Homemade Marinara Sauce

Homemade marinara sauce is an easy tomato sauce, with Italian flavors of onion, garlic and oregano. A staple Italian sauce that everyone can master.

How do you make your next pasta dish more delicious? Are you tired of costs for the store-bought sauces that are full with sugar, salt or doesn’t meet your expectations?

Homemade Marinara Sauce served with fresh basil in a white plate

Well, guess what, make this quick and easy marinara sauce at home! It is suitable vegan, gluten-free, sugar free and keto diets. Such a healthy and easy homemade tomato sauce from scratch, much better than jarred sauces

Homemade marinara sauce is delicious recipe that can be used for different dishes:

  • for your favorite pasta, including spaghetti, rigatoni pasta bake
  • for lasagna, just add it to meat, while cooking bolognese
  • for vegetables, such as cauliflower, zoodles and others
  • marinara can be used as pizza sauce (we have delicious blackberry pizza recipe, use marinara instead of blackberry)
  • for fish, mussels or shrimps
  • for your protein – chicken recipes, beef, meatballs or in tofu recipes
  • for rice and egg recipes
  • as a dipping sauce for cauliflower breadsticks, sweet potato fries and other snacks.

You can continue this list on and on! This easy tomato sauce can be a pantry staple and it’s usage is so diverse. This recipe is perfect to have on a busy weeknights.

This Italian sauce is healthy, if you add it to keto or low carb dishes and vegetables. It makes so much more delicious instead of basic bland sugary tomato sauce from the store shelves!

Homemade easy Marinara Sauce is perfect for pasta dishes, vegetables or protein. Easy vegan recipe! #vegan #tomatosauce #italian #sauce

What’s more, this lovely authentic Italian sauce is made in less than 50 minutes. It can be stored in the fridge up to 7 days or freeze it for months. You will need a pan and a spoon, that’s it.

By the way, did you know that marinara sauce originated in Napoli?

How to make homemade marinara sauce

You will need simple pantry ingredients for this recipe: big jar of diced tomatoes, few tablespoons of olive oil, 1 onion, 2 garlic clove, 1/2 tsp dried oregano (you can use fresh leaves as well), salt and pepper to taste.

Yes, that’s it, just 5 ingredients, plus salt and pepper. Perfect Italian sauce shouldn’t be complicated!

To make marinara sauce, add all ingredients in the pan, including peeled whole onion and peeled whole garlic cloves. Bring it to boil, then reduce heat and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom.

Then remove the onion from the pot, mash it with a spoon and put it back. If you don’t like cooked onion, you can just throw it away. At this moment garlic is already so soft, you can easily crush it with a back of the spoon. Minced garlic adds so much more flavor to the sauce!

That’s it, the sauce is ready to be served with pasta or vegetables.

How to make Marinara Sauce process

How to make marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes

As you can see, my recipe uses canned tomatoes, but you can also make it with fresh ones!  Just cook it 10 or so minutes more.

Oh, and I recommend putting fresh tomatoes in a boiled water before cooking, then removing the skin. You don’t want skin bits in your sauce!

Italian Marinara Sauce in a small bowl, view from top

How to perfect Italian tomato sauce

Wait, just don’t forget to give it a taste test and add more pepper or salt to your taste, as we all have different taste!

This recipe is vegan, but if you wan’ to make it more rich, you can mix in few cubes of unsalted butter.

If you feel like it’s a little bit bitter to your taste, try to mix in 1/8 tsp of sugar or powdered erythritol in marinara sauce.

And if you don’t like marinara, you can add a dash of dried basil, but be careful, it can make it a bit bitter.

The bitterness of the sauce is based on the brand of canned tomatoes that you choose. I prefer using canned crushed and peeled tomatoes. Dices or not doesn’t matter, as you can easily squish them in a pan.

To make this Italian tomato sauce without chunks, just let it cool, then use a hand blender or stand blender to make it smooth as you prefer.

If you want a spicy marinara sauce, you can add a dash of red pepper, chili or cayenne powder.

Homemade Marinara Sauce served in a small white plate with fresh basil on top

How to store homemade marinara sauce

Let the sauce cool, then put in jar, covered with a lid. This tomato sauce needs to be refrigerated. Use it up to one week. You can put it in the ice cube mold for easy portions and freeze up to 3 months.

What is the difference between marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce?

Marinara sauce is just simple sauce, made with few ingredients and very versatile. Spaghetti sauce is obviously used for pasta, but it can be any sauce! Spaghetti sauce is usually thicker, and also includes meat, anchovies or more vegetables.

Generally speaking, you can use Marinara sauce as a base for your meat sauce.

Homemade marinara sauce on the spoon

Next time you see overpriced marinara sauce, just skip it and go get fresh vegetables or canned tomatoes and make it at home! You can make the best marinara sauce for your family and it is such an easy Italian recipe to try!

You should also check our Creamy Mushroom Pasta for more delicious dinner ideas.

Let us know your thoughts about this easy marinara sauce recipe!

Homemade Marinara Sauce recipe

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Recipe AuthorCooking Journey
5 from 4 votes
Easy Italian sauce recipe for pasta, vegetables or protein.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 73 kcal
  • 1 medium pot
  • a spoon

  • 28 oz canned whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 1 stem basil for decoration (option)

Making this recipe?Mention @cookingjourneyblog or tag #cookingjourneyblog!

  • To make marinara sauce, add all ingredients in the pot, including peeled whole onion and peeled whole garlic cloves.
    28 oz canned whole tomatoes with juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Bring it to boil, then reduce heat and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom.
  • Remove the onion from the pot, mash it with a wooden spoon and put it back. If you don’t like cooked onion, you can just throw it away.
  • At this moment garlic is already so soft, you can easily crush it with a back of the spoon.
  • Give it a taste, if it needs more salt or pepper - add more. Blend the sauce if you want to make is smoother.
  • Serve over pasta, veggies or your protein. Add a fresh basil leaves, if you like.
Rate this recipe and leave a comment

Store in a closed jar up to 1 week or freeze in ice cube molds up to 3 months.
If you want to use fresh tomatoes, place them first in a boiled water, peel off the skin and use in the recipe. Cook 10 minutes more.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword 5 ingredient sauce, easy, tomato sauce, vegan


  1. No need to ever buy a jar of marinara sauce at the grocery store again with this tasty homemade classic.

  2. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

    5 stars
    I’m definitely going to make a big batch of this! We love our pasta dishes so definitely need to have some of this sauce to hand, delicious!

    1. Cooking Journey

      This is such a great pasta sauce! Don’t forget you it lasts only a week in the fridge. But you can freeze it and always have a good sauce, when reheating pasta dishes.

  3. 5 stars
    Now I can stop buying bottles of marinara sauce and just get jars of Italian tomatoes and make this instead. So good and I can control what herbs and seasonings to add to the sauce.

  4. 5 stars
    No need to buy jarred sauces when you can make this easy and delicious sauce at home! So good! They only sauce we use!

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