Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce

Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce recipe by @beardandbonnet with @driscollsberry on

I love unexpected flavor combinations, don’t you? Strawberries and tomatoes aren’t the most likely pair, but they actually complement each other rather nicely.

The folks at Driscoll’s contacted me last month with a fun summer challenge that I just couldn’t resist. They asked if I could create a savory recipe using their amazing strawberries. I just loved the idea of taking a traditionally sweet treat and turning it into something completely unexpected like this Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce. 

Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce recipe by @beardandbonnet with @driscollsberry on

My family table is full of self professed spaghetti-holics and I serve up the same gigantic bowl of gluten free pasta topped with my go-to homemade marinara at least once a week. Seeing as though tomatoes and berries both fall into the “fruit” category of the food pyramid I thought it would be fun to combine the two in a sauce and swap it up on pasta night. Lord knows, I need a seasonal sauce swap up around here!

Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce recipe by @beardandbonnet with @driscollsberry on

This recipe is super simple and takes less than 30 minutes to go from stove to table top! You even have time to throw together a few strawberry caprese skewers while your berry + basil tomato sauce simmers away on the stove.

Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce recipe by @beardandbonnet with @driscollsberry on

You want to know about the flavor of the sauce though, right? It’s spectacular! The tomatoes and strawberries cook down beautifully together and the flavors really start to mingle with the addition of basil, a hefty dose of red pepper flakes and a skosh of sugar. It’s spicy with just a touch of sweet at the same time which just can’t be beat. 

Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce recipe by @beardandbonnet with @driscollsberry on

Looking for more ways to use all of those big, beautiful Driscoll’s berries this summer? For over 100 years Driscoll’s has been passionate about growing the finest strawberries, so naturally they have a treasure trove of recipes just waiting to inspire you, all you have to do is click here for loads of berry inspiration!  Plus, as an added bonus Driscoll’s is giving away $100 worth of berries to 4 very lucky people that enter their Sweetest Berry Sweepstakes from April 29th – July 31st; you can enter for the chance to win here. I sure hope all of your summer berry dreams come true! 


Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce

Berry + Basil Tomato Sauce recipe by @beardandbonnet with @driscollsberry on

This pasta sauce freezes great, so make a double batch, serve one immediately then let the other one cool completely before transferring it to a freezer safe container. This sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.

  • Author: Beard and Bonnet
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, San Marzano or Plum tomatoes will work, drained
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • 1 pound Driscoll’s strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

To serve

  • cooked gluten free pasta
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the red onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until beginning to turn translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the drained tomatoes to the pot and gently break them up with a wooden spoon. Season with the crushed red pepper flakes and a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes even more until the juices have begun to reduce. Add the strawberries, basil, and sugar to the pan, stirring to incorporate. Cook, stirring often, until the strawberries have softened and the sauce has thickened; approximately 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pulse in a food processor or blender until the sauce is the consistency that you like. Serve immediately over cooked pasta of choice and sprinkle with black pepper.


If the pasta sauce is a bit too spicy for your liking stir in a bit of ricotta once the pasta has been pureed. This will make the sauce creamy and less spicy!

Inspired by Bon Appetit

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

This post was created in partnership with Driscoll’s, the opinions and all text are all mine.






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  1. Cassie June 21, 2016 at 7:26 am

    I love unexpected flavor combinations too! I actually like putting frozen cauliflower in a smoothie and adding in two heaping TBSP of cacao or cocoa powder with Stevia to make chocolate “ice cream”! Anyways, I would love t otry this amazing sauce–would it work as a salad dressing or a marinade as well?

    1. Meg June 21, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Cauliflower in a smoothie is totally genius!!! I think it would work great as a marinade and you could even blend it down and serve it as a cold gazpacho. I’m not sure how it would work as a salad dressing, but if you give it a try let me know 🙂

  2. Kate July 5, 2016 at 11:15 am

    I made this last weekend for my fiance and I, and it was AMAZING! What a great combination of flavors. (I omitted the garlic because I don’t like it, but I followed the rest of the recipe to a T.)

    I already bought another cart of strawberries to make this again. Thanks!

    1. Meg July 5, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      That is so great Kate!!! I am glad you both liked it as much as we do. I love having another easy pasta sauce recipe in my arsenal 😉


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