Easy Marinara Sauce – On a budget

Marinara sauce is an easy to make tomato sauce that’s perfect as a topping for your favorite pasta or for use in recipes that call for pasta sauce in a jar.

A simple base of canned tomatoes with onion and garlic is all you need. Add a pinch of fresh herbs and simmer for 30 minutes.

Make it in bulk and freeze for a great homemade gravy anytime!

Easy marinara sauce in one pot

Homemade marinara sauce is incredibly easy to make, and once you try it, you’ll say goodbye to sauces in jars! It goes perfectly with meatballs or to make chicken parmesan.

Ingredients for marinara sauce

Tomatoes: For the best marinara sauce, I recommend using canned crushed sauce And whole tomatoes. Whole tomatoes give the sauce a slightly thicker consistency compared to canned diced tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes have the best flavor, but whole plum tomatoes (or whole canned tomatoes) work well, too.

Receive fresh tomatoes? Great! Add them (in addition to the canned tomatoes) into your sauce for an extra fresh flavor. Just make sure to peel them first.

Sweetness: Tomatoes can be tart due to their acidity. Grated carrots provide more sweetness. Alternatively, you can skip the carrots and add some sugar to balance the marinara sauce.

Herbs: Dried herbs should be added before simmering, fresh basil and/or parsley can be stirred in just before serving.

Additions: Try adding other veggies like shredded zucchini or even diced celery, or use this marinara sauce to make a homemade meat sauce for ziti! Add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like.

Ingredients for marinara sauce in pot

How to make marinara sauce

Marinara Sauce is a flavorful and surprisingly easy dish that can be made in just 30 minutes!

  1. Finely dice the onions, grate the carrots and sauté in a pan until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes and dried herbs and let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in fresh herbs.

Simmer this marinara sauce recipe a little longer to adjust the consistency. Make it a little thinner if you’re using it as a pasta sauce, or a little thicker if you’re using it on a pizza or as a dip.

Serve with pasta, zucchini noodles or use with eggplant parmesan. The possibilities are endless.

Marinara sauce is stirred with a wooden spoon
What is marinara sauce?

Marinara sauce is an easy tomato sauce that’s perfect for pasta or making lasagna or even soups. This marinara recipe is based on canned tomatoes with flavors like onion and garlic and a sprinkling of herbs. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, it makes a fantastic addition to pasta, a delicious dip for snacks, or a great substitute for store-bought sauces in all your favorite recipes.

Is marinara sauce the same as spaghetti sauce?

Marinara sauce is a thinner sauce with very few additives, while our spaghetti sauce recipe features meat and simmers longer for a thicker, richer sauce.

Is marinara pizza sauce?

Marinara sauce is different than pizza sauce. Pizza sauce tends to be thicker and our recipe has a stronger and slightly sweeter flavor than marinara sauce.

Can I substitute marinara sauce for tomato sauce?

Yes, you can use marinara sauce instead of tomato sauce.

How long does marinara sauce keep in the fridge?

Marinara sauce will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 5 days. For longer storage, you can store marinara sauce in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Easier pasta sauces

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Easy marinara sauce in one pot

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Easy marinara sauce

Marinara sauce is an easy to make tomato sauce that’s perfect for pasta or used in recipes that call for pasta sauce in a jar.

preparation time 10 protocol

cooking time 20 protocol

total time 30 protocol

author Holly Nilsson

a large saucepan with a lid
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

  • Add the finely diced onion, grated carrot and chopped garlic to the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes until tender.

  • Add whole canned tomatoes, including juice, and gently break apart with a spoon.

  • Mix in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar if necessary and dried oregano and season with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir in ½ cup of water.

  • Simmer uncovered over low heat for about 20 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Stir in fresh basil.

  • Serve over spaghetti or enjoy according to your favorite recipes.

Fresh basil is recommended, which should be added just before serving.
Fresh basil can be substituted with 2 teaspoons of dried basil. If using dried vegetables, add them along with the oregano.
Depending on the brand of tomatoes you buy, sugar may be required.
Store leftover sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on stovetop until heated through.

Calories: 112 | Carbohydrates: 15G | Protein: 2G | Fat: 5G | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 3G | Sugar: 8thG | Vitamin A: 1320IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2.5mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary depending on cooking method and brand of ingredients used.

course Main course, pasta, sauce
Kitchen Italian
Easy titled marinara sauce in a pot
Mix Easy Marinara Sauce in saucepan with a title
Close up of Easy Marinara Sauce with a title
Combine ingredients in a pot to make an easy marinara sauce and create a lettered dish

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