Red Wine Pasta Sauce Recipe

Leftover wine? Lucky you. This red wine pasta sauce tastes great and eliminates food waste. Repin to save!
This is kind of an old story, but I’m going to tell it anyway: 2013 got off to a really bad start for me.

I was hosting a New Year’s Eve party for about 20 people. I spent the day cooking, cleaning, running to the store, and generally just stressing out. By the time my guests arrived, I was exhausted. And I barely had time to eat.

It was a BYOB party, and there were plenty of drinks to choose from. But I decided not to have anything because I was tired and hadn’t eaten anything substantial all day.

The night went on and we had a lot of fun. At midnight, someone opened a bottle of champagne. Just to be funny, I asked my friend Meredith if she would pose with me linking our arms and sipping champagne out of our glasses (Don’t judge. We’re weird like that). She obliged, we posed, and I took two tiny sips out of my glass for this photo:


Boy, was that a mistake. The result?

Worst. Hangover. Ever. And it lasted all stinkin’ day. I really don’t know what happened, but it wasn’t good. My New Year’s Day was spent sleeping on the couch and 2013 was off to a horrible start. All for two tablespoons of champagne.

The reason that this story matters is because my friends left random bottles of beer and wine at my place after they left. After vowing to never drink any alcohol ever again after this disaster, I had to come up with alternative uses for these leftover drinks. I made a couple of batches of Guinness cupcakes, and this red wine pasta sauce.

The next time you have leftover red wine and don’t want to drink it, give this pasta sauce a go. I think you’ll like it and it won’t make you sick. I promise.

The Cost

  • Onions (2 medium) = $.40
  • Garlic (2 cloves) = $.08
  • Olive oil (1/4 cup) = $.31
  • Canned tomatoes = $.99
  • Table wine (2 cups) = $1.50
  • Other ingredients (salt, spices, etc.) = $.10

Total cost for entire recipe = $3.38

Cheap recipe tip: Buy a bag of onions instead of buying them individually.

Got More Leftover Red Wine? Try One Of These Recipes:

Red wine pasta sauce


Got leftover wine? Make this delicious pasta sauce! Click through for recipe.

Red Wine Pasta Sauce
Yield: 2 1/2 cups of sauce

Red Wine Pasta Sauce

No need to use fancy red wine for this recipe. Use whatever you have on hand.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cup red table wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • Spices to taste: Garlic powder, oregano, pepper, Italian seasoning, etc.


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until onions begin to soften: about 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add tomatoes, wine, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and desired spices. Serve over pasta.

9 Responses to “Red Wine Pasta Sauce Recipe”

  1. 1

    Karen Harris — April 28, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    This looks wonderful Haley. Simple sauces are just the best. Period.

  2. 2

    Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} — April 28, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

    I love wine in my pasta sauce. Great reminder! Your recipe looks super tasty!!

  3. 3

    Eileen — April 29, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    Red wine is definitely one of the best things to ever happen to simple tomato sauce! Yay!

  4. 4

    ed — January 18, 2015 @ 3:19 am

    I made this and ended up adding a small can of tomato says and it turned out lovely!

  5. 5

    Amazing Benefits Of Red Wine (+5 Refreshing Recipes) – — June 8, 2017 @ 8:27 pm

    […] Cheap Recipe Blog […]

  6. 6

    Carolyn — October 4, 2017 @ 8:34 pm

    I made this, but I must have used the wrong kind of wine; because it was awful. I had to add extra sugar and some tomato paste and it still doesn’t taste right. Sorry to say I won’t be making this again.

  7. 7

    Carolyn — October 4, 2017 @ 8:36 pm

    I must have used the wrong kind of red wine, because this was awful. I had to add more sugar and some tomato paste and it still didn’t come out good. Sorry to say I won’t be making this again.

    • Haley replied: — October 24th, 2017 @ 3:27 am

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you! More wine for you to drink… 🙂

  8. 8

    Vicki Lawson — September 3, 2018 @ 10:24 pm

    I just made this with Lambrusco and it was fantastic! I added some Cajun seasoning and sea salt. Thank you for posting this recipe!

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