You’ll never buy the jarred stuff again after trying this Homemade Marinara Sauce! It’s thick, rich and so fresh tasting because it’s made with a handful of quality ingredients. It’s so easy to make and it’s ready in about 30 minutes!

Homemade marinara sauce in a dutch oven with basil on top

A good sauce recipe is worth its weight in gold, because it can transform an average meal into something very special.

Learning how to make pesto sauce was a game changer for me. I prep a batch when I have the time, and it makes preparing recipes like my chicken pesto pasta and mushroom ravioli that much quicker!

The same can be said about this easy Homemade Marinara Sauce. It’s an easy back pocket recipe that I love prepping to have on hand for busy nights.

It’s family-friendly and there are so many delicious ways to use it!

Tomato basil sauce in Dutch oven with chopped basil on top

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This easy marinara sauce is thick and rich with freshness that you can taste because there are no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
  • It’s made with a few pantry staples and can be customized any way you see fit.
  • It takes just 5 minutes of prep and is done in about 30 minutes.
  • It’s freezer-friendly so you can make big batches in advance to enjoy weeks later.
  • This is a versatile recipe that can be tossed with your favorite pasta, spooned over chicken, or spread atop pizza.

Recipe ingredients

This tomato basil sauce is incredibly simple, yet so flavorful. It’s one of the best pantry recipes because it utilizes a few staples that most people always have on hand.

Homemade marinara sauce recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Olive oil. The olive oil has two roles….it is used to cook the onions and garlic, and it also lends a silky mouthfeel to the sauce. For an even silkier sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons more.
  • Crushed tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are the best canned tomatoes for this recipe. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a variety of plum tomato that has the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and intense tomato flavor.
  • Basil. Fresh basil adds so much flavor and a beautiful pop of color, but you can substitute with dried basil or your favorite herbs.
  • Tomato paste. The tomato paste adds a rich depth of flavor and also thickens the sauce. It may be omitted if you don’t have any hand.
  • Sugar. A bit of sugar is added to tame the acidity, but it may be omitted to make this recipe keto and paleo-friendly.

How to make homemade marinara sauce

This recipe is beyond easy to make with about 5 minutes of hands-on prep. Once the onion and garlic is cooked, add the other ingredients and let the stove top work its magic. 

Pro tip: Double the recipe and freeze half for future use.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make homemade marinara sauce
  1. Sauté the vegetables. Cook the onion and garlic until softened.
  2. Simmer the sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick, rich and flavorful.

FAQs

How long will this sauce last?

It can be stored in the fridge for up to one week, or it can be frozen for up to three months.

Can homemade marinara sauce be frozen?

Yes! Let the sauce cool completely, then store in an airtight container or freezer bag(s). The sauce can be frozen for up to three months. When ready to use, simply thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat gently in the microwave or on the stove top until warmed through.

What are the best tomatoes for marinara sauce?

I recommend using crushed San Marzano tomatoes to make this easy marinara sauce. San Marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomato that has the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and intense tomato flavor.

How to serve tomato basil sauce

There are so many delicious ways to use this sauce! Below are some recipes with marinara sauce to get you started:

Recipe notes

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons more olive oil for an even silkier sauce.
  • Use this sauce in your pasta dishes, pizza, baked meatballs, sub sandwiches, you name it!
  • Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Pro tip: Double the recipe and freeze half for future use.
  • Variations: Change things up by adding red pepper flakes, your favorite herbs, olives or capers!
Easy marinara sauce in a white Dutch oven with wooden spoon

More sauce recipes you’ll love:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Homemade marinara sauce in a dutch oven with basil on top

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

Homemade Marinara Sauce is thick, rich and fresh tasting because there are no artificial flavors or preservatives! It takes minimal prep, a few pantry ingredients and it's ready in about 30 minutes!
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes use San Marzano tomatoes for best quality and flavor
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil or substitute with 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar omit for keto and paleo-friendly
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, tomato paste, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine and simmer uncovered over low heat for 20-30 minutes. The longer the sauce simmers, the more flavorful it will be. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons more olive oil for an even silkier sauce.
  • Use this sauce in your pasta dishes, pizza, baked meatballs, sub sandwiches, you name it!
  • Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Variations: Change things up by adding red pepper flakes, your favorite herbs, olives or capers!

Nutrition

Calories: 98kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 209mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

**This recipe was originally published in April 2015. The photos have been updated to include step by step instructions, and the text in the post has been modified to include more recipe information.

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