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Best Marinara Sauce Recipes

Best Marinara Sauce Recipes

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Top Rated Marinara Sauce Recipes

Melted cheese, pizza sauce, and spicy pepperonis taste pretty good when you bite into a large triangle of pizza crust, but guess what? That combination tastes pretty good on some golden brown fries, too.Click here to see 15 Over-the-Top Fry Recipes

Tacos are an easy, go-to weeknight dinner that help you navigate your week with a little less stress. However, taco Tuesday can become cumbersome after a while. Spice it up by making even easier pizza tacos!

If you love chicken parmesan, then you’ll love this burger. The burger is topped with melted mozzarella cheese and chunky tomato sauce and served on a toasty bun.

The truth is, whether you enjoy them as the prepackaged, frozen mini versions, or a homemade version, pizza bagels often hit the spot when you are in the mood for pizza quickly but don’t want to order a pie. Personalized and easily portion-regulated, this breakfast food’s pizza makeover is also kid-friendly and can be made by even the clumsiest little hands.

Bring the best of two game day foods together for the ultimate tailgating party food.

These easy turkey meatballs come together quickly and are satisfying for diners of all ages. If you'd prefer, you can also use ground chicken.

Hearty and filling, this tasty dinner will help you bulk up the healthy way.

Try this Flatbread pizza recipe instead of a traditional crust. The thin and crunchy flatbread is healthy and goes well with many toppings.

If you’re looking for a more diet-friendly version of the pizza bagel, try making it with an English muffin. We suggest you lightly toast the muffin before putting the entire thing in the toaster oven to make sure the muffin doesn't get too saturated with the marinara sauce.Check out more delicious pizza-fied recipes here!For more classic pizza recipes, click here.

Chicken parm is a truly genius creation. The gooey mozzarella cheese melted over savory marinara sauce and crisp, breaded chicken cutlet is one of our most favored pseudo-Italian dishes there is. We decided to add a little more crunch, though, and serve that classic dish over a bed of fries.Click here to see 15 Over-the-Top Fry RecipesClick here to see 101 Ways to Cook Chicken

If you’re skeptical about cooking lasagna in a slow cooker, have no fear — it’s as easy as layering the ingredients and walking away. This recipe will have your lasagna pan gathering dust. The Italian purist in me was happy to find that traditional lasagna noodles bake up beautifully without boiling them first, and my boys were delighted to eat this for dinner and again as tasty leftovers.

This hearty Italian dish makes a simple spaghetti dinner, with or without meat. Use homemade marinara sauce or a good bottled kind for an easy dinner. Add some garlic bread and a salad, and you're all set. This recipe is from Good Housekeeping.-Lainey6605This recipe is courtesy of Lainey6605 via

Marinara Sauce

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This homemade marinara sauce recipe is easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and slow-simmered with the BEST tomato, basil and garlicky flavors.

Friends, do you have an amazing homemade marinara sauce recipe in your repertoire?

It’s the classic marinara sauce that I have made countless times over the years and it is my absolute favorite. It’s incredibly easy to make with a few classic ingredients, which also happen to be naturally gluten-free and vegan. It’s made with a blend of herbs and seasonings that perfectly compliment those slow-simmered rich tomato marinara flavors, without completely overpowering them. It only requires about 10 minutes of active hands-on prep time, giving you time to work on the rest of dinner while the sauce simmers on the stove. And best of all, this marinara sauce is just so incredibly nostalgic and comforting and flavorful.

Serve it up with your favorite pasta, pizza, lasagna, meatballs, parmigiana, subs, or whatever sounds good. And while you’re at it, I also highly recommend doubling the recipe anytime you make this marinara sauce, as the leftovers keep beautifully in the fridge or freezer for later.

So many good reasons to make this marinara sauce…so let’s do it!

Best Italian Marinara Sauce Recipe

Easy, chunky, creamy, rustic, hearty, flavorful marinara sauce or as known in America “Sunday Gravy” , is made at home with a few ingredients and a little patience. This is so good you’ll never be able to buy it in a jar. Gotta make your own kids!

The secret to the classic Italian sauce, lies in slowly simmering the tomatoes with onion, basil and garlic until thick and reduced and the natural sugars have concentrated their flavors. So thick you can literally use it as a pizza sauce as I do of course.

There is no heavy cream, no wine and no anchovies in an authentic marinara sauce.

It is a simple vegan and vegetarian sauce that you can serve with spaghetti and ricotta meatballs , clams and mussels , shrimp, chicken parmesan , ricotta gnocchi, peppercorn steak , mushrooms, eggplant, ravioli, veggie lasagna or whatever your favorite pasta is. Even perfect for dipping your cheese sticks!

Recipe Summary

  • Four 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes with basil, preferably from San Marzano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 leaves fresh basil, torn (optional)
  • Pinch of dried oregano

Remove tomatoes from can and place in a large bowl, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes using your hands remove and discard the hard core from stem end, and any skin and tough membrane set aside.

Place oil in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juices season with salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 hour.

Stir in basil, if using, oregano, and season with pepper continue cooking 1 minute more. Remove from heat and serve.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the difference between marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce? Marinara sauce is a simple tomato-based sauce that can be used as spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce can also contain other ingredients such as vegetables or meat, like ground beef or sausage.
  • What is the difference between marinara sauce and pizza sauce? Marinara sauce is cooked on the stove, whereas pizza sauce is generally uncooked. However, pizza sauce and marinara sauce generally contain the same ingredients, therefore marinara sauce can be used for pizza.
  • How long does marinara sauce last in the fridge? This marinara sauce can be refrigerated for up to 7 days. After 7 days, it can be moved to the freezer and stored for up to 6 months.
  • How do you unfreeze marinara sauce? If you've been storing the marinara sauce in the freezer, I recommend moving it to the refrigerator for 24-36 hours to defrost. If you don't have that much time, place the sealed jar of sauce in a bowl in the sink and run cold water over the jar until the sauce is thawed.
  • How do you thicken marinara sauce? If you want to thicken the sauce, I recommend adding tomato paste, ¼ cup at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. The tomato paste should be added at the same time as the fresh basil.

My Favorite Marinara Sauce Uses:

Looking some of my favorite ways to use the best marinara sauce? Check out some of these recipes that use homemade marinara sauce, or browse the recipe index archives for even more great recipe ideas:

Take this Easy One Skillet Baked Ziti to the next level by using this marinara sauce. Easy One Skillet Baked Ziti is the perfect, easy comforting pasta dish.

Use this homemade marinara sauce for a dipping sauce when serving these Spinach, Ricotta and Tomato Calzones.

Ricotta is mixed with a combination of primavera style vegetables, parmesan, and fresh herbs to create a tasty primavera stuffing to fill manicotti pasta. The Manicotti Primavera is then baked smothered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for a comforting meal.

Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Lasagna Rolls are stuffed with a decadent mixture of ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and Romano cheese, then topped with homemade classic marinara sauce.

Homemade DIY Pizza Night is one of our kids&rsquo favorite nights! It also makes a really fun dinner party to have with another family over. We love to do this with one of our neighbor families. Make some Totally Awesome Pizza At Home and then use this recipe for marinara sauce recipe for the pizza sauce.

Brown some ground beef and simmer it in plenty of this marinara sauce for a super simple spaghetti night that the whole family will love. If Baked Spaghetti is more your style, try this recipe for Baked Sausage and Vegetable Spaghetti.

For a simple Chicken Parmesan, make breaded chicken cutlets according to this recipe for Chicken Parmesan with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce.Take a stash of this marinara sauce out of your freezer and use that to spoon over the breaded chicken cutlets. Then, top with a sprinkle of parmesan and a slice of fresh mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted.

Do you prefer marinara sauce or meat sauce?

Love this recipe for Best Ever Homemade Classic Marinara Sauce?
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How to make this homemade marinara sauce recipe

It's really very simple to make. I'll give you a brief look at how to do that here. See the full recipe below for more details.

  1. Sweat the onions until they are soft but still have a slight bite and then add the garlic for 30 seconds. (Overcooked garlic has a bitter and burnt taste)
  2. Add the tomatoes, white wine, and broth. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the butter and chopped parsley and basil.
  4. Use what you need for that day and refrigerate or freeze the rest.


Step 1

Heat oil in a medium heavy pot over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 5 minutes stir in basil. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Step 2

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

How would you rate Classic Marinara Sauce?

This is a simple, flavorful recipe and a great introduction to sauce making. I personally add two tablespoons of tomato paste after the garlic becomes fragrant and stir occasionally for about three minutes, until the paste begins to carmelize, then add the tomatoes. Either way it is a delicious, versatile, simple sauce that anyone can make.

I love this recipe for its simplicity and versatility. I've made it several times now as a basic marinara with tortellini or as base for vodka sauce with penne or combined with meat sauce with spaghetti. Some version of this sauce is generally in my refrigerator most of the time.

Best Marinara Sauce

This sauce is a great base for a meat sauce as well. Just add your meat of choice about 15 minutes before serving. We also make meatballs separately and freeze them. Then, it’s easy to have pasta with meatballs. Just freeze them on a cookie sheet and move to a zipper bag when frozen. It’s easy to take out as many as you need for a quick pasta meal. The sauce recipe also makes more than enough to freeze some for future use.

The sugar and milk really balance the acidity of all the tomato ingredients. Your taste may be a bit different, so try different amounts until you’re satisfied with the end result.

Best Marinara Sauce

1 Medium Onion, chopped fine

1 Stalk Celery, chopped fine

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped fine or put through a garlic press

1 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes

1/2 t. crushed Black Pepper

In a heavy pot, or dutch oven, heat about 2 T. olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Saute over medium heat, stirring until the vegetables are soft, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the wine and allow to simmer until reduced until liquid is gone.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, stirring to blend.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Mix in about 2 cups of water.

Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours until flavors blend and sauce thickens.

Pour over cooked pasta and serve with Parmesan Cheese.

You can also add cooked ground beef the last 15 minutes of simmering for a meat sauce.

If you do not use the entire recipe, it freezes well. I usually freeze it in single meal portions in zipper bags.

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How to Make the Best Nomato Sauce


Most nomato sauce recipes call for lots of beets, which is a total faux pas in my opinion. It makes the sauce inauthentically sweet! My recipe calls for just one beet. If you're concerned about the earthiness of the beet, be sure to scrub it really well, or even peel it before you saute.


There are very few ingredients that can change in flavor as much as an onion does when going from raw to sauteed. Don't skip this step! It makes all the difference.

Carrots and Celery

These two ingredients add to the bulk, color, and mild flavor contributions to the sauce. I wouldn't recommend omitting or reducing the quantities, but in a pinch you could likely substitute in one for the other.

Secret Ingredient – Pumpkin!

Don't you dare skip this! This is the key to an authentic Italian marinara sauce flavor without the nightshade veggies. It contributes to the color, flavor, and texture of the sauce.

Bone Broth

I love adding bone broth to up the nutrient density of the sauce and bring an added richness. However, while following a low histamine diet, I used water in place of bone broth and it was still delicious.


Sauteed garlic, high quality Himalayan sea salt, and a good spice blend like the one from Primal Palate are totally worth the added upfront expense and time. Don't skimp out on these!

Optional Flavor Enhancers

I love to add all of these, but they aren't necessary! If you have them on hand, I highly recommend including them. If you're out at the store grabbing the ingredients, my favorite flavor enhancer is the fresh basil.

The flavors in this sauce continue to develop over time, so it tastes even better the next day! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

This batch of sauce is fairly large, so you most likely won’t use it all in one recipe. Don’t worry though because it freezes great! Cook the sauce, let it cool completely, then place it in several freezer-safe containers to help build easy Italian dinners when you need it. Consider freezing the sauce in 1-2 cup quantities – whatever makes sense for your household.