Tomato Cream Sauce

This easy and versatile tomato cream sauce is perfect for your favorite pasta.

Tomato cream sauce in a white bowl with parsley garnish
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This easy and versatile tomato cream sauce is the perfect choice for your favorite pasta. Rich, thick, and super tomato-y, you can expect this sauce to completely change how you enjoy pasta in the future.

Why not make your own Italian Seasoning blend to use in your tomato cream sauce? You could also make this Classic Homemade Garlic Bread recipe to serve with your sauce!

Tomato cream sauce in a white bowl with parsley garnish

Tomato Cream Sauce

Good tomato sauce is hard to find at the supermarket – they are all either too sweet or too low in quality.

Instead of relying on some knock-off Italian brand, why not learn how to make your own? Intensely flavored, creamy, and delicious, this tomato cream sauce is sure to become your number 1 tomato sauce going forward.

Tomato cream sauce ingredients in small clear and white bowls

What Is Whipping Cream And What To Do If You Can’t Find It

For those outside of North America, the instruction to use whipping cream in the sauce might seem a little confusing.

Whipping cream is the general term applied to cream that has the highest amount of fat usually sold in most supermarkets.

Whipping cream is typically used as the cream for making whipped cream because the higher relative quantity of fat inside it makes for a more stable whipped cream.

The extra fat is also really good for thickening and enriching cream sauces like this recipe as well.

If you don’t live in North America, you probably won’t be able to find whipping cream as in Europe and the UK, the cream with the highest fat you will likely be able to find is something like double cream.

If you can find extra thick cream, you might find it to be pretty similar, but for those stuck with double cream, feel free to add a little bit of extra butter to help make up for the missing fat, and then you should be fine.

Tomato cream sauce in a pot with cream added in the center

Can You Use Fresh Tomatoes?

This sauce is all about the tomatoes; every ingredient is designed to help enrich and amplify the flavors of the tomatoes in the sauce, from the Parmesan and the cream to the onion and garlic.

This might prompt you to consider why use a can of diced tomatoes when you could just use fresh tomatoes instead?

Well, if you were lucky enough o have some fresh, homegrown tomatoes right in your garden, then feel free to go ahead and use those instead of anything from a can.

However, keep in mind that the process of cooking down and pureeing the tomatoes necessarily removes some of their fresher flavors.

If you are only growing expensive, decadent tomatoes like the kind you would buy at a farmer’s market, then you might just be wasting them in this sauce.

Plus, canned tomatoes can actually be really high quality, especially if you use the pricey San Marzano tomatoes.

Ultimately though, just use whatever tomatoes that you want for this recipe – as long as you make the sauce rich and thick, it probably isn’t going to matter too much.

Tomato cream sauce in a bowl with pasta and garnished with parsley

How The Tomatoes Affect The Cooking Process

One thing that a lot of home cooks don’t really think about is the fact that different ingredients can actually drastically affect the cooking process depending on when you add them.

A great example of this would be the use of salt. While you could just add salt at the end of cooking to season everything, salt does actually affect your ingredients; when cooking your onions, for example, if you salt your onions as they cook, they will actually release their water and cook a lot faster as a result.

The main way that the order of your ingredients affects this recipe is when you add your tomatoes.

For example, you really want to make sure that your onions are totally cooked and ready before adding the tomato sauce. If you don’t, what will happen is that the acidic, cold tomatoes added to the onion mixture, not only will the difference in temperatures halt the cooking process, but it will also stop it from browning or developing any tasty flavors.

You want to add your acidity quite late in cooking to avoid halting the browning process, so make sure your onions are super well cooked before you think about adding your tomatoes.

Tomato cream sauce with bowtie pasta and parsley garnish

What Are The Best Pastas To Pair With Your Sauce?

While this tomato cream sauce might be great on its own, the best way to enjoy this sauce would be to pair it with a really great pasta.

Here are a few suggestions for shape, depending on what kind of texture you are looking for.

  • Penne

Penne is the classic pasta choice for anything saucy for a good reason. The rougher surface area on the outside holds onto sauce really well, plus the big tubular hole in the middle forms a little pocket to trap tons more sauce, making every bite a saucy explosion.

  • Spaghetti

Sometimes you just want to slurp your dinner, and for that kind of experience, you’ve got to go for spaghetti. Long, thin, and easily twirlable, spaghetti is probably the most fun option when it comes to pasta.

  • Fusilli

Fusilli is definitely the fancier-looking pasta choice, with its delicate twirls and intricate shapes making for a really fancy-looking plate of pasta. Plus, all of those little curves and divots hold onto the sauce really well.

Looking for more delicious Pasta recipes? Try these out:

Penne Pasta with Homemade Meat Sauce

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Penne with Vodka Sauce & Italian Sausage

Happy Cooking



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Tomato Cream Sauce with Pasta

This easy and versatile tomato cream sauce is perfect for your favorite pasta.
5 from 2 votes
Tomato cream sauce in a white bowl with parsley garnish
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Karlynn Johnston



  • 2 tablespoons butter more if needed
  • 1/2 cup finely minced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • one 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 ounces pasta of choice (283 gram box equivalent)
  • fresh parsley and Parmesan to garnish


  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add in the onion. Saute over medium heat until softened.
  • Add in the garlic and saute until browned and fragrant, around 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the basil and Italian seasoning over top, stirring until heated. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stirring until combined and the flour smells slightly nutty.
  • Whisk in the canned tomatoes (undrained, liquid and all) and bring to a simmer. Cook on a low simmer while you prepare your pasta., stirring occasionally.
  • Once the pasta is cooked and drained place into a large bowl.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. Whisk the cream and the Parmesan cheese into the sauce until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  • Pour over the hot pasta in the bowl, tossing to combine.
  • Divide into 4 servings, garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure that the onions are cooked before adding in the acidic tomato sauce as it can stop the cooking process. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 472kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 180mg, Potassium: 307mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2211IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 122mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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