Having led just 12-6 at the break, Munster eased to a six-try victory thanks to an impressive second-half performance.
Former Lions tourists Paul O'Connell and David Wallace were among the tryscorers as the Irish province fully justified their status as one of the favourites for this year's competition.
Jerry Flannery, Ian Dowling, Tomas O'Leary and Paul Warwick also added tries, while Ronan O'Gara kicked two conversions alongside a penalty from Warwick.
Sale, who had begun their Heineken Cup campaign so promisingly with a stunning victory at Clermont Auvergne, could only manage a try and two penalties from Charlie Hodgson and another three-pointer from Luke McAlister as they crashed out at the group stages for the fourth time in five attempts.
"It was a very good performance although we got a few bounces of the ball - something we haven't been getting recently," said Munster skipper O'Connell.
"We just really wanted it. We put a lot of ourselves into this week.
"After the game against Ulster, we started picking up on every single little detail that we could and it has benefited our performances over the last two weeks."