Marinara Sauce Recipe
This delicious homemade marinara sauce recipe is a simple blend of tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic and red wine, all simmered together to create an incredibly flavorful, rich sauce that’s perfect for pasta, meatballs, and so much more. This easy marinara sauce is SO much better than the store bought kind!
It only takes a few (hands-on) minutes and very basic ingredients to make your own marinara sauce, and my version has the most wonderful authentic Italian flavor. This sauce is great on spaghetti, meatballs, pizza and more!
This easy marinara sauce recipe is a staple in my kitchen, and I hope it becomes a go-to recipe for you too! There are so many uses for it and as an added plus, my kids love it!
I get that it’s really convenient to grab a jar of marinara sauce from the grocery store. That being said, I find that so many store bought marinara sauces aren’t all that flavorful. Most lack that rich, bold taste and many also contain ingredients like vegetable oil, sugar, preservatives and tons of salt. This marinara sauce recipe tastes so much better than the store bought kind, that it’s really worth it to take the extra time and make it at home.
Ingredients In This Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe:
To make this homemade marinara sauce recipe, you will need the following ingredients (amounts included in the recipe below).
- Olive oil. A little bit of fat goes a long way in this sauce.
- Onion. Finely-diced onion is a classic in marinara sauce. White or yellow onion will work.
- Garlic. I love the delicious garlic flavor in this sauce. You can use finely minced or pressed garlic. And I highly recommend using fresh garlic, rather than the jarred kind.
- Tomato paste. This will give the sauce a lovely thickness and rich flavor.
- Red wine. Totally optional, but red wine gives marinara sauce a more complex depth of flavor. If you don’t want to use red wine, you can use water or vegetable broth instead.
- Crushed tomatoes. It’s important to use high-quality tomatoes for the best flavor. I like San Marzano tomatoes – they are a bit sweeter and less acidic than other tomato varieties.
- Sea salt and black pepper. Once the marinara sauce is cooked, taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
How To Make Marinara Sauce:
This marinara sauce recipe could not be easier!
- Sauté onion, garlic and add tomato paste. Start this recipe by sautéing the onion until soft and then the garlic and add in the tomato paste.
- Add all other ingredients. Add the red wine and cook for an additional minute. Next, add tomatoes, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
- Simmer. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; gently boil, stirring occasionally for at least 1 hour to really let the flavors develop.
- Taste. Give the sauce a taste and season, if needed, with additional salt and pepper.
- Serve. Enjoy this sauce warm and with your favorite dish!
There are so many ways to change up this recipe and make it your own! Here a some ways to customize this marinara sauce…
- Spicy marinara. Add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
- Basil marinara. You can really add any favorite herbs into this sauce. If you want a delicious basil flavor, add 3-6 basil leaves into the sauce as it simmers. Remove the leaves before serving.
- Parmesan marinara. Stir in about 1/2 to 1 cup of freshly-grated Parmesan into the sauce just before serving. Or you can add the cheese into individual servings.
- Creamy marinara. For more of a cream sauce, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream into the marinara just before serving.
Tips For The Best Marinara Sauce:
- This marinara sauce needs to simmer on low heat; if the heat is too high it may splatter onto your stove!
- You can use fresh tomatoes for this recipe, but the tomatoes would need to be turned into crushed tomatoes by blanching and peeling the tomatoes then simmering them down to the correct consistency.
- You can probably get away with reducing the simmer time down to about 20 minutes, if you’re in a hurry. However, for the best flavor I recommend simmering the sauce for at least one hour and up to six hours.
- This sauce has some small chunks, if you prefer a smooth sauce, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. I recommend allowing the sauce to cool slightly before trying to blend it in a blender.
This marinara sauce recipe is very good the first day. However, if you have the chance to make the sauce a day or two ahead of time, it will give the ingredients time to marry and become even more delicious. When I make this homemade marinara sauce, I typically double the ingredients and then after it is cooled I store it in the refrigerator for two days. We then eat some with dinner and I freeze the rest for another time. So good!
Uses For Homemade Marinara Sauce:
There are countless ways to use this homemade marinara sauce recipe!
Some of my family’s favorites are baked chicken parmesan, my easy healthy lasagna, healthy sloppy joes and this baked ziti recipe.
If you try this marinara sauce recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Marinara Sauce Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine*, (optional, add for extra flavor)
- 2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes (I use San Marzano)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste, if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is soft.
- Add garlic and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Add wine (alternatively you can use water or vegetable broth); cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; gently boil, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.
- Serve warm. This sauce keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days. Freeze it for up to 6 months.
**Feel free to simmer sauce past the 1 hour mark to further develop the flavor. You can cook on very low heat for up to 6 hours. Cover and stir occasionally. Add about 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth as needed for desired consistency. Storage instructions: Before storing this marinara sauce, let it cool to room temperature. Store it in a sealed jar or food storage container or in a zip-top baggie. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @kimscravings on Instagram and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy and delicious recipes straight to your inbox!
Perfect go-to sauce. We loved it on pasta!
Straight up simple and delicious! No need to buy packaged marinara sauce again…thanks!
I didn’t realize you could freeze sauce! So helpful for when life gets busy in the fall. Thanks for such a delicious recipe.
This quickly become a favorite at my house!
This is the best marinara sauce! I like to double the recipe and freeze some!!
Marinara is one of my favourite sauces. It is so useful is so many recipes!
We love making sauce on Sunday to enjoy throughout the week. Such an easy and flavorful recipe to follow, thanks!
I have a strong love for marinara but honestly have only made it a few times. I am looking forward to making a huge pot of this!
This looks perfect! I love having marinara sauce to hand, but homemade is always best. I need to make this, it looks so easy to make!
I make it exactly the same way, well a little less garlic, to keep my husband happy. It’s so simple and always tastes great! I love your variations too. I’ll have to try them. Sharing this!