The Best Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce From Scratch
The best marinara sauce recipeNEVER buy a jar of marinara sauce again! This Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce from scratch recipe is so delicious and EASY to make! Impress your family and friends with your rich homemade marinara sauce that you made in less than 30 minutes. This quick marinara sauce is the only tomato sauce recipe you needperfect for pasta, pizza, and meatballs! Just like my Nana used to make! Whether you want to make homemade marinara sauce from fresh tomatoes or canned, chunky-style or smooth, weve got your marinara from scratch covered!
Traditional marinara sauce with spaghetti
Ingredients In Marinara Sauce
- Whole tomatoes. To make your very own Marinara, youre going to need a bunch of tomatoes. You may use fresh plum or Roma tomatoes, canned San Marzano tomatoes, or a mix of each. I used 8 Roma tomatoes and one can of whole San Marzano tomatoes. Whole stewed tomatoes have the best flavor, especially when compared to chopped or diced canned tomatoes.
- Onions. I recommend yellow onion as it has the most mellow and mild flavor.
- Garlic. As with most recipes, youll want to add fresh garlic . Add as much or as little as you like to suit your own personal preference.
- Dried Herbs. If you want a super clean, super fresh Marinara Sauce, then leave out the dried herbs. That said, a pinch of Italian seasoning or dried basil adds an extra layer of flavor without a whole lot of extra work.
- Fresh Basil. Fresh basil, on the other hand, is a must . Unlike dried herbs, fresh basil helps keep the sauce tasting fresh and light. You dont need a lot of basil, maybe 10 leaves total .
- Salt/Pepper/Sugar. Each of these are totally to taste. In other words, some people may like a marinara sauce that is saltier, while others may prefer one that is sweeter. Keep in mind that you dont want much of either of these ingredients. The sugar is there mostly to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, not sweeten the sauce.
Delicious Ways To Use Marinara Sauce
- Any cooked pasta would be scrumptious tossed in homemade marinara sauce.
- Use it as the sauce in traditional baked ziti or even a vegetarian baked ziti.
- Its a scrumptious dipping sauce for pizza rolls, garlic knots, bread sticks or grilled cheese.
- Use it as pizza sauce on your next homemade pizza. This Bacon Fathead Pizza would be fabulous!
- Use it recipes for stuffed shells.
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What Is Classic Marinara Sauce
Classic Marinara Sauce is the base for so many of our favorite Italian-inspired dishes. Many people mistakenly think that marinara sauce, spaghetti and tomato sauces are essentially the same things. But, theyre really quite different.
A classic marinara sauce is just a very simple tomato-based sauce. It has few ingredients and doesnt contain meat. Homemade marinara sauce is thinner than tomato sauce. Though, you can still make a hearty marinara sauce by cooking it down longer and allowing it to thicken more.
This 30-minute marinara sauce recipe is that perfect, hearty consistency.
Marinara is commonly used as a dipping sauce, but is also delicious tossed with almost any pasta dishes. Marinara sauce is the traditional sauce in Chicken Parmesan, can easily stand in as a pizza sauce and is a quick and easy flavor-enhancer in many other dishes.
Watch The Marinara Sauce Video Tutorial:
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A Delicious Versatile Homemade Sauce
Not many people can resist a good pasta dish. But what good is pasta if you donât have a great sauce to go with it? I whipped up this Homemade Marinara Sauce to eat with my HOMEMADE TURKEY MEATBALLS. But there really is no stopping how you can serve this marinara sauce. Put it over spaghetti, in pasta casseroles and as a dipping sauce. There is no wrong way to use this at all! If you want to try a little something special for dinner tonight then ditch the canned sauce and try my Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe!
What Is Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce is a much thicker tomato-based sauce than marinara sauce. Typically, the tomatoes have not only been peeled, but also had the seeds removed. Canned tomatoes dont work as well in this instance. Tomato sauce has more ingredients than homemade marinara sauce, along with a deeper, richer and more complex flavor.
And, believe it or not, traditionally, tomato sauce was not vegetarian. It was based on the French mother sauce, Sauce Tomat, and started with a roux made with pork fat. Its more suited to blanketing or enrobing foods, almost like a gravy. In some areas of the United States, one version is actually called Tomato Gravy.
Most of us think of modern tomato sauce as vegetarian and containing no gluten. It comes in a can and is used as an ingredient, rather than being its own version of a full-bodied, rich and flavorful tomato-based sauce. Its the start of pizza sauce, pasta sauce and other dishes. What a shame. A delectable and truly homemade tomato sauce is mouthwateringly delicious and stands on its own as an extraordinary sauce.
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How To Make Marinara Sauce
You want to make sure that your sauce is a little thinner if it is being used as a pasta sauce, as opposed to a little thicker if you are using it on a pizza or as a dip.
To store your marinara sauce, it will last about 5-7 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can freeze it in single serving sizes for up to a year, and just defrost as needed!
Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe Made From Fresh Tomatoes
When I searched for a recipe on how to make homemade marinara sauce from fresh tomatoes, I had a difficult time finding one.
Almost every recipe that I found used canned tomatoes. Which is a great recipe to have when you want to make it in the middle of the winter.
However, it is garden season here and I have ripe tomatoes being picked every day. And that means that I need to use them before they go bad.
I wanted to make Chicken Parmesan in our air fryer and I wanted to make a small batch to use on top.
In addition, I had some leftover breadsticks from the night before that I thought would be perfect to dip into the sauce.
So I decided to give it a try using our fresh tomatoes from the garden.
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How To Make Marinara Sauce From Scratch:
Homemade marinara might be one of the easiest sauces youll ever make in your own kitchen! Heres a quick rundown of how to make marinara sauce.
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Can I Freeze This Homemade Marinara Sauce
Yes, this sauce freezes well so there is no reason you cannot make a double batch each time.
Place your cooled sauce in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. Marinara sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.
When the craving for spaghetti hits, you will always have the sauce ready! Simply thaw for a few hours in the fridge or heat your frozen sauce , in a large pot on low with a lid to cover. Slowly thaw the sauce and bring it up to temp.
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Why Make Homemade Marinara Sauce
My mothers side of the family is Italian, so homecooked Italian meals like pastas, manicotti and lasagna were a staple in my childhood. My dad actually instructed us to never order spaghetti and meatballs in a restaurant because it wont ever come close to being as good as Moms.
That is a fact. It never is.
My mothers family recipe is just delicious. Ive used our family recipe as a base, but put my own spin on it to simplify the ingredient list, and speed up the cook time, without sacrificing any flavor.
Whole Vs Diced Vs Crushed
So, canned tomatoes are the way to go. But which version is the best?
I prefer whole peeled tomatoes packed in juices for both a hearty marinara as well as a smooth sauce. Whole tomatoes are the least processed and therefore the most versatile out of the three.
Diced tomatoes are the least ideal. You might expect them to break down much faster than whole tomatoes, but theyre actually packaged with lots of calcium chloride to keep their shape. In his book The Food Lab, chef J. Kenji López-Alt warns against using diced tomatoes for sauces and advises to always use whole canned!. If you do find canned diced or chopped tomatoes that dont list calcium chloride as an ingredient, however, you can use them without worrying that theyll retain their cube-like shape no matter how long theyre simmered.
Crushed tomatoes arent great, but are fine for smooth sauces. The problem with crushed tomatoes is that there are no controls on the labeling of crushed tomatoes. So, you never know if you youre buying a chunky mash or a nearly smooth purée. Because of this, its better to simply crush your own whole tomatoes.
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How To Make Quick Marinara Sauce
What could be better than a quick, homemade marinara sauce that tastes like it simmered all day? The fact that this sauce only needs four ingredients. You read that right. This sauce is also the perfect canvas for whatever ingredients you might want to add to it. I love to add fresh basil, or sautéed onions and pancetta
Makes The Perfect Pizza Sauce
For those family pizza nights, how about having homemade pizza sauce on hand? You will because you have this sauce in the freezer. This sauce can also used as a dip for these mini ham and cheese calzone and fried ravioli . So as you can see, the uses are endless.
The recipe yields 6 cups/1.5 quarts/1.5kg of sauce. The recipe can be doubled very easily.
If youve tried this Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce or any other recipe on the blog then dont forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!
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Why Make Homemade Marinara
- 6 ingredients. Yep, just canned tomatoes, olive oil, fresh garlic, dried oregano and basil, sugar, and salt.
- Healthy. This homemade pasta is lower in sugar and sodium than what youll find at the store. Plus, we all know tomatoes are good for you :).
- Freezer-friendly. Store it for up to 4 months in the freezer.
What Are San Marzano Tomatoes
San Marzano Tomatoes are a variety of plum tomato. I like canned San Marzano tomatoes for their excellent flavor and meaty texture. But, in truth, any quality plum tomato will work in this recipe. They can be very difficult to find fresh. And when you do, they are expensive, so I buy canned tomatoes for this recipe.
The quality and ripeness of whole peeled canned tomatoes is so much better than diced tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes. Commercial canners choose the ripest, highest quality tomatoes for the whole canned variety. They simply have more flavor. Even if they have to be broken down for my recipe, I almost always buy whole peeled vs diced tomatoes, now.
San Marzano are high-quality, Italian plum tomatoes. Im able to buy them at my local Walmart grocery store. The San Marzanos come in 28 oz. cans and I use two in my best marinara sauce recipe.
I also like Jovial brand whole peeled tomatoes. I can usually get great sales on them at Whole Foods. The Jovial tomatoes come in 18.3 oz. jars. So, if I use Jovial, I use three jars for this recipe.
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In A Rush Make It Ahead Of Time:
This marinara sauce is perfect for making ahead of time. In fact you could double the recipe and freeze the extras.
Allow the marinara sauce to cool and store it in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To freeze, put the homemade pasta sauce in an airtight container or freezer ziplock bag and store it for up to 4 months.
Also, if youd like to use fresh tomatoes for this recipe, substitute about 6-7 fresh tomatoes for the 28oz. can of whole tomatoes. Blanch them and remove the skins before step 1 of the recipe.
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What Is The Difference Between Pasta Sauce And Marinara
Now that weve answered the question What is marinara sauce? we know that it is an Italian tomato-based sauce often used for pasta and a slew of other Italian dishes. So, it is a pasta sauce, but by no means, the only pasta sauce.
Some of the best pasta sauces arent even red sauces. One of our most popular Italian recipes is this Bucatini Cacio e Pepe. And one of my all-time-favorite Italian sauces thats just as versatile as marinara sauce is this Genovese Pesto recipe.
Homemade Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce from scratch
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You Only Need 6 Simple Marinara Sauce Ingredients So Make Em Count
While you might think that the best marinara sauce would be made from fresh tomatoes our marinara recipe calls for canned because theyre reliably good, easy to keep on hand, and using canned tomatoes means you can make this sauce anytime you want! Plus, canned tomatoes are picked and preserved at the very peak of their ripeness, so theyre sweet and acidic and all of the good things that we want the tomatoes for our marinara to be. Here are the ingredients youll need to make this easy pasta sauce:
Extra virgin olive oil. Homemade marinara sauce is one of the few examples of a recipe where, even though the oil is cooked, you want to use good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Because the sauce only cooks for about 20 minutes, and because it calls for quite a lot of oil, the flavor of the olive oil really defines this simple sauce.
Fresh garlic. And lots of it!
Canned, crushed tomatoes. Use a good-quality canned, crushed tomatotheres a lot of variation brand-to-brand, and in a recipe like this where the tomatoes are thes star, quality really matters. While were usually big fans of the fire-roasted varieties, marinara sauce is not the place for those. Just get a big can of classic, plain, crushed tomatoes.
Dry herbs. Either Italian seasoning or a blend of dry thyme and oregano.
Tips For Making Homemade Marinara
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How To Make Basic Marinara Sauce
- Start with a small saucepan over low-medium heat, sweat the diced onions for about 4 minutes. Keeping the heat at medium-low is crucial so the onions release their sweet juice without burning. You can add olive oil here for extra flavor, but its not necessary.
- Next, add garlic.
- Cook until garlic is lightly golden brown, about 4 more minutes.
- Then add crushed tomatoes, stir well to combine, and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Youll have beautiful vibrant homemade marinara sauce that yields about two cups
Whats The Difference Between Marinara Sauce And Spaghetti Sauce
Spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce are often used like synonyms but they arent exactly the same . Though they are both tomato based sauces, marinara sauce is a meatless sauce that is slow-simmered and made with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. Traditional spaghetti sauce is basically a more complex version of marina sauce that has additional spices and is often made with meat and cut up vegetables.
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