Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

March 5, 2019

Gluten Free

By: Jasmine Briones 

Get ready for the best homemade marinara sauce! I always thought that marinara sauce was going to be a time intensive recipe but I could not have been more wrong! This requires 30 minutes, just 10 simple ingredients to make, and it is so dang good.

Homemade marinara sauce in jars with the ingredients and white background

Marinara sauce is a staple in our house and we go through a large jar almost weekly because it makes for quick and easy dinners with little to no thought. We sauté whatever leftover veggies we need to use up, toss it was some marinara sauce, pour it over fresh pasta and boom, dinner is ready in less than 20 minutes.

Since we eat it so often, I decided that it was time to finally make some of our own. Of course, making it from scratch isn’t as quick and easy as opening up a jar from the store, but let me tell you, this recipe is well worth it. It’s rich in flavor, plus you can make a ton and freeze any leftovers for future weeknight dinners.

Mixing homemade chunky marinara sauce in a stainless steel pan

So what do you need for this recipe? Extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, a bay leaf, tomato paste, fresh basil leaves, dried oregano, crushed red peppers, and salt + pepper. Some recipes call for the addition of sugar and a lot of store-bought marinara sauces add sugar as well, so I turned to Chris’ mom (the queen of Italian recipes) to see what she recommended and she said to leave it out. You can totally try this recipe with sugar if you would like, but we thought that it was perrrrfect without it and didn’t need any additional sweetness.

Homemade marinara sauce in jars with the ingredients and white background

The recipe yields 4 cups of marinara sauce. You can half it if you would like, or you can make a whole recipe and freeze half! Cool the sauce completely to room temperature and then transfer it into freezer-safe bags.  freezer bags. Store in freezer up to 4 months. When you are ready to use it, thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight.

Homemade Marinara sauce on Fusilli pasta with fresh basil

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Homemade marinara sauce in jars with the ingredients and white background

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups

Description

Get ready for the best homemade marinara sauce! Plus it requires 30 minutes, just 10 simple ingredients to make, and it is so dang good.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes* (see notes)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped* (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper, as desired

Instructions

  1. In a large pan over medium heat, add in the olive oil. Once warmed, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  2. Next, add in the canned tomatoes (with juice), and gently break them apart using either a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Be careful as they may splatter.
  3. Add in all of the remaining ingredients and mix until uniform. Simmer uncovered on low for 20 minutes, or the sauce reaches your desired consistency, stirring often. Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired
  4. Serve over your favorite pasta or even with some homemade mozzarella sticks.

Notes

  • We prefer using olive oil as it adds a great flavor to the sauce, but if you would like to make this oil-free, feel free to use vegetable broth the sauté the onions and garlic. For this, I would start with just 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth and add more as needed, 2 tablespoons at a time, to prevent burning.
  • Canned diced tomatoes will work as well, we just use whole for an extra chunky sauce.
  • Fresh basil works much better in this recipe than dried as it yields a fresher flavor. If you would like to use dried basil, use 3 teaspoons of dried basil in for the 20 basil leaves.
  • Store the sauce in an airtight container (we used mason jars) in the refrigerator for up to two weeks..
  • This sauce can be frozen as well. Cool the sauce completely to room temperature and then transfer it into freezer-safe bags. Store in freezer up to 4 months. When you are ready to use it, thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight.
  • If you would like a smoother sauce, you can blend half or all of the sauce in a high-speed blender or with an immersion blender.
  • Prep Time: 6 minutes
  • Cook Time: 24 minutes
  • Category: Sauces, Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Italian

Keywords: Sauce, Vegan, Italian, Marinara, Sides

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Caroline says:

    This looks so good! I’ve resolved become less of a junk food vegan, and this recipe is PERFECT to prep and put in the freezer so I can make myself some healthy pasta rather than veggies sausages and chips. Thank you ????

  2. GIULIA says:

    When I was a nanny I loved cook with kids-and them too…so this could be a great activitiy to do :D…cooking is so relaxing-at least for me!!!

  3. Fraser Forrest says:

    Simple, but very very good

  4. Julia says:

    I love your recipe and method. Sincevi always have the ingredients on hand, red sauce is just 30 minutes away any time we want it!

    A friend from Italy taught me to add a sprinkle of nutmeg, rather than adding sugar. It offsets the acidity of the tomatoes, but still lets the flavor shine through.

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