Marinara Sauce

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This homemade marinara sauce is super easy to make! With just a few staple ingredients and a little simmering on the stove, you can have a healthy homemade sauce! Plus, you can add a few extra veggies for more flavor if you like!

Marinara Sauce in a mason jar with a bunch of basil off to the side.

If you have never made your own spaghetti sauce now is the time! It is so easy to make and you can add whatever you like to the sauce. Plus, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your meal.

This sauce is perfect to use for chicken parmesan or you can even use it to dip your favorite breadsticks in (we like these Cheese Breadsticks).

Why Should I Make Homemade Marinara Sauce?

  • Budget friendly
  • You control everything in your sauce
  • SUPER easy to make
  • Freezer friendly
  • Canning friendly
  • Uses easy to find everyday ingredients
Ingredients: Onion, garlic, oregano, canned tomatoes


For a traditional marinara sauce, you will need canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, dried oregano, and fresh basil. You don’t need sugar if you add enough basil because basil helps cut through the acidity of the tomatoes.

I went a step further and added in a few extra veggies like carrots and celery for a little extra nutrition. But this is completely optional.

CANNED TOMATOES: Choose a good quality canned tomato for this recipe because it is the main ingredient. San Marzano tomatoes are a great choice for this sauce. They are known to have better flavor, be a little sweeter, and be less acidic. I like to use a can of crushed tomatoes as a base, diced tomatoes for a little texture, and tomato paste for that deep rich tomato flavor.

ONION AND GARLIC: Both of these add flavor to the sauce and don’t be afraid to add even more garlic to your sauce.

Both add to the flavor of the sauce

Two pictures showing how to prepare the vegetables for the sauce.
Three pictures showing how to cook the sauce. First sauté the vegetables then add the remaining ingredients and simmer.

How To Make An Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

Start by chopping up the vegetables. I like to use a food processor to get the vegetables finely chopped but chop to your desired size. You can also use an immersion blender after cooking the sauce to get the consistency you are looking for.

Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer on the stove for at least 20 minutes. It needs a little time to simmer and develop flavor. It also helps thicken the sauce the longer it simmers.

Overhead view of marinara sauce on a bed of pasta and topped with basil and cheese.



Store cooled sauce in a covered container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Freeze completely cooled sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


Yes! Just follow the instructions on the ball website for proper canning. You may need to add a tiny bit of lemon juice for canning.

Close up of sauce on pasta on a dark plate with a fork to the side.

Tips and Suggestions

Some ways you can use this sauce:

  • The simplest way- on top of pasta!
  • Add meatballs while simmering for spaghetti and meatballs
  • Use it for chicken parmesan
  • Perfect sauce for dipping breadsticks or mozzarella sticks
  • Use it in your favorite recipes. This recipe makes around 5 cups of sauce and most store-bought jars are 3 cups.

To change things up:

  • Add extra veggies
  • Use crushed red pepper flakes to make it spicy
  • To make it a rose sauce stir in 1/2-2/3 cup heavy cream after simmering
  • Add a parmesan rind while simmering or stir in grated parmesan at the end

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Homemade Marinara Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

This homemade marinara sauce is super easy to make! With just a few staple ingredients and a little simmering on the stove, you can have a healthy homemade sauce! Plus, you can add a few extra veggies for more flavor if you like!

Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: homemade pasta sauce
Servings: 5 cups
Calories: 61 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
  • ½ small onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 small carrot, optional
  • 1 small celery stalk, optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (6 oz) (170g) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28 oz) (793g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) (411g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 large sprig fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  1. Finely chop all the vegetables or process in a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a large pot then add the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Stir in the tomato paste until no tomato paste lumps left. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, oregano, and the whole sprig of basil.

  3. Simmer uncovered for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the basil and taste for salt and pepper. Serve as desired.

Recipe Notes
  1. The carrot and celery are not normally added to marinara sauce. Just something I add for added flavor and nutrition. You can leave them out if you desire. 
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 61 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 11mg0%
Potassium 62mg2%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 0.4g1%
Vitamin A 1685IU34%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

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