3 derived tomato sauces (French)


Starting with French-style tomato sauce, these 3 derived sauces are relatively quick to prepare.


Like all of the French mother sauces; while this sauce tastes great on its own, it really is intended to be the base for a other sauces.
Pic1: tomato sauce and derivatives in French cuisine

These derived sauces are created by adding extra vegetables to the above recipe. Extra garlic and onions are common to all three. Portuguese gets more tomatoes and parsley. Spanish get bell peppers, mushrooms and hot sauce. Creole gets bell peppers, celery and hot peppers.

I've never understood why the French called one of them 'Spanish sauce' (sauce Espagnole) when they already had the same name for a dark roux base sauce.


  1. Portuguese sauce:

    • sautéed onions, chopped tomatoes and garlic simmered in tomato sauce, finished with chopped parsley
  2. Spanish sauce:

    • = sautéed onions, green bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic simmered in tomato sauce and hot sauce
  3. Creole sauce:

    • sautéed onion, celery, green bell pepper and garlic simmered in tomato sauce with bay leaf, thyme and ground red pepper
Pic2: clockwise from top-left:
         Portuguese, Spanish & Creole sauces
Pic3: Portuguese sauce (onions, parsley)  I forgot to add the parsley for the picture
Pic4: Spanish sauce (onions, bell peppers, mushrooms)
Pic5: Creole sauce (onions, bell peppers, celery)

Take note: This is the French classification.

These 3 sauces are inspired by the countries/regions they are named after, but unless they have a French chef who refuses to learn the local recipes, tomato sauces made in Portugal, Spain, the American South and Caribbean (Creole) will be different .  :-)



Portuguese sauce

Pic6: onions, chopped tomatoes, garlic
Pic7: sauté
Pic8: Portuguese sauce — same picture, so no parsley here either

Spanish sauce

Pic9: onions, garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, hot sauce
Pic10: simmering in tomato sauce
Pic11: Spanish sauce


Creole sauce

Pic12: onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, crushed hot red peppers
Pic13: sauté
Pic14: Creole sauce

b. cream of tomato soup


I really didn't have a specific use for these sauces, just made them this one time for bragging rights. Just like the regular French tomato sauce, I turned these sauces into soup by mixing the leftovers of all 3 derived sauces together.


Pic15: made with all 3 derived sauces
Pic16: add capers
Pic17: stirred, served with toasted bread

Serving suggestions: