Homemade marina sauce in a skillet garnished with fresh chopped basil.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

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This homemade marinara sauce is easy to make and has the most amazing flavor. Made with crushed tomatoes, onions, spices, fresh garlic and basil. This classic Italian recipe will rival your favorite Italian restaurant. It’s so good that your family will never want the bottled stuff again.

Homemade marinara sauce over a plate of spaghetti. Garnished with fresh Parmesan cheese and basil.

Marinara Sauce Ingredients

The key to the best marinara sauce is using quality ingredients and fresh herbs. I have included everything I recommend for this recipe.

  • Tomatoes:
  • Onion: Yellow onions are a great choice for their mild flavor. Sweet and white onions are another good choice.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is a key component of this recipe.
  • Herbs: I use a combination of fresh and dried herbs for this sauce. Fresh chopped basil is a must for the best flavor. But, dried oregano works well and is even better when it is fresh.
  • Spices: Less is more in this recipe. A little sea salt and ground black pepper add the best flavor to the fresh basil.
  • Olive Oil: Only a little is needed to saute the fresh garlic and onion.
  • Sugar: Used to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and only a small amount is used. It may not be needed depending on the brand of tomatoes you use.
All the ingredients needed to make marinara sauce.

How To Make Marinara Sauce

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion stirring occasionally until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute 1 additional minute.
  • Next, add crushed tomatoes (with juice), oregano, salt, black pepper, fresh basil, sugar and tomato paste. Stir until ingredients are well combined. Bring to a slight boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Serve sauce while still warm over your favorite pasta and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil.
Overhead shot of easy to make marinara sauce. Garnished with fresh basil.

Recipe Variations

  • Make It Spicy: Adding just a little crushed red pepper flake will do the trick. I recommend starting with 1/8 teaspoon and mixing it in. Then, taste and add more if needed.
  • Add More Flavor: Fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme are all great additions to this classic Italian recipe.
  • Make It Cheesy: When the sauce is done simmering mix in 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Turn It Into A Rose Sauce: Add in 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream to make it a delicious creamy sauce.
  • Make It Smooth: If you prefer a smoother sauce. All you need to do is add it to a blender once it is done simmering. Then, just blend it to your desired consistency. You can also add 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth to make it runnier.

Can I Freeze Marinara Sauce?

Yes, I like to triple or even quadruple this recipe and save some for later. Let the marinara sauce cool to room temperature. Then add it to small jars in meal size portions. The sauce freezes incredibly well and will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To thaw the marinara sauce, leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Then you can reheat it on the store stop or microwave.

Homemade marina sauce in a skillet garnished with fresh chopped basil.

Marinara Sauce

This homemade marinara sauce is easy to make and has the most amazing flavor. Made with crushed tomatoes, onions, spices, fresh garlic and basil. This classic Italian recipe will rival your favorite Italian restaurant. It's so good that your family will never want the bottled stuff again.
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 182 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (canned)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (finely minced)
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion stirring occasionally until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute 1 additional minute.
  • Next, add crushed tomatoes (with juice), oregano, salt, black pepper, fresh basil, sugar and tomato paste. Stir until ingredients are well combined. Bring to a slight boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Serve sauce while still warm over your favorite pasta and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil.

Notes

  • Nutrition estimate is for sauce only, does not include pasta.
*Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on Modernmealmakeover.com should only be used as a general guideline.
**Sugar may not be required if the tomatoes that you purchase already has it in them.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 738mgPotassium: 814mgFiber: 5gSugar: 12.4gVitamin A: 604IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Homemade Marinara Sauce, Marinara Sauce
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30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I love homemade marinara sauces. They are so much more flavorful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. 5 stars
    Homemade marinara sauce looks brilliant and a gorgeous color!! Love the fact how easy these are sauces are to make at home. Lovely share!

  3. 5 stars
    love that this just takes 30 minutes! I love making extra and freezing it for later. great ideas!

  4. 5 stars
    There’s nothing quite like fresh homemade tomato sauce. This is an excellent recipe – definitely a keeper!

  5. 5 stars
    Gave this a try for a spaghetti dinner and it did not disappoint! So hearty and bold; way better than a store bought version!

  6. Noelle Simpson

    5 stars
    This was so simple to make and so delicious! Beats store bought any day of the week!

  7. 5 stars
    Nothing compares to a homemade sauce. This is so versatile and great base recipe to have on hand. Delicious!

  8. I love a good marinara sauce as it’s so versatile. Need to try this soon!

  9. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious and easy! I can’t wait to make this! I love making homemade recipes!

  10. 5 stars
    Such a bold and robust recipe; loved all the aromas! So much better than the store bought version!

  11. 5 stars
    It’s easy to forget how easy making your own marinara sauce can be, and this one is amazing! Easy ingredients that you’ll likely have in your pantry at any given time. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    Love this homemade marinara sauce recipe!! The flavors are so rich and deep – it totally elevated our pasta dinner last night!!

  13. 5 stars
    Never buying store-bought again! Perfect recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    Homemade fresh sauce is the best I love everything about this recipe its just perfect for angel hair pasta!

  15. I am a big fan of homemade from scratch recipes. This sauce looks absolutely delicious, can’t wait to try!

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