Creative With What’s On Hand Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe 

Being Creative with what’s on hand is what cooking is to me.  In this post, I share one of my favorite tomato sauce recipes.

Creative With What’s On Hand

It’s a way of living I grew up with that somewhere between college and having kids I put on the back burner.   I’m talking about using what is in your home pantry and not planning the meal around making a trip to the grocery store.  In  today’s recipe I use ingredients I always have in my kitchen or in the home garden.

Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe

Whats On Hand Sauce

Below is a favorite of mine to cook up most anytime for my family to enjoy.  You can use a jar from your pantry or cook down tomatoes from your garden to make this tasty sauce.  Serve over pasta, baked veggies or use it as the base for soup.

Creative With What’s On Hand

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


You can 'cheat' and use store bought pasta sauce just omit the extra spices.


  • 1 - 24 Oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fine portable mushrooms
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of onions diced
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic minced
  • 1/2 pound of hamburger ( or sausage)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil


  1. Prepare veggies as directed in Ingredients list
  2. In large skillet fry up hamburger or sausage and garlic.
  3. After meat is cooked place in drainer.
  4. In the same hot skillet saute onions.
  5. Add mushrooms, tomatoes and carrots after about 5 minutes of saute onion process.
  6. Once the veggies in skillet are some what soft ( about 10 minutes of sauteing ) add the meat back to the skillet.
  7. Slowly add the sauce and mix in spices.
  8. Cook for about 15 minutes - stirring occasionally.
  9. Serve when hot over favorite pasta or veggies.
  10. Continue to cook the hamburger and veggie mix for about 5 minutes before slowly adding the tomato sauce.

Be creative – you can add or admit whatever veggies you have on hand for this sauce.

In The Kitchen Photos

Below are some of my favorite photos while make this meal.

Let’s Connect

I’d love to hear how you get creative with what you have on hand.  Be sure to send me a message on my contact page featured on this website.  You can also connect with me on social media below.

Happy Cooking it up!

Bren Haas

Bren Haas

Bren Haas is the creator of GardenChat which is the first online gardening social community using social media. Her website features gardening tips and tricks, recipes, travel ideas, product reviews, and social media how-to help from her personal and unique experiences.

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7 thoughts on “Creative With What’s On Hand Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe ”

    • THank you for sharing! I love all the things you can make from tomato sauce. I’m heading over to check out your blog now because I love your way of thinking.

  1. I love your philosophy Bren…we can be really creative if we just ‘dig’ a little through the pantry and/or refrigerator veggie drawers;-) Your meal last night looked delicious! Well, now that I’ve seen what Michael signed on that book I’m even more excited to receive it! I love what he wrote…and of course I was really excited to be the winner! Thanks for sharing about my sustainable living project/giveaway, Bren…and linking to it and joining in, as well!! I hope you will be a lucky winner of one of those cool garden gifts! You are one of the greenest people I know;-) Jan

  2. Wonderful post Bren on both Michael and Jan, what they bring to the world of gardening. Your creating menus from your pantry will be inspiring a book in it’s self I’d say.

  3. LOVE IT…I’m always a fan of Cupboard Cooking (as I call it, anyway). My fave has to be any sort of pasta with anything in my veggie drawer.

    Would love the recipe for your tomato sauce! 😉

  4. Lovely post Bren. and quite right too. By planning a meal round a shopping trip we end up spending too much on unnecessary stuff. your tomatoes look so good it’s made me hungry. Also I love pasta and that recipe sounds great….good for me as a vegetarian!
    I always enjoy your posts, they are so colourful

  5. I totally agree with you on using what you have on hand. Your sauce looked fabulous. I had made a commitment this year to use what I have making art projects. I have so much stuff and yet I continued to buy more. I’m doing really good so far this year. The only thing I have bought is replacement paint.
    As far as my pantry is concerned, sometimes I go in there looking for something and find something else I didn’t even know I had! lol


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