Fiery Fra Diavolo Sauce

Devilishly good…

Fra diavolo sauce, with its tomato tang, spicy bite, and fresh basil twist is killer with pasta. It’s a perfect base for many popular fra diavolo pasta meals (like chicken, seafood, or shrimp fra diavolo). But don’t pigeonhole this spicy sauce to only pasta. It’s a great dipping sauce as well with bread sticks, mozzarella sticks, and fresh vegetables. Or try it with eggs to add a total spicy kick to your breakfast.

Crushed red pepper is the heat source in this fra diavolo sauce recipe, so adapt the spiciness to your tolerance level. A tablespoon is a good starting point, but if you opt for a “saucier” sauce by adding tomato puree (totally optional), consider adding a second tablespoon to keep the heat equal.

Love this fra diavolo sauce? Take a look at one of the other spicy sauces we have in our recipe index. If you’re looking for another fiery pasta sauce, take a look at our chipotle alfredo option. It’s a totally different eating experience from fra diavolo (smoky and creamy), but just as tasty. Or, our homemade hoisin sauce is an excellent dipper! It also works perfectly as a more exotic barbecue marinade for those looking for a unique sauce for grilled meats.

Fiery Fra Diavolo Sauce

Fiery Fra Diavolo Sauce

Tangy, fresh, and fiery
4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Sauce
Servings 6 servings
Calories 79 kcal


  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 ounce can
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons basil chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper more to taste
  • 1 can tomato puree optional – to be added for a thinner sauce


  • In a high-sided saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened (3 to 4 minutes). 
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper. If you like a “saucier” sauce, you can also add a can of tomato puree here (optional). Turn the heat to high and bring the mix to a quick boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it reaches your preferred consistency.
  • Add the parsley and basil. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Remove from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Use with cooked pasta or as a spicy tomato-based dipping sauce.


Like it spicy? Go a little heavy handed on the crushed red pepper, especially if you opt for a “saucier” sauce by using additional tomato puree.


Calories: 79kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 502mgPotassium: 263mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 634IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg


Keyword Crushed Red Pepper
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on February 16, 2020 to include new content. It was originally published on August 4, 2017.