How to Make Greek Tomato Sauce

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Do you need a basic tomato sauce that can be used for everything Greek? Here’s my version of Greek Tomato Sauce.  In the Greek cuisine this Greek tomato sauce has many uses. We use it as a filling in our pastitsio, moussaka, and stews to name a few. The few spices added to this recipe indicate it is Greek  in nature. Cinnamon is one spice you are questioning, but it works! Another use for  this sauce can be as a topping for baked dishes like baked fish , shrimp, chicken, meatballs, pastas, green beans, cauliflower and rice. When I shop, picking up 2-3 cans of tomato sauce ensures me I can whip up dinner in a flash! Rarely, do I buy one of anything, just a good rule for a stocked pantry.


 Saute the onions until they are softened. This is necessary because of the quick sauce time.


 Place your tomatoes in a food processor to get a smooth texture. Or make sure to coarsely chop them if using whole tomatoes so they may cook and thicken into a smooth sauce.


 Adding all these spices brings out the Greek flavors.

How to Make Greek Tomato Sauce

This quick and easy sauce can be used for any topping with vegetables and any fish or meat.
Course sauce
Cuisine California Greek
Keyword Greek, tomato sauce
Servings 4 cups
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can 28oz. tomatoes with juice or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. In a food processor puree the tomatoes with the juices.
  2. In a large deep pot or skillet add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
  4. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf.
  5. Simmer until the sauce thickens about 20-25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Recipe Notes

Note: You can also use fresh tomatoes. This sauce can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week.

Other uses for this sauce:

Greek Zucchini Moussaka

Baked Fish Plaki with Tomatoes and Onions






© 2013 – 2022, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caron Golden

Mary, this looks wonderful. I love the spice combination. It really does set the sauce apart as being Greek. Can’t wait to try it!

2 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Hi Caron, Congratulations on your food award! It’s a simple sauce, perfect for any Greek meal.

3 Chris

This taste like my grandmother made it : ) Awesome!

4 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Thank you Chris! I tried to get as close as possible to my mother’s recipe.

5 Lin Burdett

Thank you, Mary, for this perfect tomato sauce. I first served it with orzo and homemade lamb sausage, then for the next meal, with lima beans along side rack of lamb. Excellent and simple. I’ll be making this sauce often!

6 Mary Papoulias-Platis

It’s my mother’s recipe she would make weekly. I’m glad you liked it.
Enjoy, Mary

7 Nunu

I made this sauce to use in a Pastitsio recipe. It was absolutely amazing!

8 Dionisious

I made this delicious sauce for lamb loin chops …let it simmer in a crock pot for 6 hours on low heat…it came out delicious over a bed of rice, l cook my rice in chicken stock it adds flavor to the rice. I Putin sliced potatoes for the last hour or so and they get just right. Greek salad with feta cheese and a side of large beets with a slice of red onion….this is how they served it at Greek islands in Chicago.
As an appetizer some time l serve a fish salad (octopus, shrimp in a good Greek olive oil…parsley salt and pepper)—OPA !

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