  Serving Size: ½ cup


1 large (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes – no sugar, herbs or flavors added

½ cup onion, diced

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried basil

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper


In a large pot, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information per Serving

Calories: 70

Sodium: 370mg

Sugars: 4g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Saturated Fat: 0g

Fiber: 2g

Protein: 2g

Carbohydrate: 8g

Created at Cleveland Clinic