Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

This easy homemade marinara sauce is made with simple staple ingredients like canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs. Use it with pasta, casseroles and more!

This easy homemade marinara sauce is made with simple staple ingredients like canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs. Use it with pasta, casseroles and more!

I have a little secret to share. I haven’t purchased bottled marinara sauce in a very long time, because making my own is so incredibly quick and easy! It requires just 5 ingredients under $5 total, about 20 minutes to make, and you have so much more control over the flavor.

I love my tomato basil marinara sauce made with fresh tomatoes, but this recipe is so much simpler to make and it’s honestly the one I use for everyday cooking. Make this easy homemade marinara sauce year-round and use it as a simple pasta sauce, as a base for soups, in casserole recipes, as a sub for pizza sauce, and in so many other ways!

ingredients for easy homemade marinara sauce

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Canned crushed tomatoes— you can use diced tomatoes if you prefer a chunkier sauce.
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh herbs— like rosemary, basil, oregano or thyme (I use whatever I happen to have on hand). Dried herbs will also work.
  • Brown sugar— canned tomatoes aren’t as sweet as fresh tomatoes, so I usually like to add just a touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity. This is optional, of course.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

sauteing onions and adding tomatoes

How to Make Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

  1.  Cook onions and garlic in olive oil till softened.
  2. Add canned tomatoes.
  3. Stir in herbs and seasonings. Adjust to taste.
  4. Simmer sauce for at least 10 minutes (if I have time sometimes I’ll simmer for up to 1 hour).
  5. Use immediately or store for later. If you prefer a smooth sauce, blend with an immersion blender or blender.

adding herbs and mixing with pasta

Storage Tips

This marinara sauce keeps really well! Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a month or more.

Variations

Use this homemade marinara sauce as a jumping off point!

  • Meat Sauce— brown 8 ounces sausage or ground beef in pot first before cooking onions.
  • Mushroom Marinara Sauce— cook 8 ounces sliced button or cremini mushrooms with onions.
  • Spicy Marinara Sauce— add ¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes along with the other seasonings.
  • Combination Marinara Sauce— combine any or all of the options above!

This easy homemade marinara sauce is made with simple staple ingredients like canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs. Use it with pasta, casseroles and more!

Shop Tools for this Recipe


Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

This easy homemade marinara sauce is made with simple staple ingredients like canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs. Use it with pasta, casseroles and more!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 28 can crushed tomatoes (use traditional or Italian-style)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried such as Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar (optional)
  • Salt and pepper , to taste

Instructions

  • Add olive oil to large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, herbs, brown sugar if using, and salt and pepper.
  • Simmer on medium low heat for at least 10 minutes, or up to 1 hour if you have the time.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • This sauce is slightly chunky, if you prefer a smooth sauce blend with an immersion blender or blender.
  • Use sauce immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for a month or more.

Nutrition

Calories: 972kcal, Carbohydrates: 215g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 3799mg, Potassium: 8459mg, Fiber: 55g, Sugar: 130g, Vitamin A: 6186IU, Vitamin C: 266mg, Calcium: 985mg, Iron: 37mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, send me an email, or take a photo and tag it on instagram with #completelydelicious.