Learn how to make this easy and simple homemade marinara sauce recipe with basic ingredients. This marinara sauce is an easy-to-make tomato sauce that is perfect to top your favorite pasta or to use in recipes calling for jarred pasta sauce.
I can’t even remember the last time I bought tomato sauce. Now that I know how easy it is to make this marinara sauce from scratch, I don’t purchase it as it’s not worth it. I make my own at home! Of course, it adds some time to an everyday task, but the result of a homemade tomato sauce, without additives and sugars, is always worth it!
This homemade marinara sauce offers a lovely, rich tomato flavor after a 40-minute simmer. I’ve tried to make it even faster, but no amount of tomato paste or seasoning will compensate for the lost time cooking it on the stove.
Bottom line: it’s impossible to achieve the lovely taste of authentic Italian marinara sauce in less than 40 minutes.
Table of Contents
HOW TO MAKE MARINARA SAUCE
- Start by sautéing the onion with olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook until the onion starts to soften. Then add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Watch for the garlic, be careful not to burn it!
- Then add tomato paste and sauté for a few more minutes. Sautéing the tomato paste before adding the tomatoes, will result in a more intensely flavored marinara sauce.
- Add the tomatoes and salt and bring to a slow boil. Let the sauce simmer gently on the stove for 40 to 60 minutes. The sauce will slowly start to thicken as you stir occasionally.
- Finally, season the marinara sauce with additional spices. If you prefer a smoother marinara, puree the sauce in a blender, working in small batches.
You can use this homemade marinara sauce the same way you would use traditional tomato sauce. It makes about 2 cups and can last a long time! But, of course, that depends on the recipe you will use it. I love to use it as pizza sauce or in Eggplant Parmesan.
WHY IS THIS THE BEST HOMEMADE MARINARA SAUCE
Seven reasons to love this homemade tomato sauce recipe:
- This homemade marinara sauce recipe requires simple ingredients that produce a rich, authentic marinara sauce flavor.
- It’s super easy to do.
- Unlike most store-bought sauces, this homemade marinara sauce has no added sugar.
- This homemade marinara sauce tastes way fresher than supermarket sauces.
- Tomatoes are healthy and good for you, and you can load up your pasta as much as you like with this homemade marinara sauce.
- It’s perfect as a pizza sauce.
- This marinara sauce is vegan, gluten-free, and Whole 30 approved.
MARINARA SAUCE RECIPE VARIATIONS
- Use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes: Canned tomatoes offer a richer flavor. If you decide to use canned tomatoes, omit the tomato paste in the original recipes.
- Add more heat: Add regular black pepper, hot red pepper flakes, or a bit of Sriracha at the end.
- Use different herbs: Fresh or dried – basil, marjoram, and Italian parsley are all traditional marinara flavorings.
- Add extra vegetables: Carrots, mushrooms, and red peppers may not make it a traditional marinara, but they will add a nice flavor to your marinara sauce. additional
STORAGE OF MARINARA SAUCE
Once completely cooled, you can store the homemade marinara sauce in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To freeze: Allow the homemade marinara sauce to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight zip lock bag or airtight glass container and store in the freezer.
- To reheat: Place defrosted marinara sauce in a large pot with a lid to reduce evaporation and heat over low heat. However, stir occasionally until heated through.
WAYS TO USE HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE
There are so many delicious ways to use this marinara sauce recipe, for example, feel free to serve it with:
- Pasta: Spaghetti marinara is a classic, of course. But you can mix this marinara sauce into any other type of pasta, lasagna, and more.
- Meat or Seafood: You can use it in my Chicken Meatballs in Marinara Sauce recipe or any other dish you like!
- Parmigiana: I also like to use this homemade marinara sauce in my Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe.
- Pizza: This homemade marinara sauce also goes perfectly with Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza, Pumpkin Mini Pizzas or any of your favorite pizza recipes.
- Dipping Sauce: This marinara sauce can also be served as a dipping sauce for breadsticks, breaded mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, calamari, toasted ravioli and more.
Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Large Skillet
- Cutting Board
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tbsp tomato paste, omit if using canned tomatoes
- 800 g/28 oz tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add ½ onion and sauté the onion until starts to soften about 5 minutes. Then add 2 garlic cloves and sauté for about 30 seconds. Don’t cook for too long otherwise, the garlic can burn!
- Add 4 tbsp tomato paste and sauté for another 2 minutes.By cooking the tomato paste before adding the tomatoes, will result in a more intensely flavored marinara sauce.
- Add 800 g/28 oz tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for about 40-60 minutes. The sauce will slowly start to thicken as you stir occasionally.
- Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and remove from heat.
- If you prefer a smoother marinara, puree the sauce in a blender, working in small batches.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Once completely cooled, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To freeze: Allow sauce to cool completely, then transfer to a ziplock bag or airtight glass container and store in the freezer.
- To reheat: Place the frozen sauce in a large pot with a lid to reduce evaporation and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.