This easy marinara sauce is rich in flavour and quick to make – and it’s made with just a few simple ingredients. Very little preparation and some time to simmer this recipe is a keeper.
About This Recipe
- It’s naturally gluten free.
- It’s vegan and vegetarian.
- Is budget friendly using canned tomatoes and a few dried herbs.
- The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.
- Can be made ahead of time and frozen.
What Is Marinara Sauce?
Marinara sauce is a simple tomato-based sauce made with tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs.
To make this easy marinara sauce you will need a few ingredients.
Oil: Use a good quality light flavoured olive oil. If you don’t have olive oil use vegetable oil.
Onion: Use brown or yellow onions these are strong in flavour and will add a richness to the sauce. Finely dice the onions.
Garlic: For the best flavour use finely minced or grated garlic. However, I have also used bottled garlic – 1 teaspoon is approximately 2 garlic cloves. If you don’t like garlic leave it out.
Chilli: I like to add 1-3 diced small red chillies to the sauce for a little heat. If you don’t have fresh chillies chilli flakes can be used. If you don’t like chilli leave it out.
Tomatoes: I like to use canned diced tomatoes because you don’t need to break the tomatoes into pieces. If you are using canned whole tomatoes chop them into smaller pieces before adding to the pot.
Sugar: I like to add about 1 – 2 teaspoons of a sugar to the sauce, depending on how acidic the tomatoes taste. The sugar helps to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes.
Herbs: Depending on the time of the year I will either use fresh or dried basil.
Dried basil can also be replaced with an Italian seasoning mix. Use your taste to determine how much herbs you add to the sauce. The flavour intensity of herbs does vary depending on its age and how it is stored. Start by adding 1 – 2 teaspoons and taste the sauce then add more if needed.
Salt and freshly ground pepper: Add the salt and pepper last. If you add the salt at the start, chances are the sauce could end up too salty due to evaporation, causing the salt to be more concentrated in flavour.
Step By Step Instructions
To make this easy marinara sauce all you need to do is:
- Heat the oil in a small pot, then add the onion and fry over a medium/high heat for 3- 5 minutes or until they become soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and fry for another minute.
- Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Next put the lid on and simmer covered for 30 – 40 minutes, until it has a thick and creamy consistency. Stir the sauce occasionally and taste the sauce and add more herbs if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- This step is optional. If you like marinara sauce without chunks, use an immersion blender and blend the sauce until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy.
Uses For Marinara Sauce
This easy marinara sauce can be used to spread over pizzas, use it in lasagna, cooked meatballs in it, use it for chicken parmesan, and it can be used as a dip.
You Might Like These Recipes With Tomatoes:
- Homemade tomato ketchup – A simple sauce using fresh tomatoes, onions, spices and white vinegar.
- Slow cooker meatballs in tomato sauce – This recipe makes meatballs that are soft, tender and juicy.
- Easy beef and veg soup – Takes 15 minutes to prepare and cooks in 20 minutes.
- Hamburger soup with macaroni – Packed with vegetables this soup can be prepared in advance and reheats well.
- Beef and chilli bean soup – Seasoned with fresh chilli, herbs and spices and loaded with tomatoes, capsicum, beans and ground beef.
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Easy Marinara Sauce
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 4-6 garlic cloves diced or grated
- 2 x 400 grams canned diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves or more if needed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or more if needed
- 1 – 2 teaspoons white sugar or to taste
- 1 – 3 small red chillies finely sliced (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry until soft and translucent, about 3- 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and fry for one more minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, dried basil leaves, dried oregano sugar and chillies (if using) and stir together. Turn the heat to high and bring the sauce to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, put cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the sauce has a thick creamy consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper and add more dried herbs and sugar if necessary.
- This recipe make 600 grams (2 1/2 cups) of sauce.
- The sauce keeps will covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. It can be frozen for up to 6 months.