This quick and easy homemade marinara sauce recipe will make sure you always have some delicious and flavorful sauce on hand. Plus, it can be made with canned or fresh tomatoes and freezes well.

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Homemade Marinara Sauce! This quick and easy homemade marinara sauce recipe will make sure you always have some delicious and flavorful sauce on hand. Plus, it can be made with canned or fresh tomatoes and freezes well. | HomemadeHooplah.com

About Homemade Marinara Sauce

As I’ve grown older, there are two truths that always seem to be consistent in my life:

  • I love pasta.
  • I have a weakness for wholesale clubs.

On the surface, these two may not be related, but think about this:

If you’ve ever walked down the aisles at Costco, surely you’ve seen the giant boxes of delectable pasta and all the screaming-to-be-cooked canned vegetables (of which there is now a wide variety of organic options). They have the building blocks for all the good pasta dishes, and you can buy them in bulk.

I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

And now you see my problem. Or, as I like to think of it, my potential for an endless stream of tasty carb-loaded dinners.

So with a kitchen fully loaded to make tons of pasta, it’s probably no surprise that I do exactly that. Over the past few months I’ve come up with a quick homemade marinara sauce that I use for just about everything – dips, sauce, a bed for stuffed shells, you name it – and since I have even more plans for it in the future, it only seemed fitting to (finally) post a recipe of the sauce on its own.

How to make quick marinara sauce with canned tomatoes.

Can you use fresh tomatoes?

Yes, you totally can! Just use the equivalent amount of canned tomatoes listed in the recipe. Just be sure to prepare the tomatoes for the consistency you want (smooth, chunky, etc).

This sauce looks chunky. Can it be made smooth?

Absolutely!

I (clearly) tend to like a chunkier marinara sauce, so when I make it, I used a can of diced tomatoes. That’s what gives the sauce the look you see in the pictures here.

If you want a smoother sauce, you can either pulse the diced tomatoes in a food processor OR you can use a can of low-sodium, unflavored tomato sauce instead.

And if you’d like an ultra-smooth sauce (even without any visible minced garlic) you can make the sauce as directed, let it cool slightly, then pulse it in a food processor until it’s all a solid, creamy red.

Homemade Marinara Sauce! This quick and easy homemade marinara sauce recipe will make sure you always have some delicious and flavorful sauce on hand. Plus, it can be made with canned or fresh tomatoes and freezes well. | HomemadeHooplah.com

How long is homemade marinara sauce good for?

Once made, this sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to four to five days.

Can you freeze marinara sauce?

Yes! This sauce is great for freezing.

Once made, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a sealable container (freezer bags are okay, too).

This sauce can be frozen for up to four months.

What can you make with marinara sauce?

Marinara is a simple sauce and not nearly complex as it’s cousin tomato sauce (also referred to as pasta sauce, spaghetti sauce, etc).

However, in a pinch, marinara can be used in a lot of the same recipes as tomato sauce. In fact, if you’re making a really complex dish, a simple marinara sauce might even be a better choice since there will be less competition for all of the other flavors.

Some of my favorite ways to use marinara:

Notes & tips for easy marinara sauce

  • As mentioned above, you can change the consistency of the sauce depending on what type of tomatoes you use. Want an extra thick and chunky sauce like the one pictured? Use diced tomatoes. Want an ultra smooth sauce? Use tomato sauce (or pulse the tomatoes in a food processor). Want a sauce so smooth you can’t even see the garlic? Then pulse the sauce after you’ve made it.

More great sauce recipes

How to make quick marinara sauce

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large, deep skillet, warm up extra virgin olive oil. Toss in the garlic and cook until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Be sure to stir frequently so the olive oil and garlic don’t burn.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 1 - Add olive oil. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 1 - Add garlic. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 1 - Cook. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 1 - Cook until golden brown and fragrant.

Step 2 – Pour in the tomatoes (either diced or sauce) and season with thyme, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir thoroughly, then cover.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 2 - Add tomatoes. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 2 - Add thyme. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 2 - Stir and cook. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 2 - Stir and cook. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 2 - Cover and cook.

Step 3 – Let the sauce cook, stirring occasionally.

Step 4 – Remove lid and give the sauce a final stir. If you feel the sauce still has too much water, keep the sauce simmering for another five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until the excess water has cooked off.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 4 - Stir well. Homemade Marinara Sauce Step 4 - Cook until water is reduced.

Step 5 – Serve and enjoy!

This recipe was originally published on May 6th, 2016. It was updated with new text and photos on July 24th, 2018.

Simple and easy marinara sauce recipe.

Recipe Details

Homemade Marinara Sauce! This quick and easy homemade marinara sauce recipe will make sure you always have some delicious and flavorful sauce on hand. Plus, it can be made with canned or fresh tomatoes and freezes well. | HomemadeHooplah.com
4.17 from 6 votes

15 Minute Flavorful Marinara Sauce

15 mins cook
126 kcal
Yields: 3 cups
This quick and easy homemade marinara sauce recipe will make sure you always have some delicious and flavorful sauce on hand. Plus, it can be made with canned or fresh tomatoes and freezes well.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, warm the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add garlic to skillet and cook until golden brown and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in tomatoes (diced or sauce), thyme, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir sauce until thoroughly incorporated, especially along the sides where the olive oil may sit.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer, then cover skillet. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove cover and stir sauce. If sauce appears too watery, allow to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1655IU | Vitamin C: 29.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.6mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating




19 comments

    • Aimee

    Just made this yesterday and WOW! This was super easy and my very first time making marinara. I used 4 cups of fresh tomatoes which probably gave me about 1. 5 cups of marinara. Not very much but I know now for next time. I’d highly recommend this recipe.

    • qwerty

    Ammm… and a little sugar or sweetener?

    • Sherry Satta

    I was incredibly lucky to live 24 years in Italy. My kids grew up there, and this kind of quick marinara was what we always made.When my mother-in-law gave me tons of tomatoes from her garden every Aug. , I made it ,and froze it in either family size portions or portions for my 3 kids. When we came to the States when my kids were 5, 3, and 1 for a family emergency, I tried buying easy things for the sitter to prepare like the canned spaghetti , we all grew up with. My kids refused to eat it!!!!! Fifteen minutes is so little to make fresh and healthy! Thank you for getting the word out!!!!!

    • Sarene
    • 5 stars

    Half of my family recently decided to try being vegan, and the other half is agreeing to give pescetarian a try. Tonight we agreed on pasta and marinara sauce only to discover we were out of marinara! Found this recipe and decided to give it a try. Family loved it! Good flavor, easy, and quick. I will definitely make it again.

    • Erin
    • 5 stars

    I have made this recipe twice now!! I use an imersion blender so that it’s not so chunky! I love this recipe because it’s so versitile! Add in a pound or so of ground beef and cook for a few hours and it’s becomes a super delicious meat marinara!!

    • http://ucminiapp.in

    I do consider all of the ideas you’ve presented on your post.
    They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too
    short for newbies. Could you please extend them
    a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

    • Mimi

    Really lovely. I do both a smooth and chunky variety. I can’t decide which one I want until the last minute! Actually I prefer using good quality canned tomatoes over the best, ripest fresh tomatoes. That’s just me.

    • mariette costin

    That looks fantastic. Good to have ready. I wonder how many servings for the calories mentioned. Sorry if I did not read correctly

    • Thalia @ butter and brioche

    I never have made my own pasta sauce before for some reason and you definitely have inspired me to here. Clearly this marinara sauce is so hearty and flavoursome.. that I have to make it!

    • Howie Fox

    Damn, this looks good!! You’re right, flavour is super important, and sometimes a little tricky to create in these kinds of sauces, especially if the chunky tomatoes area little watery.
    But this deffo looks great! Found your blog thorugh foodgawker. Will come around more often from now on 🙂

    • Julia

    Those are some beautiful photos. I want to reach in and take a spoonful of that sauce. I love making my own sauce. Your version looks great!

    • Barbara | Creative Culinary

    I will keep a jar or two of bottled sauce available so anxious to try your version instead. Especially since a recent trip to Costco for half a dozen items just cost me $350. I did not know I needed a new toaster oven or outdoor table! You’ve saved me from myself. 🙂

      • Lorrie Rung

      Funny. Sam’s club effect too.

    • Kathy Hester

    Making your own sauces is a great way to save money. Thank you for such a great recipe!

    • Christine from Cook the Story

    Nothing beats the fresh taste of a homemade marinara sauce. It looks delicious, too.

    • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    There is nothing better than homemade sauce! Never ever by store-bought! Such a waste!

    • Florian @ContentednessCooking

    Your marinara looks fantastic and is so easy to make! Nothing better than a bowl of pasta and homemade marinara, thank you!

    • Abigail

    Your marinara sauce looks so delicious and am glad to know it doesn’t take hours to make it. 🙂

    • Bing

    I am so happy that you came up with a good marinara recipe. I love tomato paste and everything that goes well with it.However, my big bump in the road is that I cannot use canned tomatoes or I get a skin reaction ( I am guessing it has to do with the preservatives or something in the can), so I have no other option but to make my own. I have to say that once you have home made marinara sauce chances are you will never be able to go back to any store bought ones. The flavors of the tomatoes when they are fresh is just floral.They have this sweet aroma that you just can’t find in anything that’s been sitting on a shelf. I love this recipe, it is simple, delicious and healthy. How much better can it get?