tomato sauce

TOMATO CREAM SAUCE (VEGAN) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

happy sunday! i hope you’re having a good weekend so far. it’s a relaxing but busy one here. we’re getting ready for baby (6 more weeks, until my due date!), but also trying to get in solo time with amesy on the weekends. and since it’s finally starting to feel like summer, we hit the beach yesterday, and today we are heading to a splash pad at a local park - all the water activities for this boy! it’s hard to believe we’ll soon be a family of 4, and that amesy will be a big brother. trying to not get too anxious, and let it be what it will be. but that’s very much easier said than done!

anywho! let’s talk about this sunday sauce! if you’ve been a reader here for a while then you might remember a similar recipe for a similar creamy tomato sauce a couple of years ago. while i whip out the other one when i have time to make the tomato sauce from scratch, the recipe today takes half the time, and zero “cooking” is involved. it is truly a busy person’s meal prep sauce! what we do is make a batch of garlicky cashew cream - yum! then we take a jar of your favorite tomato sauce, and add about 1/2 cup of the cream. from there, a little salt and pepper to punch up the flavor a bit, and some fresh thyme. of course we love this for an easy pasta night. but it can easily be used in place of tomato sauce for any dish you like. here are some of my favorite ways to use it throughout the week:

  • over zoodles, add your protein of choice, but turkey meatballs are great here, or your favorite plant-based protein.

  • take your pasta up a notch, and make a pasta bake (just replace the alfredo sauce for creamy tomato sauce, and go from there).

  • lasagna is one of my go=to’s as well. you could use it here in place of the pesto, or forget the noodles all together and use summer zucchini for a grain-free version (i personally love this recipe, i swap out the cheese for vegan mozzarella, and the yogurt for vegan ricotta).

  • of course pizza is another favorite. the creamy sauce takes it up a notch for sure.

  • and if you’re almost in the thick of winter where you are, over spaghetti squash, or as a creamy base for a minestrone soup would be my winter go-to’s!

whatever you make with it though, you won’t be disappointed. that bit of creaminess makes everything a bit more extra, but in the best way possible! i hope you get the chance to make it :)


tomato cream sauce | v

print the recipe

| makes roughly 3 1/2 cups sauce |


  1. make the cashew cream. place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with filtered water. let the cashews soak 10-12 hours, or overnight until soft.

  2. drain and rinse the cashews. place them in the container of high-speed upright blender. add the water, vinegar, garlic, a few big pinches of salt, and a few cracks of pepper. blend everything on high for a couple of minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container, as needed. blend until graininess has disappeared, and cashew sauce is silky smooth. taste and adjust any seasonings as needed. store in a lidded container for up to 1 week.

  3. make the tomato cream sauce. add the tomato sauce to a large bowl, add 1/2 cup cashew cream and stir until combined. use as desired. leftovers can be stored in a lidded jar for up to 1 week.


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews

  • 1/2 cup filtered water

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 clove garlic

  • fine salt & fresh ground pepper

  • 24 ounce jar tomato sauce

Cozy Weeknight Staple: Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

you guys have completely inspired me to come up with quick, delicious add-ins to make meals more fun and easy-going.  i didn't know just how many of us truly struggle to put dinner on the table.  or how much we all need help menu planning for the week, meal prepping, etc.  so, i'm popping in here with this super easy weeknight sauce that can go on all the things.  i prepped on sunday while amesy was napping, and then cooked it on tuesday night - easy-peasy.  my sincere hopes that this back pocket recipe gives you some inspiration, perhaps this weekend! ☺️

the sauce is my grandmother's recipe.  her name was florence, and she was from naples, italy.  regrettably, i never got to meet her, she passed away when my dad was young.  but my uncle kept this single recipe of hers alive and taught my mom and dad how to make it when i was a kid.  the tomato sauce was almost a weekly staple in our house.  on weekends my dad would make pizza and slather it all over.  the sauce was the best part.  and other times my mom would make an easy weeknight pasta, or meatballs if there was enough time.  always the all-purpose topping!

the sauce is pretty rustic.  you start with whole, peeled san marzano tomatoes (sclafani brand is my favorite, even though they're no where to be found in LA), and from there you add a good amount of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, and thyme), diced onion, minced garlic, and a  bit of coconut sugar to cut through the acidity of the tomatoes.  from start to finish the sauce takes about 30 minutes depending on how good you are with a knife.  the cashew cream takes less.  the only thing that requires your attention is remembering to soak the cashews the night before, or the morning of (depending on when you're making it). and if you're really in a pinch, buy a store-bought variety you love and add the cashew cream to that (i have a couple favorites in the notes below, if you're looking for a good brand).  once you add the cashew cream though the sauce turns into something that feels indulgent, but isn't, and truly makes a cozy winter weeknight (or weekend) meal!

i hope it comforts you as much as it does us! big hugs! xo

**BIG NEWS! there's an option to print recipes now! yay! find the link below just above the ingredient list

creamy vegan tomato sauce


this is the perfect recipe to shortcut!  if you don't have the desire/time to make the sauce, just buy a 24-ounce jar of your favorite store-bought variety.  i personally like lucini or rao's brands. frank and i have been topping everything with this sauce, from pasta (duh), roasted chicken breasts, you could add a big pot of gigante beans to it, there are infinite ways to utilize it.  

| serve 2 as a main, or 4 as a side |

cashew cream

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight 
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 teaspoonS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt & fresh pepper

creamy tomato sauce

| makes about 3 cups |

  • 1 28-ounce can peeled san marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced basil
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • salt & fresh pepper
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream


  1. place cashews, water, vinegar, and garlic in a high-speed, upright blender (preferably a Vitamix) on high for a few minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender container, until creamy.  season with salt and pepper.  if your cream is too thick, add more water a 1/2 tablespoon at a time until it's reached your desired consistency. you don't want the cream too thin, think: greek yogurt consistency. scrape the cashew cream into an air-tight jar and store in the refrigerator.  the cream can be made a few days in advance if need be.
  2. to make the sauce, add the can of tomatoes to a large mixing bowl, and crush them until the tomatoes are broken (i find that using a potato masher works really well for this).  add the chopped herbs, sugar, a few big pinches of salt, and a few grinds of ground pepper.  let it sit and marinate while you cook the other ingredients.
  3. heat a large lidded pot over medium heat, once hot, add the onion and stir, cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  add the garlic and stir, cook for 1 minute.  then add the tomato sauce mixture, increase the heat and bring it to rolling simmer.  give it a stir, then cover. turn the heat down to low, and let the sauce cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit.  remove from heat and stir in the cashew cream (if you want it creamier, add 1/4 cup more cream).
  4. top your favorite pasta, roasted chicken breasts, a bean and quinoa mix, ground beef, lamb meatballs, etc, etc.!

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