Homemade Marinara Sauce doesn’t get any easier! This requires just a handful of ingredients and 20 minutes on the stove for a memorable Italian Marinara. Everyone needs a great pasta sauce in their recipe collection and this one is a keeper.

Homemade marinara sauce in saucepan

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What is Marinara Sauce?

Mariana is the same thing as a pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce. It is a tomato-based sauce made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs. It originated in Italy and is used in many Italian-American dishes like Chicken Parmesan or Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Ingredients for Marinara Sauce:

The ingredients are pantry staples that we always keep on hand so it’s easy to whip up. Since the ingredient list is very short, make sure to source the best quality ingredients you can find.

We used extra virgin olive oil for extra flavor and “San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes.” San Marzano is an Italian variety of plum tomato and the gold standard of Italian Marinara.

Ingredients for marinara sauce recipe with crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, oregano and olive oil

Can I Substitute Fresh Tomatoes?

Fresh tomatoes would essentially have to be turned into crushed tomatoes with the added steps of blanching and peeling the tomatoes then simmering them down to the correct consistency which will really increase the time for making homemade marinara.

If you’re looking for a marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes, make sure to check out our Mushroom Mariana Sauce.

Italian Marinara Sauce in pan garnished with fresh basil

How to Make Marinara Sauce:

A saucepan and spatula are all you need to make a homemade marinara sauce that tastes better than any canned version. Watch the Video Tutorial below and you will memorize this recipe in no time.

  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add diced onion and saute until soft (5 minutes), then stir in garlic for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer partially covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in chopped fresh basil and remove from heat.

Step by step tutorial how to make homemade pasta sauce

Watch the Marinara Sauce Video Tutorial:

I hope this Marinara recipe becomes a new favorite go-to recipe for you. P.S. If this video doesn’t load right away, give it a few seconds. You’ll see a faded horizontal image of pasta sauce then click the play button in the center. To view the video, make sure to temporarily pause your ad blockers on your browser.

Our Favorite Ways to Use Pasta Sauce:

This recipe is so versatile. Use it for any recipe that calls for Marinara Sauce.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Homemade Marinara Sauce

5 from 625 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Homemade Marinara Sauce doesn't get any easier! This requires just a handful of ingredients and 20 minutes on the stove for a memorable Italian Marinara.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 3 cups of marinara sauce

Instructions

  • Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add 1/2 cup chopped onion stirring often until soft and golden (about 5 min). Add minced garlic and stir 1 min, or until fragrant.
  • Stir in 28 oz crushed tomatoes, 1/2 tsp oregano,  1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Bring to a light boil then reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 15 minutes.
  • Finally, stir in 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil then turn off the heat.

Nutrition Per Serving

180kcal Calories22g Carbs5g Protein10g Fat1g Saturated Fat738mg Sodium814mg Potassium5g Fiber12g Sugar604IU Vitamin A27mg Vitamin C105mg Calcium4mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
180
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
738
mg
32
%
Potassium
 
814
mg
23
%
Carbohydrates
 
22
g
7
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
604
IU
12
%
Vitamin C
 
27
mg
33
%
Calcium
 
105
mg
11
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: marinara sauce
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 180

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Debra
    February 28, 2024

    My husband &I loved your marinara sauce with rigatoni noodles and veggie meatballs

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 28, 2024

      I’m so glad to hear that, Debra!

      Reply

  • Melissa C
    February 12, 2024

    Fantastic recipe! I made it today for my HS son’s basketball team dinner. Paired very well with homemade Italian meatballs.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 12, 2024

      So glad it was enjoyed!

      Reply

  • Craig Brock
    February 6, 2024

    Came out perfect I made it for six people. The only thing I added was 1.5 tablespoons of sugar in order to neutralize the acidity, but otherwise fantastic and simple recipe.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 6, 2024

      Thank you for sharing, Craig!

      Reply

  • Jacinda
    January 16, 2024

    Slightly bitter and acidic from the store brand we are used to. Add a small amount of baking soda to mute this then it is perfect.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 16, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Jacinda!

      Reply

  • Audrey P.
    December 25, 2023

    This recipe turned out delicious, plus it was so easy to make. This is a keeper.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 25, 2023

      Thanks, Audrey. GLad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Summer Yule
    December 18, 2023

    This recipe saved me from having to go out to get dinner ingredients in a storm, as I happened to have everything for the sauce on hand (plus dry pasta) 😊 So easy and delicious, it’s a keeper- many thanks! 🙏

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 18, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Summer! I’m so glad you found this recipe.

      Reply

  • Pam King
    December 13, 2023

    Hi I haven’t made this but want to for Christmas. I thought real San Marzano tomatoes only came whole and peeled. I’ve never seen them crushed. Is it the Cento brand or another? Thanks.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 13, 2023

      Hi Pam! See the image above for the can I used, I was able to find it crushed but you can use any brand you can find.

      Reply

  • Shirley Tam
    November 17, 2023

    Can I canned the marinara sauce? Do I need to add lemon juice?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 18, 2023

      Hi Shirley! I have not tested canning this.

      Reply

  • Al
    November 16, 2023

    I didn’t have suggested tomatoes, and used: Muir Glen Organic Crushed Fire Roasted Tomatoes. My only modification is added sugar. I ended up adding 3 teaspoons to balance the acidity. I simmered it uncovered to reduce water content. Final product came out flavorful, thick, restaurant-style. I will have to find San Marzano tomatoes next time. Thank you for another great and easy recipe, Natasha! I will make my own sauce from now on! Interestingly final product was cheaper than fancy brand marinara, and with no long list of mystery ingredients!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 16, 2023

      Hi Al! Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m so glad it worked out for you!

      Reply

  • Monique Sparks
    November 7, 2023

    This seems like it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, but I’m going to make 8 quarts and can it for my own pantry. Do you think adding the fresh basil before canning would throw off the taste? Looks so easy and yummy!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 7, 2023

      Hi Monique. I’m not sure, I’ve never tried canning this.

      Reply

  • Lisa Kelley
    November 5, 2023

    Second time I’ve made this sauce,, it’s the best ♥️Thank you! I use it my lasagna, it makes it delicious!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 5, 2023

      I’m so glad you love it, Lisa!

      Reply

  • Ginny
    October 21, 2023

    May I ask what brand of tomatoes do you use? Looking forward to trying your recipe! Thanks.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 21, 2023

      Hi Ginny! Yes- see the image above in the blog. I mentioned the brand used. I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Carol Brodie
    October 10, 2023

    That is such a great recipe. I enjoyed some this evening on pasta. I also added a bit of sugar to the recipe and it was an interesting addition.
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 10, 2023

      Hi Carol! You’re very welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply

  • Eileen Dempsey
    October 3, 2023

    This might be a strange question, but I’ve been looking for a homemade tomato sauce recipe, and I would like to use actual fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Can I do that? What are your thoughts?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 3, 2023

      Hi Eileen. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, you’ll want to first make homemade crushed tomatoes and then proceed with the recipe. You can research online how to make crushed tomatoes.

      Reply

  • Michael
    October 1, 2023

    I’ve made my own marinara using a similar recipe, but with Centro whole, peeled, San Marzano canned tomatoes. It’s a great sauce, but it takes an hour.

    I tried your sauce recipe using Centro brand crushed tomatoes, and found it to be quite bland.

    I happened upon your chicken parm video, which linked to the San Merican crushed tomatoes that you use.

    Today I made a batch using your recipe (and San Merican tomatoes), and a batch using my recipe (and Centro San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes).

    We did a family taste test, and your recipe was the winner. It also took about a third of the time, and made a little more sauce.

    I’ll be using this recipe from now on, but be aware, other home chefs, your choice of canned tomato is crucial in this recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 1, 2023

      Wow, that’s super awesome! Thanks a lot for sharing, that made my day!

      Reply

    • Dawnella
      November 24, 2023

      Thanks for taking the time to perform the test with different tomatoes. I almost always use Cento San Marzano tomatoes and would have snubbed any other brand. I will try Natasha’s suggested brand based on your taste test and see if I agree!

      Reply

  • Claudine
    September 26, 2023

    I absolutely love your recipe! It’s my go to marinara sauce for everything. I never buy store bought marinara sauce. It’s full of flavor and the best part it’s so damn easy to make!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 26, 2023

      That’s great to hear, Claudine!

      Reply

  • Margaret Mcgill
    September 25, 2023

    So simple…..and as you said worth assembling rather than jar. I may never buy jar again.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 25, 2023

      Yes, definitely much better that storebought. Glad you liked it!

      Reply

  • Richard L-B
    September 22, 2023

    Easy, quick and delivers the right result. I added a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and a few crushed chili flakes to the recipe. Used it with meatballs. Very nice.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 22, 2023

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Richard.

      Reply

  • Jennifer
    September 17, 2023

    Hi
    I just made the sauce for the first time and we love it! How can I store this and/or does this need refrigeration? Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 17, 2023

      Great to hear that you enjoyed our Homemade Marinara Sauce! To Store Homemade Marinara Sauce: transfer to a sealed jar or Tupperware container and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

      Reply

      • Jennifer
        September 17, 2023

        Thanks very much! I’m going to make a LOT of this sauce. 😋

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          September 17, 2023

          You’re welcome, sounds like a plan!

          Reply

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