Homemade Marinara Sauce

Ditch the store-bought stuff and make this delicious homemade marinara sauce. It’s super simple to make and tastes amazing on pastas and pizzas, or as a dip!

Marinara sauce makes the perfect dip for lots of appetizers—like Fried Ravioli, Mozzarella Bites, or even Cheesy Zucchini Tots!

Easy + Homemade for the win

Homemade is always better than store-bought, don’t you agree? This homemade marinara sauce is such a cinch to make and it tastes better than anything you can get at the supermarket.

It’s great to make ahead of time, or right when you need it—perfect for mixing with your favorite pasta or using as a pizza sauce. We also love using it as a dip for breadsticks or cheesy mozzarella sticks.

Marinara sauce vs spaghetti sauce? Marinara sauce is tomato based sauce seasoned with garlic, herbs and onions. Spaghetti sauce is also tomato based and seasoned similarly, but is typically thicker and includes meat. 

How to make marinara sauce in a saucepan

How to Make Marinara Sauce

COOK. Grab a large cooking pot and add in the olive oil. Heat it up over medium heat. Then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add in both cans of tomatoes, including the juice. Use a spoon, potato masher, or pastry cutter to break up the tomatoes as they cook. Mix in the remaining ingredients.

SIMMER + SERVE. Take the lid off, turn the heat to low, and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes. Once you have reached the desired consistency you want, serve the sauce over pasta or with your recipe of choice. It’s best served hot!

Tips:

  • Use roasted tomatoes for a deep flavor. Roasting your own tomatoes is quite simple and I have a great recipe HERE.
  • The longer you allow it to simmer the more the flavors will deepen and combine. 
  • If you use fresh tomatoes from your garden be sure to remove the skins first.
  • Chunky or smooth- either way works. If it’s too chunky then, put it in the food processor and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.

Slow Cooker Version: This is a great recipe to make in your slow cooker. Just throw the ingredients in in the morning and return with your house filled with a delicious aroma.  Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 or set it to high and cook for 2 hours. This is also a perfect way to make extra and freeze for later. 

Breaking up tomatoes with pastry cutter as it cooks

Recipe FAQ

How to Store?  Marinara sauce stores really well so go ahead and make a double batch to enjoy later as well. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To freeze: divide the sauce into 1-2 cup Ziploc bag. It can stay safe in the freezer for 6 months or more. Reheat in the microwave, stovetop or slow cooker. 

What can I use marinara sauce on? Marinara sauce can be used in pastas like lasagna or pizzas. You can also use it as a dip for breadsticks and other appetizers.

What to pair with marinara sauce?

Closeup of homemade marinara sauce in a saucepan

For more homemade sauces, check out:

Marinara Sauce Recipe

5 from 13 votes
Ditch the store-bought stuff and make this delicious homemade marinara sauce. It's super simple to make and tastes amazing on pastas and pizzas, or as a dip!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 64 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic minced
  • 2- 28 oz crushed tomatoes canned
  • 1/4 c fresh basil chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste to taste
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 c water

Instructions
 

  • Use a large cooking pot add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook saute until fragrant.
  • Add both cans of tomatoes, including the juice. Use a spoon to break up the tomatoes as they cook.
  • Mix in the remaining ingredients. Keep the lid off, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Once you have reached the desired consistency serve hot sauce over pasta or with your recipe of choice.
  • Sauce can be stores in the fridge or freezer.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    love this recipe i’ve tried to make this but i doubt i have use different ingredients i’ll try this with the same ingredients because i recipe i made previously wasn’t that good i hope this one turns out to be perfect 🙂 thanks for sharing

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this…I love homemade marinara, but have never found a recipe that I love, until now. This is delicious, rich in flavor & so easy!

  3. 5 stars
    I love how fresh this tastes! We love to use Marinara as a dipping sauce, pizza sauce and over Pasta. So delicious!

        1. I personally have not tried, but yes, you can. Usually one 28oz can would equal anywhere from 10-12 tomatoes, depending on the size.So, you would need double that.

  4. 5 stars
    We love the flavor of this sauce. I make it in my crock pot, easy to prepare and freezes well. No more jar sauce for this family. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe

  5. 5 stars
    Very easy and precise instructions. Can’t wait to try it out. Thank you for making it user friendly 😃👍🏼