How To Make Marinara Sauce From Scratch

Must Try

Can I Freeze Marinara Sauce

Easy Marinara Sauce Recipe – Using Fresh Tomatoes From Scratch!

Absolutely! To freeze Marinara Sauce:

  • Prepare Marinara Sauce recipe according to instructions.
  • Let sauce cool completely.
  • Transfer sauce to freezer safe airtight containers or freezer bags.
  • Squeeze out any excess air, seal and label.
  • Freeze Marinara for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to use, let Marinara Sauce defrosts in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Gently heat over the stove.
  • How To Make It

  • Sauté onion in olive oil
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, sea salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  • Simmer at least 15 minutes then use as desired.
  • I do want to note that many hard-core traditional marinaras recipes dont use onion. Feel free to leave it out if you are so inclined! I think it adds to the robust flavor of this sauce, but to each their own.

    Also if youre concerned about the fact that were not starting with fresh tomatoes, I do have plans for a truly fresh option, coming this summer. Its just right now and theres snow on the ground as I type this, so give me some time. And keep in mind most marinara sauce recipes start with canned tomatoes, so dont beat yourself up if you dont have garden fresh on hand.

    Spaghetti Sauce Vs Marinara Sauce

    While spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce taste similar, typically spaghetti sauce is served thicker. You can, however, use marinara sauce in place of spaghetti sauce.

    Can I use marinara sauce in place of pizza sauce? Even though marinara sauce is a bit thinner than pizza sauce, the flavor is similar and you can use it in place of pizza sauce.

    Don’t Miss: Costco Rao’s Marinara Sauce

    Why You Should Make Homemade Marinara Sauce From Scratch

    Think about it how many jars of pasta sauce have you bought over the years? Yes, of course prepared sauce saves time. But dollar for dollar, its absolutely more economical to make a double batch of sauce from scratch. They will keep perfectly in the fridge and freezer!

    Also, many brands of jarred marinara sauce are over-processed, and contain stuff you really dont want or need in your life, like excessive amounts of sugar, corn syrup and sodium.

    Other unnecessary ingredients include soybean oil and natural flavors, whatever that means.

    Ready to make your sauce? Lets keep things easy-peasy for this recipe.

    Making Marinara Sauce Ahead Of Time

    Marinara Sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes

    Even though this sauce may not take all that much effort to make, on a busy weeknight, I completely get that you may not want to stand over the the stove for an extra 30 minutes to make marinara.

    No worries, this sauce can be made 100% ahead of time! I normally make mine the day before, but you can make it up to 5-6 days ahead of time .

    Don’t Miss: Strongest Hot Sauce

    How To Make Marinara Sauce From Scratch:

    Step 1 – Heat olive oil in a large pot – ideally with a thick bottom – over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add garlic and chilli flakes and cook for another minute or so until fragrant.

    Step 2 – Add canned tomatoes, with the juices. Bring to a strong simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer very gently for 45 minutes. Stir from time to time, crushing the tomatoes with the back of the spoon or with a potato masher every time you stir. After about 30 minutes of cooking, stir in basil sprigs. Basil is a fragile herb so adding it towards the end helps preserve its flavor.

    Step 3 – When the sauce is ready after about 45 minutes, scoop out the basil. Taste it and adjust salt if needed – I added ¼ teaspoon but it might not be necessary for you depending on the brand you are using .

    Step 4 – This sauce is chunky. If you prefer a smooth texture, blitz the sauce with an immersion blender or using a blender. The sauce is ready to be used straight away. If not, bring it room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in flattened freezer bags in the freezer for up to 6 months.

    Authentic Homemade Marinara Sauce:

    Disclaimer: I may earn a small commission at no cost to you if you buy anything through these links. This income helps fund Foxxy By Nature and allows me continue providing you with quality content that fits our overall vision. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for your understanding and support.

    Prep everything so that its ready to go. Wash your tomatoes, finely slice your garlic, and roughly chop the tomatoes, onions and basil.

    Add the olive oil to the saucepan and heat it up . Throw in the garlic and chili flakes and let them cook for about a minute before you add a generous splash of red wine and your onions to the mix and let it simmer for another minute. Side Note: For the red wine, I used a Cabernet Sauvignon, but I also love using Merlot Its really up to you, but Id suggest going for a drier red rather than a sweet one.

    When the onions start to go translucent, add all the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Sprinkle sugar and salt over them, then add the chopped basil and stir this all together before throwing in the rest of the wine. Stir again and put a lid over the pan so that the tomatoes start to soften.

    While it cooks, prepare your vegetable stock. Add it to the sauce and give it another stir. Then let it simmer on a medium heat with the lid on for about an hour. Stirring often

    Now you can either bottle it or add it to fresh pasta and serve. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

    Stay Foxxy!

  • Let your sauce simmer for hour on a medium heat. Stir every few minutes.

  • Also Check: Annie’s Worcestershire Sauce Target

    Additional Veggies And Protein

    When making a homemade marinara sauce, you have plenty of room to add a few more seasonings, vegetables, vegan protein, legumes, and for meat eaters, animal protein. Here are a few additions that are common when making spaghetti sauce.

    • Fresh parsley, 1 or 2 bay leaves, dried oregano, and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes will yield a spicy and robust herby sauce. All should be added while the tomatoes are simmering.
    • A drizzle of balsamic vinegar or splash of white or red wine will give the sauce another dimension and depth in flavor. Add while the tomatoes are simmering.

    For meat-eaters, add:

    • Brown 1/2 pound of ground beef or lamb with the onions and garlic, and proceed to the recipe as indicated.

    For vegans and vegetarians:

    • Add 1 cup of crumbled extra-firm tofu right before serving, or use cubed tempeh, seitan, or cooked edamame.

    How To Make Marinara Pasta Sauce

    Marinara Sauce from Scratch

    Forget jars of red sauce homemade marinara is where its at. This tomato sauce takes 20 minutes to make and requires zero planning. If marinara doesnt already have a spot in your repertoire of easy weeknight recipes, it will soon. Heres a step-by-step look at how to make this super-simple sauce.

    Also Check: What Is Rao’s Sauce

    Is Marinara Sauce The Same As Pizza Sauce

    It isnt technically the same as pizza sauce, though you can certainly use it as such. I cant count the number of times Ive made my pizza recipe with this exact sauce and some mozzarella. However, there are some differences.

    While this sauce spends some time simmering on the stove, this step is not required for making pizza sauce. While I find that cooking/simmering the sauce really helps to develop the flavors, it also will diminish that distinct fresh tomato taste .


    On Wednesday Ill be sharing a Stuffed Shells recipe that I made using this sauce, so if youre not already on my e-mail list, make sure you subscribe so you never miss a new recipe!

    How To Make Marinara Sauce From Scratch

    In addition to the ingredients, a few simple techniques bring out the flavor in Marthas easy recipe.

    Sauté the aromatic vegetables in olive oil over medium-high heat to mellow them.

    Toast the tomato paste to deepen its flavor.

    Simmer twice: Add the tomatoes and remaining ingredients to the veggies and tomato paste and cook them together for 45 minutes in a covered frying pan . Then uncover and give it another 30 minutes simmering to reduce and thicken the sauce, for about 1 3/4 hours total time for the recipe.

    Season to taste. Another bit of sugar, salt, or chile flakes? Some black pepper? Give it a slurp and see what you think.

    Also Check: Texas Pete Hot Wing Sauce Recipe

    Are Tomato Sauce And Marinara Sauce The Same Thing

    Both Tomato Sauce and Marinara Sauce include olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and herbs but tomato sauce can also include meat stock, wine, ground meat olives and capers.

    Here are a few other Italian Sauces not to be confused with marinara:

    Ragu: meat-based Italian sauce made with any type of protein , onions, carrots, celery and often pancetta with a minimal amount of tomato sauce. Heavy cream is often added.

    Bolognese Ragu: a popular type of Ragu sauce characterized by its use of beef. I have this recipe for you coming soon!

    Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce From Scratch

    How To Make Homemade Marinara Sauce From Scratch

    Never 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 is the only tomato sauce recipe you need perfect 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 you covered!

    Read Also: Costco Rao’s

    How To Make Basic Marinara Sauce

    There are as many recipes for tomato pasta sauce as there are Italian grandmothers. My Sicilian grandmother used to make her sauce every year from the tomatoes in her garden. Much of the time the sauce had meat in it but I dont think it was ever exactly the same twice. A child of the depression, my grandmother would throw into the pot whatever she had on hand scraps of a roast, pieces of cooked pork, sausages, rinds of parmesan cheese. You never knew what youd find in the sauce, but it was always good.

    This is really a base pasta sauce recipe, meant to adapt to whatever you want it to be. Like meat in your sauce? Add a tough cut and let it cook down to make a Bolognese. Want to keep it vegetarian? Enjoy the recipe as it is or add some diced up vegetables. Like Pasta alla Norma? Add red chili flakes and diced eggplant to the sauce. Mushrooms or meatballs, its all up to you.

    While the photo shows the sauce in a jar, I didnt can this sauce. There are only so many ways to photograph tomato sauce, and stacks of tupperware just dont make that pretty of a picture. But the sauce does freeze well, so you can enjoy the taste of freshly made sauce a few months from now, once the weather turns cold.

    *******If youve found my blog via Google, welcome! I hope you find my posts helpful and take the time to check out whats new on Former Chef!To receive free updates in your inbox when theres a new post .*******

    Why Add Sugar To Tomato Sauce

    Tomatoes can have a high level of acidity depending on the type of tomato, how ripe they are, their freshness, and if they’re canned or not. Sometimes, adding sugar to tomato sauce will balance out the acidity but also will contribute to a more flavorful sauce. Taste your sauce before the final simmer and add a pinch of sugar if too acidic.

    Don’t Miss: Raos Pasta Sauce Costco

    How To Thicken Marinara Sauce

    This pasta sauce should be thick enough to enjoy after simmering for several minutes uncovered, but if you want it even thicker then here are a couple of ways to thicken your pasta sauce.

  • The first way is to add tomato paste. If you add tomato paste, I may add a touch more sugar, as you are adding to the acidity in the sauce. Taste as you go.
  • The second option is to add a small amount of water from your cooked pasta. Pasta releases quite a bit of starch as it cooks which is great for thickening sauces. You can see how I use pasta water in this Stove Top Pastitsio. It really is a simple cooking hack. You can reduce the amount of liquid use less tomato sauce and then allow the sauce to simmer longer so that it cooks down.
  • Lastly, you can add a small amount of cornstarch to your recipe. It dissolves easily and is tasteless.
  • What To Use Marinara Sauce For


    Pasta is only the beginning. There are so many recipes you can make using your homemade marinara. It makes an amazing base for tomato soup, meatballs or neat balls. Or ratatouille. Yes, that lovely French layered veggie dish – some recipes use a vegetable puree in the pan before laying out the beautiful thin cuts of vegetables.

    Read Also: What To Order At Rao’s

    Tips For Best Results

  • I would highly recommend to use San Marzano canned peeled tomatoes! They are the whole base of the recipe. Because they are less acidic, they make the sauce taste better!
  • Heavy bottom shallow pan is my go-to pan to cook this sauce for two reasons.
    • Heavy bottom will prevent the sauce from burning.
    • Shallow pan will make the simmering process faster.

    If you dont have such pan, use a regular large sauce pan. Just make sure you will stir the sauce more often and simmer it a bit longer.

  • Sauté the onion until its caramelized. It will provide more flavor and sweetness.
  • Always taste it while cooking. You might want to add more salt or sugar to balance the flavors.

    Variations Of This Recipe

    • Fresh tomatoes to make this recipe using fresh summer tomatoes, see below in the FAQ section.
    • Vinegar free the vinegar in this recipe helps add a faint touch of sweetness and richness, but if you have all the other ingredients, and not the vinegar, it isnt 100% necessary.
    • Fresh herbs if you have access to great fresh herbs, you can absolutely use those. Just add double or triple the amount of the fresh herbs. Dried herbs are more concentrated, which is why youd need more of the fresh to achieve the same flavor.
    • All pantry ingredients I love that this recipe can be adapted to use all pantry ingredients, for those times when you havent been to the grocery store. To replace the fresh onion, use roughly 1 1/2 2 tsp of onion powder. To replace the fresh garlic, use 1 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder. And just omit the optional fresh basil stirred in at the end.

    Also Check: Texas Pete Original Hot Sauce

    Ways To Use Marinara Sauce:

    There are sooo many delicious ways that you can put this marinara recipe to use! For example, feel free to serve it with

    • Pasta: Spaghetti marinara is a classic, of course. But you could stir this sauce into any other kinds of pasta, baked ziti, lasagna and more. Or if you really want to go for the gold, make some homemade pasta!
    • Meat or seafood: You could make Italian meatballs marinara, chicken marinara, shrimp marinara, mussels marinara, or whatever else might sound good!
    • Parmigiana: Im also partial to using this sauce in my favorite baked eggplant Parmesan and chicken Parmesan recipes.
    • Pizza: This recipe can also double as a marinara pizza sauce in any of your favorite pizza or flatbread recipes.
    • Dipping sauce: Its also a fantastic dipping sauce for everything from breadsticks to mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, calamari, toasted ravioli and more.
    • Subs and sandwiches: You know, Joey Tribbiani style. )

    How To Store The Marinara Sauce In The Fridge

    Homemade Marinara Sauce from scratch

    Bring the sauce to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The sauce can also be frozen. To freeze, bring to room temperature, transfer to freezer bags and flatten the bags, taking the air out.

    Freeze them flat first and when theyre hard enough, you can store them straight. They will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight

    Also Check: Rao Pasta Sauce Costco

    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.

    What Kind Of Canned Tomatoes To Use

    Puréed tomatoes might feel like the obvious choice here, but I recommend using whole peeled tomatoes for your marinara sauce. These break down into perfect sauciness in about 20 minutes, but still retain a little substance, which gives the sauce some body something sauces made with purée can lack. Ive also used diced tomatoes, but find that these generally dont break down as easily or quickly theyre fine to use if you dont mind a chunkier sauce.

    Really, any canned tomatoes you have in your pantry can be used in a pinch, up to and including tomatoes that youve canned yourself. Id only avoid tomatoes that have flavorings or herbs added to them your sauce will be a hundred times better if you add these things yourself.

    Also Check: Texas Pete Hot Sauce Substitute

    Popular Recipes

    More Recipes Like This